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VINE VOICEon 19 January 2007
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.
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on 9 January 2007
I'm writing this despite having owned this book for the best part of a decade - in the hope of convincing you to go ahead and buy it. You won't regret it.

Nope, I'm not related to him, nor am I on some kind of percentage. It's simply a DAMN good book and you shouldn't hesitate to give it a chance. And in my mind it deserves a little better than the somewhat reserved previous review. It certainly made me laugh out loud, and I suspect you will, too.

Catch, the eponymous 27th level demon, is relentlessly evil (as, I suppose, you'd expect). Travis, the demon-keeper, isn't a bad man trying to make good. Instead he's a good man forced to be bad. By love.

The rest of the characters are all splendidly memorable too. And, as with most Christopher Moore books, it's best to abandon any attempt at trying to keep ahead of the plot. Just give up and go with the flow......
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 4 February 2015
I read Christopher Moore’s latest book, The Serpent of Venice, and thoroughly enjoyed it, so thought I would look out more of his works. Practical Demonkeeping is his first novel, published originally in 1992.

Billy Winston and The Breeze are out for a night’s entertainment. The Breeze doesn’t like Billy so ditches him at the first opportunity, but then has a bad night and has to start walking home with a blistered toe. Just when things don’t seem like they could get worse from The Breeze’s perspective, they rapidly do. Hearing a car pull up behind him, he panics that it’s the Law and swallows his cocaine. Angrily turning to see, his last thoughts are that a dwarf is running towards him – no, wait, it’s a huge dude, and getting bigger as it moves towards him …

Meanwhile, life in Pine Cove goes on as it has done for a long time; peaceful, quiet, just a community of individuals, some ordinary, some eccentric, but all with their own reasons for living quietly in their small town. But life’s about to get a whole lot more exciting; and possibly a lot shorter for many of the inhabitants.

This is a great comic novel, funny yet with pathos. The characters are not just one-dimensional caricatures written in for cheap laughs; their life stories are developed, the characters are well-written and the narrative is cohesive and interesting. I thoroughly enjoyed this story and the path it took. It had all the right blend of ‘novel’ and ‘comic’ to make it an entertaining as well as interesting read. I look forward to more of the author’s works.
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on 8 May 2011
felt compelled to write a review despite having read this book many years ago and having had several copies over the years (peope borrow it , it's a great read, it never comes back!) I love this author. Some books are better than others (comparable to saying that some champagne is better than others) and this is one of my favourites, they are just incredibly inventive, well-written and hilarious. to those saying he is no Pratchett , no he certainly isn't, he's the wonderfully talented Christopher Moore and he's damn fine!
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on 20 March 2014
Fans of Christopher Moore will be familiar with his mix of normal, down to earth people and fantastic monsters, vampires, zombies etc so it will be no surprise to hear that this book is in his usual genre. In this case the fantastical creature is a demon by the name of Catch whose master is a 90 year old man by the name of Travis who looks more like 24. There’s also a Djinn who acts as recruiter for the normal folks who have to trap the demon and send him back to hell.

This is Moore’s first visit to Pine Cove, where some of his later books will be set, so we’re treated to some of the town’s history and in particular the origins of the name of the town saloon, the Head Of The Slug. Wisdom comes in the form of bait shop owner Augustus Brine whose somewhat Zen way of life makes him ideal for battling demons, apparently.

The book moves at a steady pace. There are no real surprises but some laugh out loud moments from time to time. The characters are well drawn and will be familiar to most of us in some form or other. I enjoyed it but then again I am a Moore fan.
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on 19 August 2009
This book starts off funny but, as happens with most attempts at comic fantasy, the humor quickly fades in favour of plot.
We are left with a light-fantasy novel with a few jokes.

The book is very funny at the start and there are a few scenes that are really good letting you see why the author thought this would be a rich vein for humour but this only lasts for a few chapters.

The plot is straight-forward with a man fighting to rid himself of his demon through a slightly convoluted method, there is also a love story tied up with this.
The main problem is that none of the characters are interesting.
Catch is funny, none of the others are.
The rest of the cast are there for the plot and they are extremely bland and forgettable, there isn't a single character with any depth in the book. You can get away without depth in a comedy but not in a fantasy.

The core plot is unoriginal and the romantic angle isn't believable.

There are a lot of negatives and few positives, it's not a book that you'll hate but certainly not one you'll love.

The only book by the author I had previously read was Fluke: Or, I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings and it is much better than this lack-lustre offering.
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on 28 September 2010
I'm a huge fan of humorous 'far-fetched fiction' and have read everything there is to read from masters of the art such as Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett and Robert Rankin.

That sets the bar high though and as result I find myself giving this only 3 stars. It's a good book and had I not been spoilt with the masters of this genre I would probably have given this 4 stars.

The ingredients are right though. There is plot, there is humour and there is well put-together writing, and I will certainly read more from Christopher Moore.

Recommended for fans of the genre.
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on 20 July 2011
A great concept and, as is usual for Christopher Moore, hilarious in places, but I felt that this wasn't quite up to scratch when compared with some of the others, Lamb, Isle of the Sequinned Love Nun, or Fluke for instance.
It was a cracking read most of the way through but I thought the ending was contrived and too quick, it didn't really seem clear what had happened and almost felt as though the author had run out of time.
For Moore fans it is a must in the collection, but there are better ones to start on if you are looking for a first time Moore read.
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on 16 May 2006
and here's how to do it. Hard really to describe, not real fantasy, not laugh out loud funny. However it is very zany, the humour is black and the characters are great. Not really Pratchett like (tho if you like him this should appeal) probably more Neil Gaiman, particularly in American Gods.

It was a refreshing change and not very like anything else I've come across - his other novels are great too (well the ones I've read!) - given you are looking at this page - you will find it entertaining too. Make sure you look after your demon cos otherwise...
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on 7 January 2016
Got a free copy of this from years back and never continued the series but I am fully remembering how much I loved how Christopher Moore wrote at the time and am totally loving it again. With his dark serialism humour with added sex appeal. Highly recommend this novel and I will be this time continuing the Pine Cove.
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