Charlie Asher is a typical Beta Male who has the misfortune of losing his wife while giving birth to their daughter, Sophie. On the same day, Charlie sees a big tall black man in a mint green suit that no one else can see. Ta-da! Charlie just became a Death Merchant. Now he has to rescue souls in the form of objects from the Forces of Darkness and pass them on to their new owners, all while trying to keep his daughter safe (with the help of two hellhounds, of course). It’s “a dirty job” but someone’s got to do it!
So that’s basically the premise behind this awesome kick-ass book. For reals, I little-numerical-heart Christopher Moore. He’s hysterical. This book was a re-read for me – I read it years ago and a lot of it just stuck with me. There are some really memorable characters – the big tall mint-green-suit black man, for one. Sophie is adorable and a little creepy. Lily, one of Charlie’s employees at his second-hand store, is goth and funny and snarky. And Charlie… poor Charlie. The book goes into a lot of depth about the Beta Male psyche and it’s just too funny to watch Charlie bumble about and try to do his best to stop the Underworld from coming topside in San Francisco.
Also, there are creepy little squirrel creatures in ball gowns. Can’t beat that.
So, this book is funny and intriguing and it’s awesome that Moore can write a book about Death and what happens to souls when people die, but totally make it work with his special brand of dark, twisted humor. Plus, there are a TON of funny quotes that make me giggle just thinking about them. For example:
“…the Beta Male gene has survived not by meeting and overcoming adversity, but by anticipating and avoiding it. That is, when the Alpha Males were out charging after mastadons, the Beta Males could imagine in advance that attacking what was essentially an angry, wooly bulldozer with a pointy stick might be a losing proposition, so they hung back at camp to console the grieving widows.”
Hilariousness. This book was definitely worth the re-read, and is probably one of my favorite Moore books. And I’ll probably re-read it again in another couple years 🙂
Sarah Says: 4 stars