Audiobook Review: The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror by Christopher Moore

20 12 2011

The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror by Christopher Moore

Read by Tony Roberts

Harper Audio

Length: 6 Hrs 6 Min

Genre: Christmas Satire/Horror

Quick Thoughts: If you’re tired of those sappy, over done Holiday sob fests with their heavy handed morality and just want a book that allows you to embrace the Holiday tradition of laughing at the misery of others, The Stupidest Angel should fit your bill.

Grade: B

So, it’s the Holiday season and I have made it a point to embrace this season of goodwill, selflessness and camaraderie but choosing a few Christmas audiobook titles to brighten my day. The first title was a joyous account of one of my favorite literary serial killers as his takes on the War on Christmas and encounters many South Florida crazies on his way. Now, only a week or so before the birth of our Lord and Savior I have decided to give a listen to one of my favorite sacrilegious authors whose Christmas novel centers on a highly incompetent archangel, whose blunderings leads to horrific results for a California town who has had enough troubles without the meddling of a heavenly messenger. Because, isn’t this what the season of joy and giving is about. Don’t we truly want to see our fellow man thrown into a horrific, life threatening situation, to make up for the fact that these bastards steal our parking spots at the mall. I mean, sure, outwardly we hope for peace and goodwill for all mankind, but don’t we somewhere in that dark part of our heart, hope that a few members of said mankind get a little mayhem thrown into the mix. I know I do.

The Stupidest Angel is a wonderfully horrific tale that is the perfect cure for all that Holiday peace-wishing. Christopher Moore returns to his little out of the way California touristy town of Pine Cove, who in the past had to deal with crazy demons and runaway amorous pheromones. Along with the town, Christopher Moore brings back some of our favorite characters, including horndog flyboy Tucker Case, his bat Roberto, biologist Nate Quinn, as well as Pine Cove regulars like Theo, Molly, and Mavis. Moore has a lot of fun with the tropes of classic Holiday stories, taking the heartwarming plots of Holiday specials, and giving them a malicious twist. At the center of the mayhem is our less then reliable Angel, Raziel, who is sent on a Christmas mission to grant the wish of a child, bringing about a Christmas miracle. This of course, he royally screws up, making the already bad situations in Pine Cove worse. Being a special Christmas tale, The Stupidest Angel isn’t as well plotted as most of Moore’s work, he basically just pulls together some of our favorite characters, sets up a crazy premise and lets things loose. In the end, what you get is tons of laughs, a whole lot of fun, and a light hearted romp full of potty humor, weird kinky sex, a touch of sacrilege and a bunch of outrageous characters doing outrageous things. So, if you’re tired of those sappy, over done Holiday sob fests with their heavy handed morality and just want a book that allows you to embrace the Holiday tradition of laughing at the misery of others, The Stupidest Angel should fit your bill.

With all the great narrators that have performed Christopher Moore’s work, I was sort of disappointed that it was Tony Roberts that was chosen for this tale. It’s not that he did a horrible job. I have never been a huge fan of Roberts’ narration. It just comes off a bit too polished and professional sounding, with very little life. Here, my issues with him are compounded with his strange, revolving pronunciation of Raziel’s name. Luckily, most of my issues come down to personal taste. Roberts reads the story clearly and puts enough spin on the characters voices that you are kept pretty well into the story. Some may love what he does, while others may be indifferent. For me, I guess, it came down to imagining someone like Fisher Stevens or Oliver Wyman doing the narration, and feeling that Roberts pales in comparison to them. All things considered, I had a fun time with this strange little holiday tale, and in the end, that is truly what matters.

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