It’s Scaretober, y’all! Woot! Woot! October is my favorite month, so I’m pulling out all the stops. To celebrate, I’m sharing my favorite scary fun books and movies. All. Month. Long. Let’s get to it!
Today’s feature is Clovenhoof by Heide Goody and Iain Grant
Clovenhoof is the first book in an eight-book series. I picked it up on a whim, and I’ve been laughing ever since. This is a fun, quick read and a must for fans of humorous British horror/fantasy stories.
Satan has been exiled from heaven, presumably because, as master and CEO of hell, he’s not meeting the archangel Michael’s high efficiency standards. He is cast to earth and forced to live as Jeremy Clovenhoof, a sixty-something human who doesn’t quite fit in. Worse, he’s broke, living in a suburban apartment and has no idea how jobs, money, grocery shopping or credit cards work. He desperately wants to go back home to hell. After the local satanist fails to reverse summon him back into hell using a suspect spellbook and his mother’s crystal animal figurines, Jeremy sets off on a series of adventures as he learns to live as a human.
The story unfolds as a series of vignettes that do not seem to link together until the end of the book when the connections all cleverly unfold. We follow Satan on his earthly hijinx, most involving his neighbors Nerys and Ben, usually with disastrous results. Nerys lives upstairs with her elderly Aunt and is the self-declared know-it-all on the prowl for a perfect man. Ben is the geeky wargamer with suspect social skills and a trunk full of secrets.
Satan starts a heavy metal band. (With Ben on keyboards and Nerys on maracas.) He substitute teaches at the local Christian school. (Nerys’ co-worker was supposed to get him a job in a warehouse.) He buys a sex doll so he can brush up on technique before posting a dating profile online. (Using Ben’s credit card.) The list goes on. All the while, we get flashbacks to staff meetings in heaven, where we are given the distinct impression that Michael is up to something. Something nefarious. After all, the line into hell is getting longer.
I’ll stop there for fear of spoilers. But, I will say I’ve smiled and laughed a lot while reading this. I didn’t know that the devil himself could be such a relatable and likable person, even when he is mucking up everything. (Although, I admit, as an American, I did have to stop to Google “Findus Crispy Pancake” just to figure out what the heck Satan was eating! I’ll save you the trouble and link you to this story about them in the Daily Mail.)
If you’re looking for a fun otherwordly read, check it out! (Clovenhoof not the crispy pancakes!)
Don’t miss any of Scaretober! (And don’t forget: 24/7 Demon Mart: The Graveyard Shift is out soon!)
Scaretober 1: Mark Cain’s Circles in Hell series
Scaretober 2: Mad Monster Party (1967)
Scaretober 3: Rubber, the movie
Scaretober 4: Cold Moon Over Babylon by Michael McDowell