The Nation


Book review

Moore beer less fun

Cult crime novelist Christopher goes for farce, but this jigsaw's a puzzler

Christopher G Moore has said he's waiting to see what Hollywood does with his first Vincent Calvino novel, "Spirit House", before he writes another one

featuring the popular private investigator. That's a shame because, judging from "The Wisdom of Beer", the novel he's just released instead, Moore might need Calvino.

From what I can gather online, little has happened with the movie version of 1992's "Spirit House" since Moore ushered screenwriter Chase Palmer around Bangkok last year, giving him a feel of the place so he could get the script right.

Palmer's name doesn't inspire a great deal of confidence to start with. His credits to date are writer-producer-director of two short films, although he did impress producers with a new script for Frank Herbert's novel "Dune". Alas, that remake is stuck too (director Peter Berg dropping out to do "Battleship" instead). Paramount is still reportedly hopeful about utilising Palmer's words.

Moore seems admirably resigned, blogging that moviegoers care little about screenplays anyway and less about the source novel.

Meanwhile Calvino was last seen in 2010's "9 Gold Bullets", the 12th novel in that series, and in between that and the next one we have "The Wisdom of Beer", in which Duvel, an ageing farang with the Pattaya Foreign Volunteer Police, falls well short of maintaining reader interest the way the hard-bitten old gumshoe usually does.

"Wisdom" has its share of amusing characters, all itching to score big and abruptly in an array of Pattaya clich

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