Sam Hunter is a chameleon. He's an incredibly successful salesman, and he excels at being exactly what others want him to be. He has buried a secret in his past, buried it so deep he hardly even thinks about it, concentrating instead on being financially successful. Things seem to be going fine...until Coyote shows up.
Before Sam knows it, his life has been turned upside town. He's lost his home, his job, his security - and when he sees the golden-eyed Native American man dressed in black buckskins fringed with red feathers, he knows exactly who's responsible. It's Old Man Coyote, with eyes just like Sam's. But Sam can't dwell too much on his losses, because he's fallen head over heels in love with a lovely unusual woman, Calliope.
Sam's love for Calliope spurs Sam on in a new direction - away from meaningless safety and meaningless talk, and towards something real and meaningful. That road, however is anything but smooth. The many fearsome - and hilarious - obstacles include deranged bikers, fanatical garage sale customers, car chases, a seven-foot-tall Las Vegas security guard named Minty Fresh, an an encounter with the Jackal-headed death god himself.
I read this book in 1994, when it was first published, and I enjoyed it every bit as much this second time around - more, actually, because I'd completely forgotten that a beloved character from my favorite Christopher Moore novel, A Dirty Job, was introduced in this one! What a treat. Old Man Coyote is such fun to spend time with - particularly when he gets to Las Vegas. He is an imperfect god, and as in all the tales, he tries to out-clever everyone, fumbles and bumbles, but somehow manages to come out on top.
This book reminded me in theme and tone of Neil Gaiman's Anansi Boys, and I encourage anyone who has enjoyed that one to give this book a try. It is funny and touching, thought provoking, endearing, and - as with all of Moore's books - it kept me grinning and giggling the whole way through.
Coyote Blue by Christopher Moore (Simon and Schuster, 1994)
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