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Again, I'm reviewing two books, but there's a reason these two are linked. Kind of. I've been meaning to read Bill Fitzhugh's Pest Control for ages, but just hadn't. I needed something light to read so I picked it up. What a complete and total hoot!
Bob Dillon is fed up with his job as an exterminator. He hates using poisons; they're environmentally unfriendly and the bugs are becoming resistant. And so he quits, even though he doesn't have his eco-friendly "assassin bugs" ready yet, and he and his wife are barely making ends meet as it is. But he's optimistic, and Mary's supportive, right up until he breaks a promise to her. But he really is trying to find a job, so he answers an ad in the paper, but the ad turns out to be code. The "exterminator" being advertised for is really a contract killer. Thus begins a series of wacky and action-packed events that will put Bob in contact with all manner of people he had no idea he'd ever meet, all while trying to figure out which of his hybrid "assassin bugs" will best control New York City's pest problem.
I know, with absolute certainty, I didn't get all the Bob Dylan references, but I got quite a few. Pest Control is punny and hysterical and incredibly well written. If you're looking for huge fun and lots of laughs, this is the book. Which leads me to my second review. See, I'm wickedly, horribly, astonishingly entomophobic. Seriously. I need therapy. I've been paralyzed by crickets. Charlotte's Web gave me nightmares. I can't stand bugs.--Fran
Bob Dillon can't get a break. A down-on-his-luck exterminator, all he wants is his own truck with a big fiberglass bug on top -- and success with his radical new, environmentally friendly pest-killing technique. So Bob decides to advertise.
Unfortunately, one of his flyers falls into the wrong hands. Marcel, a shady Frenchman, needs an assassin to handle a million-dollar hit, and he figures that Bob Dillon is his man. Through no fault -- or participation -- of his own, this unwitting pest controller from Queens has become a major player in the dangerous world of contract murder.
And now Bob's running for his life through the wormiest sections of the Big Apple -- one step ahead of a Bolivian executioner, a homicidal transvestite dwarf, meatheaded CIA agents, cabbies packing serious heat ... and the world's number-one hit man, who might just turn out to be the best friend Bob's got.
About the Author
Bill Fitzhugh is the award-winning author of eight satiric crime novels. The New York Times called him "a strange and deadly amalgam of screenwriter and comic novelist. His facility and wit, and his taste for the perverse, put him in a league with Carl Hiaasen and Elmore Leonard." Fitzhugh's debut novel, Pest Control, was one of Amazon's Top 50 mysteries in 1997; it has been translated into half a dozen languages, produced as a stage musical, and a German radio show. Warner Brothers owns the film rights. Since 2005, Fitzhugh has also written, produced, and hosted "Fitzhugh's All Hand Mixed Vinyl" on Sirius-XM Satellite Radio's Deep Tracks channel. He is one of only three outside hosts on Deep Tracks. The other two are Tom Petty and Bob Dylan.
Praise for Pest Control: An Assassin Bug Thriller…
“...this is one roach motel you’ll gladly check into.” (Time Out New York )
“A sweetly comic thriller...consistently sunny and good-humored.” (Kirkus Reviews )
“This debut novel...hinges on a delightfully buggy idea that takes full comic advantage of New York City.” (Publishers Weekly )
“...a clever and satisfying debut...offbeat, engaging, and very funny reading, it is wholly successful.” (Washington Post )
“This debut novel is...goofy but great fun.” (Dallas Morning News )
“Stingingly Funny.” (Poeple )
“PEST CONTROL is an eccentrically comic take on the high-tech thriller...[it is a] strange and funny...curiously appealing little novel of intrigue” (National Public Radio - All Things Considered )
“A very funny and interesting book...give it to someone who needs a good laugh.” (San Antonio Express-News )
“Pest Control is uber-contemporary, a hilarious, running-in-circles blend of droll farce and warped humor.” (Austin American-Statesman )
“[Pest Control is]...hilarious [and] wonderful...Fitzhugh is a funny man and Pest Control is a funny book.” (Elle )