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In Christopher Moore's ingenious debut novel, we meet one of the most memorably mismatched pairs in the annals of literature. The good-looking one is one-hundred-year-old ex-seminarian and "roads" scholar Travis O'Hearn. The green one is Catch, a demon with a nasty habit of eating most of the people he meets. Behind the fake Tudor façade of Pine Cove, California, Catch sees a four-star buffet. Travis, on the other hand, thinks he sees a way of ridding himself of his toothy traveling companion. The winos, neo-pagans, and deadbeat Lotharios of Pine Cove, meanwhile, have other ideas. And none of them is quite prepared when all hell breaks loose.

Topics: United States of America, California, Small Town, Speculative Fiction, Debut, Parody, Funny, Witty, Dark, Demons, Supernatural Powers, and 20th Century

Published: HarperCollins on
ISBN: 9780061802638
List price: $10.99
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DAng, Christopher Moore is funny -- and was funny his first time out the shoot, in this debut novel. It was fun to read this after so many other Moore novels, and run into the first appearances of people and places that populate later works of his. I did offer it to Javaczuk, but he wants me to find it on audio so we can listen to it on a future car trip. :)more
I'm sure that this book is fun in any format, but the narrator they hired for the audiobook - Oliver Wyman - really made it for me. He came up with fantastic voices (I'm sure that Catch's fascination with Cookie Monster was part of the reason Wyman decided to give Catch a voice that was very similar to CM) and maintained a fantastic pace. Plus, the CDs have a nice feature that tells you when the CD ends. Fantastic all around.more
After reading A Dirty Job, I was looking forward to reading more by this author. Going back to his early books and "starting at the beginning" is NOT the way to go on this one.

It's not that the book was BAD, it was just a huge yawn. I finally stopped reading at a little past the halfway point, when I realized that I could put it down after a couple of pages and not be all that anxious to get back to the book to see what happens next. I just plain didn't care.

Don't discount Chris Moore's writing based on this book. Start with one of his later efforts (A Dirty Job, Lamb) and enjoy your reading.more
Funny and irreverent without being cloying or overly snarky. The author creates wonderfully quirky characters and an equally memorable plot. He weaves strings of subplot into the main narrative with skill and very dark humor. Fun reading. And since I have been told by numerous people that this is far from being his best work, I am very much looking forward to reading more from Moore.more
I've just read this book again for the first time in years - I was looking for something fun and easy as a beach read. I fell in love with it all over again!I am absolutely in love with the misfits of Pine Cove, and though so many of their stories and actions are far-fetched, they are also very real and beilevable characters. They are flawed and funny and wonderfully fleshed out.The whole concept of Practical Demonkeeping is delightfully absurd, and Moore weaves everyone you meet into the main story line flawlessly. Everyone in Pine Cove has their role to play, and they play it well. And Catch, the demon - who loves comic books as much as he loves eating people? How ridiculous and fantastic!If you're looking for a break from reailty, or looking for a light read before you embark upon your next 800 page historical fiction epic, I'd suggest giving this (or almost any other) book by Christopher Moore a chance. Give your brain a break and just have some fun!more
Former seminary student Travis O’Hearn inadvertantly unleashed a demon straight from Hell when he stumbled across an ancient invocation hidden instead a set of candlesticks. He’s not actually a fan of being in control of an extremely powerful demon, and has spent most of the last 70 years trying to get Catch to stop eating people—or at least to only eat criminals and other nasties. But now Travis—who still looks 20-something thanks to the demon Catch’s graces—is closing in on a solution to his problem in the small town of Pine Cove, California. He lost the candlesticks all those decades previously and has come to believe that the other candlestick contained the invocation to send Catch back to Hell. Now Travis, along with a motley crew of Pine Cove’s losers, eccentrics, and petty criminals—along with one aeons-old King of the Djinn—have one last chance to get rid of the demon once and for all, before Catch can break free of Travis’s control and destroy the world.Funny, irreverant, clever, and fast-paced, Moore’s first novel already displays his trademark wit. Those who enjoy Practical Demonkeeping won’t want to miss the other Pine Cove novels, The Stupidest Angel and The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove.more
