Publishing Info: William Morrow, 2007
Number of Pages: 328
Book Category: Fiction, Humor
“You bitch, you killed me. You suck!”
So begins the witty, sarcastic, bawdy romp that is You Suck — a vampire book that makes other vampire books look positively Puritanical by comparison.
Tommy Flood awakens to find that his vampire girlfriend Jody has changed him into a vampire so she has company for the rest of time. Although at first he is a bit peeved, Tommy quickly finds that being a vampire isn’t so bad — the heightened senses make their sex even more exciting. However, the problem of food quickly arises. Jody used to feed on Tommy to keep herself alive — but now her food source is gone and there are two hungry mouths to feed. They solve this problem creatively — borrowing a homeless man’s extremely large cat. In exchange for some booze, the cat is available for their nightly feasting.
Still, a vampire needs minions, which leads to the acquisition of Abby Normal — teenage Goth and vampire wannabe — whose diary entries are interspersed throughout the book and chronicle the travails of serving the Vampyre Flood and the Countess.
But even with a minion, Jody and Tommy’s problems aren’t quite solved. There is the little problem of the ancient vampire who created Jody and is currently trapped in bronze — where Tommy and his band of vampire-fighting Safeway stock boys (the Animals) put him after robbing him of all his money and blowing up his yacht. And when Tommy’s plan to dump the bronze statue containing the ancient vampire in the San Francisco Bay doesn’t quite go as planned and the old vampire escapes — well, trouble is afoot.
But wait…that’s not all. The Animals are back from Vegas and have blown almost all the stolen money. But they are not alone. They are accompanied by Blue — a Vegas hooker whose shtick is that her entire body is dyed blue (you know, like the Blue Man Group). She seems to have a supernatural hold on the Animals (or maybe it is the drugs), but she is slowly but surely getting all of their stolen money. Seeking help from their leader Tommy, the Animals are stunned to find that Tommy is not quite himself anymore. But Blue sees an opportunity.
And did I mention the murder investigation into the mysterious serial killer whose been terrorizing San Francisco and leaving the victims drained of blood?
This book is not for everybody. I’m just going to go ahead and say that up-front. There is graphic language, drug use, sex scenes, violence, corruption of minors, drunkeness — well, there is a little bit of everything. If material of this nature offends you, this book is not for you. However, if this stuff doesn’t bother you and you have a dark sense of humor, this book is a must read! I just loved it. Let me put it this way, if you like movies like Pulp Fiction and find them funny, then you’ll love this book. It has the same dark, twisted sense of humor.
After reading the Twilight books (which take vampires very very seriously), it was fun to see an author have a bit of fun with the concept of vampires. From making fun of Goth kids (who “outvampire” Tommy when he goes to a club looking for Abby) to Abby’s reverential treatment of “the Vampyre Flood” (at least until she finds out he’s only been a vampire for a week or so — not centuries), Moore has a lot of fun with the vampire myths. One chapter, simply called “The Last Poop,” reads in its entirety:
“So that was it?”
“I feel like I should save them or something.”
“Would you just flush and come out of there.”
From worrying about Christmas gifts for their families to missing coffee to figuring out how to feed without murdering the innocent (they target those who are terminally ill and offer them mercy killing), Tommy and Jody retain much of their human qualities and compassion. And when Jody talks about how she never really felt safe until she became a vampire, I nodded my head in recognition. (What woman doesn’t feel vulnerable when walking alone in a city? Wouldn’t superhuman powers, strength and speed make you feel invincible too?)
Moore has a wonderfully sick sense of humor and isn’t afraid to to use it. I thought the book was a lot of fun. I’ll definitely be seeking out more books by this author — which include titles such as Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal, The Stupidest Angel, Practical Demonkeeping, and Island of the Sequined Love Nun. I suspect I’m in for quite a wild ride.
A Side Note: Don’t underestimate the fun of reading a book entitled You Suck. I was reading this during my son’s karate lesson and saw quite a few people eyeing up the cover and furrowing their eyebrows and seeming to think: “Is she trying to tell us something?” It was kind of a cheap thrill.
A book like this just cries out to be quoted, and I think it will give you a better sense of what to expect as this book doesn’t fall into conventional categories. Here are some of the sections I earmarked.
He shrugged and entered the club. Everyone, it appeared, looked more like a vampire than he did….in retrospect, the flannel shirt may have been a mistake. He looked like he’d shown up at the sacrificial mass of the damned ready to fix the dishwasher.
While Jody showered, Tommy made a list.
Sweet Monkey Love
Dispose of Vampire
“What do we need an onion for?” Jody asked. She was having a little trouble getting her vision to focus.
“Minion, minion,” Tommy said.
“Mint-flavored onion? Why do we need that?”
Before he had given Monet the gun, he made him swear that no one would be wearing gang colors, so nothing Monet did could come back on him. Monet had made the assurance, then, after P.J. did a Google search for gang colors, they settled on orange do-rags, since no one seemed to claim that one.
“Highway Safety Posse, yo,” Monet had said.
“Yo, Stone Tangerine Thugs, yo,” suggested Fly.
“Yo, yo, yo, check it out,” said P.J., with enough hand gestures that any deaf person watching would have thought he had ASL Tourette’s syndrome. “Cheesy Goldfish Crew.”
From the Chronicles of Abby Normal: OMFG! He’s so hot. He rocks my stripy socks. If we had moors, I would so be off brooding upon one, my delicate jaw muscles clenched as I stared off into the mist, feeling my profound missingness for him.
My Final Recommendation
If you have a dark sense of humor and don’t mind graphic language and material, this book might be right up your alley — especially if the idea of a bawdy, witty romp that has fun with vampirism appeals to you. However, if this type of material isn’t your cup of tea, I’d skip this book and look for something a little tamer. Although I found the book very amusing and fun, it isn’t for everyone.
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