Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove

Christopher Moore, The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove

Finding a good title for a book is part of hooking in a potential reader. Lots of the best titles have already been taken, of course: Bleak House, East of Eden, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove.

It’s the same for blog posts. Jay’s always asking for help with this.

“Nik, is it OK just to label the next post ‘Tuesday’?”
“No, Jay.”

“Nik, I thought we could just run all the posts together, save having to think up titles, is that alright with you?”
“No, Jay.”

“Fine, then will you write all the titles for the freaking posts?”
“It’s probably for the best, Jay.”

A catchy title really helps to draw people in. You can always tell if an editor is nervous about the title by the number of explanatory words s/he has felt compelled to add to the cover.

Funny sad woman: a true story
An autobiographical account of a funny sad woman that will have you laughing and crying for days!

OK, I made that one up, but you know what I mean.

Now, a title like The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove, that’s going to make you pick up a book. It worked for me! I was browsing a bookshop in Toledo (Ohio, not Spain) and came across a slew of books by Christopher Moore. I’d never seen his works before, but the titles themselves were enough to raise a smile. On that occasion I settled for The Stupidest Angel: well, it was December and the strapline said A heartwarming tale of Christmas terror

It turned out that Mr Moore wasn’t talking about the festive season at my in-laws, but had put together a hilarious, many-gags-per-page, fantastical pastiche combining small town America, Christmas, an incompetent angel, and good-old brain-eating zombies. What’s not to like?

I followed up on my last trip to the US with a copy of Lust Lizard. Turns out I should have read it before the other one, but it didn’t make me like it any the less. In fact, I loved it, it’s been the fastest I’ve gone through a book in some time. 

Highly recommended.

Artwork by Druner at


  1. Big fan of Chris Moore, here. Pleased as punch to see other folks as into his nuttiness as I am! :-D

  2. Like the short and sweetness of this. A nice "just do it" review and recommendation. As a BIGGER fan of Chris', I do approve of this post :D