Island of the Sequined Love Nun

( 130 )

Overview

Take a wonderfully crazed excursion into the demented heart of a tropical paradise—a world of cargo cults, cannibals, mad scientists, ninjas, and talking fruit bats. Our bumbling hero is Tucker Case, a hopeless geek trapped in a cool guy's body, who makes a living as a pilot for the Mary Jean Cosmetics Corporation. But when he demolishes his boss's pink plane during a drunken airborne liaison, Tuck must run for his life from Mary Jean's goons. Now there's only one employment opportunity left for him: piloting ...

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Overview

Take a wonderfully crazed excursion into the demented heart of a tropical paradise—a world of cargo cults, cannibals, mad scientists, ninjas, and talking fruit bats. Our bumbling hero is Tucker Case, a hopeless geek trapped in a cool guy's body, who makes a living as a pilot for the Mary Jean Cosmetics Corporation. But when he demolishes his boss's pink plane during a drunken airborne liaison, Tuck must run for his life from Mary Jean's goons. Now there's only one employment opportunity left for him: piloting shady secret missions for an unscrupulous medical missionary and a sexy blond high priestess on the remotest of Micronesian hells. Here is a brazen, ingenious, irreverent, and wickedly funny novel from a modern master of the outrageous.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Christopher Moore's latest novel, Island of the Sequined Love Nun, takes readers to new heights as he writes one of the most unique and imaginative novels of the year. Tucker Case is an alcoholic pilot who flies a pink corporate jet for Mary Jean Cosmetics. His life takes a drastic turn when he meets a prostitute at the Holiday Inn lounge who is eager to join the "mile high club." He takes the young vixen up to fulfill her wildest fantasies but suddenly loses control of the plane, resulting in an extraordinary crash landing. Both the plane and his manhood are grounded indefinitely.

While recovering in the hospital, Tucker soon learns that he has lost his pilot's license and the one job he ever loved. He also learns that his story has reached national headlines as those involved hit the talk-show circuit. Case pulls himself up from his dismal situation when he gets a visit from his buddy Jake Skye, who hooks him up with a missionary doctor who saw his story on a TV talk show. The job involves flying medical supplies to a remote Pacific island — no questions asked. Through this twist of fate, Case gets caught in a typhoon, fends off attacking sharks, and gets captured by an ex-cannibal. All of these life-threatening adventures are endured with his newfound friends: Kimi, a Filipino transvestite, and Kimi's talking fruit bat, Roberto.

Barely alive after this incredible journey, Case arrives with his new friends for his first day of work. And so the adventure continues. With a mad scientist and his equally devious wife on the island, things only get crazier. CarlHiaasen,the author of Strip Tease and Stormy Weather, thinks "Christopher Moore is a very sick man, in the very best sense of the word. Island of the Sequined Love Nun is so delightfully warped and funny that no sane person could've written it."

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A screwup pilot goes to Micronesia to fly a couple of organ thieves bankrolled by the Japanese in Moore's Coyote Blue; Bloodsucking Fiends tiresomely goofy fourth novel. The premise is as complex as it is outlandish: Tucker "Tuck" Case runs afoul of his firebrand boss, cosmetics magnate Mary Jean read Mary Kay Dobbins when, loaded on gin-and-tonics and in flagrante with a hooker, he crashes the company Gulfstream and in the process wounds himself la Jake Barnes. Fleeing a civil suit, Tuck takes a job with a "missionary" couple on a tiny Micronesian island where the natives worship the memory of an American WWII bomber pilot who once visited their island in his plane, The Sky Priestess, and founded a "cargo cult" revolving around American products. The corrupt missionaries, Dr. Sebastian Curtis and his wife, Beth, have taken over the cultwith Beth in the role of the High Priestessin order to maintain a healthy population of unwitting organ donors. Aided by a transvestite Filipino navigator and a talking bat, Tuck overcomes his need to fly and his infatuation with Beth to rescue the natives from their exploitative Mr. and Mrs. Kurtz. Moore relies for his comic effects on lamentably old-fashioned types the ignorant native, the cheesecake sexpotthough, for some reason, he mentions the weight of his female characters more often than their measurements. Despite Moore's indisputable talent for wisecracks and his over-the-top 1940s-style musical-comedy panache, this island fantasylost somewhere in the neighborhood of Vonnegut, Robbins and Douglas Adamsis too complacent for satire and too silly to turn its jokiness into page-turning entertainment. Aug.
Library Journal
Here's a recipe for one very funny book: Take Tucker Case, a disgraced airline pilot whose unseemly in-flight behavior has destroyed his career along with a pink Lear jet and damaged what's politely called his manhood. Add Kimi, a Filipino transvestite navigator, and a talking fruit bat named Roberto and send the three off in a typhoon to an island in Micronesia its inhabitants only a generation away from cannibalism where dastardly deeds are being done by a greedy medical missionary and his beautiful but amoral wife. Toss in a dead World War II aviator who plays cards in heaven with a Jewish carpenter. Stir well. Read fast. Fans of Kurt Vonnegut and Douglas Adams will especially enjoy Moore's Bloodsucking Fiends: A Love Story, LJ 8/95 peculiar take on the world. Recommended for general fiction collections.Nancy Pearl, Washington Ctr. for the Book, Seattle
Kirkus Reviews
Another farce about feckless mortals exploited by sarcastic supernaturals—all for a good cause—from Moore (Bloodsucking Fiends, 1995, etc.).

