Sunday, September 12, 2010

Book Meme 6


Day 06 - Favorite book of your favorite series OR your favorite book of all time

A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore--It’s not a series but he so often uses the same characters that I’m considering it a legitimate cheat…

Christopher Moore’s greatest talent is combining over the top imagination with heart. A Dirty Job is about young widower, single father and second hand goods shop owner Charlie Asher, a regular guy who becomes Death. Along with Minty Fresh, a big black man who wears light green suits and should be played by Will Smith if this is ever made into a movie, who helps Charlie settle into his new part time job as a collector of souls.

This isn’t the craziest plot Moore has come up with but I picked it as my favorite because it has the most warmth for and among its characters. I read it when it came out a few years ago, so please forgive my non-memory for names… First, there’s his daughter, who everyone loves, including two old ladies in his apartment house who vie for the honor of babysitting. Then there are the hell hounds, sent as guardians for the daughter when Charlie is off on assignment. The Emperor of San Francisco, a homeless man with two sweet dogs, who has made appearances in many of Moore’s books, I think mainly the vampire stories. Everyone loves the Emperor and his “men”.

The subject of death is approached from many different angles in this book--funny, angry, tender. Charlie is an Everyman, struggling to understand (the Great Big Book of Death, which would explain his mission, has been cadged by his shop employee, Goth Girl) and appreciate his new job, while trying to keep his precious daughter safe and sane. In true Moore fashion, it’s never as simple as it seems and Charlie finds himself defending the city against demons and harpies who’ve taken a Gold Rush-era ship buried under the streets of San Francisco as their HQ.

If you’ve never read Christopher Moore, this might be a good one to start with, since it’s got the best of him in one big volume (but I’m hoping for more of Charlie and his daughter). Warning, though. Moore gives nothing and no one a pass--if you are easily offended by sex, religion, race, gender or nationality jokes or really really crazy bad language, his books may not be for you. But if you want a laugh out loud funny (seriously, sometimes I embarrass myself in public reading Moore) while your heart is breaking literary experience, run do not walk to the nearest Christopher Moore bookshelf!

PS--I think I'm going to repeat this meme for movies and maybe even TV...

C’est la vie!

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