Theophilus Crowe is a Constable. That's not quite a real lawman. He's not certain what it means, nor are the residents of Pine Cove. In this hidden town on a remote shore facing the Pacific Ocean, Pine Cove's Constable has little to do beyond maintaining the peaceful setting and worrying about his cannabis crop. His musings are rudely interrupted by a suicide. The death brings forth minions of the County Sheriff while evokes a spectre of faulty practice to the town's resident psychiatrist. Another spectre resides in the memories of Molly Michon, former skin-flick Warrior Princess of the Outland who bears a scar that demolished her career. Still getting jollies when she flourishes her sword, she's a formidable friend.
Molly finds a friend - "Steve" [no relation]. Steve's problem requires lengthy explanation - reaching, in fact, deep into prehistoric time. Steve is a shape-shifting, pheromone-emitting oceanic resident who's hungry. And horny. Piqued by a waft of radioactive leakage, Steve wends his way to Pine Cove in search of meals and mating. His ability to disguise himself keeps his mass invisible, but his musk attracts susceptible humans in droves. Molly becomes his mentor and protector, but there are other circumstances interfering with her ability to mother-hen a monster that devours people in a gulp. What exactly, is County Sheriff Burton up to? And what do a psychiatrist and a biologist have to talk about?
Moore's ability to create characters and circumstances is worthy of much applause. It's difficult to identify a "real" person among this assemblage. Yet, none of them is contrived nor severely exaggerated. Even Skinner, a rambunctious Labrador, proves a valid depiction. Psychiatrist Valerie Riordan struggles to keep professionalism, personality and pharmacists in some kind of balance. The intrusion of the monster lizard [?? - we're not certain of its actual shape] nearly tips the balance. Moore, by limiting each vignette to a manageable length, keeps the character development and episodes alive and closely present as you page through the book. It's not something you want to read in bits and pieces - the continuity demands rather close attention. A fine book for a holiday or long air flight, Moore's work rewards the reader for their time and attention.
[stephen a. haines - Ottawa, Canada]
Pine Cove, California, hometown of the depressed, crack pots, sex crazed and just plain crazy folk. Yup, you'll find 'em all here. Of the 5,000, the only one who really knows what is going on is Dr Val, the local psychiatrist. The town constable is usually marijuanaed up. The local bar owner, Mavis is counting on the blues and depression and boy, oh, and boy is she happy! This all sounds a little like "Desperate Housewives".
It all started when Bess Leander was found hanging from one of her chair hooks, but this wasn't a funny thing- she was dead. She lived in a home that was so free of dust that she drove her family crazy with her obsessive compulsive disease. But it shook Dr Val to the core, 15% of all depressed people commit suicide, and she figured she couldn't go there. She convinced the local pharmacist, who has a strange sexual fixation for sea mammals, to give everyone on anti-depressants a sugar pill. Then the fun began.
The nuclear power plant in town has had a nuclear leak so that the monster in the bay, or Steve, the prehistoric lizard is awakened and oh, my gosh, what a lively monster he is. The other members of the town who are enmeshed in this lively story are trying to sort things out. Molly, the former B-Movie star who augments her parts- first out of vanity, then out of need, the pot head town constable, Theo Crowe, who bumbles so much he causes great concern to the crooked sheriff Burton. There is a bereaved local artist and a biologist tracking anomalous behavior in rats. And, into this mix comes a black, blues singer who plays the guitar like a vixen. This all sounds like my hometown, and yours?
Christopher Moore has written one of the zaniest novels I have read and so much fun. It certainly brought me out of a funk- can't wait to read the rest of his novels. This is a fun lively book and highly recommended. prisrob
on 13 March 1999
It was a difficult decision, do I read the book in one sitting or read it slowly and enjoy every chapter. The small town of Pine Cove has more than its share of interesting characters - Theo Crowe, the pot-smoking constable; Molly Michon, the town's crazy who was the star of B movies; Mavis Sand - the owner of the Head of the Slug Saloon; Catfish Jefferson, a Blues singer; Valerie Riordan, the town shrink who heavily medicates a good portion of the town's population; and Gabe Fenton, an animal bioloist. Add a sea monster named Steve who terrorizes the community, causing an outbreak of horniness among the residents, and you have a rollicking adventure.
The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove is the second book in the Pine Cove series by American author Christopher Moore. When Theophilus Crowe, the pot-smoking, pot-growing Constable of Pine Cove, CA, is called to a suspected suicide, he is told by the Sheriff to treat it as just that. But before he can act any further, there is a fuel tanker explosion, a missing child and the people of the town begin to act strangely. The occasionally psychotic Molly Michon, ex-scream queen of the B movie silver screen seems intent on reprising her role as Kendra, Warrior Babe of the Outland; friend and biologist Gabe Fenton is measuring the serotonin levels of his tagged rats; Valerie Riordan, the town psychiatrist, decides to swap all her patients from anti-depressants to placebos; black bluesman, Catfish Jefferson, playing in Molly Sands's Head of the Slug Saloon, attracts the widowed Estelle Joyet, but also, apparently, a shape-changing sea monster later christened Steve; more people go missing and the population of Pine Cove has turned decidedly lustful. Another hilarious offering from Christopher Moore that has murder, a crank lab, placebos, a pharmacist attracted to cetaceans, a computer nerd who can be bribed with pot and confection, a dragon that can change people's behaviour, a siege, an unusual use for a weed-whacker, a double-wide trailer and a National guitar. Reminiscent of Terry Pratchett in places, Douglas Adams in others (high praise indeed, from me!), it is occasionally, as Jenny Masterson says "as surreal as a Dali jigsaw puzzle". Great fun!
