Click here to read reviewer Steven Rosen's first take on A Dirty Job.
Moore's ninth novel deals about death - and it is some of the funniest bunches of words ever assembled between the same front and back cover. He is an absurdist, a satiricist, a sharp-witted author who puts us in the middle of a literary battle with demons and fiends and harpies and Mr. D. himself.
Charlie Asher (a Charlie Brownish type) is a happy man, the owner of a second-hand store in San Francisco who runs into some pretty terrible situations. This happiness is tested when his new wife, Rachel, dies immediately after giving birth to daughter Sophie, and his life is turned around. He is thrust into a world where he must retrieve souls, fight against dark forces, and still raise his baby daughter.
Moore is astonishing in his ability to conjure evil on the page. We see it, we hear it, we smell it. The author formulates his alpha-male/beta-male profile in the opening pages - the leader/follower syndrome - and immediately we know our unsuspecting Asher (the very picture of beta-ness) is going to be tossed into some very alpha-demanding situations.
Moore's minions will recognize some characters here as appearing in earlier novels. Minty Fresh was first introduced in Coyote Blue, and Jody, the 'Emperor' (and his two 'soldiers, Bummer and Lazarus) and the detectives Nick Cavuto and Alphonse Rivera were born in Bloodsucking Fiends.
The book won the 2006 Quill Award and producer Chris Columbus (The Goonies, et al) acquired film rights in August of last year.
A Dirty Job is so lethally inspired that it makes you forget the book's predecessor. The Stupidest Angel missed on all levels - story, character - and for a brief moment a ripple of terror must have been running through Moore's steadfast fans. But he came back with, arguably, his most assured work since Lamb.