Practical Demonkeeping

Practical Demonkeeping is Christopher Moore’s first book.  This book does some interesting things, and in it you can see the beginnings of Moore’s style of writing, but overall it’s a decent book at best.

Book Stats

243 Pages

Satire

Characters

There are quite a few characters in this book, which is in some ways a good thing and in some ways a bad thing.  It’s good because it makes the setting of the book feel more real because there are a bunch of characters who each have their own histories who are taking part in the story.  It’s bad because none of the characters are terribly deep.  Throughout the book, Moore jumps from one character to another, typically at chapter breaks but occasionally within the same chapter.  I had a hard time keeping track of some of the characters over the course of the book.  That said, all of the characters were believable in their actions and they worked well overall, I just would have preferred more time with them so they’d be easier to distinguish.

Setting

Pine Cove California.  I’m assuming it’s a fictional town, but it really doesn’t matter because it could be set almost anywhere in the world.

Plot

Travis has been traveling for years with Catch, a demon who survives by eating people.  The main plot of the story deals with Travis trying to find the a relic containing an inscription of how to get rid of Catch.  There are also several subplots running throughout the course of the novel.  These range from a cop trying to bust a small time drug dealer to a couple trying to come to terms with their relationship.  Overall the plots are well done, they just feel rushed.

Enjoyment

It’s strange to read this book after having read some of Moore’s later novels, but it also shows how much he progressed as a writer over the course of his career.  All of the hallmarks of his style are present in this book, they just aren’t quite as refined as in his later books.  This isn’t a bad book, it just isn’t nearly as good as Moore’s later works.  I enjoy Moore’s books and I’ll keep reading what he comes up with, but this isn’t one that I’d suggest too highly.

Overall Grade

A very interesting premise for a book, but the writing shows that this was his first novel.  Worth reading if you’re a big fan of Moore’s, otherwise, you can skip this one.

5/10

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4 Comments

  1. Incidentally, I just started reading this book (I’m planning to go through his entire body of work chronologically). 🙂 It’s nice to know what I’m getting into.

    Reply
    • If you’ve never read any of his books before I think you’ll enjoy this one more than I did. It’s not bad, it just pales in comparison to his later books.

      Reply
      • I know what you mean. 🙂 I felt the same way about Terry Pratchett – I read one of his later works (at the time), so when I read the first book, I got disappointed.

        Ah, but it’s interesting to see the progression, right?

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