Tuesday, March 15, 2011

CBRIII: Book#14: The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove by Christopher Moore

Theophilus Crowe is the constable of Pine Cove, a small town that flourishes in tourist season and slows to a crawl the rest of the year. He's also a forty year old stoner. Molly Michon is the town's crazy lady and a former B movie actress who lives in a trailer park with her signature leather bikini and broad sword. Val Riordan is the town psychiatrist that decides to put all of her patients on placebo, without their knowledge, after a patient suicide. The Sea Beast? Well, he's just looking to get laid.

The Sea Beast, later named Steve by Molly, has been around for a helluva long time and has evolved to bring his prey to him by sending out signals. These signals are chiefly those of sexual arousal, causing horny mayhem in a town populous already reacting to withdrawal from anti-depressants. Meanwhile, Theo is looking into the suicide that caused Val to question prescribing drugs to patients. Theo stumbles across something really big in his own backyard. Something that he's never been interested in investigating due to lack of motivation and a steady supply of home-grown marijuana.

Theo is a lovable loser that I imagined being played by John Krasinski, because I can always use more excuses to daydream about him. Theo wants to do what is right, but he's terrified of stepping on the toes of the man that pushed him into running for constable in the first place. He also has no idea how to be a real police officer, so that's a setback. Plus, you know, the whole pothead thing is a real obstacle.

Theo's only friend is biologist Gabe Fenton. Gabe has micro-chipped rats that go out of their comfort zone at the same time that Steve comes into their lives. Gabe is a loser of sorts like Theo, only it is his education and fascination with biology that makes him a giant dork. (I imagined Gabe as Mark Ruffalo for some reason. HOT.)

Molly is a nutbag. Seriously kids, she wears her leather bikini from her Kendra the Warrior Babe days and practices her broad sword technique outside of her trailer. She keeps a dead goldfish in her freezer and she is exceptionally non-plussed by Steve. In fact, she and Steve....you know what? I don't want to spoil it. Or your lunch. (And I imagined Molly as Cameron Diaz with her hair all crazy like in Being John Malkovich.)

Moore has created another cast of lovable but insane characters with another improbable premise that just works. You're never sure who is going to be the antagonist and you generally don't care since the story is so entertaining without the standard friction between good and less good. However, when you see things are about to come to a head, you've got plenty invested in the unconventional protagonists to want them to emerge unscathed. Whether their ending is formulaic in nature or not.

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