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Publisher's Summary

The town psychiatrist has decided to switch everybody in Pine Cove, California, from their normal antidepressants to placebos, so naturally - well, to be accurate, artificially - business is booming at the local blues bar. Trouble is, those lonely slide-guitar notes have also attracted a colossal sea beast named Steve with, shall we say, a thing for explosive oil tanker trucks.

Suddenly, morose Pine Cove turns libidinous and is hit by a mysterious crime wave, and a beleaguered constable has to fight off his own gonzo appetites to find out what's wrong and what, if anything, to do about it.

©1999 Christopher Moore; (P)2009 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic Reviews

"Moore is Daniel Pinkwater for grownups, but a lot funnier; and his irreverent antics reveal a buoyant wit and surreal authority even while rendering the emotional range, sex life, and murderous tendencies of a sea monster." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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A Good Introduction to Moore

What does Oliver Wyman bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Mr. Wyman, thank goodness, is possessed of excellent comic timing, which is the difference between life and death for a book this silly. He can also handle a number of voices without making any of them seem stereotypical, which is essential for a book with this many characters, most of whom you are encouraged to love. This is no mean feat, and he does the job perfectly.

Any additional comments?

Christopher Moore's work tends to have gangs of lovable misfits menaced by some crazy monster (or in some other bizarre situation) in a way that permits more serious reflection on a few larger issues. (In Lust Lizard, it's the wide prevalence of overprescribed Prozac, and how we deal with sadness in our lives.) His work feels like it's in a direct line of descent from Kurt Vonnegut through Tom Robbins, with a relative of Carl Hiaasen somewhere in the lineage. The magical-realist philosophical caper comedy. If this is your thing, Lust Lizard is a terrific example of the genre. If you're never tried it before, this isn't a bad place to start.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Very funny, but perhaps not for everyone

I stumbled across this author in a bookstore looking for a book-on-CD before taking a long road trip. The sales clerk recommended "Island of the Sequined Love Nun". What a discovery! Truly laugh-out-loud funny. After that, I downloaded "The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove", which was equally funny. Both books start off a little slow ... but they take off quickly, and then it's quite a ride. Oliver Wyman does such a great job narrating, especially with the wide variety of characters that Moore presents. I can see that not everyone will like Moore's offbeat humor, but his characters are very human and his narration and commentary convey a dry wit that often doesn't translate well. Highly recommended.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Dubi
  • New York, NY
  • 01-05-14

Chuckleworthy Moore

What made the experience of listening to The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove the most enjoyable?

Having already read a few of Christopher's novels as well as listened to a few others, The Lust Lizard proved to be another book right in his wheelhouse -- a few interesting real life themes (drugs, both prescription and illicit, along with the trusted professionals who promote their abuse; psychosis and psychiatry; and environmental disaster), a broad array of memorable characters, and Moore's signature device, a fantastical, mythological, or supernatural entity, in this case the title character, an aphrodisiac and a maneater (who comes to be known, simply, as Steve). Not as laugh out loud funny my Moore favorites (Fool, Lamb, Sequined Love Nun), nor as ambitious as his most recent, Sacre Bleu, but definitely chuckleworthy in the vein of Practical Demonkeeping, Moore's first book which is set in the same fictional California coastal village as Lust Lizard, with some of the same characters.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove?

To say that I am unable to answer this question testifies to both the strength of Lust Lizard as well its major weakness -- it is an unending series of equally good comic moments and scenes, too difficult to choose one over all the others. But then that's the rub -- as good as each scene may be, as all the scenes are, none rise to the level of truly memorable. Good, not great. Very good, in fact, but not great.

Which scene was your favorite?

That said, since this question seems to be only marginally different the previous one, the one scene that marginally rises above the others, more for its originality than anything else, is Catfish's retelling of his long-ago close encounter with the Lust Lizard. The difference is that it is told in his own voice, in first person, as he is recounting it to Estelle, rather than in the narrator's third person voice elsewhere in the book.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No. Comedy is a medium of diminishing returns -- you can only laugh so much in one sitting. Better to experience it in bursts. Especially in this case, since Lust Lizard is told from the point of view of so many different characters (including the beast and a dog, in addition to all the humans) -- I preferred to listen to it in bursts over a period of time.

