The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror

The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror

by Christopher Moore


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Christmas crept into Pine Cove like a creeping Christmas thing: dragging garland, ribbon, and sleigh bells, oozing eggnog, reeking of pine, and threatening festive doom like a cold sore under the mistletoe.

'Twas the night (okay, more like the week) before Christmas, and all through the tiny community of Pine Cove, California, people are busy buying, wrapping, packing, and generally getting into the holiday spirit. It is the hap-hap-happiest time of the year, after all.

But not everybody is feeling the joy. Little Joshua Barker is in desperate need of a holiday miracle. No, he's not on his deathbed; no, his dog hasn't run away from home. But Josh is sure that he saw Santa take a shovel to the head, and now the seven-year-old has only one prayer: Please, Santa, come back from the dead.

But hold on! There's an angel waiting in the wings. (Wings, get it?) It's none other than the Archangel Raziel come to Earth seeking a small child with a wish that needs granting. Unfortunately, our angel's not sporting the brightest halo in the bunch, and before you can say "Kris Kringle," he's botched his sacred mission and sent the residents of Pine Cove headlong into Christmas chaos, culminating in the most hilarious and horrifying holiday party the town has ever seen.

Only Christopher Moore, the man who brought you the outrageous lost gospel Lamb and the hysterical fish tale Fluke could have devised a new holiday classic that tugs at the heartstrings and serves up a healthy slice of fruitcake to boot.

Move over, Charles Dickens—it's Christopher Moore time.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060590253
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 10/12/2004
Series: Pine Cove Series , #3
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.50(h) x 1.05(d)

About the Author

Christopher Moore is the author of the novels Secondhand Souls, Sacré Bleu, A Dirty Job, and Lamb. He lives in San Francisco, California.

Tony Roberts is a familiar face from his appearances in numerous Woody Allen and other films, and his starring roles on Broadway in Arsenic and Old Lace, Promises, Promises, The Allergist's Wife, and Xanadu.


Hawaii and San Francisco, California

Date of Birth:

August 5, 1958

Place of Birth:

Toledo, Ohio

Read an Excerpt

The Stupidest Angel

A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror, Version 2.0
By Christopher Moore

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2005 Christopher Moore
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060842350

Chapter One

Christmas Creeps

Christmas crept into Pine Cove like a creeping Christmas thing: dragging garland, ribbon, and sleigh bells, oozing eggnog, reeking of pine, and threatening festive doom like a cold sore under the mistletoe.

Pine Cove, her pseudo-Tudor architecture all tarted up in holiday quaintage -- twinkle lights in all the trees along Cypress Street, fake snow blown into the corner of every shop's windows, miniature Santas and giant candles hovering illuminated beneath every streetlight-- opened to the droves of tourists from Los Angeles, San Francisco, and the Central Valley searching for a truly meaningful moment of Christmas commerce. Pine Cove, sleepy California coastal village -- a toy town, really, with more art galleries than gas stations, more wine-tasting rooms than hardware stores -- lay there, as inviting as a drunken prom queen, as Christmas loomed, only five days away. Christmas was coming, and with Christmas this year, would come the Child. Both were vast and irresistible, and miraculous. Pine Cove was expecting only one of the two.

Which is not to say that the locals didn't get into the Christmas spirit. The two weeks before and after Christmas provided a welcome wave of cash into the town's coffers, tourist-starved since summer. Every waitress dusted off her Santa hat and clip-on reindeer antlers and checked to make sure that there were four good pens in her apron. Hotel clerks steeled themselves for the rage of last-minute overbookings, while housekeepers switched from their normal putrid baby-powder air fresheners to a more festive putrid pine and cinnamon. Down at the Pine Cove Boutique they put a "Holiday Special" sign on the hideous reindeer sweater and marked it up for the tenth consecutive year. The Elks,Moose, Masons, and VFWs, who were basically the same bunch of drunk old guys, planned furiously for their annual Christmas parade down Cypress Street, the theme of which this year would be Patriotism in the Bed of a Pickup (mainly because that had been the theme of their Fourth of July parade and everyone still had the decorations). Many Pine Covers even volunteered to man the Salvation Army kettles down in front of the post office and the Thrifty-Mart in two-hour shifts, sixteen hours a day. Dressed in their red suits and fake beards, they rang their bells like they were going for dog-spit gold at the Pavlov Olympics.

"Give up the cash, you cheap son of a bitch," said Lena Marquez, who was working the kettle that Monday, five days before Christmas. Lena was following Dale Pearson, Pine Cove's evil developer, through the parking lot, ringing the bejeezus out of him as he headed for his truck. On his way into the Thrifty-Mart, he'd nodded to her and said, "Catch you on the way out," but when he emerged eight minutes later, carrying a sack of groceries and a bag of ice, he blew by her kettle like she was using it to render tallow from building inspectors' butts and he needed to escape the stench.

"It's not like you can't afford a couple of bucks for the less fortunate."

She rang her bell especially hard right by his ear and he spun around, swinging the bag of ice at her about hip level.

