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Book Reviews: Big Little Lies + The Stupidest Angel + Bloodsucking Fiends + Agents Of Dreamland

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
In a small Australian beach town; moral ambiguity, feuds, secrets, lies and resentment advance inexorably toward a night that’ll change everything. Self-consciously tragic man pleaser Celeste is married to a rich man who adores her, at least some of the time. Madeline is feisty with an ex she hates and she has a consistent view of how things should be. Jane is a young single mother full of traumatised guilt who due to hypnotically nasty school mothers becomes the town scapegoat. Teasingly cryptic events, dark moods and intransigence spread discord. Everyday events are needlessly fraught and socially meaningful leading to personal turmoil that imperils. This was very good.

Best Lines:
“Jumped straight into the pool fully-dressed, stilettos and all.”

“Shut up, bitch.”

“She was always smiling beatifically. Madeline suspected drugs.”

“The tremulous, teary, righteous feeling of being wronged.”

“To not be seen.”

“The gentle waft of judgement.”

“That a certain type of shirtless, tattooed man did when he was yelling at reporters on tabloid television.”

“She actually thought she’d get remorse?”

The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale Of Christmas Terror by Christopher Moore
This 2005 novel is from the author of the inept ‘Fluke’, ‘Lamb’, ‘The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove’, ‘Coyote Blue’ and ‘Practical Demonkeeping’. An angel wanders through a town of eccentrics at Christmas. There is inevitable trouble and uninformed decisions. This was disorientating and full of angry statements and strange and unknowable things and personally delivered violence. This was bad and sexist.

Bloodsucking Fiends: A Love Story by Christopher Moore
This 1995 novel (reprinted in 2002) is a tale of vampires which spawned rubbish sequels. A woman becomes a vampire and finds her Renfield. This was sexist and has no lasting repercussions. All this gloom, violence, dated references and quasi racism bored.

Best Line:
“This is the man who called the fire department when the toilet backed up,”

Agents Of Dreamland by Caitlin R. Kiernan
This novella is full of logic chasms and torrid emotion that tries for ominous effect. Instead it’s just mesmerisingly terrible, lacking all dramatic subtlety or malevolent gusto. This was dismayingly superfluous. It is in nobody’s great interest to read it.

Best Line:
“It’s been seven years since the last evacuation, and the borders were sealed long ago. The bridges blown, the highways mined.”
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