Any additional comments?

Some of the supernatural elements in Moore's novels go too far over the top -- the demon in Practical Demonkeepring when he gets maniacal, the evil goddesses of A Dirty Job, the strange direction Fluke goes in after a charming start, even ultimately Bleu and the Colorman in Sacre Bleu. But the Lust Lizard is one of his most believable fantastical creatures, credibly explained within the real world. For me, that's a positive (although, to be fair, it's fun to imagine, as Moore often does, how truly supernatural characters would behave in the real world).

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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I got pulled over

What did you love best about The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove?

As always Christopher Moore is sick twisted and hysterically funny. I got pulled over my a copy because I was laughing so hard in the car on my commute. Highly recommend this if you want to laugh and maybe feel a little bad for a Lust Lizard.

What about Oliver Wyman’s performance did you like?

You could hear the difference in all the characters without crazy theatrics

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Totally!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Beau
  • New Orleans, LA, United States
  • 09-30-13

Quirky Characters don't Guarantee a Good Story

As the title says, quirks don't always make for a good story. Having listened to other Chris Moore books, I was eager to dive back into another one of his humorous yarns that generally leave me satisfied and wanting more. Typically, his characters are offbeat but well conceived. However, I was really disappointed by this outing. I never found myself engaging with any of his band of highly quirky characters (including a stoner constable, a loony B-movie actress, a stereotypical blues player, a reclusive and awkward scientist and cardboard cutout of a sheriff). The story also left me wanting - the "monster" was generally bland, and it's single-minded desires were also never well explained or explored. It seems the author was more intent to give all of his characters as many quirks and odd behavioral patterns as he could, without ever really trying to give them any grounding or plausible existence. As a result, the book lurched around, plodding from scene to scene without ever finding its voice or encouraging the listener to follow along and get involved in the story. I would skip this for other Moore titles like "A Dirty Job".

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Daniel
  • Ogden, UT, United States
  • 05-20-10

Laugh it up!

If you love to laugh then this book is for you!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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A dragon, a warrior princess & a pot head!!!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Oh, yes. This was one of the most entertaining book I have listened to in a very long time.<br/>One that I will listen to more than once, I am sure.

What did you like best about this story?

Steve, the dragon!!!!

What does Oliver Wyman bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Voices, he's good at voices.

If you could take any character from The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove out to dinner, who would it be and why?

Theo, I think.......Steve, too.

Any additional comments?

Just a riot! Had me laughing out loud! I listen while driving my car. You can imagine the looks from people in the cars around me, as they watch me laughing so hard, I cry!!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Robert
  • Carlsbad, CA, United States
  • 11-27-11

Christopher Moore fan now

Never heard him before but the title was intriguing and the reviews were good so I gave it a shot. Initially I wasn't thrilled but the whacked characters and situations grew on me. Now I'll be looking for other titles. And the narrator did a wonderful job with the different voices.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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I was skeptical, but Moore delivered the goods!

Any additional comments?

At first, I wasn't sure I was digging the pace of this story, and I wasn't sure just how all these odd elements I'd read about in the summary were going to fit together. I was pleasantly surprised. The writer brought out a lot of evolutionary biology inspired aspects of Steve the sea monster which really made the story more realistic (at least as realistic as a story about a sea monster can get), and the whole town being off their meds was the perfect catalyst for a good ride. The premises Moore used were believable and fit together so well, and the guy has such a great sense of humor, that really came out in this book. Give it a listen. I definitely recommend it!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Hilarious, and original.

Christopher Moore as always is hilarious, This is not meant for serious hearted and there are certainly moments you need to suspend belief, However your usually laughing to hard to care.
this like all moore's books is a fantasy, a fairy tale of gigantic proportion totally light and funny.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful