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Christopher Moore – The Stupidest Angel

December 23, 2008

Re-read. The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror by Christopher Moore (2004)

Length: 276 pages

Genre: Humor

Started: 21 December 2008, about 2 p.m.
Finished: 21 December 2008, about 5 p.m.

Chris Moore knows the truth:
Christmas wouldn’t be complete
without some zombies.

Summary: It’s Christmas in Pine Cove, and the festivities are just getting started. Little Joshua Barker is coming home when he sees Santa (really a local real-estate developer) beheaded by a shovel and hastily buried in the woods. Enter the angel Raziel, who has been sent to Earth to provide an annual Yuletide miracle. So when Joshua wishes for Santa to be alive again, Raziel raises him… as well as all of the other bodies in the nearby church cemetery, much to the dismay of all of the partygoers at the Lonely Hearts Christmas party happening inside the church.

Review: Really, The Stupidest Angel is a pretty typical Christmas story: zombies with a penchant for Scandinavian pre-fab furniture, a gift-of-the-magi scenario involving the town sheriff who’s struggling to kick his pot habit and his wife, an aging B-movie star who’s gone off her meds, a talking fruit bat, and the kind of mayhem that only Christopher Moore can provide. “Madcap” doesn’t quite do it justice, and there are bits sprinkled throughout that will infallibly make me laugh out loud. (“First we feast, then IKEA.”)

When I first read this book in 2005, it was my first encounter with Christopher Moore, and I loved it, and was immediately hooked. Now, having read through most of the rest of his bibliography, I’m a little less impressed. It feels as though a lot of the jokes have been made before (which isn’t a fair criticism of a book on a re-read, I realize), and I also noticed threads of the misogyny that I’ve picked up in Moore’s other books – it’s not enough to make me throw the book aside, but it does get under my skin after a while. I still enjoyed it, and still found most of it hilariously funny, but it wasn’t quite the revelation it was when reading it the first time.

Re-reading after having read the rest of his books did make me catch several jokes that I missed the first time – characters from many of his other novels (including Practical Demonkeeping, The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove, Fluke, Island of the Sequined Love Nun, and Lamb) show up in this one, and references to previous events become funnier for actually knowing the history. These books certainly don’t need to be read in order – I certainly didn’t, and still enjoyed them all – but I enjoyed picking up on the details that I’d missed previously. 4 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: If you don’t mind some crude humor, The Stupidest Angel is a wonderful, funny, goofball antidote to the typical treacly Christmas spirit, and can easily be read in an afternoon.

This Review on LibraryThing | This Book on LibraryThing | This Book on Amazon

Other Reviews: Savvy Verse and Wit, SomeReads, Books I Done Read
Did I miss your review? Leave a comment with the link and I’ll add it in.

First Line: Christmas crept into Pine Cove like a creeping Christmas thing: dragging garland, ribbon, and sleigh bells, oozing eggnog, reeking of pine, and threatening festive doom like a cold sore under the mistletoe.


  • p. 166: “In another time, he’d have picked up the first woman he encountered, but his man-slut days had left him lonlier than ever, and he would not tread that lubricious path again.” – arousing or expressive of sexual desire; lustful; lecherous.
15 Comments leave one →
  1. December 23, 2008 1:06 pm

    My favorite Moore book so far is Lamb. I’m hoping to read some more of his in 2009.

    Merry Christmas!

  2. December 23, 2008 1:07 pm

    I really loved this little Christmas tale. I had a fun time listening during the morning car rides.

  3. December 23, 2008 1:07 pm

    thanks for linking my review.

  4. December 23, 2008 1:10 pm

    I’ve added your review to my post and the others as well. Happy Holidays!

  5. December 23, 2008 1:10 pm

    Lezlie – I think Lamb and A Dirty Job are tied for the top spot for me. I hope you enjoy whichever of his you read next!

    Serena – I haven’t tried Moore on audiobook, but I can see how it would be good – or very dangerous, if you were too distracted from laughing to drive straight! :)

  6. December 23, 2008 1:29 pm

    I’ll have to look for this one. I hate to admit it, but sometimes I love crude humor.

  7. December 23, 2008 10:01 pm

    I’m reserving Lamb for next year though I’m about fifty or so pages into it. It’s funny and all but I’m not in the mood for it yet. It’s my first Christopher Moore. Well, almost-first since I’ve yet to read it :)

    Have a blessed Christmas and a happy, happy new year to you Fyrefly!

  8. December 23, 2008 11:31 pm

    Kathy – No need to be ashamed; my sense of humor is pretty juvenile at times too. ;)

    Lightheaded – Lamb‘s a great place to start, I hope you enjoy it!

  9. December 24, 2008 12:26 am

    That’s my sense of humor too and these books cracked me up! I haven’t read all of them but as many as I could get my hands on. I got Lamb recently at a used book sale and I won the audio of Fluke. I can’t wait to get to both of them and Moore’s newest book as well. Happy holidays to all!

  10. jessidee permalink
    December 24, 2008 9:19 am

    I think I’ve read this one before, but I’m not sure. It sounds familiar, and I do enjoy Christopher Moore. Lamb is my favorite, but A Dirty Job and You Suck are pretty awesome, too. :)

  11. December 24, 2008 1:45 pm

    Wrighty – I think You Suck is the only book of Moore’s I haven’t read… and I’ll definitely be reading his new one when it comes out in February!

    jessidee – I don’t know how many zombie Christmas books are out there, so if you think it sounds familiar, it probably is. :)

  12. December 24, 2008 9:09 pm

    I loved this one (although A Dirty Job) is still my favorite! That’s interesting, your reaction to it on rereading. I’ve only read it once, so we’ll see what happens when I try it again – I know I’ll have to revisit it in a year or two, preferably during the holiday season!

  13. December 26, 2008 8:17 pm

    I haven’t read any Moore; this book in particular sounds like a good one to keep in mind for next year.

  14. December 27, 2008 6:15 pm

    Darla – A Dirty Job is definitely in my top two Moore books as well. Re-reading was mostly interesting in picking up the little throwaway bits – like some little kid thinking about growing dreads like his cousin Preston. I blazed right past that the first time, but after reading Fluke, I was able to go “oh, hey, that’s right. Heh.”

    Dawn – Moore’s humor ranges from hilariously inappropriate to actually inappropriate, but he’s great for a brain-break… and his better books actually have a touching emotional heart to them – hidden under the swearing, crude humor, and zombies, of course. :)


  1. Stupidest Angel by Christopher Moore

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