BOOKS: Razzmatazz: Christopher Moore

July 9—Christopher Moore is an acquired taste.

He writes irreverent, sarcastic, politically incorrect and funny novels.

“Fool” inspired a series of Moore books based on Shakespeare’s “King Lear” jester.

Moore now has another set of characters that he enjoys revisiting.

“Black” (2108) introduced bartender Sammy Tiffin, who is also somewhat of an unlicensed private detective, and all of his bar buddies in post-WWII San Francisco. “Black” was a fun send-up of 1940s crime novels with a bit of overtly modern sensibility, as well as a slice of mid-20th-century creature from outer space.

In “Razzmatazz”, Sammy and his gang of Cookie’s Coffee Irregulars return. Someone is murdering the drag queens and drag kings of the town, while the “Cheese”, Sammy’s girlfriend, is working on a project that could attract the attention of government agents as well as moon men. Meanwhile, Chinatown is teeming with gang activity that dates back to the years following the San Francisco earthquake in the early 1900s.

Whether it’s Shakespearean or Impressionist characters or biblical characters or 1940s detectives, Moore writes in the same irreverent style for each of his novels, with a naughty and offbeat sensibility that may offend as well as make some laugh. readers.

“Razzmatazz” even comes with a “trigger warning” in its opening pages to let readers know that the book contains mid-twentieth century characters who have opinions that align with mid-twentieth century American mores.

Still, “Razzmatazz” is a mix of silliness and Moore style, sentimentality and hodgepodge plotting. It’s by far not his best novel, and any reader should read “Black” before opening “Razzmatazz,” but in a world where too many people take themselves far too seriously, Christopher Moore is still a much-needed treat. .

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