It’s difficult to classify Christopher Moore’s novels. From monstrous lizards that exude pheromones to lovesick vampires to a Kung Fu learning Jesus, he’s given us some pretty incongruous situations. As silly as they sound, they work. When you read Moore’s novels, you smile all the way to the end –even when the situation is poignant– and you laugh out loud more than once.
With A Dirty Job, Moore doesn’t disappoint. The story starts with a death and ends with a death, but that’s as it should be since the entire book is about Death with a capital D. Charlie Asher, a typical Beta Male and proprietor of a junk shop discovers that, upon the birth of his daughter and the death of his wife, he has become one of the Death Merchants –those responsible to pick up people’s soul vessels before they die so they can pass them on to their new rightful owners.
But Charlie has competition for those souls. The Lord of the Underworld, assisted by the Morrigan (otherwise known as the sewer harpies) needs those soul vessels to return Above and rule the world. Here follows a series of whacky, incredibly funny battles between the forces of (mostly) good and evil. Add to the mix an ex-cop with fused vertebrae who thinks everyone is a serial killer, a goth obsessed teenage girl who thought she should have been Death, fourteen inch fashionably dressed golems made out of stuffed squirrels, and two hellhounds to guard Charlie’s daughter, and you have a typical Moore recipe for the absurd.
A Dirty Job is, in my opinion, the best Moore book to date. He writes with skill and imagination, and he obviously loves his weird characters, which results in a wonderful, engaging reading experience.
If you’re in the mood for a fantastic romp through the absurb, A Dirty Job is for you. Or any other Moore book, for that matter.