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A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore
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Oct 02, 10

bookshelves: armageddon, bizarro, doing-the-dishes, humorous, urban-fantasy
Recommended to Brad by: Gio Schipani
Read from September 24 to October 01, 2010, read count: 1

WARNING: If you're a Spurs fan you can sod off. If you are simply someone who knows nothing about football and Arsenal the analogy that follows will likely be meaningless, but you're invited to read on anyway.

Have you ever seen Emmanuel Eboué play football? He's a wonder to behold.

He is a right back turned right midfielder turned right back turned utility man. He has a reputation for diving, but he's constantly fouled by opposition players. His finishing is for shit, but he still scores the occasional goal, and he gets himself into scoring position on a fairly consistent basis. He is crap in the air but is surprisingly effective at throwing off his opposition when they're going for a ball. He tackles well, tracks back constantly, but gets himself out of position because he pushes too far forward. Little he does makes sense, yet he's effective, and when Arsenal need a spark he is there to provide it. He is hated by the opposition, whomever they may be, loathed by referees, loved by his teammates and a little bit of both by his Gunner fans (he was booed off the pitch two seasons ago and has since become a folk hero). He's like a Jackson Pollack canvas on the football pitch, and I can't help digging him.

And I couldn't get Eboué out of my head when I was reading A Dirty Job by Chris Moore. There are few books that are so all over the place. It spans almost a decade; some years are covered in detail, others are covered in two paragraphs, and some days take up a third of the book -- time is nearly meaningless. Shit (both literal and figurative) comes out of nowhere on a regular basis (costumed-two-foot-bone-weapon toting-soul-beasts anyone?), sex smacks us upside the loins, full out comedy displaces horror only to be displaced by action only to be displaced by love only to be displaced by sacrifice. Spirituality plays alongside hedonism. Poo jokes abound while red-glowing-soul-vessels burn their need, and Death Merchants "sell" their collected souls to their ineluctably correct patrons.

It is bizarre, even pseudo-bizarro, wacky, stupid, sexy, sickening, entertaining and oddly compelling. More than a bit like a Saturday afternoon watching Emmanuel Eboué baffle and beguile in Arsenal red & white.

I stayed away from Christopher Moore because his covers were too catchy and cool, but not anymore. Biff is next. Thanks, Gio.
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Reading Progress

09/24/2010 page 30
8.0% "Gio sent me her copy and I'm finally reading it. Fun so far."
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Chip (new)

Chip When you've read some more of his books pls let me know if worthwhile. After seeing Moore's books expanding to a full shelf at my bookstore, and greedily eyeing another, I decided to try Biff - initially thought it was quirky and amusing (reminded me somewhat of Brookmyre, although his genre is the mystery/thriller) but the whole "I'm Biff, Jesus's best pal, and I like beer n pizza" concept just didn't have enough legs for me to last the whole book - and there wasn't anything more to it. Reminded me a little of Prachett's earlier Discworld novels - quirky and funny, but if they hadn't significant developed and matured beyond his simple silliness I never would have read more of them than I could count on one hand. Sounds like you may be seeing more to his books than I took from Biff though - let me know if I should give em another try.


Brad I think I may avoid Biff for the time being then, Chip. I'll take a look around and see what other ones look good then get back to you. Interesting connection to Pratchett. I'll keep that in mind the next time I'm reading one of Moore's.


message 3: by Chip (new)

Chip I will say that I liked the beginning and then the end of it - problem was that much of the later part of the book (up until the ending) just kept hammering me over the head with the "Biff, boyhood Huck Finnish friend of young Jesus" bit, which I had fully gotten by that point, without adding much else.


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