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Editorial 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

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

HIS BEST BOOK!

This was a great book...Christopher Moore is proof that their is still witty and irreligious writing this side of the Atlantic (being the American side, in my case) that is also fun and madcap. He's almost as funny as Douglas Adams, but thankfully much more serious than Terry Pratchett (and does shy away from sex like Terry does so often), Catch is so EVIL yet hilarious...a much better book than his most famous "Lamb"(only famous for its Life of Brian approach), and the narration by Wyman is EXCELLENT (better than Fisher Stevens!) BUY THIS BOOK!

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A seriously original story

This is my first experience with Christopher Moore and I'm hooked on his writing. This was a hilarious story full of good with and great attention to detail! The performance for this audio book is hands down the best I've come across after a little over a year of using audible. I can't recommend this book enough! Now it's time for me to listen to the second book in this wonderful series.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Martin
  • Cork, Ireland
  • 02-01-10

Gets better as it goes ......

I had previously listened to Fool which I thought was both an excellent story and very well narrated. I was a bit reluctant to try this one as I feared a let down. Initially I was a little underwhelmed, having listened to a few chapters. as it took a while for the characters and the humour to develop. I persevered and it hooked me in the end. I think this may be his first book(?) and there is a feel he is developing his craft and finding his voice and pacing. The narrator was good - the voice of the demon caused me to jump a few times (probably not a good thing when you are driving). The book title (and art) should be enough to let you know what style of story it is - if you like Gaiman or Pratchett, this might be for you.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • colleen
  • ANCHORAGE, AK, United States
  • 08-24-11

I named my cat after the demon Catch

Origional and AWESOME! I've like all CM's books and this one is worth your time.

20 of 24 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

A credit well spent

Christopher Moore doesn't disappoint. This book is as entertaining, quirky, and offbeat as I have grown to expect from Moore. After having read several of his books, Moore has set the bar somewhat high for me and although I've liked certain works more than others, I've never been let down by any of them.

The narrator chosen for this book did a great job as well.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellence Squared

Christopher Moore has written many extremely enjoyable books. They're insightful. They're quirky. And they're very funny.

This book is all three.

And the narration is by Oliver Wyman (most of the Serge Storm books by Tim Dorsey) who is one of the top narrators in recorded book history along with Frank Muller (The Talisman, The Dark Tower), Barbara Rosenblatt (the Amelia Peabody and Goldy Bear mysteries), George Guidall (Darwin's Radio), Susan Bennett (You Suck, Bite Me), Euan Morton (Fool and The Serpent of Venice), and Robert Ian Mackenzie (the 44 Scotland Street series).

It's a great thing to have one of my favorite authors performed by one of my favorite narrators.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

light fun and silly. very original story fun giggl

very original story to make you think about society and laugh. great for the imagination

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Funny and intriguing

This a fun and amazing story that brings ancient lore and monsters to a small California town. it has an excellent pace moving along nicely through the narrative.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Same ol' Christopher Moore

Great story, fantastic writing with remarkable and colorful detail. Narration was superb. Finished this one in record time.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Pretty Good though not Moore's best

I like Christopher Moore. He does not take his writing too seriously. His books have some interesting bits of Science Fiction or Fantasy and some laugh-out-loud moments, approachable and likable characters and the plot that balances well on the edge of silliness.

The ending felt a little cowardly - all loose end swiped under the rug and happily-ever-afters all around. Which is our collective fault as a readers that demand all the sugary happily-ever-afters. Just look at the mountain of angry letters that GRR Martin receives after each of his books come out. But now i'm way of the subject here.

Practical Demonkeeping is hilarious and inventive. Great plot with many twists. Strong,diverse characters make this a pare turner.

The narrator is great.

I would definitely recommend it for a fun summer listen
:)

2 of 2 people found this review helpful