The Dog Doesn’t Die

Book reviews & random thoughts

Does the Dog Die? A Brief Review of A Dirty Job, by Christopher Moore

Let me start by saying that I love, love, love Christopher Moore. Some of my friends find his writing a bit over the top, but I think he’s great! So needless to say, I enjoyed A Dirty Job immensely. And it is Mostly Safe for animal lovers. Moore’s absurdist style makes it hard to take the occasional cartoonish violence very seriously, though some of his books have a message. Fluke, for example, is about the need to protect marine life, and in Coyote Blue, Moore advocates for Indigenous Peoples’ rights more effectively than any article or white paper I’ve ever encountered. (And given the nature of my job, I encounter a lot of that stuff!)

A Dirty Job is about death and our inability to deal with it. Making that funny is quite a trick. The book starts off with a human death, and it’s rather sad, actually. Most of the remaining casualties are pretty comic, but not that first one. Anyway, in terms of animals, Bummer and Lazarus are dogs loyal to The Emperor of San Francisco (just trust me on this), and one of them is rewarded for intrepidity towards the end of the book. However, another character has trouble keeping pets alive for a while, given certain powers that take a while to sort out. Those pets aren’t really given much discussion, and they are briefly mourned. Then the hellhounds show up. The hellhounds are indestructable and the epitome of canine loyalty. They’ll eat anything. As one character says “Okay, you’re hellish beasts from another dimension, and you like toast.” A named pet dies in the middle of the book, but we don’t learn much about him and, in typical Moore fashion, he is briefly mourned. Past that, I can’t say too much, except that the dogs are prominent among the good guys.

I highly recommend this book.


April 24, 2008 - Posted by | Book Reviews, humor, pets | , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. I read this book and loved it. Christopher Moore’s books are a bit quirky!

    Comment by Sharon | April 30, 2008 | Reply

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