This novel is about Juliet, a one time author struggling to write her next book. Years before this story begins she had sold some of her books to make...moreThis novel is about Juliet, a one time author struggling to write her next book. Years before this story begins she had sold some of her books to make room on her shelves and make a little extra cash. On the inside of her books, she wrote her name and address. One day she gets a letter from a stranger in another country telling her how much her book had helped him through some hard times in his life. She begins to correspond with this stranger and ultimately learns about a literary society formed by the stranger and some of his neighbors during World War II. Each person within the literary group begins to write to Juliet to tell her of each side of the story. Through this correspondence Juliet discovers a topic for her next book and engages in relationships with each member of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.
I was not interested in this book when it first came out. The name alone is a mouthful and can put anyone off. However, some ladies in a book group in which I am a member raved about this book and piqued my curiosity. I ended up buying it and devouring it within a day or two. This book is different than a “normal” novel. This story is told in the form of letters. There are many different characters and the reader is given a glimpse into each character by each person’s individual and unique writing style, personality, disposition, and attitude.
When I first read the book I closed it and thought it was “okay.” It’s an easy read and was an interesting concept. However, since I turned the last page and enclosed the letters and the individuals within them between the hardbound covers of the book I have not been able to let those characters go. Each one of them leapt out of the book and I have carried them in my heart with me everywhere I have gone since then. They will most likely join me on my future journeys as well.
This book is full of love and loss, hope and despair. Friendships are created and enemies are found. You will laugh, cry, struggle, soar, ache with pain, and fall in love. It is amazing to me how fictional characters can make such an impact on a person’s life. If you want a book that will make you think twice about your life and the people within it, read this book. Be thankful for the people you have today, the friends you lost yesterday, and the loves you will meet tomorrow. No matter how far away they may seem…they are right by your side.(less)
There is one word that sums up Christopher Moore’s Dirty Job: HILARIOUS!
The book begins with the birth of Charlie’s daughter Sophie. Charlie is comple...moreThere is one word that sums up Christopher Moore’s Dirty Job: HILARIOUS!
The book begins with the birth of Charlie’s daughter Sophie. Charlie is completely enamored with his wife and overly protective of his new baby girl. Unfortunately, tragedy strikes when Charlie sees a man wearing a mint green suit standing over his dead wife. The next thing Charlie knows is that he is Death.
Charlie has a difficult time with his new job due to the fact that his “Goth girl” employee, Lily, stole his instruction manual…The Great Big Book of Death. However, Charlie does meet up with other people with his same job (remember the man in the mint green suit?) and he learns what the job entails.
Now every story needs a villain right? Well this book has four of them. The villains live in the sewer system of San Francisco. These “sewer harpies” are ancient war creatures that steal human souls to gain strength. Their ultimate goal is to gain enough strength to allow them to rise Above and take over the world. Charlie and his co-workers are responsible for the downfall of the sewer harpies since the normal, every day citizens of San Francisco are oblivious to their existence. The only being that can truly destroy these villains, however, is the Luminatus, the big Death.
This book is filled with wacky and zany characters. For example: Charlie’s lesbian older sister with a weird affinity for men’s suits and 80’s hairstyles. His ex-cop employee, who cannot turn his head and has an obsession with Asian dating web sites like loveyoulongtime.com. The women who live in Charlie’s building: the Russian who likens everything to a bear, and the Chinese who hopes for the death of Sophie’s pets so she can have a good meal. And let’s not forget Lily, the Goth girl employee who is livid that Charlie got the job of Death over her.
Christopher Moore’s vision of the soul and its passage to the right person is an interesting concept. I will not spoil it for you here…if you want to know what I mean, you have to read the book.
Moore’s writing style is witty and easy to read. He is perverted, funny, and holds nothing sacred. A couple of times I was laughing so hard I was crying and was worried I would wake up Otty. The book had its side of danger as well. The Morrigan (sewer harpies) worked to kill Charlie and almost succeeded at one point. There were attacks on Charlie’s friends and even a kidnapping attempt on his daughter. And what story is complete without the big ending battle? The book also touches on love and death. The death of Charlie’s wife is touching, and his anxiety about having to raise his daughter alone pulls at your heartstrings. Charlie’s job does not give him a reprieve from death either and the death of another family member adds to the gloomy feeling of the book. This book encompasses all emotions. But I don’t want to leave you on a down note…the book was funny! If you are looking for a laugh out loud, humorous novel, this is the one you should pick up!
This will definitely not be the only Christopher Moore book in my library!
Wow! This book took me a long time to read. Although, we did move into a new house and my book was in some box for at least a week, maybe longer…
I ha...moreWow! This book took me a long time to read. Although, we did move into a new house and my book was in some box for at least a week, maybe longer…
I have been wracking my brain for the words to describe this book and to adequately describe its beauty and profundity (especially for those of you who have read the book); unfortunately I am just going to have to write my thoughts either way…
This book was my introduction to Neil Gaiman. I have to say that the writing style was absolutely exquisite. This is probably the first book that I could describe what was happening without having to think about it when asked what part I was at. Gaiman has a way of drawing the reader into his world and not letting go until he is ready.
The book begins with the main character, Shadow, in prison for a crime that is described, piece by piece, throughout the entire book. Shadow is up for parole and released a few days early due to a tragedy that I found to be quite predictable.
On the way home, Shadow meets Mr. Wednesday, who presents Shadow with an offer of employment. At first, Shadow refuses, but ends up conceding to the proposal. The contract between employer and employee is sealed with three glasses of mead and a bar fight.
Shadow, through his link with Mr. Wednesday, finds himself in a plethora of situations he could never have anticipated; some of which being dangerous. The myriad of people Shadow is introduced to are vibrant, wacky, familiar, and strange all at the same time. He also finds himself face to face with a person from his past whom he never thought he would see again.
Gaiman’s concept of the existence of Gods is both unique and thought provoking. Interspersed throughout the story of Shadow and his many adventures with Mr. Wednesday are the details of how each God came to exist in America. These stories are both ancient and beautiful in their magnificence.
The book is a question of faith. An idea that beliefs can shape realities. Worship and obsession have the ability to immortalize. In the end, we all have to face our pasts, witness our beginnings, and welcome our endings. We have to decide where to draw our lines and when to take a stance, no matter how powerful the opposition. It is ourselves we answer to, the power of our beliefs give and take energy and ability from those some people hide from in fear of retribution. Our Gods and our lives are our own making.
To describe the book too thoroughly would rob the reader of the pleasure that is reading Gaiman’s work. So I must leave my review here, though I highly recommend this book be added to the top of the reading list of those of you who have not read it… (less)