I liked it, though it wasn't entirely what I thought it was. I had some difficulty with the beginning, but I guess I had to get used to the way of the author.I enjoyed the story, it was very funny at times. (My favourite quote is: "To say that Effrom was not a particularly good cook was an understatement akin to saying that genocide is not a particularly effective public relations strategy.") And I did like the characters, overall a very enjoyable book. Though I did dislike some parts of the ending.more
Almost as irreverent as ever, Moore writes about an invisible demon who can be see only when he eats people, and the quest of his tender to rid himself of being eternally connected to the evil one. The characters along the way are quirky and flawed in their own way, and also outragious (in a good way)more
This was Moore’s first novel (and also the first set in his monster-ravaged fictional town of Pine Cove, California), and his lack of practice does show. While the trademark Moore dark humor and offbeat characters are present, they are not as developed as the reader might wish for. Also, the plot is a bit too pat, the back story a trifle over-explained – a deficit corrected in Moore’s later writings. Still, it is an amusing romp and quick, fun read for fans of Moore and demons alike.more
very interesting.very odd as well.I was not sure what to think of the book, but it really sucked me in. I finished it in one day and I am still not quite sure how I felt about it.I am going to definitely read others by this author....more
I enjoyed the end where a character laid out the plan, and the author actually let the readers in on it! WOW! It bothers me to no end when you keep hearing the inner most thoughts of characters, their ambitions, their goals, all that crap. BUT, when something important/good is about to happen, the author writes the worst words that can be in a book, "and then he/she/it told them." Some times I wish to hear the plan too, not just have it shown.more
After reading a more serious book, such as Memoirs of a Geisha, I like to balance it out with something a little more wacky and zany...enter Christopher Moore!My massage therapist recommended Moore to me as an author that is very readable, whose books don't involve a lot of complex thoughts that could be forgotten if the book is read over long periods of time. I had lamented to her how much I missed reading adult literature for pleasure, and she suggested Moore books primarily because I could set them down and may not necessarily be able to pick it back up again for a while and I wouldn't have to go back 50 pages to re-read what had last happened to refresh my memory. She was right! Although it took me much longer than I would have like to read his books (pre-iPod), I was thrilled that I actually managed to squeeze in about ten minutes of reading a day!Practical Demonkeeping is about a man named Travis who unknowingly summons a demon named Catch. As a result, Travis becomes his Master with one of the benefits being perpetual youth. Travis wants nothing more than to get rid of Catch, and his life revolves around trying to find a way to send catch back to where he came from him.This was not my favourite Moore novel, but it was pretty good. Narrator, Oliver Wyman, is a pleasure to listen to.MY RATING: 3.5 stars!more
I'm left hoping the author's writing gets better over time as he has several books and I may want to try all of them. The story is at first several seemingly unrelated stories until somewhere in the middle it starts making sense. I kept thinking the author is like Stephanie Meyer in that he doesn't write overly well but the STORY is compelling enough to read and enjoy. He is quite humorous and I found myself laughing aloud at certain phrases or antics. If you want a quick fun read you can't go too wrong with this one.more
I'm a big fan of Christopher Moore and this book didn't disapoint. Easy to read, I flew through it in a few hours, great characters and a funny plot. A very welcome return to Pine Cove this time in the company of Travis and his demon Catch.more
You won't find a nicer bunch of looney's than in this story. A man eating demon behing held in check by a man who is getting tired of doing it. Christopher Moore's first book showed the promise of his coming novels. Well done.more
a nice start to the series - interesting to see where reoccurring characters started out in the Christopher Moore universe!more
More fun stuff with the residents of Pine Covemore
