Friday, February 13, 2009


I fell down a rabbit-hole on the literary continuum, somewhere between those currently being used by Sherman Alexie and Neil Gaiman! And what a wonderful ride it was. Reading Christopher Moore’s Coyote Blue was an enjoyable experience. Moore is rapidly becoming one of my favorite authors. I absolutely loved Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal.

The story itself is rather simple: it is about redemption and respect for heritage, myth and love, wrapped up in fantasy and humor. A young Crow boy, Samson Hunts Alone (Sam Hunt), escapes from his reservation world and creates a new persona, only to have his orderly life decades later thrown into chaos with the arrival of Coyote, a shape-shifting horny trickster Crow (and maybe more) God (who also speaks to Sam's clan uncle, Pokey), who is supposedly his spirit guide (whom he had met in the guise of a traveling vacuum salesman, during a religious retreat when he was about nine). Sam meets a special woman, a free-spirit---almost innocent being, Calliope. I loved the line: "She wondered what she had done to manifest the curse of a nice guy." From that point onward (and I don’t want to ruin the story) they are all off on an adventure that pulls in wild and fantastical characters, and sends them on a quest to Vegas and his tribal home. Just like Gaiman, Moore reaches into myth and blends it with the modern. Moore seems to thrive on writing stories about good-hearted, though flawed, individuals who need a raucous (and naughty) partner to confuse and engage them, to wile and push them, to get them in trouble but provide an avenue for redemption. Moore also has a wonderful ability to poke fun at commonplace things. . .salesmen, garage sales, sex, etc. I enjoyed the portion of the story dedicated to the garage-sale enthusiasts trying to locate a mis-advertised sale. Priceless. Now, I don’t know how the Crow people would react to some of the story, but I think they would laugh, just as most sane Christians would find the humor and humanity in Lamb. Now I am looking forward to reading about Moore's vampires, demons, and lizards.

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