on 18 May 1999
Like a good comedian Chris can put a laugh in at just the right moment. He sets up a sort of gag without having to be over descriptive that the joke is lost. He does it well in Lust Lizard again, Val and the conversation with the secretary comes to mind. He did it well in Love Nun. For those who read it do you remember the crash landing of the Pink Lear Jet?
For me Lust Lizard started a bit slow (for awhile I thought Chris had an overactive labido) but I was to ready to get into the story instead of waiting for the charectors to be setup first. After the first couple chapters the story was set and the marathon begain. I couldn't put this book down because I had to know what each person was up to next. The moving from one charector to another tortures you in a way you have to continue. You don't want to flip to the next section about any one person because you'll miss out on the others.
One thing about his books is how much you love the charectors and theres always one that you won't forget in each. Some of my favorite charectors have been the Fruit Bat, Mavis and now with Lust Lizard its Molly. Read this book, I'm sure you will agree.
The story telling in Lust Lizard is excellent and his ability for well placed humor is uncanny.
on 15 March 1999
Chris Moore is way talented, but you'd never know it from reading this book. "Lust Lizard" seems to have the look and feel of someone producing a book because he was on schedule, and not because he had any really original ideas. I've read his previous books (4 of them, yes?) and have thoroughly enjoyed his works; "Bloodsucking Fiends" I've given as a gift on several occasions and all have said it was hilarious and kept a thread.
This book does have it's moments but overall it's ideas, characters, and scenes seem introduced more to shock than to entertain. That, and there are too many of them; leading to an unfocused feeling from reading the story. While it holds together, it does not enthrall. I did like several of the characters and did think some of the plot devices quite funny, I just wish Chris Moore had provided a deeper image of a few characters in lieu of skimming the surface over several.
Two final notes: While not a sequel, those who have read "Practical Demonkeeping" get a leg up on everyone else. That, and, I cannot wait for his next novel. This guy is wicked.
on 18 March 1999
Okay, I'm not done with the book yet, but I'm enjoying it *way* too much to pass up a chance for a review. Read the book and you'll understand my one-line summary! My mom and I have been trading back and forth liners from Lust Lizzard that we've thought are worth laughing over together even if we aren't reading this book at the same pace (she let me know that she's already done with it as of today, but with little kids and all I'm only half-way through). Christopher Moore has done a brilliant job in all of his books in making the reader laugh and also, if not more importantly, consider where we are coming from and where we might go - Cyote Blue is the best example of this. Lust Lizzard is probably his funniest work yet, if not only for his one-liners. I'm sure there is a message that I'll get, but right now I'm having too much fun reading it. Ultimately, he offers a different reality, thought-provoking, fun, and a great break from our everyday world.
on 31 March 1999
Be an original and think for yourself: PICK UP A CHRIS MOORE NOVEL. All his books are incredibly original and refreshingly funny; a relief from the "brand-name" authors in the dump bins at the front of your local bookstore.
The current book revisits Pine Cove and a few of it's characters (see "Practical Demonkeeping"), but the story is completely fresh. You have libido-powered sea monsters, broadsword-wielding B-movie actresses, and pet-discipline-impaired animal behavioralists all existing side-by-side in a well-paced hilarious novel.
The problem with reviewing Chris' books is there's not much you can talk about out of context without ruining the books. So all I can say is buy this book and visit his website. It's worth the time.
on 8 April 1999
I am an assistant manager of a bookstore in Phoenix and we just finished hosting a book signing with Chris Moore. A standing room only crowd showed up and confirmed my thoughts that Chris' fans are indeed rabid and loyal. His book Lust Lizard is without a doubt his best yet and I have read them all. More than that, Chris is a really nice guy. If anyone ever has the chance to meet this guy, do yourself a huge favor and travel how ever far you must to do so. I and many others look forward to Chris' next zany, whacked out adventure and until that time will suffer the withdrawls not unlike those of the towns people of Pine Cove. I can only pray that Steve doesn't pay Phoenix a visit and begin feasting on us all.
on 28 March 1999
What can I say? I loved the book! The characters were great, especially Steve. If you can suspend disbelief and want to escape the real world, then you must read this book. Steve isn't quite my image of Puff the Magic Dragon. He is a bit too earthy for that, but he is a charmer. I smiled and giggled throughout the entire novel and still was worried and fretful that everything would turn out okay for the zany cast of characters. Christopher Moore has done it again. His story captured my imagination and gave me an afternoon of laughter. The only bad part -- now it is back to the real world and a long wait for the next book by this talented man.