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.
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 sexpot)though, 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.)