I don’t know Charlie Huston. This is actually my first book I’ve read by Charlie Huston. So this may be a bold guess on my part, but I think the ideal review in his mind would be “This book was truly awesome.” Take a look at just the title: The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death. Take a glance at a piece of dialog: “And don’t do that, it’ll get infected and your nipple will fall off and the rich, shallow and handsome afterbirth you’re destined to marry will reject you and you’ll end up a crack whore.” What Huston has done here is created a truly awesome book.
We follow horror fan Web Goodhue as he starts his disgusting new job at a crime scene clean-up crew. The mystery begins when the daughter of one of his first “clients” needs someone to clean up a bloody mess. This of course leads down a path of confusion and mayhem, but it’s all worth it because Web is a fun slacker to follow. In fact all of the characters bounce off each other really well. The best example of this is Web and his scholarly father. They have a fantastic conversation about the books they each read and their views on them. The only problem I had with this book was its really annoying writing style. Not in the way he wrote or phrased things, it was how it was literally typed. The dialog isn’t written with quotation marks but with an – mark almost in the margins. I was hoping that I would get used to it as the book went on but it just kept drawing me out of the story, which was way too bad.