Corporate jet pilot Tucker Case, "a geek in a cool guy's body," gets into trouble when, after downing seven gin-and-tonics, he agrees to take a prostitute on a quick trip to the stratosphere for some "mile-high" cockpit sex, only to lose control of the jet while making his final approach. A strange flight-suited fellow appears in the copilot's seat, helps Tuck (and his passenger) survive the crash, and vanishes. Case wakes up in a hospital bed to find himself a tabloid celebrity, and unemployed. The hapless Case gets a job offer from Dr. Sebastian Curtis, a missionary physician who wants Case to pilot his island-hopping jet, currently based on the fictional Micronesian island of Alualu. During an error-prone odyssey across the Pacific, Case meets a variety of chatty, smart-alecky island denizens, including a transvestite navigator with a pet bat who takes him over shark-infested waters in an open scow right into a typhoon. Case washes up half dead on Alualu to find that its primitive, former cannibal inhabitants, who call themselves the Shark People, have been enslaved by a silly cargo cult involving Dr. Curtis and his trashy sexpot wife (the sequined love nun of the title), who are selling the organs of Shark People sacrificed to the Sky Priestess to a Japanese firm. His ghostly copilot returns, revealing himself to be a divinity (more or less), and charges Case with saving the Shark People, which he does with ingenuity and hilarious, if graceless, aplomb.

A lightweight traipse on the gross side of paradise, packed with sick jokes, intentionally hokey dialogue, shameless parodies of Hamlet, the bibical book of Exodus, organized religion, and WW II flyboy movies. The best yet from Moore.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060735449
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/25/2004
  • Series: Harper Perennial Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 180,695
  • Product dimensions: 7.92 (w) x 5.16 (h) x 0.76 (d)

Meet the Author

Christopher Moore

Christopher Moore is the author of thirteen previous novels, including Lamb, The Stupidest Angel, Fool, Sacré Bleu, and A Dirty Job. He lives in San Francisco, California.

Biography

A 100-year-old ex-seminarian and a demon set off together on a psychotic road trip...

Christ's wisecracking childhood pal is brought back from the dead to chronicle the Messiah's "missing years"...

A mild-mannered thrift shop owner takes a job harvesting souls for the Grim Reaper...

Whence come these wonderfully weird scenarios? From the fertile imagination of Christopher Moore, a cheerfully demented writer whose absurdist fiction has earned him comparisons to master satirists like Kurt Vonnegut, Terry Pratchett, and Douglas Adams.

Ever since his ingenious debut, 1992's Practical Demonkeeping, Moore has attracted an avid cult following. But, over the years, as his stories have become more multi-dimensional and his characters more morally complex, his fan base has expanded to include legions of enthusiastic general readers and appreciative critics.

Asked where his colorful characters come from, Moore points to his checkered job resume. Before becoming a writer, he worked at various times as a grocery clerk, an insurance broker, a waiter, a roofer, a photographer, and a DJ -- experiences he has mined for a veritable rogue's gallery of unforgettable fictional creations. Moreover, to the delight of hardcore fans, characters from one novel often resurface in another. For example, the lovesick teen vampires introduced in 1995's Bloodsucking Fiends are revived (literally) for the 2007 sequel You Suck -- which also incorporates plot points from 2006's A Dirty Job.

For a writer of satirical fantasy, Moore is a surprisingly scrupulous researcher. In pursuit of realistic details to ground his fiction, he has been known to immerse himself in marine biology, death rituals, Biblical scholarship, and Goth culture. He has been dubbed "the thinking man's Dave Barry" by none other than The Onion, a publication with a particular appreciation of smart humor.