Lena jumped back. She was thirty-eight, lean, darkskinned, with the delicate neck and finely set jawline of a flamenco dancer; her long black hair was coiled into two Princess Leia cinnabuns on either side of her Santa hat. "You can't take a swing at Santa! That's wrong in so many ways that I don't have time to enumerate them."

"You mean to count them," Dale said, the soft winter sunlight glinting off a new set of veneers he'd just had installed on his front teeth. He was fifty-two, almost completely bald, and had strong carpenter's shoulders that were still wide and square, despite the beer gut hanging below.

"I mean it's wrong -- you're wrong -- and you're cheap," and with that Lena put the bell next to his ear again and shook it like a red-suited terrier shaking the life out of a screaming brass rat.

Dale cringed at the sound and swung the ten-pound bag of ice in a great underhanded arc that caught Lena in the solar plexus and sent her backpedaling across the parking lot, gasping for breath. That's when the ladies at BULGES called the cops -- well, cop.

Bulges was a women's fitness center located just above the parking lot of the Thrifty-Mart, and from their treadmills and stair-climbing machines, the BULGES members could watch the ins and outs of the local market without feeling as if they were actively spying. So what had started as a moment of sheer glee and a mild adrenaline surge for the six of them who were watching as Lena chased Dale through the parking lot, turned quickly to shock as the evil developer thwacked the Latin Santa-ette in the breadbasket with a satchel of minicubes. Five of the six merely missed a step or gasped, but Georgia Bauman -- who had her treadmill cranked up to eight miles per hour at that very moment, because she was trying to lose fifteen pounds by Christmas and fit into a red-sequined sheath cocktail dress her husband had bought for her in a fit of sexual idealism -- bowled backward off her treadmill and landed in a colorful spandex tangle of yoga students who had been practicing on the mats behind her.

"Ow, my ass chakra!"

"That's you're root chakra."

"Feels like my ass."

"Did you see that? He nearly knocked her off her feet. Poor thing."

"Should we see if she's all right?"

"Someone should call Theo."

The exercisers opened their cell phones in unison, like the Jets flicking switchblades as they gaily danced into a West Side Story gang-fight to the death.


