Death is always a tender topic that is, unfortunately, the inevitable outcome for every human. Many people fear death and it is terrifying to wonder how one is going to die; however, if one is shown death from a positive point of view, then perhaps people will be less afraid. Stories such as Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride or Guillermo del Toro’s The Book of Life show death in a colorful and rather lively light and writer Christopher Moore achieves a very similar feat with his story A Dirty Job.
Charlie Asher is an all-around pretty normal man: owner of a secondhand shop in San Francisco, Beta Male, married to the love of his life, and expecting his first daughter. Yet that normalcy evaporates as soon as his daughter, Sophie, is born. His wife dies after giving birth and a strange man no one but Charlie can see appears in her hospital room. Afterwards, people begin to drop dead around him and voices whisper up to him from the sewers. Charlie discovers he has been given a new job and a rather dirty one at that: being Death.
A Dirty Job is an excellent addition to the ever-growing library by the talented Christopher Moore. Its dark, hilarious, unpredictable, and well-executed plot will catch the attention of his fans while also serving as an excellent introduction to any readers unfamiliar with Moore’s work. What makes Moore’s story so enjoyable is the fact that it is so realistic. From how his characters act to what the world could be like if grim reapers really did walk the Earth, all of his details are executed very well. It makes his story one that can be read and enjoyed only once or over and over again.
Each of Moore’s characters has his or her own unique personality and readers will find themselves growing attached to certain ones; however, the main character, Charlie, is a very special character every reader will like. He is not the normal hero readers would expect: he is a realistic, normal, everyday man that any man, or even woman, could relate to. Paranoid of everything, unsure of himself, and using humor to cope with stressful situations are but a few of Charlie’s traits and traits many people will find in themselves nowadays.
Along with the characters, the story itself is very entertaining. Moore’s randomness is on par with Douglas Adams’ stories, which makes the story unpredictable and enjoyable with every turn of the page. Elements of randomness range from killing someone by uttering the word “kitty” to describing every trait a beta male possesses to human souls being housed in everyday items to so much more. And the amount of detail Moore uses paints a very vivid picture within the readers’ minds. However, even with the amount of detail, there could have been more to the ending of the story. It seems a bit rushed and it feels as if there could have been more.
A Dirty Job provides much entertainment for fans of Moore’s work or for those first being introduced to the writer. It is a story unlike any readers have ever read, containing an unlikely hero, non-stop humor, and unpredictability with every turn of the page. Focusing on a rather tender topic, Moore writes about death in a more positive light like well-known writers Tim Burton and Guillermo del Toro. This style will reach out to a large audience and entertain any reader who picks it up. Even if readers are not fond of the seemingly rushed ending, they will be happy to know that Moore created the sequel, Secondhand Souls, to carry on the story of Charlie and his young daughter, Sophie.