Sunday, December 23, 2007

Every Time a Bell Rings...

Apparently zombies are everywhere. Just when I thought they didn't quite *go* with the holiday season, a la I Am Legend, they popped up in the Christmas book I just read. It was a little unexpected.

Back when the Seattle Public Library briefly offered personalized reading lists, I filled out the online questionnaire and got a list of suggested books that I'm now re-reserving for my holiday break reading. For some odd reason, based on my answers, the resident librarian recommended a bunch of books with bizarre, bizarre plots and scenarios. The Stupidest Angel was one such book.

Turns out, until the zombie part, it was also pretty funny. The basic plot is: an angel whose mission is to grant a child's Christmas wish ends up creeping out the residents of a small town in northern California. Christopher Moore draws on familiar Christmas stories -- the angel, obviously, is similar to Clarence from It's a Wonderful Life. My favorite and hilarious homage: the town's pot-growing cop sells his marijuana crop to pay for a Japanese sword for his kitana-loving wife, who practices martial arts in part to stay sane; she, in turn, saves money by going off her anti-psychotic meds in order to buy him a really expensive and beautiful bong. ("Everywhere they are the wisest. They are the magi." O. Henry would be, um ... proud ... )

The book also has a murder plot. And then there are zombies. But it's all pretty funny, and Moore's writing style is, well, sarcastic and brilliantly irreverent. I found myself laughing almost as hard as I did while reading David Sedaris' Holidays on Ice at a bus stop. Almost. There's just something about the madness of the holiday season that makes it ripe for parody.

And then a friend's family's annual holiday party promptly got zombies out of my mind. Woot.

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