Monday, August 23, 2010
Christopher Moore - A Dirty Job
I finished this over the weekend and was so happy with it. This was the first book I have read that made me smile even though it is not your typical happy ending, everything is just fine-and-dandy type book. Though that is not saying this book was depressing. It is dark and yet finds a way for you to not feel sad, instead you laugh and cheer for the strangest of reasons.
The book starts off with our lead character, Charlie Asher, who we find out soon enough has very ridiculous, irrational fears. He is a Beta Male so it is obviously encoded in his DNA. He is scared his brand new, straight out the womb daughter, Sophie, is a shiksa (with horns and a tail). He is harassing his wife, Rachel, about it and she threatens to have him thrown out by security. Nonetheless, it starts of very sweet and relatively normal beginning. This is where the normalcy takes a skydive and falls into nonexistence.
A little while later, Charlie comes back into the hospital room to check on his wife again and he sees a very tall black man dressed in bright green next to his wife's bed. The man, who we find out is named Minty Fresh (seriously, how can you not like that) and he can't believe Charlie can see him. Charlie panics and is very pissed. The man mysteriously does not show up on cameras and he took his wife's Sarah Mclachlan CD.
So he is devastated and doesn't understand the "murder" of his wife. So while he is struggling with being a widower and a new father. He spins finds out he is to become something else, Death. Well, a Death, not THE Death. Since he saw Minty, he finds out that his new job is picking up souls from people through certain inanimate objects. These objects glow red when he knows they need to be collected. He finds out that when he doesn't, they get picked up by what he calls the sewer harpies. They are big, black, scary ravens that when they get these objects, their powers grow and of they get too powerful, they will pretty much destroy the world, starting with good old San Francisco.
So Charlie also finds out that talking to another Death Merchant can bring along these sewer harpies. But he needs to talk to someone about it and the only person that knows is his employee, Lily who is a quick mouth, goth chick with no care in the world. She accidentally gets Charlie's Great Big Book of Death before him and she thought she was death (I mean it was only fitting). But she was not and she knows his secret. Which is good compared to those he has to bide from.
This book is full of misunderstandings, mixed identities, and misfortunes. Being a guy who owns a family run thrift store who just got a daughter and lost his wife to then find out he is the bringer of death definitely takes its toll. Some of the objects he collects are quick and simple (since he can go unnoticed), but others were suspicious or just downright hilarious. Example, the object (well objects) he had to collect was a fuck puppets breast implants. She noticed him noticing her big glowing assets and that is where even more trouble ensues.
He then comes across names in his "death planner" and he can't find them. Until he come across Aubrey and finds out his form of soul swapping isn't the only thing out there. Together and along with her special friends, they try to take out the trio of darkness and their leader.
This is a great book. It is not your conventional, heroic book, not your typical book on parenting and not your typical book on love and life. Yet, these are the reasons to read this book. The characters are amazing and each of them bring different levels of smiles and laughs. This is my first Christopher Moore book, but I am aware that some of the characters are in other works by Moore and I would love to read more about them. Read this book, it is funny as hell and full of fantastic twists.