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Christopher Moore – Island of the Sequined Love Nun

December 17, 2007

123. Island of the Sequined Love Nun by Christopher Moore (1997)

Length: 336 pages

Genre: Fiction, Humor

Started: 16 December 2007
Finished: 17 December 2007

Summary: After crashing his employer’s pink corporate jet during a drunken sexual escapade, Tucker Case is quietly hustled out of the country to fly a plane for some missionaries in the South Pacific – supplies, he assumes. However, once he gets there (in the company of Kimi the transvestite prostitute/navigator and Roberto the talking fruit bat), he realizes that the island of Alualu has something strange and possibly sinister going on. Tuck sets out to learn the truth, if he can find it amidst the cannibals, cargo cults, ninjas, and the occasional appearances of the gorgeous, naked Sky Priestess.

Review: Not as funny as some (most?) of Moore’s other books, although I’ve mostly resigned myself to the fact that none of them are going to be as bust-a-gut funny as Lamb. This book certainly did have its moments, though, and the premise and the plot are twisted enough (both in the “convoluted” and the “slightly disturbed” sense of the word) to make it a quick and overall fun read. However, I was a little put off by some sexist and racist undertones to this book that I hadn’t noticed in Moore’s other works. It’s possible to write about sex, even raunchy sex, without being sexist, but every female character in this book is either an emasculating bitch or a fetishized sex object (or both). Likewise, it’s possible to poke fun at other cultures without being condecending, but Moore tips over to the wrong side of that line several times as well. Neither of these issues was severe enough to make me not enjoy the book, but when the humor’s not up to its usual standard, they’re more noticeable and therefore more distracting from the otherwise zany adventures. 3 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: Diverting enough but nowhere near the best that Moore’s capable of. Read it only after you’ve run through his better works.

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First Line: Tucker Case awoke to find himself hanging from a breadfruit tree by a coconut fiber rope.

Vocab:

  • p. 153: “Above the crying, the scuffle, the snickering, and the tintinnabulation of residual gunfire, a girl giggled” – A tinkling sound, as of a bell or bells.
    .
    I also jotted down the following words, although without page numbers, so I can’t find the exact quotes:
  • copra – the dried kernel or meat of the coconut from which coconut oil is expressed.
    .
  • lanai – a veranda, esp. a fully furnished one used as a living room.
    .
  • lavalava – the principal garment for both sexes in Polynesia, esp. in Samoa, consisting of a piece of printed cloth worn as a loincloth or skirt.
    .

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