Published 2007 328 pages
Synopsis (from the book’s cover)
"You bitch, you killed me. You suck!"
Being dead sucks. Make that being undead sucks.
Literally. Just ask Thomas C. Flood. Waking up after a fantastic night unlike anything he's ever experienced, he discovers that his girlfriend, Jody—the woman of his dreams—is a vampire. And surprise! Now he's one, too.
For some couples, the whole biting-and-blood thing would have been a deal breaker. But Tommy and Jody are in love, and they vow to work through their issues. Like how much Jody should teach Tommy about his new superpowers (and how much he needs to learn on his own). Plus there's Tommy's cute new minion, sixteen-year-old goth girl Abby Normal. (Well, someone has to run errands during daylight hours!)
Making the relationship work, however, is the least of Jody and Tommy's problems. Word has it that the vampire who nibbled on Jody wasn't supposed to be recruiting any new members into the club. Even worse, Tommy's erstwhile turkey-bowling pals are out to get him, at the urging of a blue-dyed Las Vegas call girl named (duh) Blue.
And that really sucks.
You Suck is the surprise sequel (well, it was a surprise to me!) to Bloodsucking Fiends, an earlier work by cult comic-horror writer Christopher Moore who specializes writing about quirky characters in bizarre situations. The surprising part is the length of time between the publication of the original novel (1995) and the release of You Suck in 2007. Bloodsucking Fiends is one of my all time favourite vampire novels and, whilst welcoming a sequel with open arms, after twelve years I really wasn’t expecting to see one. The dedication in You Suck reads “For my readers, by request” so I can only assume that more proactive readers than me badgered the author until he dusted off Jody and Tommy and wrote another story.
Whilst many years may have passed in the real world between Bloodsucking Fiends and You Suck but the storyline for You Suck takes up exactly where Bloodsucking Fiends finished. Jody has turned her boyfriend/minion Tommy into a vampire and he’s not really sure that he’s cut out for the job.
For starters he’s so pale that he looks sick (Jody is a natural red-head so being pale wasn’t much of a change for her.) He is also stuck with his nineteen-year-old body as it was at the time of his transition and Jody didn’t give him any warning - so he couldn’t get buff first and have abs of steel for eternity. And his fashion sense didn’t evolve with his vampirism either, he goes to a goth nightclub wearing a flannel shirt and fears that “he looked like he’d shown up at the sacrificial mass of the damned ready to fix the dishwasher.”
The Animals, Tommy’s old work pals, are also back in You Suck. This time they have been (briefly) liberated from stocking the shelves at the Marina Safeway by the large amount of cash that they got for the art collection that they stole from the old vampire Elijah at the end of Bloodsucking Fiends. They invest all their money in a blue Las Vegas call-girl, called Blue. “We just wanted to bone a smurf,” was their understandable excuse for their excesses.
The Animals and Blue provide a huge amount of amusement in this story but by far the funniest parts of You Suck are “The Chronicles of Abby Normal.” Abby is the sixteen year old goth girl that Tommy recruits as his and Jody’s new minion. The Chronicles are entries from Abby’s diary and you can read her version of events as told in teenage girl goth style: “So I’m all…, she’s like…, and I’m like…, and she’s all…, and I was all….” The Chronicles of Abby Normal are hilarious and it’s worth reading You Suck for them alone.
You Suck is a humorous take on the vampire genre. While the plot of You Suck may not be as compelling as the plot of Bloodsucking Fiends the true strength of this book lies in its quirky characters and the comically bizarre scrapes that they manage to get themselves into.
Summing up – You Suck is a must read for anyone who enjoyed Bloodsucking Fiends. If you haven’t read Bloodsucking Fiends - buy, borrow, beg, or steal a copy and do so. Then repeat the process with You Suck.
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