A Dirty Job

[Amazon Link]

Christopher Moore: another author I'm playing catch-up with. This one is © 2006; which puts me ten years behind. It is another wonderful concoction of fantasy, horror, and hilarity; all held together by Moore's wonderful writing.

The odds are against the "hilarity" bit, right from the start. Charlie Asher, the protagonist, is happy about his newborn daughter, Sophie. Unfortunately, his beloved wife, Rachel passes away unexpectedly in the hospital while being visited by a seven-foot tall black man in a mint-green outfit. Who claims that Charlie shouldn't be able to see him.

Never mind, Charlie is bereft. He glumly returns to his job at his second-hand retail store in San Francisco. But (as it turns out) he's been drafted into a new job by supernatural forces: a position he refers to as "Death Merchant". See the title: somebody's gotta do it.

What that job entails is difficult to explain (and the aforementioned supernatural forces do a pretty lousy job of making it clear), but it's a vital function to prevent the Forces of Darkness from taking over the city, and eventually the world. Epic battles ensue, involving Charlie's employees, his daughter, a couple of soap-eating hellhounds, and a 1957 Cadillac El Dorado with "two chrome bumper bullets that looked like unexploded torpedoes or triple-G-cup Madonna death boobs."

A lot of fun. It would make a great R-rated miniseries. Allegedly something's in the works, but like all those decent Heinlein movies "in development", I'll believe it when I see it.