Practical Demonkeeping: A Brief Overview

Practical Demonkeeping is a darkly comical urban fantasy novel written by Christopher Moore. Published in 1992, the book marked the beginning of Moore’s successful writing career. With his unique blend of humor, supernatural elements, and captivating storytelling, Moore brings readers into a world where demons exist, mischief abounds, and the line between good and evil is delightfully blurred.

The Storyline

Set in the fictional town of Pine Cove, California, Practical Demonkeeping introduces us to a quirky and diverse cast of characters caught up in a whirlwind of chaos. The story revolves around the misadventures of Travis O’Hearn, a laid-back and somewhat aimless young man who accidentally becomes the demon caretaker of Catch, a 14th-century demon with an insatiable appetite for destruction.

As Travis desperately tries to find a way to rid himself of Catch, he encounters the eccentric inhabitants of Pine Cove, each with their own secrets and desires. Included in this colorful cast are characters like Roberto, a retired Italian soldier turned chef; Toby, a lonely young woman seeking true love; and Jennifer, a moderately psychic woman with a poodle named Beast.

Accolades and Reviews

Practical Demonkeeping has captured the hearts of readers and critics alike. While it may not have received mainstream literary awards, its cult following has solidified its status as a beloved novel within the urban fantasy genre. Moore’s witty writing style, unique plot, and charming characters have garnered praise from both fans and fellow authors.

Reviewers have highlighted the seamless blend of humor and supernatural elements, creating a captivating and entertaining reading experience. The book’s absurd yet engaging storyline, combined with Moore’s ability to inject genuine heart into his characters, has earned high praise for its balance between light-hearted comedy and darker themes.

Memorable Characters

One of the strengths of Practical Demonkeeping lies in its vivid and memorable characters. While Travis O’Hearn and Catch form the central duo, Moore’s talent lies in creating a compelling ensemble cast that enhances the story’s depth and humor. Here are a few notable characters:

Travis O’Hearn

Travis is a relatable and somewhat reluctant hero tasked with keeping the mischievous demon Catch in check. His laid-back attitude and dry sense of humor make him an endearing protagonist to follow throughout the novel.


Catch is the 14th-century demon who unwittingly becomes Travis’ responsibility. With an insatiable appetite for chaos, Catch’s unpredictable nature and supernatural abilities add a constant element of surprise and danger to the story.


Roberto is a retired Italian soldier who becomes the town’s chef, serving up delicious dishes while closely guarding a dark secret. His gruff exterior hides a heart of gold, making him a beloved character among readers.


Toby is a young woman with a troubled past, seeking love and connection in the small town of Pine Cove. Her journey intertwines with Travis and Catch, leading to unexpected and humorous situations.


Jennifer possesses moderate psychic abilities and shares an amusingly complicated relationship with her poodle, Beast. Her interactions with the other characters often result in comedic moments and unexpected plot twists.


Practical Demonkeeping showcases Christopher Moore’s storytelling prowess, with a clever blend of humor, supernatural elements, and an unforgettable cast of characters. While not a recipient of major literary awards, the novel has received acclaim within the urban fantasy genre and earned a loyal following. With its captivating storyline and distinctive humor, Practical Demonkeeping is a must-read for fans of dark comedy and supernatural fiction.

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