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From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Moore has been winningly adulterating horror with comedy for more than a decade, and his last novel, The Stupidest Angel (2004), drew more delighted attention than ever. Big things are anticipated for this book, which trades in Moore's usual small-town setting for glamorous San Francisco, where ridiculously apprehensive brand-new father Charlie Asher runs a secondhand shop. Charlie obsesses that little Sophie won't draw her next breath. Instead, his wife Rachel doesn't, and Charlie blames the seven-foot guy in the mint-green suit whom he intercepts in Rachel's room. Would it were that simple. Charlie eventually learns he has joined a tiny band, to which the tall intruder already belongs, whose members must collect soul vessels--objects in which the souls of the just-deceased are lodged--and keep them until their proper, necessarily soulless, next human receptacles come along. Unfortunately, four hideous demons or deities of death want the soul vessels, too, for sustenance as they prepare to conquer the world. The book unfolds as a struggle between Charlie, who thinks he's supposed to be the new big cheese of death, and the demons. The comedy's in the fine points: of character (the men are all beta males, congenitally shy of confrontation; the women, even little Sophie, brainy eccentrics), of dialogue (lotsa rude sex and fashion jokes), of physical detail (e.g., Charlie favors, of all things, an epicene sword-cane as a weapon). If not quite as funny as some of its predecessors, this showcases Moore's most distinctive gift: maintaining a breakneck pace while seemingly just numbly fumbling along. --Ray Olson Copyright 2006 Booklist


Library Journal
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Have you ever wondered about the beta male's place in history-as opposed to alpha males of course? I haven't. But here comes fantasist/satirist Moore to explain more than we ever suspected about beta masculinity. He does this in the tale of Charlie Asher, a mild-mannered secondhand dealer, who walked in while Death was collecting his wife's soul and then became Death himself-well, Death with a small d, a sort of helper death, responsible for a section of San Francisco. If the idea of Death having a legion of helpers (like Santa with his department store doubles) isn't bizarre enough, there is also a rising of the Forces of Darkness (represented by Macha, Nemain, and Badb, the Morrigans of Irish myth), guardian hellhounds named Alvin and Muhammed, the ever-helpful Squirrel People, and the rebirth of the Luminatus (Death with a capital D). This is Moore's eighth modern fantasy (Practical Demonkeeping, The Stupidest Angel, etc.), and he is superb in this mock epic of death and love. Smart people will be enormously amused. Death-it's a dirty job, but somebody has to do it! Recommended for all public and academic libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 12/05.]-Ken St. Andre, Phoenix P.L. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Library Journal
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Weird things start happening after poor, craven Charlie learns that his wife has died postchildbirth-just moments after he spots a black gent in flashy golf clothes at her bedside. With an eight-city tour. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Cult-hero Moore (The Stupidest Angel) tackles death-make that Death-in his latest wonderful, whacked-out yarn. For beta male Charlie Asher, proprietor of a shop in San Francisco, life and death meet in a maternity ward recovery room where his wife, Rachel, dies shortly after giving birth. Though security cameras catch nothing, Charlie swears he saw an impossibly tall black man in a mint green suit standing beside Rachel as she died. When objects in his store begin glowing, strangers drop dead before him and man-sized ravens start attacking him, Charlie figures something's up. Along comes Minty Fresh-the man in green-to enlighten him: turns out Charlie and Minty are Death Merchants, whose job (outlined in the Great Big Book of Death) is to gather up souls before the Forces of Darkness get to them. While Charlie's employees, Lily the Goth girl and Ray the ex-cop, mind the shop, and two enormous hellhounds babysit, Charlie attends to his dangerous soul-collecting duties, building toward a showdown with Death in a Gold Rush-era ship buried beneath San Francisco's financial district. If it sounds over the top, that's because it is-but Moore's enthusiasm and skill make it convincing, and his affection for the cast of weirdos gives the book an unexpected poignancy. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved