Saturday, April 01, 2006

A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore

For those of you that have read any other Christopher Moore books, you know just how wacky this author is. A Dirty Job is no different. The story takes place in San Francisco right after the wife of the main character, Charlie Asher, dies due to complications after child birth. Charlie is what is known as a beta male which is described early in the book:
"While Alpha Males are often gifted with superior physical attributes-size, strength, speed, good looks-selected by evolution over the eons by the strongest surviving and, essentially, getting all the girls, the Beta Male gene has survived not by meeting and overcoming adversity, but by anticipating and avoiding it. That is, when the Alpha was out charging after mastodons, the Beta Males could imagine in advance that attacking what was essentially an angry, woolly bulldozer with a pointy stick might be a losing proposition, so they hung back at camp to console the grieving widows. When Alpha Males set out to conquer neighboring tribes, to count coups and take heads, Beta Males could see in advance that in the event of a victory, the influx of female slaves was going to leave a surplus of mateless women cast out for younger trophy models, with nothing to do but salt down the heads and file the uncounted coups, and some would find solace in the arms of any Beta Male smart enough to survive. In the case of defeat, well, there was widows thing again. The Beta Male is seldom the strongest or the fastest, but because he can anticipate danger, he far outnumbers his Alpha Male compitition. The world is led by Alpha Males, but the machinery of the world turns on the bearings of the Beta Male."
Characters named Minty Fresh, who is a 7 foot tall skinny black man who wears a mint green suit (the name came before the clothes) and two huge dogs known as hellhounds fill the pages of this fantastically weird book that explores what happens after we die.

This was a quick read that had me laughing out loud, which in turn had fellow CTA riders giving me a strange looks. I'll leave you with a last quote that truly exibits the weirdness that is Moore's mind.
"Lazarus, normally tolerant of all noncookie creatures great and small, growled at the squirrel, who appeared to have the feet of a chicken sticking out from under her skirt, which-you know-was weird."


lisa said...

I love the book reviews and cannot wait until I graduate and have time to read Moore's latest.

LeahC said...

I think you'll love it. very weird and very funny! as usual with him.