Thursday, April 13, 2006

A Dirty Job

Isn’t this a great cover?

Says ‘death’ and ‘funny’ at the same time, which quite frankly, made it irresistible to me. I’d never read Christopher Moore before, though I’ve since learned he has quite the bizarre backlist of twisted tales. Practical Demonkeeping and Bloodsucking Fiends are next on my to-be-read list, but for now, just let me tell you a little bit about A Dirty Job.

It’s weird. Seriously weird, more than a bit wacky, filled with a cast of strange characters and ‘laugh-out-loud-witty’ dialogue. I have no doubt whatsoever that Christopher Moore smokes some quality stuff, because nobody could come up with plot twists like his if they were thinking straight. Don’t get me wrong, folks – it works. It seriously works.

The general plot is that a mild-mannered guy with a major inferiority complex gets chosen to be the Grim Reaper. (Not the only Grim Reaper, mind you, but one of many.) I won’t go into all the details, but you can see how a situation like this is ripe for some weirdness, and Moore does not disappoint.

I had my doubts about a seven foot tall black man named Minty Fresh (who wears nothing but green), being a believable agent of Death; I had to pause and regroup when the Squirrel People were introduced (reanimated souls in the bodies made from various dead animal parts, dressed in period costumes); and I have to admit to some serious cringing at the repeated use of the term ‘f*ck puppet’ (i.e., the mistresses of wealthy men who exist only for facials, manicures, plastic surgery and well, f*cking). His rather degrading segue about the agent of Death being unable to retrieve one of these ‘puppet’s’ souls after death because it -quite literally- resided in her breast implants, seemed a bit much.

All that aside, I really enjoyed the book, and I admire anybody who can not only laugh at himself but make me laugh, too. Suspension of disbelief is hard to do, but this book was a level above that. I not only wanted to suspend disbelief, I was willing to bungee-jump in it. Every time I came up for air, I plunged right back in.

Wherever my soul resides, I sure hope it won’t be hard to find when the time comes.

Thank God I don’t have breast implants.


Anonymous said...


You almost make me want to read it, but it seems sexually demeaning. I mean, does he have a similarly derogatory term for the men who spend so much money chasing these women? Like "peckerheads" maybe? Maybe the author also has an inferiority complex, and has a lot of trouble getting a date. But your review is good. Good enough to get me riled up about the author. Keep doing them.

Terri said...

>>does he have a similarly derogatory term for the men who spend so much money chasing these women? Like "peckerheads" maybe?<<

LOL! I wondered the same thing, and assumed, like you, that the author had a bit of an inferiority axe to grind when it came to women. In fact, my first thought was 'Been dumped much, Mr. Moore?'

All that aside, it was only a small part of the overall novel. Definitely not your average read, and definitely not for everyone, although it's made the NYT bestseller list three weeks in a row.

Thanks for the comments!