This is Moore's first novel. I wasn't quite sure what to think going in. After listening to the first few chapters, I figured out that Catch is a demon who eats people and is "controlled" (although not very well) by his master Travis. Catch and Travis come to a small California town called Pine Grove, which is populated by a range of interesting characters. But the King of the Djinns, Catch's enemy, shows up in Pine Grove, and the townspeople are pulled into a supernatural showdown. Are you with me so far? Moore does create a convoluted plot, but somehow he makes it all work. Each of the townspeople is a distinct and interesting character. Even though the story rotates between six or seven main characters, I felt like I got to know each one. Catch was a perfect demon, irreverent and mouthy. Despite a number of twists, the plot strands come together in a climax that had me sitting in the driveway until I'd listened to the last track of the audio book. This was the first of Moore's books that I've read, but I'll be on the lookout for others. Just a note for those of you who like audiobooks, I thought that the audio was very well done on this one. Catch's voice, especially, will echo in my head for a while!more
A mix of horror and humor about a ravening demon, Catch, trying to free himself, his demonkeeper, Travis, trying to keep him from eating (people) too much, a djinn trying to send the demon back to hell and quirky inhabitants of Pine Cove, California who find themselves involved when the demon comes to town. The author reminds me in his charm and wacky humor of a Pratchett or Douglas Adams, American style. Moore doesn't engage in the the same kind of word play as those authors do, nor does this have dazzle with an amazing created world a la Discworld, but like Pratchett this features a kind of humor that makes you believe the author has an affection for his characters and humanity in general. (If I have any criticism, it's that, if anything, he's a bit too easy on some characters who get more than they deserve.) The book is zany, warm, with a gift for making you like his characters; this zipped past--all too quickly.more
This was a cute book, but not the best things I've ever read by a long shot. I think this could have been a great book, but Moore kind of missed the boat on it. I've read several of his books and have had the same experience with all of them. He seems to be very hit or miss. I'm gonna have to call this one a miss.more
Fun read, but not nearly as good as "Dirty Job" or "You Suck"more
I picked this up because I'd heard it was great, funny, etc. Honestly, I thought it was okay, but certainly not the best book I've ever read. Starts off a bit slow, and picks up about halfway through. I'm interested in reading some of his later work, as I've heard him compared to authors I really love, but this barely did it for me. I don't know what actual city/town the ficticious Pine Cove is based on, but it was very reminiscent of the Central Coast of California (Pacific Grove, Monterey, Carmel, bits of Big Sur), and since I used to live in that area, it did make me a little homesick! He did do a good job with the setting, at least! Overall: Just okay.more
If you were to mix together a demon from hell, the king of the Djinn, a hippie drug dealer, a hopelessly romantic drunk and his wife/ex-wife (one in the same), the owner of a bait, tackle and fine wine shop, the leader of a coven cult, a 70+ year old man who doesn’t appear to have aged more than 26 years, an old man and the wife, and a lot of bats, then you have one heck of a wild tale written by Christopher Moore. This one is not as laugh out loud funny as some of his other tales, but like his other stories is equally enjoyable. Moore creates memorable characters, as strange as they may be, this might explain why they are memorable. Definitely recommended reading for any Moore fan and equally enjoyable to the novice passerby of the growing Moore Cult.more
This book wasn't as good as Lamb, but I still enjoyed it a lot. It's very simple and humorous. There are lots of interesting characters that have stories to tell, but aren't too complex. I also found it unexpectedly unpredictable.more
Christopher Moore has found a very good niche in the fantasy fiction world. He creates a set of oddball characters, mixes in a few seemingly normal people to keep your disbelief in check, then sprinkles the plot with a set of crazy ideas. In Practical Demonkeeping this is the recipe: A normal guy becomes involved with the supernatural in error. His new companion likes to eat people. Many inhabitants of a cosy town become embroilled in the resulting chaos as demon and demonkeeper try to part ways. Once Moore has cooked this plot, the result is tale that is clever, funny and although it never takes itself too seriously, it's well written enough to keep you interested until the end. It's a short and snappy book which I heartily recommend if you're looking for some quality light entertainment.more
