Title: The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death
Author: Charlie Huston
Publisher: Ballantine, January 2009
Summary: Charlie Huston has a reputation for using vulgarity and profanity in his writing. His newest novel will cement that reputation. The dialogue, however, did not offend me because it was true to the characters. I couldn’t imagine them speaking any other way.
Webster Fillmore Goodhue, Web for short, is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and has been slacking off a bit. Once a middle school teacher, he is now living off his best friend Chev. Web is offered and encouraged to accept some part time work with Clean Team. Apparently, the trauma scene and waste cleaning industry is very competitive and the employees of Clean Team have to watch their backs. It doesn’t help that Web gets involved with a beautiful young woman who needs him to “clean up” a mess in a seedy motel room. Web finds himself in all kinds of trouble, and even though his life has been in a downward spiral, he still tries to be a good person and do the right thing.
The descriptions of the trauma scenes are grisly and may be too much for some readers. If you can get over past the language and the gore, this book is really rather amusing.
Who will like this book? Anyone who will admit, even if its just to themselves, that they like inappropriate dialogue and blood and guts.
Recommended by: Sue, Circulation Coordinator