A book by Christopher Moore.
When I sat down and started reading this, some time ago, I had my hopes real high that this would be such a wonderful book, that I would really love it, having been (kinda) recommended, as it was, by that blogger of bloggers Christopher Locke, whom I read regularly.
Even before reading it, I was decided to put it right up there with The Rules of Attraction, Slaughterhouse Five, and all the other unorthodox masterpieces (aren't they all?) I have been finding by chance, throughout my life. It just had to have some kind of merit in it, that I could see. Not much, just something to make it different from the vast majority of books flooding bookstores these days.
Well, it started nicely enough. Enough to keep my hopes high. Enough strangeness, dark humor and deranged characters. Overall, letting out enough torque to keep the pages turning (yes, I found it was a page-turner, despite anything else). All this in just under five chapters. And as I read, the surprises just kept coming, out of nowhere, in a good, messed-up, disorienting way...
The major part of the story is set in a (fictional) small island in Melanesia, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Our hero is sent there after a close encounter with some crappy god, and basically gets involved in a cargo cult (which has the natives worshipping said god) being put up by a medical doctor and his Mrs. And this is the "appealing" part, since this dame, the doctor's wife, is an ex-nurse-turned-exotic-dancer, who manages to keep a perfect figure on a diet of vodka and Cheetos, has a tight grip on her husband (and any man within a radius of a mile from her, who just can't stop the flood that comes out of their mouth at the sight of her '50s-pin-up-poster perfect body) and, yeah, you got it, runs the whole show, actually.
But, alas! All that which is good doesn't last, so the saying goes, and in this case, the saying does prove right when I reach the one third mark of the book (give or take a chapter or three). At this point the surprises stopped showing up, and I was stuck with roughly one-third of the book to read and already could predict what was going to happen, more or less. Besides, although the characters are vividly described, they give out a feeling of having been made for a TV show. In fact, the feel of the book reminded me of the "Air America" TV series (only in a different setting and with a different agenda) starring Lorenzo Lamas. Mind you, this is no bad thing, it's just not what I was looking for when I started reading this book, so it left me disappointed having had somewhat high expectations.
All in all, a nice, funny, quite readable book, ideal to take your mind off everyday life (unless you live in Melanesia), while not leading you into deep thought.