As for story ideas, Moore elaborates on his website: "Usually [they come] from something I read. It could be a single sentence in a magazine article that kicks off a whole book. Ideas are cheap and easy. Telling a good story once you get an idea is hard." Perhaps. But, to judge from his continued presence on the bestseller lists, Chris Moore appears to have mastered the art.

Good To Know

In researching his wild tales, Moore has done everything from taking excursions to the South Pacific to diving with whales. So what is left for the author to tackle? He says he'd like to try riding an elephant.

One of the most memorably weird moments in Moore's body of work is no fictional invention. The scene in Bloodsucking Fiendswhere the late-night crew of a grocery store bowls with frozen turkeys is based on Moore's own experiences bowling with frozen turkeys while working the late shift at a grocery store.

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    1. Hometown:
      Hawaii and San Francisco, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      August 5, 1958
    2. Place of Birth:
      Toledo, Ohio

Read an Excerpt

Island of the Sequined Love Nun

Chapter One

Tucker Case awoke to find himself hanging from a breadfruit tree by a coconut fiber rope. He was suspended facedown about six feet above the sand in some sort of harness, his hands and feet tied together in front of him. He lifted his head and strained to look around. He could see a white sand beach fringed with coconut palms, a coconut husk fire, a palm frond hut, a path of white coral gravel that led into a jungle. Completing the panorama was the grinning brown face of an ancient native.

The native reached up with a clawlike hand and pinched Tucker's cheek.

Tucker screamed.

"Yum," the native said.

"Who are you?" Tucker asked. "Where am I? Where's the navigator?"

The native just grinned. His eyes were yellow, his hair a wild tangle of curl and bird feathers, and his teeth were black and had been filed to points. He looked like a potbellied skeleton upholstered in distressed leather. Puckered pink scars decorated his skin; a series of small scars on his chest described the shape of a shark. His only clothing was a loincloth woven from some sort of plant fiber. Tucked in the waist cord was a vicious-looking bush knife. The native patted Tucker's cheek with an ashy callused palm, then turned and walked away, leaving him hanging.

"Wait!" Tucker shouted. "Let me down. I have money. I can pay you.

The native ambled down the path without looking back. Tucker struggled against the harness, but only managed to put himself into a slow spin. As he turned, he caught sight of the navigator, hanging unconscious a few feet away.

"Hey, you alive?"

The navigator didn't stir, but Tuckercould see that he was breathing. "Hey, Kimi, wake up!" Still no reaction.

He strained against the rope around his wrists, but the bonds only seemed to tighten. After a few minutes, he gave up, exhausted. He rested and looked around for something to give this bizarre scene some meaning. Why had the native hung them in a tree?

He caught movement in his peripheral vision and turned to see a large brown crab struggling at the end of a string tied to a nearby branch. There was his answer: They were hung in the tree, like the crab, to keep them fresh until they were ready to be eaten.

Tucker shuddered, imagining the native ' s black teeth closing on his shin. He tried to focus on a way to escape before the native returned, but his mind kept diving into a sea of regrets and second guesses, looking for the exact place where the world had turned on him and put him in the cannibal tree.

Like most of the big missteps he had taken in his life, it had started in a bar.

The Seattle Airport Holiday Inn lounge was all hunter green, brass rails, and oak veneer. Remove the bar and it looked like Macy's men's department. It was one in the morning and the bartender, a stout, middle-aged Hispanic woman, was polishing glasses and waiting for her last three customers to leave so she could go home. At the end of a bar a young woman in a short skirt and too much makeup sat alone. Tucker Case sat next to a businessman several stools down.

"Lemmings," the businessman said.

"Lemmings?" asked Tucker.

They were drunk. The businessman was heavy, in his late fifties, and wore a charcoal gray suit. Broken veins glowed on his nose and cheeks.

"Most people are lemmings," the businessman continued. "That's why they fail. They behave like suicidal rodents."

"But you're a higher level of rodent?" Tucker Case said with a smart-ass grin. He was thirty, just under six foot, with neatly trimmed blond hair and blue eyes. He wore navy slacks, sneakers' and a white shirt with blue-and-gold epaulets. His captain's hat sat on the bar next to a gin and tonic. He was more interested in the girl at the end of the bar than in the businessman's conversation, but he didn't know how to move without being obvious.

