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A Dirty Job

by Christopher Moore

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A Dirty Job
It's all spectacularly funny and yet there's a beating heart to Moore's tale of dying and rejuvenation. Charlie's interactions with the dying, antics aside, reflect its author's genuine warmth for his fellow man. When Charlie visits a woman dying of liver cancer, his reassurances that it's not her fault are touching. When his mother is dying, her final playful moments are sweet and poignantly true, as her hospice nurse explains:

It happens again and again. I've seen people come out of a coma and sing their favorite songs and all I can tell you is to enjoy it. People see the light come back into eyes that have been dull for months, and they start to place hope on it. It's not a sign of getting well, it's an opportunity to say goodbye. It's a gift.

His posse includes a cynical police detective, a mysterious seamstress armed with missing chapters from the Tibetan Book of the Dead, and even the famous Emperor of San Francisco, last seen in Bloodsucking Fiends. Unusually for Moore's madcap novels, there's plenty of action. From Charlie's side-splitting raids on the homes of the dearly departed to his shootout in the streets of San Francisco with his bitchy underworld nemesis, A Dirty Job never fails to entertain.
While it's not a dramatic turn from Moore's otherworldly adventures, it has all the elements that have deservedly made him a cult hero including fantastic creatures, whip-smart dialogue worthy of the Marx Brothers and a flawed but deeply likeable hero who reflects the wonderful imperfections in all of us. A Dirty Job sets itself apart from the everyday novel with its compelling story, rooted in its author's affection for people and brimming with Moore's wicked humor.

There aren't many jobs worth taking but this is one of them. After all, time is against us.

And somebody has to do it.
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