Book Review: Secondhand Souls by Christopher Moore

Secondhand SoulsSecondhand Souls
Christopher Moore
William Morrow Paperbacks, May 2016
ISBN 978-0-06-177979-4
Trade Paperback

From the publisher—

In San Francisco, the souls of the dead are mysteriously disappearing—and you know that can’t be good—in New York Times bestselling author Christopher Moore’s delightfully funny sequel to A Dirty Job.

Something really strange is happening in the City by the Bay. People are dying, but their souls are not being collected. Someone—or something—is stealing them and no one knows where they are going, or why, but it has something to do with that big orange bridge. Death Merchant Charlie Asher is just as flummoxed as everyone else. He’s trapped in the body of a fourteen-inch-tall “meat puppet” waiting for his Buddhist nun girlfriend, Audrey, to find him a suitable new body to play host.

To get to the bottom of this abomination, a motley crew of heroes will band together: the seven-foot-tall death merchant Minty Fresh; retired policeman turned bookseller Alphonse Rivera; the Emperor of San Francisco and his dogs, Bummer and Lazarus; and Lily, the former Goth girl. Now if only they can get little Sophie to stop babbling about the coming battle for the very soul of humankind . . .

Way back in my bookselling days, I was perusing a catalogue one day when I came across a title that stopped me in my tracks—Island of the Sequined Love Nun. I’ve always been a pushover for eye-catching titles so I did a little rummaging around about this author, Christopher Moore, and found such wonders as Practical DemonkeepingThe Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove and Bloodsucking Fiends. I was sold and I hadn’t even read any of these books so I ordered for our shelves everything Moore had written up to that point and never stopped till the day we closed the shop. This author some might call crazy or just plain nuts turned out to be one of our bestsellers for his new titles and his backlist and I was right in there with our customers, devouring everything. One of his titles—Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal—still holds a place in my top 5 favorite books 14 years after it came out.

Now, the thing about Christopher Moore’s books is I find them nearly impossible to review, at least in the normal way. How do you get across the pure joy of reading about a guy who becomes a soul collector because, if somebody doesn’t do it, the really bad guys will take over the world? Or that said soul collector is now himself dead but his own soul is trapped in a 14-inch high makeshift lunchmeat doll of sorts while his Buddhist nun girlfriend tries to figure out how to get him in a real body? For that matter, how to explain a 7-year-old who’s guarded by a pair of hellhounds named Alvin and Mohammed while she claims to have dominion over the Underworld?

The fact is I can’t do it all justice so I’ll just say this….I never read these books in public because I can’t help snorting out loud, sometimes bringing myself to tears of glee. ‘Nuff said 😉 If you haven’t read anything by Christopher Moore and you have a weird, snarky sense of humor, get yourself to a bookstore right now and start anywhere. As for Secondhand Souls, you’ll enjoy it even if you haven’t read the first book, A Dirty Job, but I suggest you start with the first one and then go right into the second. You won’t be sorry either way!

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, May 2016.



Purchase Links:

Barnes & Noble // Amazon // Indiebound // HarperCollins


About the Author

Christopher MooreChristopher Moore is the author of fourteen previous novels, including Lamb, The Stupidest Angel, Fool, Sacré Bleu, A Dirty Job, and The Serpent of Venice.

Find out more about Christopher at his website, connect with him on Facebook, and follow him on Twitter.

Secondhand Souls isn’t a book you savor. …This is a binge-reading book, a crazy, fast-paced trip that leaves you satisfied, a little sleepy, and ready for the next installment. I mean, I can’t wait to see what happens when Death goes through puberty.” (Dallas Morning News)


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