The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove

Moore, Christopher

Published by Spike, 1999
ISBN 10: 0380975068 / ISBN 13: 9780380975068
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Synopsis: Christopehr Moore has pioneered a parade of loopy, hilarious genres that have delighted readers world-wide. The comically demonic horror novel. The yuppie-meets-shaman New Age Western. The California vampire love story. The South Seas adventure novel on acid. Now the maestro of the bizarre brings you his most incredible creation yet-a love story starring a sea monster named Steve. It's "Godzilla" meets "The Bridges of Madison County", as only Christopher Moore could spin it.

It's September in Pine Cove, California, where the tourists have finally decamped for the season, the sun is slanting through the trees, and the local psychiatrist has just decided to switch everyone from antidepressants to placebos without telling them. Suddenly, business is booming at the Head of the Slug Saloon, where a melancholy blues man from the Mississippi Delta has settled in for the winter. Unfortunately for the town's newly minted blues fans, however, a colossal sea beast is also drawn to the sound of the slide guitar. When a tanker truck explodes at the local gas station, it's the first sign that all hell is about to break loose in Pine Cove.

Can the unlikely constable Theophilus Crowe curb his gonzo appetites long enough to find out who--or what--is behind the explosion and the resulting series of mysterious crimes? Can Molly Michon, the has-been scream queen and resident crazy lady, control her dual personalities? Can anyone explain why a town so morose is suddenly so...libidinous? And what's the story behind the mysterious trailer that has just shown up in the back corner of the local trailer park?

Wildly original and ferociously funny, The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove has enough crazy twists to give anyone a personality disorder-and keep them in the throes of convulsive laughter at the same time.

Review: Reading a Christopher Moore novel is a little like eating a potato chip--it's hard to stop at just one. And you don't have to look beyond the titles to understand the allure; who could pass up a book called Practical Demonkeeping or Island of the Sequined Love Nun? Each of Moore's tales skewers a particular literary genre. In Coyote Blue he nailed New Age fascination with Native American religion; in Blood-Sucking Fiends: A Love Story he put a new twist on the classic vampire tale. The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove is a companion piece to his first novel, the hilariously twisted horror story Practical Demonkeeping, and readers of that book will recognize the setting, Pine Cove, California. In addition, Moore includes plenty of his patented weird sex, occasional gross-out death, several off-kilter but nonetheless affecting love stories, and some fabulous secondary characters such as Mavis Sand:

Mavis first began augmenting her parts in the fifties, first out of vanity: breasts, eyelashes, hair. Later, as she aged and the concept of maintenance eluded her, she began having parts replaced as they failed, until almost half of her body weight was composed of stainless steel (hips, elbows, shoulders, finger joints, rods fused to vertebrae five through twelve), silicon wafers (hearing aids, pacemaker, insulin pump), advanced polymer resins (cataract replacement lenses, dentures), Kevlar fabric (abdominal wall reinforcement), titanium (knees, ankles), and pork (ventricular heart valve).
In a nutshell, the plot revolves around a gigantic prehistoric lizard whose slumber deep beneath the ocean surface is interrupted by a radioactive leak from a nearby power plant. At the same time, a woman in Pine Cove hangs herself; the local psychiatrist (who has been prescribing antidepressants to everyone in town with gay abandon) decides the suicide was her fault and yanks everyone's medication; and an elderly black blues singer named Catfish Jefferson arrives to perform at the Head of the Slug saloon. Into this already strange brew mix one schizoid former B-movie starlet, a pot-head town constable, a bereaved local artist, a biologist tracking anomalous behavior in rats, a crooked sheriff, and a pharmacist with a bizarre sexual fixation on sea mammals, and you have a recipe for the kind of madness Moore does so well. --Alix Wilber

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Title: The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove
Publisher: Spike
Publication Date: 1999
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Used: Good

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