This was my first Christopher Moore book so wasn't sure what to expect. Very humorous with a creative and twisting story arc, I enjoyed reading about Travis and his very unwelcome demon, Catch. We jump around following numerous characters, but it's a cohesive jumping around and Moore successfully pulls it off, keeping me engaged and interested the whole way through. It was a cute story and I have another Moore book in the wings. He's got me; now let's see if he can hang onto me.more
Well. I have to say right off that I'm not usually a big fan of the wacky comic fantasy. When the Xanth books first came out in 1977, I was addicted to them until I ran out of steam about book #5 or #6. I just could not bear to read any more Xanth books or any of the copycats that had appeared as if out of thin air. That doesn't stop me from remembering them fondly, I just can't open them again without shuddering. So, no Chicks in Chainmail, no Discworld, no MythStories. Glen Cook's Metal series was exempt because he treated his world like it was perfectly normal and the mysteries were the important thing. Luckily for me, Christopher Moore keeps the fantasy to a minimum (or as minimum as is possible when you're talking about demons) and the wackiness not too over the top. Practical Demonkeeping is mostly the story of a town and its invasion by one man and one 3-foot demon. Travis O'Hearn 'accidentally' summons a demon during World War I. He then spends the next 80 years searching for the woman who will help set him free as he is tortured by guilt every time he has to let the demon feed on a human. The alternative would be to lose control and watch helplessly as Catch destroys entire villages and towns. He has managed to tighten his control enough that he can limit Catch to meals of pimps and thieves, but that has not prevented him wandering from city to city, desperately seeking relief of this burden. The only good thing to come out of his travails is his immortality -- despite being born near the turn of the century, he still has the look of a man in his mid-20's. Pine Cove is a small tourist trap on the California coast. Its English Tudor trappings are idiosyncratic against the overwhelmingly Spanish historical background of California, which only makes the town that much more of a tourist draw. This makes the locals, of course, that much more cynical about their livelihoods.There is a small circle of residents, however, who don't depend on the tourists directly and these make up much of Moore's cast: Augustus Brine owns the general store; H.P., the cafe; Mavis, the Head of the Slug Saloon; and Robert Masterson, a failed photo studio. None of these people believe there's any such thing as demons walking the earth nor are they related to Travis' quest in any way, but by the end of the book, they each have an important role to play in saving the town and, of course, the world. There's a bit of romance, both for the ages and for the night. There's a bit of horror in the way Catch so easily chomps his next meal. There are even magic mushrooms, a genie, and a giant owl. Well written, well told, I would recommend this book to anyone over the age of, say, 16.more
Read all 52 reviews

Reviews

DAng, Christopher Moore is funny -- and was funny his first time out the shoot, in this debut novel. It was fun to read this after so many other Moore novels, and run into the first appearances of people and places that populate later works of his. I did offer it to Javaczuk, but he wants me to find it on audio so we can listen to it on a future car trip. :)more
I'm sure that this book is fun in any format, but the narrator they hired for the audiobook - Oliver Wyman - really made it for me. He came up with fantastic voices (I'm sure that Catch's fascination with Cookie Monster was part of the reason Wyman decided to give Catch a voice that was very similar to CM) and maintained a fantastic pace. Plus, the CDs have a nice feature that tells you when the CD ends. Fantastic all around.more
After reading A Dirty Job, I was looking forward to reading more by this author. Going back to his early books and "starting at the beginning" is NOT the way to go on this one.

It's not that the book was BAD, it was just a huge yawn. I finally stopped reading at a little past the halfway point, when I realized that I could put it down after a couple of pages and not be all that anxious to get back to the book to see what happens next. I just plain didn't care.

