Book review: Christopher Moore combines wit, satire with ‘Razzmatazz’ | Entertainment



So what is Christopher Moore’s new novel “Razzmatazz” about? Anyone familiar with the no longer sold authorPrevious work knows that such an answer requires nuance and usually fails spectacularly. (Just to be clear, his books don’t fail, but describing them in summary judgment is a fool’s errand. (“Fool” happens to be a wonderfully enjoyable earlier novel by Moore.)

Direction: Enter fool in the guise of a book reviewer to summarize “Razzmatazz”. (Moore also likes to give stage directions in some of his novels. He’s witty that way.)

The fool, me, clears my throat/keyboard as greasy paint begins to slowly drip from his face: “Razzmatazz” is a sequel to 2018’s “Noir,” which introduced the world to Sammy Tiffin, a bartender after the Second World War. San Francisco, whose assemblage of idiosyncratic (or dimwitted) friends help him solve the occasional murder and attempt to send an excited alien back to his home planet. “Black” was ET meets the Marx Brothers with a drinking problem.

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“Razzmatazz” revisits this band of brothers (and their girlfriends) and adds dragons for good measure. Nor are they “Game of Thrones” dragons. They were dragons that had the underground razzmatazz in 1906 and caused the earthquake that reduced much of San Francisco to rubble. (Lest “GOT” fans, always bitter about this ending, give credence to this theory, most experts agree that the earthquake was not caused by the sex of a dragon I checked Wikipedia.)

Readers don’t usually come to Moore’s books looking for plot-driven spectacles. Rather, they come for the satire, the caustic beards, and the similes and metaphors that would have made grammar a together much more interesting at school. They come for language and scenes like this:

“The party really took off when Santa and his elves arrived, and not just because Santa brought prostitutes and booze, although that also helped. The elves arrived first and framed an inbound ramp for Santa, like a choir line in one of those Busby Berkeley musical numbers from the 1930s, but instead of a guy-up introduction It was a bunch of pointy-eared whores in candy-striped stockings, but it was no less awe-inspiring.

And before anyone gets too judgmental (you know who you are in Spotsylvania County), the scene above takes place in a home for the disabled and is a tender appeal to humanity to be better and help others. Spoiler alert: This touching Christmas scene occurs just before the alien zaps a number of police cruisers and a dragon decapitates and disembowels some. Chinese gangsters.

“Razzmatazz” is once again Christopher Moore at his best. Cheer! (The Fool walks out muttering that he needs a picture of Old Tennessee.)

Drew Gallagher is a freelance writer and videobook reviewer at Spotsylvania.

Drew Gallagher is a freelance writer and videobook reviewer at Spotsylvania.


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