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Christopher Moore is known for making people laugh. I've read several of his books in years past, but for this one, I decided to go back to where it all began: his very first published novel, Practical Demonkeeping.
Some people say you shouldn't judge a book by anything outside of its covers; that is, if it is to be compared to other texts, it should be done solely on the basis of its contents without any reference to its time of publication, its chronological relation to other books, and so on. Others argue that a book cannot be fully understood without looking at where it falls in an author's milieu.
Now I'm not saying people are debating such topics on Christopher Moore's books. (For all I know, though, they are.) But I will say that if one is familiar with Moore's work, and one reads this book, one will note some interesting tidbits. For one, Moore causes laughter at a regular pace right from the start. Perhaps he's developed the knack, like a good cask-aged beer develops flavor, but it's all there from the get-go. He's also good at weaving together a location, the people in it, and ensuring that everyone he's bothered to introduce plays a significant role by the end.
Perhaps Moore isn't as outrageous in Demonkeeping as he can be in other books. Perhaps the characters aren't as deep, and maybe they don't develop quite as much as they do in other books. But it's a glimpse into his origins, and heck, I enjoyed reading it.