Chasing The Moon Hardcover – 4 Aug 2011
|New from||Used from|
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
""Divine Misfortune "reads like a mash-up of Neil Gaiman, Monty Python, and a sugar-bombed nine-year old." "Locus""
Unspeakable horrors inhabit the Earth in this hilarious new novel from the author of Divine Misfortune.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
When Diana, looking for an apartment to rent, finds one that almost seems made for her - right down to the posters on the walls - it comes with a catch, an unspeakable monster from Beyond called Vom the Hungerer. Diana is supposed to keep Vom shut up in a cupboard: she can only leave her home if she lets him out, but if she lets him out, he eats her.
Diana's new home isn't the only one housing strange secrets. There is Chuck, who's scared - almost - to death of the apparently sweet puppy that guards his front door. There's the couple who share a Thing between them, taking turns to host it.
Diana has stumbled across one of those places where other worlds leak over, all sanity-blasting horrors and strange angles. It is a place where the future of the Universe(s) is daily at risk and having to be rescued by the ordinary seeming caretaker to the block, assisted, now, by Diana, whose exposure to the uncanny has given her magical powers (as well immortality - so long as she manages to avoid being eaten by Vom).
Add to this a buch of crazed cultists worshiping fenris, a being from another dimension who just wants to get home - except that getting home means eating the Moon and rending the fabric of reality - the real threat that the world will be taken over by giant ants - and the difficulties of Diana having any sort of social life whille accompanies by Vom, Zap, Pogo (the apparently sweet puppy) and a string of other horrors, and this is a cheerfully entertaining take on cosmic horror, reminding me in part of Agent to the Stars in which John Scalzi takes a similarly irreverant line with UFO visitors. Great fun to read, no need to look for anything profound.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Poor Donna, whom life has kicked to the curb. Recently homeless, she'd been couch-surfing for a while, thanks to those friends who would put her up. Today she's stumbled onto the perfect apartment. The rent is cheap, remarkably so. The place boasts an old-fashioned jukebox, and she'd always wanted one (it even had her favorite songs on it). The fridge shockingly stores her favorite soda brand, Mr. Fizz. The landlord informs her: "There's no lease. You stay as long as you're able... Leave whenever you're willing." There has to be a catch. She takes the apartment anyway.
The catch is that her new apartment complex is a nexus of realities. The building hosts all manner of ancient, otherdimensional monsters and creepy crawlies. The landlord warns Donna of a closet which must never be opened. That's like waving something red in front of the bull.
Donna learns that she's become the unwitting warden of Vom the Hungering, the thing what resides in that closet. Vom the Hungering (who, by the way, is awesome!) is a godlike entity whose appetite is insatiable. (I mean, it sports two thousand and fourteen stomachs.) To open that closet is to become instant snack on legs. Still, Vom seems like a decent sort.
She learns also that she's now a weirdness magnet, that other paranormal beasties are suddenly drawn to her. Not that they're bad sorts. These monsters are, more often than not, simply lost and confused and lashing out. Before you know it, Donna has amassed a diverse menagerie of nightmarish creatures (her crib's gotten pretty cozy). And when a cosmic threat (that makes Donna's monsters look like pikers) emerges and threatens to break the world, can Donna and her squabbling "roommates" save the day and the days after that? *Sigh* The things you do for Mr. Fizz sodas.
The reader readily connects with the story. With regards to the cast of characters, adjectives like "sinister" or "malevolent" simply don't apply (okay, Greg is a bit of a tool). Even the book's big bad is a likable big bad. Which is what makes Donna's choice at the end so interesting. It's a somewhat unexpected climax. A. Lee Martinez tends to zig instead of zagging. He has a way of flipping the scenario. He offers an absurd, whimsical look at the Lovecraftian sub-genre. Cosmic eldritch horrors are punctured. Them tropes are merrily upended. Martinez's writing doesn't (yet) resonate as deeply as Adams' stuff or Pratchett's stuff, but he demonstrates that same knack for shining a wicked light on man's silly hang-ups. Under his pen, even mighty godlike beings are reduced to walking (or slithering) piles of neuroses.
One of the book's strengths is that it features a centered heroine, one who is out of her depth and terribly out of sorts, but she grounds the narrative. Donna, newly exposed to the hidden fabric of the universe, keeps on keeping on, and there's delight in seeing her grow into her role. Hanging out with monsters does have its perks. Heck, she may even save the world. Or land a boyfriend. If only the demon hound would let him out of his apartment. Read CHASING THE MOON for Donna and the awesome Vom the Hungering (whose voraciousness is alarming even if he looks like a felt muppet), but read it also for Smorgaz the Unending and Zap the giant eyeball and the very odd landlord who, on a daily basis, may or may not be keeping the universe from winking out. Martinez tells a good, funny yarn about the end of the world.
"Imagine if The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy was written by H.P. Lovecraft right after he got done watching Disney Pixar's 'Monsters, Inc'."
It's almost absurd enough to be accurate, but now that I'm about halfway through the book I don't think it's quite enough. I'm pretty sure that Douglas Adams was so embarrassed by the movie adaptation of Hitchhiker's Guide that he faked his own death and all the talk of the macabre during his unlife led him to read a lot of Lovecraftian fiction. He has since spent his free time writing novels under the pseudonym A. Lee Martinez.
A few people have criticized the book for its lack of a discernible plot, how it just seems to meander at random and eventually arrive at no particular conclusion. I couldn't care less. I think it is one of the most splendidly diversionary books I have read in years. I've laughed out loud...a lot. It does tend to just roam wherever it feels, but it does it through a splendidly descriptive park of strange humors.
Seriously, metaphor-speak aside, the author's ability to create a scene is superb. It's very difficult to create a space in the reader's mind that lets them inhabit the same realm that you see when you're writing--even when the universe you're creating is very near to everyday life. The utterly deranged imagery in this book is perfectly described--incredibly vivid without unnecessary embellishment. I have not yet found myself trying to force the scene into my head--sorry, I don't know how else to describe it, but if you're an avid reader you know what I'm talking about--the scenes just create themselves out of nothing. It's brilliant and refreshing.
I don't care if this book has no conclusion and never develops a plot. I picked it up as an impulse buy at the PX because my Kindle was dead and I'd already read both the "hard" books I had with me several times. I'm happy enough with the purchase that I'll be buying it again on the Kindle, along with all of Ada...I mean, Martinez's other books.