Christopher Moore

Unsettling Chapters: A Dirty Job

OK, we’ve featured some dark selections these first couple weeks of Unsettling Chapters, and even darker territory remains. 

For a breath of fresh air, today we’ll discuss a comedic piece, Christopher Moore’s A Dirty Job. As much a humor writer as a horror writer, Moore (perhaps best known for Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal) penned this 2006 tome in response to the passing of his parents.

The light-hearted result is the tale of Beta Male Charlie Asher, who wakes up one day to find himself a Grim Reaper (we learn that Death relies on independent contractors to keep up with demand).

Hijinks ensue when he must protect his daughter Sophie (who has two hellhounds for pets) from the forces of evil. This is a rib-tickling romp playing off of traditional horror themes, and another fine effort from Moore, whom one might consider the Tom Robbins of the horror realm.

He has a long history of blending horror tropes with hilarity, dating back to his 1992 debut, Practical Demonkeeping. For those who prefer vampires with wit as well as bite, try his trilogy of Bloodsucking Fiends, You Suck and Bite Me: A Love Story.

Parts of this post are adapted from an earlier article of mine, “Thirteen horrifying reads for Halloween,” which appeared in the Boulder Camera in 2008.