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Pest Control Mass Market Paperback – March 1, 1998
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This month's Book With Buzz: "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture - perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. See more
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From Library Journal
Fired from his job with a pest control company in Queens, New York, Bob Dillon starts his own business using his environmentally friendly technique: hybrid killer insects that eat cockroaches. Meanwhile, Marcel, a broker who contracts for assassins, is looking for a reliable newcomer to complete a million-dollar hit. He advertises and Bob responds, neither understanding the nature of the other's "exterminating" business. Very shortly thereafter, ten of the most dangerous hitpersons in the world descend on Queens, which is pretty dangerous itself and more than up to the challenge. Broadly satiric, extremely funny, and tailor-made for film (rights have already been sold to Warner Brothers), this is not exactly demanding reading, but it is fun and likely to be popular. A reasonable purchase for most public libraries.?Edwin B. Burgess, U.S. Army Combined Research Lib., Fort Leavenworth, Va.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
From Kirkus Reviews
A sweetly comic thriller that finally answers the age-old question: What if a sad-sack New York exterminator got his antennae crossed with the professionals who wipe out Homo sapiens? At his wit's (and checkbook's) end after walking off his job killing bugs with lethal cocktails, Bob Dillon schemes at his own unique approach to extermination: breeding predatory strains of insects who'll feast on termites and roaches without developing chemical-resistant new strains of pests or loading the planet with hazardous toxins. It's a plan with all the makings of an American success story, but it spins out of control when Bob's ad falls into the hands of a middleman who brokers assassinations and thinks Bob's sobriquet of ``the Exterminator'' is a veiled reference to his status as a hit man. Getting a faint whiff of the trouble in his future, Bob begs off the lucrative job he's offered. But when the victim is accidentally killed anyway, the middleman, assuming Bob's managed the job with unusual finesse, duly sends him his fee. So far, everything's as innocuous as the endless stream of double-entendres about extermination--except that (1) the UPS package with all that lovely money gets held up en route to Bob; (2) his wife and daughter, impatient with his uncompromisingly idealistic approach to pest control, walk out on him; and (3) the brother and murderer of a Bolivian druglord who wants to cover up his own crime screams that it was the work of the Exterminator and offers a $10 million bounty to whoever kills Bob--attracting all the top exterminators in the field. There's the subtle Chinese knife expert, the glamorous Frenchwoman, the parvenu Cowboy, the transvestite dwarf, and the melancholy, suicidal top man, whose unlikely friendship with his prospective target is the high point of this generally predictable tale. A first novel that's not sharply enough written to offer serious competition to Florida farceurs Hiaasen and Shames, but consistently sunny and good-humored. (Film rights to Warner Brothers) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Top customer reviews
PEST CONTROL finds us in the midst of a painful existence of one Bob Dillon (not to be confused with the Bob Dylan) who has some trouble with bugs after he shoves a garden hose up his boss’s nose. Yes, the man has anger management issues, and he’s probably breathed in his share of toxic fumes (which doesn’t really help his cause). What he lacks in employment, though, he more than makes up for in spirit. Or you could just call it gusto. He hops up on desks and shouts to the heavens and breeds beetles in his spare room and deals with one pissed off landlord on a semi-regular basis.
If that isn’t bad enough, he also has a hit man named Klaus (not to be confused with Santa) breathing down his neck. There’s also a little person who has a penchant for pink panties, which wouldn’t be so bad except the she is a he; a hit woman (after all we’re equal opportunity employers here) with a fondness for shoving white truffles down the gullet of her latest victim; a cowboy with his own rodeo and a fondness for killing; and other nefarious individuals who shall not be named.
If you’re looking for the straight and narrow, you won’t find it here. What you will find are enough strange individuals to fill an entire city block, an over-the-top plot that at times had trouble maintaining believability, dialogue that shuddered, a narrative that might have had a loophole or two in logic and a bit of a jump in time, and pages plastered with dead insects in every possible manner known to the pest community.
If you can believe it, this was even musical material. While I’m not sure I understand that particular angle, I did find myself amused at what took place over the course of this tale. If you have a penchant for half-baked tales that could have been composed on the back of a napkin after you (and possibly the author) surrounded yourselves in a smoke-filled haze, then this story’s for you. Just make sure you wash your hands first and then possibly after.
Author of Falling Immortality: Casey Holden, Private Investigator
Although Bob is quick to realize the miscommunication, it doesn't do him much good as fate seems to want him to advance in this new unchosen profession. And unfortunately for Bob, some competitors aren't too keen with the new guy on the block.
If you want a novel that will make you chuckle often, and laugh out loud several times, you should pick up this book!
The characters are so just that, characters that they create surreal comedic situations rarely seen in Gen X writers.
I read this book on my lunch hour over and over. Once I laughed so hard I had to wipe away tears, bookmark the page, wait minutes until my laughing lapsed. Then I read one more sentence, ONE MORE SENTENCE! and burst into tears once again.
If you are planning on reading this book do. Just sit back, relax and make sure you aren't drinking any hot beverages when you read it.
Most recent customer reviews
In this comic thriller New York City exterminator Bob Dillon loses his job when he refuses to use high concentrations of bug-killing chemicals, fearing...Read more