Don't discount Chris Moore's writing based on this book. Start with one of his later efforts (A Dirty Job, Lamb) and enjoy your reading.more
Funny and irreverent without being cloying or overly snarky. The author creates wonderfully quirky characters and an equally memorable plot. He weaves strings of subplot into the main narrative with skill and very dark humor. Fun reading. And since I have been told by numerous people that this is far from being his best work, I am very much looking forward to reading more from Moore.more
I've just read this book again for the first time in years - I was looking for something fun and easy as a beach read. I fell in love with it all over again!I am absolutely in love with the misfits of Pine Cove, and though so many of their stories and actions are far-fetched, they are also very real and beilevable characters. They are flawed and funny and wonderfully fleshed out.The whole concept of Practical Demonkeeping is delightfully absurd, and Moore weaves everyone you meet into the main story line flawlessly. Everyone in Pine Cove has their role to play, and they play it well. And Catch, the demon - who loves comic books as much as he loves eating people? How ridiculous and fantastic!If you're looking for a break from reailty, or looking for a light read before you embark upon your next 800 page historical fiction epic, I'd suggest giving this (or almost any other) book by Christopher Moore a chance. Give your brain a break and just have some fun!more
Former seminary student Travis O’Hearn inadvertantly unleashed a demon straight from Hell when he stumbled across an ancient invocation hidden instead a set of candlesticks. He’s not actually a fan of being in control of an extremely powerful demon, and has spent most of the last 70 years trying to get Catch to stop eating people—or at least to only eat criminals and other nasties. But now Travis—who still looks 20-something thanks to the demon Catch’s graces—is closing in on a solution to his problem in the small town of Pine Cove, California. He lost the candlesticks all those decades previously and has come to believe that the other candlestick contained the invocation to send Catch back to Hell. Now Travis, along with a motley crew of Pine Cove’s losers, eccentrics, and petty criminals—along with one aeons-old King of the Djinn—have one last chance to get rid of the demon once and for all, before Catch can break free of Travis’s control and destroy the world.Funny, irreverant, clever, and fast-paced, Moore’s first novel already displays his trademark wit. Those who enjoy Practical Demonkeeping won’t want to miss the other Pine Cove novels, The Stupidest Angel and The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove.more
I liked it, though it wasn't entirely what I thought it was. I had some difficulty with the beginning, but I guess I had to get used to the way of the author.I enjoyed the story, it was very funny at times. (My favourite quote is: "To say that Effrom was not a particularly good cook was an understatement akin to saying that genocide is not a particularly effective public relations strategy.") And I did like the characters, overall a very enjoyable book. Though I did dislike some parts of the ending.more
Almost as irreverent as ever, Moore writes about an invisible demon who can be see only when he eats people, and the quest of his tender to rid himself of being eternally connected to the evil one. The characters along the way are quirky and flawed in their own way, and also outragious (in a good way)more
This was Moore’s first novel (and also the first set in his monster-ravaged fictional town of Pine Cove, California), and his lack of practice does show. While the trademark Moore dark humor and offbeat characters are present, they are not as developed as the reader might wish for. Also, the plot is a bit too pat, the back story a trifle over-explained – a deficit corrected in Moore’s later writings. Still, it is an amusing romp and quick, fun read for fans of Moore and demons alike.more
very interesting.very odd as well.I was not sure what to think of the book, but it really sucked me in. I finished it in one day and I am still not quite sure how I felt about it.I am going to definitely read others by this author....more
I enjoyed the end where a character laid out the plan, and the author actually let the readers in on it! WOW! It bothers me to no end when you keep hearing the inner most thoughts of characters, their ambitions, their goals, all that crap. BUT, when something important/good is about to happen, the author writes the worst words that can be in a book, "and then he/she/it told them." Some times I wish to hear the plan too, not just have it shown.more
