Synopses & Reviews
Jody never asked to become a vampire. But when she wakes up under an alley Dumpster with a badly burned arm, an aching back, superhuman strength, and a distinctly Nosferatuan thirst, she realizes the decision has been made for her.
Making the transition from the nine-to-five grind to an eternity of nocturnal prowlings is going to take some doing, however, and that's where C. Thomas Flood fits in. A would-be Kerouac from Incontinence, Indiana, Tommy (to his friends) is biding his time night-clerking and frozen-turkey bowling in a San Francisco Safeway. But all that changes when a beautiful undead redhead walks through the door...and proceeds to rock Tommy's life — and afterlife — in ways he never thought possible.
"Deft and funny." The New York Times Book Review
A romance novel like no other, this is the story of Jody, a beautiful redhead vampire, and Tommy, a supermarket manager. Theirs is a passionate tale of blood lust and blood loss, which continues in Moore's latest critically acclaimed bestseller You Suck.
About the Author
Christopher Moore is the author of five previous novels. His turn-ons are the ocean, elephant polo, and talking animals on TV. His turn-offs are salmonella, traffic, and mean people. Chris enjoys cheese crackers, acid jazz, and otter scrubbing. He lives in an inaccessible island fortress in the Pacific. Visit the official Christopher Moore website at www.chrismoore.com.
Reading Group Guide
Questions for Discussion
1. Everyone has been exposed to Vampire lore, either through books, movies, or television. How does Jody's transformation into a vampire differ from how you always thought someone became a vampire? In what ways is it similar?
2. Jody and Tommy's relationship moves at a rather alarming pace, and within a week of meeting each other, they are in love. Is love at first sight possible? Or in their case, at first bite? Why do they connect so instantly?
3. The book is filled with religious connotations, whether intentional or not -- from the mention of "the pyramid" (The TransAmerica Tower), to the use of crosses to ward off vampires, to the Animals being referred to as "Crusaders." How intentional do you think this was on the part of the author? What do these add to the story?
4. The book touches upon the idea of euthanasia -- the practice of ending the life of a terminally ill person in a painless or minimally painful way in order to limit suffering -- in that Elijah Ben Sapir, the vampire who creates Jody, only kills those who are about to die or whose lives are limited in some way. What are your feelings about "mercy killings"? Do vampires have an ethical standard?
5. When Simon threatens Jody after she refuses to turn him into a vampire, she ends up killing him in the front of his truck. Jody then blames the killing on Elijah, however, and never confesses it to Tommy. Why not admit to it when Elijah has been restrained?
6. Why are Jody and Tommy "set up" as the culprits in the recent crimes? What would it mean if they were caught? Why do these crimes need to be pinned on anyone? Couldn't the criminals cover up the crimes in another way?
7. By the end of the novel, both detectives -- Cavuto and Rivera -- begin to believe in the supernatural and that vampires could exist. To what extent do you believe in the supernatural, either vampires, ghosts, or even just that some people may or may not have psychic ability?
8. Tommy uses Anne Rice's The Vampire Lestat, which of course is fiction, as his "Owner's Manual" for learning about Jody and her new powers. Discuss the author's use of fiction within fiction in order to tell a story. Have any members of your group read The Vampire Lestat? How do the two books compare?
9. Once Jody becomes a vampire, she finds that she has many new and different abilities, including superstrength, heightened senses, and superspeed. Which do you think is her most needed new superability?
10. Though Jody finds herself immortal, she also retains many of her normal human characteristics and failings, including vanity, fear, anger, and disgust. Discuss how even though she has become immortal, and can protect herself from many of the regular dangers of everyday life, she is still unable to disassociate herself from normal human emotion.
11. At the end of the book, the reader is left with the impression that Jody is about to turn Tommy into a vampire. If she does change him into a vampire, how do you imagine their story continues? How would it continue if she does not?
Enhancing Your Bookclub
1. Would you be willing to give up your normal life -- being able to go out in the daylight, not being immortal -- in order to become a vampire? You'd be able to live forever, have superstrength and -speed, among many other different gifts. Would it be worth it? Why? Why not?
2. To read more about vampires, take a look at the following titles: The Society of S by Susan Hubbard, Vamped by David Sosnowski, The Book of Renfield: A Gospel of Dracula by Tim Lucas, and Happy Hour at Casa Dracula by Marta Costa.
3. Learn more about vampires: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vampires.
Listen to an interview with Christopher Moore