Charlie Asher is a pretty normal guy with a normal life, married to a bright and pretty woman who actually loves him for his normalcy. They’re even about to have their first child. Yes, Charlie’s doing okay—until people start dropping dead around him, and everywhere he goes a dark presence whispers to him from under the streets. Charlie Asher, it seems, has been recruited for a new position: as Death.
It’s a dirty job. But, hey! Somebody’s gotta do it.
—A Dirty Job dustjacket blurb
Welcome back for another entry in the Lazy Lambs Book Club!
If you’ve been reading along and write your own post, use the link-up below or play along in the comments section! We’ll have the link-up open for a week (until July 4) for those who want to link-up a post. Also, leave suggestions you have for the next Christopher Moore Book we should read, too!
True to form, I’m a wee bit lazy and a wee bit late with the post. I finished re-reading the book earlier in the week, but I didn’t manage to get the post finished! Ah well, here goes. 🙂
What do you think of the Alpha Male/Beta Male construction in the book, and how it’s used? (From Hannah)
This is my second time through the book; I read it for the first time just after its 2006 release. And it’s interesting how my opinion has changed since the first time I read it. When I was a 21 year old, the dichotomy didn’t bother me much. It just felt like another element of the humor. But at that point I hadn’t studied as much as I have now, and I had a less developed sense of the alpha/beta male as a false dichotomy.
This time around, the alpha/beta construction chafed me a bit. There were times, especially as the novel continued and Charlie’s character became more developed, that the use of the dichotomy fell flat. But there were also times when I thought it worked to highlight the exact falseness of the alpha/beta construction. The more the novel wears on, the more the things Charlie does contradict what the beta male supposedly does, all while Moore continues to espouse ideas about alphas and betas.
It’s an element that I think could be eliminated from the novel without losing anything, and it would probably improve the novel to do so. But at least there are some moments when the absurdity of the construction is highlighted.
What do you make of the fact that the more unique characters (such as the emperor) are able to see things that most people can’t? (From Allison)
In some ways The Emperor reminds me of Delirium from Sandman. What he says often sounds like nonsense, but it actually has a deeper meaning; and they both have their dog familiars who help. You get the feeling that the Emperor is who he is because of Something He Knows and/or Something He’s Seen, and that it’s all tied into his willingness to accept the things that are happening.
What do you think your soul object would be, and why would it be that particular object? (From me)
It’s definitely one of the pieces of art hanging in our living room. I bought it when I was in London in 2008. A friend and I walked into this small local shop, and I saw this gorgeous, otherwordly painting that I was just drawn to. I already had
plans to acquire a few pieces of art while in London, both as reminders of the trip and because I needed wall art in my new apartment. The shop owner looked a little surprised when I asked about the painting because its frame was a bit damaged. Turns out, it was something her daughter painted. I bought the framed picture, and I wrapped it in my clothes and put it in my suitcase, and I brought it home. It’s been on the wall in every place I’ve lived since, and it always will be.