After reading a more serious book, such as Memoirs of a Geisha, I like to balance it out with something a little more wacky and zany...enter Christopher Moore!My massage therapist recommended Moore to me as an author that is very readable, whose books don't involve a lot of complex thoughts that could be forgotten if the book is read over long periods of time. I had lamented to her how much I missed reading adult literature for pleasure, and she suggested Moore books primarily because I could set them down and may not necessarily be able to pick it back up again for a while and I wouldn't have to go back 50 pages to re-read what had last happened to refresh my memory. She was right! Although it took me much longer than I would have like to read his books (pre-iPod), I was thrilled that I actually managed to squeeze in about ten minutes of reading a day!Practical Demonkeeping is about a man named Travis who unknowingly summons a demon named Catch. As a result, Travis becomes his Master with one of the benefits being perpetual youth. Travis wants nothing more than to get rid of Catch, and his life revolves around trying to find a way to send catch back to where he came from him.This was not my favourite Moore novel, but it was pretty good. Narrator, Oliver Wyman, is a pleasure to listen to.MY RATING: 3.5 stars!more
I'm left hoping the author's writing gets better over time as he has several books and I may want to try all of them. The story is at first several seemingly unrelated stories until somewhere in the middle it starts making sense. I kept thinking the author is like Stephanie Meyer in that he doesn't write overly well but the STORY is compelling enough to read and enjoy. He is quite humorous and I found myself laughing aloud at certain phrases or antics. If you want a quick fun read you can't go too wrong with this one.more
I'm a big fan of Christopher Moore and this book didn't disapoint. Easy to read, I flew through it in a few hours, great characters and a funny plot. A very welcome return to Pine Cove this time in the company of Travis and his demon Catch.more
You won't find a nicer bunch of looney's than in this story. A man eating demon behing held in check by a man who is getting tired of doing it. Christopher Moore's first book showed the promise of his coming novels. Well done.more
a nice start to the series - interesting to see where reoccurring characters started out in the Christopher Moore universe!more
More fun stuff with the residents of Pine Covemore
This is Moore's first novel. I wasn't quite sure what to think going in. After listening to the first few chapters, I figured out that Catch is a demon who eats people and is "controlled" (although not very well) by his master Travis. Catch and Travis come to a small California town called Pine Grove, which is populated by a range of interesting characters. But the King of the Djinns, Catch's enemy, shows up in Pine Grove, and the townspeople are pulled into a supernatural showdown. Are you with me so far? Moore does create a convoluted plot, but somehow he makes it all work. Each of the townspeople is a distinct and interesting character. Even though the story rotates between six or seven main characters, I felt like I got to know each one. Catch was a perfect demon, irreverent and mouthy. Despite a number of twists, the plot strands come together in a climax that had me sitting in the driveway until I'd listened to the last track of the audio book. This was the first of Moore's books that I've read, but I'll be on the lookout for others. Just a note for those of you who like audiobooks, I thought that the audio was very well done on this one. Catch's voice, especially, will echo in my head for a while!more
A mix of horror and humor about a ravening demon, Catch, trying to free himself, his demonkeeper, Travis, trying to keep him from eating (people) too much, a djinn trying to send the demon back to hell and quirky inhabitants of Pine Cove, California who find themselves involved when the demon comes to town. The author reminds me in his charm and wacky humor of a Pratchett or Douglas Adams, American style. Moore doesn't engage in the the same kind of word play as those authors do, nor does this have dazzle with an amazing created world a la Discworld, but like Pratchett this features a kind of humor that makes you believe the author has an affection for his characters and humanity in general. (If I have any criticism, it's that, if anything, he's a bit too easy on some characters who get more than they deserve.) The book is zany, warm, with a gift for making you like his characters; this zipped past--all too quickly.more
This was a cute book, but not the best things I've ever read by a long shot. I think this could have been a great book, but Moore kind of missed the boat on it. I've read several of his books and have had the same experience with all of them. He seems to be very hit or miss. I'm gonna have to call this one a miss.more
Fun read, but not nearly as good as "Dirty Job" or "You Suck"more
I picked this up because I'd heard it was great, funny, etc. Honestly, I thought it was okay, but certainly not the best book I've ever read. Starts off a bit slow, and picks up about halfway through. I'm interested in reading some of his later work, as I've heard him compared to authors I really love, but this barely did it for me. I don't know what actual city/town the ficticious Pine Cove is based on, but it was very reminiscent of the Central Coast of California (Pacific Grove, Monterey, Carmel, bits of Big Sur), and since I used to live in that area, it did make me a little homesick! He did do a good job with the setting, at least! Overall: Just okay.more
