In a past life as a bookstore ninja, I was told time and again to read Christopher Moore’s books. I liked the covers, they were brightly lit and amusing. I put him aside because I had a million other things to read. But he stayed in the back of my mind. Then I briefly stopped reading because literature in general made me angry. When I picked up on reading recreationally again, I came across this novel during my travels as a used bookstore fiend.
A Dirty Job was my first novel of his, because I bought the ebook on sale. That novel actually ended up inspiring me one of the short stories in my thesis, Electric Angels. It taught me that even if there are rules, and your characters are the only ones who know how it works, make it all work together.
I love the irreverent tone in this novel that is classic Moore. Having soaked up what I could at the TCM Presents the Master of Suspense: 50 Years of Hitchcock class, it’s that these are ordinary, everyday people who are thrown into extraordinary situations. I love the embrace of the absurd that his characters get into. Not once did I feel like they weren’t the same decisions I would make, at least based on the situation at hand. All of his characters feel like people you’d meet at the grocery store (or working the night shift at Safeway, as it were).
I enjoyed the unapologetic world-building. His fantastical world takes place in San Francisco. After attending school there for two years, I definitely could see these types of people traipsing around the City. What’s really fun about his writing style is that he doesn’t hold your hand. If you can’t imagine vampires in San Francisco, then move on, because this story’s chugging along, whether you like it or not.
He throws back to his previous novels quite easily, and that’s mostly because they all tend to take place near each other. He builds on the mythology of weird things like vampires and vampire slayers as easily as anyone I’ve seen.
If you’re into succinct novels that build on previous novels, this will be a quick, fun read. You don’t need to have read the previous novels in the series, because he peppers enough details to keep the story moving. I recommend it.