Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. And he’s a zombie.

Christopher Moore starts The Stupidest Angel (William Morrow 2004) with this disclaimer:

“If you’re buying this book as a gift for your grandma or a kid, you should be aware that it contains cusswords as well as tasteful depictions of cannibalism and people in their forties having sex.  Don’t blame me. I told you.”

Good to know.

The people of tiny Pine Cove, CA are excitedly  preparing for Christmas, except for 7 year-old Joshua.  Yeah, he’s pretty sure he just saw Santa get beaned in the head with a shovel and is now worried that Christmas is ruined.  If only Santa could come back from the dead!  Enter the Archangel Raziel (from one of my all time favorite books, Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal) who is down from Heaven to perform the annual Christmas miracle.  Raziel, who is great at weather and smiting cities but perhaps not the sharpest tool in the shed, takes Joshua’s request a tad too literally and soon the dead are walking the earth led by zombie Santa.  Or at least a zombie in a Santa suit.  The squabbling town weirdos will have to put aside their differences in order to work together to escape the worst Christmas party of all time.

If you’re looking for a heartwarming tale about the true meaning of Christmas along the lines of The Charlie Brown special, then this is probably not the book for you.  If you’re looking for a didactic lecture hidden in schmaltzy sentiment like in that painful Christmas Shoes song, then this story is really not for you. Also, never talk to me again.  However, if like me, you find yourself a little sick of the songs, lights, decorations, and just general false good cheer that’s been swirling around for what seems like months now, then The Stupidest Angel might be right up your alley.  Everything ends up (SPOILER) lovely and happy in the end, but along the way you get to enjoy an irreverent, hilarious story involving samurai swords, talking fruit bats, snarky ghosts, and did I mention ZOMBIE SANTA?!?

Fans of Christopher Moore will enjoy seeing characters from several of his other books pop up here, although this book is seven years old so chances are fans of Christopher Moore have already read this one.  This story didn’t hook me in quite the same way that Lamb did, but it was a very enjoyable read and helped cleanse my Christmas palate so that I now feel ready to face the holiday onslaught again.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from all of us here at Rampant Reads.  As a special treat, please enjoy one of my other favorite Christmas battles:


About Captain Awesome

Captain Awesome was recently promoted from the rank of Lieutenant due to excellence in the field of Awesome. She likes stories about spies, thieves, and people with magical powers. If they also break out into song and/or dance, it's even better. View all posts by Captain Awesome

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