If you were to mix together a demon from hell, the king of the Djinn, a hippie drug dealer, a hopelessly romantic drunk and his wife/ex-wife (one in the same), the owner of a bait, tackle and fine wine shop, the leader of a coven cult, a 70+ year old man who doesn’t appear to have aged more than 26 years, an old man and the wife, and a lot of bats, then you have one heck of a wild tale written by Christopher Moore. This one is not as laugh out loud funny as some of his other tales, but like his other stories is equally enjoyable. Moore creates memorable characters, as strange as they may be, this might explain why they are memorable. Definitely recommended reading for any Moore fan and equally enjoyable to the novice passerby of the growing Moore Cult.more
This book wasn't as good as Lamb, but I still enjoyed it a lot. It's very simple and humorous. There are lots of interesting characters that have stories to tell, but aren't too complex. I also found it unexpectedly unpredictable.more
Christopher Moore has found a very good niche in the fantasy fiction world. He creates a set of oddball characters, mixes in a few seemingly normal people to keep your disbelief in check, then sprinkles the plot with a set of crazy ideas. In Practical Demonkeeping this is the recipe: A normal guy becomes involved with the supernatural in error. His new companion likes to eat people. Many inhabitants of a cosy town become embroilled in the resulting chaos as demon and demonkeeper try to part ways. Once Moore has cooked this plot, the result is tale that is clever, funny and although it never takes itself too seriously, it's well written enough to keep you interested until the end. It's a short and snappy book which I heartily recommend if you're looking for some quality light entertainment.more
This was my first Christopher Moore book so wasn't sure what to expect. Very humorous with a creative and twisting story arc, I enjoyed reading about Travis and his very unwelcome demon, Catch. We jump around following numerous characters, but it's a cohesive jumping around and Moore successfully pulls it off, keeping me engaged and interested the whole way through. It was a cute story and I have another Moore book in the wings. He's got me; now let's see if he can hang onto me.more
Well. I have to say right off that I'm not usually a big fan of the wacky comic fantasy. When the Xanth books first came out in 1977, I was addicted to them until I ran out of steam about book #5 or #6. I just could not bear to read any more Xanth books or any of the copycats that had appeared as if out of thin air. That doesn't stop me from remembering them fondly, I just can't open them again without shuddering. So, no Chicks in Chainmail, no Discworld, no MythStories. Glen Cook's Metal series was exempt because he treated his world like it was perfectly normal and the mysteries were the important thing. Luckily for me, Christopher Moore keeps the fantasy to a minimum (or as minimum as is possible when you're talking about demons) and the wackiness not too over the top. Practical Demonkeeping is mostly the story of a town and its invasion by one man and one 3-foot demon. Travis O'Hearn 'accidentally' summons a demon during World War I. He then spends the next 80 years searching for the woman who will help set him free as he is tortured by guilt every time he has to let the demon feed on a human. The alternative would be to lose control and watch helplessly as Catch destroys entire villages and towns. He has managed to tighten his control enough that he can limit Catch to meals of pimps and thieves, but that has not prevented him wandering from city to city, desperately seeking relief of this burden. The only good thing to come out of his travails is his immortality -- despite being born near the turn of the century, he still has the look of a man in his mid-20's. Pine Cove is a small tourist trap on the California coast. Its English Tudor trappings are idiosyncratic against the overwhelmingly Spanish historical background of California, which only makes the town that much more of a tourist draw. This makes the locals, of course, that much more cynical about their livelihoods.There is a small circle of residents, however, who don't depend on the tourists directly and these make up much of Moore's cast: Augustus Brine owns the general store; H.P., the cafe; Mavis, the Head of the Slug Saloon; and Robert Masterson, a failed photo studio. None of these people believe there's any such thing as demons walking the earth nor are they related to Travis' quest in any way, but by the end of the book, they each have an important role to play in saving the town and, of course, the world. There's a bit of romance, both for the ages and for the night. There's a bit of horror in the way Catch so easily chomps his next meal. There are even magic mushrooms, a genie, and a giant owl. Well written, well told, I would recommend this book to anyone over the age of, say, 16.more
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