Diabolical Christmas satire

“The Stupidest Angel” leaves no supernatural being unscathed

Katrina Wilber

Hold onto your sleighs, folks, it’s gonna be a bumpy night.

Santa’s in a forest with a shovel stuck in his throat, and a blond guy in a trench coat is searching the streets for little children. This book sure ain’t what you want to give Grandma for a Christmas present.

But then again, nothing gets you in the Christmas spirit better than brain-eating zombies crashing a party, a former B-movie queen off her meds and a pot-growing town constable.

A little child accidentally witnesses the slaying of a guy in a Santa suit, and his only wish this Christmas is that Santa comes back to life.

It’s really a shame, then, that the title character in “The Stupidest Angel” is a prime example of Murphy’s Law. He showed up 10 years too late for his first job: a big-time, birthday party gig that ended up going to another archangel. His true identity isn’t revealed until the latter part of the book, but by the time he gets to the burned-down chapel and sees the carnage of dead people brought back to life only to be decapitated by a Christmas gift, it’s pretty obvious he just doesn’t have that special flair for performing miracles.

Moore has a knack for creating absolutely absurd situations. C’mon, who in his or her right mind would set a Christmas story in California? They can’t even get enough snow there for a white Christmas, for heaven’s sake.

Moore’s analogies are ridiculous and hilarious at the same time, from a town that’s “as inviting as a drunken prom queen” to a woman who screams “like a bunny in a blender.” Then again, that shouldn’t come as a surprise from a guy who’s written books with titles such as, “Island of the Sequined Love Nun” and “Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal.” Politically correct? Well, not exactly. Entertaining? You got that right.

Moore’s imagination is incredible, if not downright scary, but he’s treading on that very fine line between genius and insanity. Any man who can put a Micronesian fruit bat and a Manischewitz blackberry wine in the same book and still have a coherent conclusion should get a medal or, at least, a straitjacket.

Moore’s been called “the greatest satirist since Jonathan Swift,” but it’s doubtful Swift ever wrote about middle-aged couples dressed in Armani getting it on in a graveyard during a Christmas party with dead people doing a running commentary.

“The Stupidest Angel” is a marvelous, albeit slightly wacky, account of a Christmas gone wild. Death and destruction make it a true tale of Christmas terror, but it’s the happily-ever-after ending that gets the heart as warm and fuzzy as a big glass of eggnog.

Even if Santa does get knocked off by his bell-ringing ex-wife.