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Practical Demonkeeping | [Christopher Moore]

Practical Demonkeeping

In Christopher Moore's ingenious debut novel, we meet one of the most memorably mismatched pairs in the annals of literature. The good-looking one is one-hundred-year-old ex-seminarian and "roads" scholar Travis O'Hearn. The green one is Catch, a demon with a nasty habit of eating most of the people he meets.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Travis and Catch come to the small town of Pine Cove, California, and that's when the trouble begins. You'd probably say Travis is a nice, good-looking kid, except he isn't really a kid at all, but a man who hasn't aged a day since World War I. Catch is the reason Travis hasn't aged a day; he's a demon, bound to Travis, and an albatross around his neck. Catch might not be so bad if it weren't for his habit of eating people, but in some relationships there are certain flaws one just can't be expected to overlook. And so Travis comes to Pine Cove in the hopes of finding the answer that will let him free himself of this curse and send Catch back to where he can't eat his friends and neighbors.

Moore describes Practical Demonkeeping as a "whimsical horror novel", but perhaps "demonic ensemble comedy" is more apropos. "Ensemble" is the important part of that description, for it's really the interactions between the characters that makes this story sing. The characters range from Gian Hen Gian, King of the Djinn, to the waitress Jenny whose only extraordinary talent is having the exceptional bad luck to get involved in this mess in the first place, to H.P., a man who might just be a little too obsessed with Lovecraft. The plot itself is nothing revolutionary, but how it unfolds is enjoyable from start to finish, and the listener will likely be surprised and amused along the way as it is unveiled what parts each of the ensemble cast play.

Oliver Wyman's general narrative voice has a youthful quality to it, with a wry, but good-natured tone which fits despite the sometimes dark turns the story takes (unavoidable when you have a primary character who tends to eat people). He provides each character with his or her own distinct voice, going above and beyond the call of duty with the guttural and abrasive — but somehow endearing! — growl of Catch.

Without the embellishment of an actor's reading, Moore's writing is quite fun and funny on the page, but as with many humorous works, the right narrator can take lively prose and make it even livelier — and this is one of those performances that truly elevates the text to a different level. Wyman, a veteran cartoon voiceover actor before turning his talents to audiobook narration, ably employs the skills of the former to strengthen and diversify the skills of the latter. Wyman's style isn't ideal for everything — reading a serious nonfiction book wouldn't be his forte — but for a book like this, which is practically a cartoon in prose form already, it's hard to imagine a better match. —John Joseph Adams

Publisher's Summary

In Christopher Moore's ingenious debut novel, we meet one of the most memorably mismatched pairs in the annals of literature. The good-looking one is 100-year-old ex-seminarian and "roads" scholar Travis O'Hearn. The green one is Catch, a demon with a nasty habit of eating most of the people he meets.

Behind the fake Tudor façade of Pine Cove, California, Catch sees a four-star buffet. Travis, on the other hand, thinks he sees a way of ridding himself of his toothy traveling companion. The winos, neo-pagans, and deadbeat Lotharios of Pine Cove, meanwhile, have other ideas. And none of them is quite prepared when all hell breaks loose.

©1992 Christopher Moore; (P)2009 HarperCollins Publishers

What Members Say

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  •  
    Patricia M. Nagele 12-31-11 Member Since 2013
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    Story
    "Ridiculous and fantastic!"
    What was one of the most memorable moments of Practical Demonkeeping?

    This book's odd cast of characters are likeable and the lighthearted and absurd plot is an easy and entertaining read.


    Have you listened to any of Oliver Wyman’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Wyman is my favorite performer - there are a lot of characters in this story and his voices are unique enough that it doesn't get confusing. His demon voice is the best!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    kellee las vegas, NV, United States 08-30-11
    kellee las vegas, NV, United States 08-30-11 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Two thumbs up!"

    I liked it. Maybe in the top 5 of my Christopher Moore "likes." :-) I would recommend this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jessica Lowell, IN, United States 06-29-11
    Jessica Lowell, IN, United States 06-29-11 Member Since 2013
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    16
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    "Entertaining"

    It kept me entertained for the time I needed to kill...Christopher Moore is always a good read, but some of his others are better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    cheryl las vegas, NV, United States 03-02-11
    cheryl las vegas, NV, United States 03-02-11 Member Since 2013
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    "Hilarious"

    As always moore is hilarious, edgy and fun. Dont miss this book or for that matter any christopher moore books. Laugh out loud funny.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    fred greensboro nc 09-23-10
    fred greensboro nc 09-23-10 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Christopher Moore fans will like it"

    I listened to four Chris Moore books prior to this Demonkeeping...can you tell I like the guy? Once again he weaves an unimaginable tale of kooky, sometimes creepy and definitely original characters. The reader does a great job of stamping each of them with a distinctive voice. Spoiler: there is a nice ending...but as a Moore fan you would expect it. Due to shorter length Demonkeeping is a good intro to the author and a nice pick me up if you're looking for some familiar frivolity. Some PG-13+ but nothing terrible.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel Ogden, UT, United States 05-21-10
    Daniel Ogden, UT, United States 05-21-10
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    "You can't go wrong with a Christopher Moore Book."

    Christopher Moore is the king of Satire in my opinion. If you want to laugh read his books.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dena Huntington Beach, CA, USA 04-27-10
    Dena Huntington Beach, CA, USA 04-27-10
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    8
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    "Had it's moments"

    I had high hopes for this book. Definitely had it's funny moments. But all in all it was a bit of a let down.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Katherine Fairfax, VA, United States 04-22-10
    Katherine Fairfax, VA, United States 04-22-10
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    "Fabulous twisted humour..."

    And the audio version is worth it for the voice of Catch alone.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sashie Ehlke Waukesha, WI 04-14-10
    Sashie Ehlke Waukesha, WI 04-14-10
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    "big fan now"

    Great book, and naration was perfect!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Norana Brooklyn, NY, USA 12-22-09
    Norana Brooklyn, NY, USA 12-22-09
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    "Very Good"

    The writing is excellent, the reading is very good. I downloaded the book using the audible for blackberry and every three minutes, the recording would skip several seconds

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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