BOOKWORMZ: ‘Razzmatazz’ works like a real charm | News

Your lucky charm is never far away.

A pair of socks, a coin, a guitar pick, rub it with your thumb, hold it in your pocket, wear it all day, and you know what happens: life is sweeter, problems disappear and things become easier. How it happens is hard to say, but it really doesn’t matter. You just know it brings you good luck, and like in the new novel, Christopher Moore’s “Razzmatazz,” you’d do anything to keep it close.

For too long, Sammy “Two-Toes” Tiffin has been unlucky.

Due to a foot injury, he couldn’t fight in the war, so he was in the United States, bartending at Sal’s, hanging out at drag clubs and women’s lovers, and living in a San Francisco brownstone in a closet-sized room with a single bed. There was just enough space in the place for Sammy and his girlfriend, Tilly – who everyone called The Cheese except across the way – to give each other the old razzmatazz once in a while.

So when Eddie Moo Shoes said his Uncle Ho had a job with lots of money, Sammy really couldn’t say no.

Many years before, Ho had come to America from China as the “paper son” of descendants of Chinese veterans; branded on his forearm, his destiny was to be a member of a ferocious claw. Alas, Ho was a gentle and peaceful soul, so he was instead sent to take care of the girls in the thong brothel. Eventually, Ho and one of the brothel’s slaves escaped, but not before stealing a magical statue. Now another tong wanted the statue.

And so Sammy’s job was to get the statue back and save Moo Shoes’ uncle’s life, but there was another pressing job to do first. Someone was killing cross-dressing lesbians in San Francisco, one by one, and many of Sammy’s friends and associates were terrified.

He had to find the killer. And he wouldn’t even have to do it alone.

If you’re unfamiliar with the works of author Christopher Moore, pick up a copy of “Razzmatazz,” read the first few pages, and you’ll understand perfectly: very few parts of this book are tame. You can trust your eyes on that.

“Razzmatazz” is a soup of every film noir set in Chinatown you’ve ever seen, every cross-dressing 1940s cliche you’ve read or heard, mixed in with a few dragons and an alien thrown in for fun. And, oddly enough, that’s exactly what comes off: a smart, floor-spreading, fun big novel. Moore, in fact, says in his afterword that there are bits of real history written into this story, but it’s otherwise a “silly and nonsensical” novel that’s purely meant to entertain. You can also trust your eyes.

Beware though, this book is not for everyone. It’s irreverent, wild, and profane on any regular page, but it’s also LOL, if you’re not easily offended. If this sounds like a dream to you, try “Razzmatazz”. It will work like a charm.

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