"No, but I've kept my lemming behavior limited to my personal relationships. Three wives." The businessman waved a swizzle stick under Tucker's nose. "Success in America doesn't require any special talent or any kind of extra effort. You just have to be consistent and not fuck up. That's how most people fail. They can't stand the pressure of getting what they want, so when they see that they are getting close, they engineer some sort of fuckup to undermine their success."

The lemming litany was making Tucker uncomfortable. He'd been on a roll for the last four years, going from bartending to flying corporate jets. He said, "Maybe some people just don't know what they want. Maybe they only look like lemmings.

"Everyone knows what they want. You know what you want, don't you?"

"Sure, I know," Tucker said. What he wanted right now was to get out of this conversation and get to know the girl at the end of the bar before closing time. She'd been staring at him for five minutes.

"What?" The businessman wanted an answer. He waited.

"I just want to keep doing what I'm doing. I'm happy."

The businessman shook his head. "I'm sorry, son, but I don't buy it. You're going over the cliff with the rest of the lemmings."

"You should be a motivational speaker," Tuck said, his attention drawn by the girl, who was getting up, putting money on the bar, picking up her cigarettes, and putting them into her purse.

She said, "I know what I want."

Island of the Sequined Love Nun. Copyright © by Christopher Moore. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Reading Group Guide

Introduction

Take a wonderfully crazed excursion into the demented heart of a tropical paradise -- a world of cargo cults, cannibals mad scientists, ninjas, and talking fruit bats.

Our bumbling hero is Tucker Case, a hopeless geek trapped in a cool guy's body, who makes a living as a pilot for the Mary Jean Cosmetics Corporation. But when he demolishes his boss's pink plane during a drunken airborne liaison, Tuck must run for his life from Mary Jean's goons. Now there's only one employment opportunity left for him: piloting shady secret missions for an unscrupulous medical missionary and a sexy blond High Priestess on the remotest of Micronesian hells.

Here is a brazen, ingenious, irreverent, wickedly funny novel from a modern master of the outrageous.

Topics for Discussion

  1. The author spent a great deal of time studying on Pacific Islands. Were there any elements of island life portrayed in the book that surprised you or particularly intrigued you? Were there aspects that you would like to know more about? Do you think that comedy translates across cultures? Would the people of the islands find this story funny? Why or why not?

  2. At one point in the book a parallel is drawn between Tucker Case and Hamlet. Other than the examples drawn in the short biographical sketch of Tuck, can you think of any other similarities between these two men of indecision?

  3. Cargo cults and the worship of WWII bomber pilots by natives in the Pacific are real phenomena. Do you think the author was trying to draw a connection between cargo cults and the pyramid make-up sales structure of Mary Jean Cosmetics? Will the intrusion of Westernculture destroy the cultures of the Pacific Islands?

  4. The value of transplant organs is a major motivating factor for the Sky Priestess and her doctor husband. Given that more than three million dollars was bid on eBay recently for a kidney placed up for auction on the Internet, before the company pulled the listing, do you think that organ smuggling will become a major crime wave in the future?

  5. Toward the end of the book Tucker Case has a change of feelings about the way he has treated women throughout his life. What do you think caused this? The influence of Kimi? Sepie? The Sky Priestess? Or perhaps a combination of many events?

About the author

Christopher Moore is the author of Fluke, Lamb, Practical Demonkeeping, Coyote Blue, Bloodsucking Fiends, Island of the Sequined Love Nun, and The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 130 )
Rating Distribution

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(56)

4 Star

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(17)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 131 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2012

    Fantastic

    As with all Christopher Moore books, this one was laugh out loud funny and poignant all at the same time. A must read for those who love to chortle at the absurd.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 24, 2011

    In Moore's top 4

    In all fairness, i have only read Lamb, Fool, The Stupidest Angel, and this one but it is nestled in the top for sure. Once again, Moore manages to to give so much heart and soul to his severely depraved and flawed lead character. The story is funny, the characters are well written and the plot advances and evolves quickly.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 21, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A zany masterpiece!!

    Only Christopher Moore could come up with this wacky masterpiece about tropical island cultures, organ theft, airline pilots, and cargo cults. Somehow Moore, once again, creates a world that is equal parts ridiculous and believable. I don't know if any other writer could even do something like this. Its twisted in such a perfect way. I would it if Moore revisited the Shark people in a future novel. Great stuff!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 24, 2014

    A good summer read in the middle of winter

    This was not my favorite Christopher Moore work, but it was fun. An evening reading this book was relaxing and enjoyable. It was not deeply thoughtful, or laugh-out-loud funny, but it was fun.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2012

    pleas Funny and grows on you

    Starts out a little too zany. I thought "I'd rather be reading Hiaasen." But this author eventually builds his characters so that I grew to like/dislike them. Book has a good 2nd half.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2012

    Surprisingly good

    I had never heard of Chris Moore before, so this book was a treat. It was funny and qwirky and entertaining all the way through.

