Middle of the week. Belly button day. Look at it, your belly button. Congratulate it. Today is his day. Her day? Its day at any rate. Belly button day. What a grand celebration we’ll have.
There are few authors I love as enthusiastically as Christopher Moore. Few authors I love with as much brio and gusto. Pizzaz, even. His matter of fact approach to incredibly fantastic things like giant lizards, robot whales, and Jesus never fail to make me happy. He’s also one of the few authors whose work I’ve read almost entirely. I’m missing about one or two, but that’s it. I love this guy, seriously.
A Dirty Job was actually my introduction to Christopher Moore. I remember reading it the first time and feeling like I’d discovered pure magic. The book is about Charlie Asher, who loses his wife during the birth of his daughter Sophie and becomes a merchant of death in one fell swoop. A bunch of stuff happens. There’s a tall black guy in a mint colored suit. And a goth girl. And his lesbian sister. And his daughter who could possibly be Death. With a capital D.
I read it years ago and never looked back, as my relationship with this wildly clever man developed. I’ve always meant to read it again, but I hadn’t until now. Mostly because I wanted to read the sequel, Secondhand Souls (which I’ll be talking about tomorrow), and figured a refresher might not be a bad idea. And, let me tell you, it was every bit as amusing and well written as I remembered. I’d forgotten a lot of it, but that only makes it better believe it or not. It’s a weird hybrid experience, where you get the excitement of a new book and the pleasure of reuniting with characters you’re already acquainted with. I love being surprised and finding unexpected things when I read, but that feeling of returning is sweet in its own way.
One of my favorite things about this book is the concept it has of souls. Essentially, not everyone has a soul. When people with souls die, their soul moves into an object they hold dear, which in turn is picked up by a Death Merchant like Charlie. Once the object falls into the right hands, the soul is absorbed into that person. Can you imagine not having a soul? We’re so used to the concept of having one, that the thought of not having one seems completely alien.
It’s an elegant concept I think. Just imagine it though, kind of having to earn your soul, having to become worthy of it. Like they’re waiting for us somewhere, hoping for the day we’re less shitty and they can finally come home. Nice, right?
Until next time, readers!