A Dirty Job
by Christopher Moore
What a strange little book! Charlie is a bit of a neurotic man, a self-declared Beta male, living with his wife in San Francisco. In the opening pages she dies giving birth to their daughter Sophie. What follows is a trippy whirlwind as Charlie discovers he’s been recruited to be a “merchant of death” collecting souls around the San Fran area. The mild-mannered man is completely baffled by both fatherhood and his new “job.”
Moore approaches each novel he writes with a sense of humor. The book is hilarious. He can write about the wildest things because his stories are tongue-in-cheek looks at the genre and the reader is happy to go along for the weird ride. There is definitely adult language and situations (the sewer hags are super creepy), so it’s not for kids, but I couldn’t help laugh out loud a few times.
The book contains some truly great supporting characters, especially Minty Fresh. He’s a 7-foot-tall black man who owns a record store owner. He has an intimidating exterior, but such a sweet personality. I also loved the Hell hounds that appear out of nowhere to protect Sophie. The things they eat are hysterical.
BOTTOM LINE: The book is odd to say the least, but very funny. I’ll definitely keep reading his work whenever I’m in the mood for something smart, funny and weird.
Pair with the TV show Dead Like Me. This dry comedy was about a young woman who dies unexpectedly in the pilot and finds out she’s become a grim reaper. It has the wonderful Mandy Patinkin in it too!