The Dog Doesn’t Die

Book reviews & random thoughts

Does the Dog Die? A Brief Review of Island of the Sequined Love Nun, by Christopher Moore

I am reading Christopher Moore’s books completely out of order; I imagine he would approve, being that he’s pretty much an anarchist. Island of the Sequined Love Nun was published in 1995, so there are technology “issues” that make it a tad dated. But we have to read past that kind of thing if we’re going to read anything that wasn’t written last week. And this book is definitely worth reading.

Moore is a satirist and, like all satirists, he can be obvious at times. But mostly he is clever and inventive. In Island, Moore follows pilot Tucker Case through a series of misadventures that eventually land him on Alualu, an island inhabited by an unethical medical missionary, his sexy and devious wife, their Japanese guards, a tribe that also qualifies as a cargo cult, and a cannibal. Oh, and a cross-dressing Filipino navigator, and a pet bat named Roberto. Sebastian and Beth, the heinous missionary couple, are gleefully exploiting the locals, and Case is essentially a servant with some possibly uncashable checks from them. They have him under guard and in the dark – or so they think. Never underestimate the abilities and dumb luck of a Christopher Moore protagonist. After a series of numerous implausible scenarios, the end of the book is about as funny as the beginning, and Moore has been pretty consistently entertaining throughout. I strongly recommend this book — it’s a lot of fun!

Now, the purpose of this blog is to warn those who care about books that have animal violence or sad things happening to animals. The good news is that Roberto (the bat) does just fine, which is a tiny spoiler, but I do that regarding animals. Do not worry about Roberto. I was beyond delighted to see a bat as a character, and Roberto is charming, smart, and resourceful. He is now one of my favorite animal characters ever. There are a few other animals mentioned in passing. Most do okay. However, there are references to a malnourished dog that’s treated cruelly, a few chickens and roosters harmed (albeit not in detail — I would still recommend this book to bird lovers), and sharks. Sometimes the sharks are the aggressors. However, in one very disturbing passage that takes up page 256 in its entirety, Moore shows the island inhabitants hunting sharks. It’s a nasty passage for the squeamish. For that reason, I’m declaring this book only PARTLY SAFE for animal lovers. Most people should do fine with it if they skip page 256, though. Enjoy!


May 29, 2010 - Posted by | beach book, Book Reviews, humor, satire | , , , ,

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