Excerpted from The Stupidest Angel by Christopher Moore Copyright © 2005 by Christopher Moore. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 69 reviews.
topps on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Quite fun but pretty simple. Not as good as Lamb.
bookymouse on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is my new favorite Christmas book. Can't wait to read it again next year.
zannyvix on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was the first Christopher Moore book I read, and it had me giggling from start to finish. It's silly, over the top, and more than a little sacrilegious, but tons of fun. Hey, who doesn't like fruit bats and zombie santa claus? Mayhem all the way.
Djupstrom on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
By far and away the best Christmas book ever. Christopher Moore is a genius!!
FicusFan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another great one set in Pine Cove. It is a Christmas story, and involves a confused angel and the Talking Fruit Bat from the Island of the Sequined Love Nun book, and zombies. Very funny.
booksandwine on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What's not to love about Christmas and zombie mayhem?
DanaJean on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The pairing of zombies and Christmas is unexpected but let's face it, Jesus is the most famous zombie ever so it worked quite well. The skewed look at a Christmas miracle was crazeeee. I think Moore's books are great fun. No, they aren't academy award winners, but there is something to be said for a good chuckle. I'm glad I read this book during the 2009 holiday insanity. It fit right in. I like this author guy. Enjoyable read--God bless us, every one.
Florinda on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
If the dead rise up again at the end of the world, do we have any guarantee that they¿re not going to be zombies? Let¿s just hope the Archangel Raziel isn¿t in charge of that - he¿s easy on the eyes, but not so much in the brains department, so it¿s best that he not be given any important jobs. And the ¿not so much in the brains department¿ thing would make him pretty useless as zombie food....Raziel - previously introduced in Christopher Moore¿s Lamb - is the title character of The Stupidest Angel, but he doesn¿t actually appear very often in the novel. He does make an impact when he shows up, though.This seriously funny short novel is one of my favorites by the author, partly because it¿s a greatest-hits collection of characters - including one I¿m especially fond of, ¿geek in a cool guy¿s body¿ Tucker Case - and a return to the setting of his earliest books, the postcard-pretty Central Coast town of Pine Cove. But like many postcard-pretty small towns, it¿s occupied by some less-than-pretty people. Pine Cove¿s notable residents include a former B-movie actress best known for her ¿Warrior Babe¿ character - she may lapse on her anti-psychotic meds, but she keeps up her martial arts training; her husband, the pot-smoking town constable; and, of course, the evil developer. When said evil developer has an unfortunate mishap during a disagreement with his ex-wife after a Christmas party, and a small boy accidentally witnesses said mishap, events are set in motion for the weirdest, scariest holiday this town - which has seen a lot of weird, scary stuff - has ever had.I keep my copy of The Stupidest Angel with our Christmas decorations; I put it out, along with several other holiday-themed books, every year. I decided that this year it wouldn¿t just go on display, though - it was time for a re-read. There¿s not a lot of substance here; while novels like Lamb and Fluke (and even, to some extent, A Dirty Job) show that Moore does sometimes weave bigger themes into his fiction, this one¿s just good, quirky fun - a fast and frequently laugh-out-loud funny read. If there¿s any lesson here, it¿s a twist on ¿be careful what you wish for:¿¿Be careful to tell your wish to someone who won¿t misunderstand what you¿re wishing for, or else your Christmas miracle could go very, very, wrong.¿
mcelhra on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Stupidest Angel is the story of young Joshua Barker, a seven-year old boy who thinks he saw Santa Claus getting murdered. A hapless but well-meaning angel attempts to grant Joshua his Christmas miracle with disastrous results that send the whole town into chaos.I think you either get Christopher Moore and love him or you don¿t and hate him. Oh, how I love Christopher Moore. I love, love, love dark absurd humor that doesn¿t make any sense and his books are packed full of it. This book has the best line EVER in it:¿No one knows why, but second only to eating the brains of the living, the dead love affordable prefab furniture.¿I thought about this book for days after I finished it and laughed every time. It¿s not a traditional Christmas classic and that¿s why it¿s wonderful.
PirateJenny on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It's simply the bestest Christmas story ever! But if I tell you why, I might ruin it. Unless you read the author's note, which informs you that there are, among other things, tasteful descriptions of people over forty having sex. I'd been meaning to read Christopher Moore for a while and although I own the majority of his books, I just haven't gotten around to it. That'll be changing. Soon
Archren on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Take a Carl Hiassen novel, and set it in coastal northern California (Pine Cove, to be precise). Add in suitably twisted Christmas tropes. Throw in the plot from a zombie movie. There, now you¿ve got ¿The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror,¿ by the inspiringly warped Christopher Moore. Much like in your average Hiassen book, you¿ve got a cast of complete misfits. Not the literary kind who are introspective and have poetic angst. No, these are the stoner sheriffs, disgruntled ex-wives and mean ex-husbands, the schizophrenic B-movie actresses, the single Moms and useless boyfriends. In ¿Stupidest Angel¿s¿ equivalent of ¿The Gift of the Magi,¿ the loving husband and wife have sworn to each other that he¿ll stay off pot and she¿ll stay on her anti-psychosis meds. For Christmas he starts growing pot to sell to buy her a beautiful sword for her other persona, and she goes off her meds to buy him an objet d¿art bong. By the time the ex-wife kills her ex-husband while she¿s stealing Christmas trees from his lot and he¿s dressed up as a Santa, you¿ve already got a wonderfully funny book. The angel wandering around looking for a child¿s wish to grant, and so spectacularly failing to blend in that half the folks are convinced that he¿s a child molester and some others think he¿s a Terminator robot, just adds a delightful icing of surreality. The conversations that the dead are having in the church graveyard are worth the price of admission alone. This is a very short book, and it reads really fast. It¿s certainly funny, but I actually enjoyed ¿Fluke¿ a little better from Chris Moore. That almost certainly has to do with the fact that I¿m a scientist and that book was about scientists, though. I can¿t imagine that anyone who isn¿t easily offended could fail to enjoy this ¿Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror.¿
brewergirl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A very quick read, but very funny. He mixes small town life where everyone knows everyone else, Christmas, and zombies like no one else!
alexbook on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book grabbed me from the first sentence and never let go: "Christmas crept into Pine Cove like a creeping Christmas thing: dragging garland, ribbon, and sleigh bells, oozing eggnog, reeking of pine, and threatening festive doom like a cold sore under the mistletoe."
breezit on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I know some people love Christopher Moore, but I thought this book was over-the-top and trying too hard to be funny. A major letdown with silly, unlikable characters.
omphalos02 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Clever and amusing, but not really on a par with "Lamb," which also features Raziel, the title character. Many other Moore characters appear from previous books, too. Had fun reading thia, but it lacked some of the insight I was expecting.
workgman on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
here is where it paid to read all of moore's prior books. now a christmas story with all those old crazy characters, the faint sound of jingle bells in the background, and me with that look of "what the hell?" scrinched permanently between my brows. i loved it.
xAngelicVampx More than 1 year ago
This was my first encounter with Christopher Moore's genius writings. I had borrowed the book from the library, and quickly realized that this was an author who could make me cry from laughing so hard. The Stupidest Angel follows the quirky citizens of Pine Cove, as they prepare for Christmas, and the angel Raziel, who comes to answer the prayer of a little boy (with disastrous, side-splittingly hilarious results). Anyone who loves satire will devour this easy read, and end up as I did: A die-hard Moore fan!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not your usual Christmas story but my skewed humor looks forward to reading this evvery December for too many years now.
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DM-Z More than 1 year ago
"Lamb" was the first book I read by Christopher Moore, and I LOVED it. Although "The Stupidest Angel" sorta pulls everything together in the end, you gotta suffer a bit to get there. If ever I found myself living in a town like this, with this many dysfunctional and downright sad people, I'd move. And I guess he means it to be funny, mostly I found the beginning pretty depressing. Just a lot of really sad people living together in apathy. If you're only going to try 1 Chris Moore book, skip this one and go for "Lamb".
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