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  • Posted May 14, 2012

    It has its moments

    Funny overall and definitely filled with an unpredictable plot, this is an entertaining read. As far as Moore's work goes, though, it's not his best... there weren't any laugh-out-loud funny moments in this story, at least for me.

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  • Posted June 25, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Loved it!

    Christopher Moore is a fabulous writer. All of his novels are so much fun! I really liked Island of the Sequined Love Nun. It was original, hilarious and thrilling. It was also an easy read. Basically, it is a perfect book for any time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2010

    Good read.

    I was looking for a supernatural without all the intense drama. I guess this would fall under dark humor. Easy fun read.

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  • Posted December 5, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    The Best of All Moore Novels

    In my humble opionion this is the best of all Christopher Moore's books and that is a powerful statement as he has written so many great books. I bought this copy for a friend and it is probably the 10th copy I've purchased since the books original release date way back when. Although this is an insanely funny story there is also an underlying story line sending a profound moral message. It would be very difficult to recommend any book over this one. Buy it, read it and enjoy!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2009

    What did you expect from a title like this?

    Whenever I finish reading something a bit heavy, I look for something a good deal lighter in my next read. I can always count on Christopher Moore to provide some laugh-out-loud material with outrageous characters and an even more outrageous plot. And as crazy as his characters and situations might be, he always seems to hit the nail on the head with common human emotions and thought processes--so I can identify with, yes, even an elderly island cannibal or a bunch of natives that worship a dead World War II pilot. Moore never disappoints!

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  • Posted August 14, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    He is a very very sick man...............

    this has to be one of the most twisted stories that I have read to date - he keeps you coming back for more - that's for sure!

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  • Posted July 13, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Hilarious!

    Christopher Moore does it again! I have read every one of his books and absolutely love his characters and crazy stories. I don't think I have ever read another author's books that make me continually laugh out loud. He comes up with the most bizarre and loveable characters and the stories are fun and unpredicable. I read this during my down time on a recent cruise and it was hard to put down even tho there were many other things I could have been doing! If you like sarcastic humor, you will love this book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2006

    quick read

    One of Christopher Moore's best books. So funny and easy to read.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Wild satire

    In Seattle, Meadow Malackovitch asks Tick Case to help her become a member of the Mile High Club. Being a bit drunk while having a bit of action in the air, Tucker ¿Tuck¿ Case crashes his company¿s pink plane, landing in the weekly tabloids. Wheeled away to the hospital with damage to his penis, his buddy figures that God takes care of fools and drunks, of which Tuck is both. However, he loses his divine luck as he faces the wrath of his employer, Mary Jean Dobbins for thinking with the wrong head and the loss of his aviator¿s license. <P>Fleeing to the Pacific Ring, Tuck accepts a job with a missionary, Dr. Curtis flying medical supplies to an isolated Micronesia island. He makes new friends with a transvestite and a fruit bat, but unwittingly (the norm for Tuck), he is the runner in a lucrative organ transport business. <P> Renowned for his amusing yet ascorbic satires, Christopher Moore returns to his fertile grounds to provide the audience with a wild ironic look at the action thriller. The story line is two parts of humor and two parts of action, which add to the irreverent glimpse at a world gone crazy, Mr. Moore simply eradicates everything sacred under the western sun. Though somewhat stereotyped in characterization and not quite as wild as expected from the king of weird, the plot entertains those readers who enjoy a tale to the extreme of the absurd. <P>Harriet Klausner

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2000

    Moore's stange style hits the spot.

    This might not measure up to some of his other novels, but it stills holds its own. The story is far out enough to make you laugh, but Moore just barely makes it beleiveable by giving the characters real human flaws. There were times when I thought the plot was absurb, but that's the point! His insights into what the fall of one man can to to a person; and the god complex deep down in all of us makes the novel a worthwhile read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 1999

    Nothing But the Best

    An excellent book for a good laugh. Moore outdoes himself in 'Island...' A terrific writer and comedian, who holds nothing back in this book. 'Island...' keeps you thinking what could possibly happen next. A great book in every way: story, plot, description, and comedy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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