A Dirty Job: A Novel

A Dirty Job - Christopher Moore Reading this book is like eating a big rich chocolate cake – that’s attached to the mains supply. It’s tasty and wonderful but you keep getting majorly unpleasant electric shocks that ruin the whole experience. Charlie Asher is a beta male, unassuming, snarky, wildly amusing second hand shop owner in San Francisco. Burdened with an over-active imagination he fumbles merrily through life in an erratic, silly and endearing fashion.And he collects souls. He finds souls from the recently deceased imbued in objects and passes them on to new people to learn and grow. And if he doesn’t then the forces of the underworld will rise up and unleash horror on the world.Or he can drop illegal fireworks on them, or fight them with his ultra-nerdy sword-cane, whatever works :)And if push comes to shove, you’d be amazed what his daughter can do.But something isn’t going right, something’s screwing up – and for once it isn’t Charlie Asher – and the underworld is raising its ugly head above groundI’ve seen books that put mundane people in fantastic abilities and situations, but rarely ones that do it as well as this. The main character feels very real, even though everyone is rather cartoonishly over-done (despite this, there is a strong sense of realism even when the characters are all rather overdone). His constant bemusement and great great silliness comes off as cute, endearing and immensely amusing to me. I can believe Charlie, even when he’s throwing fire works down the drain, threatening people with his stick or rambling away with his ridiculously silly internal monologues.In some ways it does have a cartoonish feel, in the sense that “yes this isn’t realistic, but it’s not that meant to be, roll with it and giggle”. It manages to make all the exaggeration seem not overdone or break the sense of disbelief.And the story is good. The story is compelling and draws you in pretty early. It’s intriguing and is revealed at a decent pace, never so slow that you grow tired of it, and never so fast that you find yourself overwhelmed with unnecessary information. It’s mysterious and original and odd enough to keep you reading just to see what’s going to happen next and where the story’s going (as well as to see what antics the characters get up to). Read More