Pest Control Mass Market Paperback – Mar 1 1998
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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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
But Bob has a dream, an all-natural pest control method. In Bob's "bug lab" of sorts, he breeds Assassin Bugs. These bugs are natural killers, bred to kill the common household cockroaches. In his desperate state, he answers an ad in the newspaper asking for an "exterminator" to make 50,000 a weekend. A few days later, he gets a response, and the true nature of this ad is revealed. They are looking for a hired assassin, not a person looking for bug extermination.
Pest Control is a humorous book and a light read. It incorporates a good storyline and a little education too. Along with the usual story come occasional detailed descriptions of specific species of bugs that are being used. This adds an extra dimension to the novel depending on your personal point of view. Unfortunately with this fortune comes some folly. These descriptions can become boring and an unwanted interruption to the flow of the story. Nearing the middle of the book I began to just read through these descriptions.
These descriptions were not the only flaw this book contains. Multiple stories come together eventually, but not until the near end of the book. The changing of the storylines seems random and just strikes a sour note to me.Read more ›
While under the influence, Bob runs across an ad in the paper saying, "exterminator wanted". Being out of a job, he thought freelance might help until his natural methods are perfected. Little did Bob know, but this job would need a rifle, not a spray wand. After the coincidental death of the target he was hired for, half the world wants him dead. With 10 million dollars on his head, and bullets whizzing past him, Bob is struggling to pay his rent and stay alive.
Fitzhugh writes a fast paced novel that keeps the reader in limbo of hysterics and even more hysterics. It's an excellent read, but it does have some flaws because nothing is perfect. He mentions different sorts of insects throughout the book and then goes into extreme detail about the species. Not being a person that is too fond of the little buggers, I usually just skipped these portions, as they would have made me yawn. Looking past this flaw, I can't find anything else I can complain about. All in all a great story with some very likeable characters and a plot that makes the reader not want to put the book down.
The action is not organized around any particular point. Eccentric villains (a cross-dressing dwarf, a Cowboy, a "Nigerian") are introduced simply so they can be killed. Fitzhugh often describes the characters' motivation instead of doing the heavy lifting and actually writing scenes that illustrate that motivation.
I know the book is intended to be humorous, but it falls flat on so many levels, and has several plot holes (c'mon, is CNN REALLY going to announce a South American drug lord's call for revenge on TV?). Numerous references to songs and movies show that Fitzhugh would rather be directing movies than writing novels, a problem that afflicts many writers these days.
Most recent customer reviews
This is a very funny book, in my opinion the best of Fitzhugh's work that I have read so far. The Organ Grinders is also worth reading although I did not have quite as much fun... Read morePublished on May 13 2004 by Bernie Cullen
This is a great book with many similarities (intentional?) to Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors. It is a story of how one man, who is down on his luck strikes out on his own to begin... Read morePublished on April 18 2004 by Chris Frost
i thought this was the best book i have ever read.It is really funny.Any one who thinks it isnt dosent have even the slightest bit of a sense of humor.Published on March 31 2004
Pest Control is a well written, fun adventure of Bob Dillon. Bob is an exterminator who is looking for work, after quitting his job to follow his dream of an all natural pest... Read morePublished on March 9 2004 by C. A Scovel
Being ridiculous or crude is not the same as being funny.
I didn't care if any of the characters lived or died. Read more
Loved it. Laughed myself silly. A fun, twisted plot with awsome charecters. A must read!Published on April 17 2003 by Aaron Lindsey
I enjoyed this book. I especially liked the cover art ... I always liked stories about the ordinary person being put in an extraordinary situation. Read morePublished on April 15 2003 by Wayne Hom
This is a fun book, well written and enjoyable. The first by an author who is improving and gaining in many ways, it is a smart addition to any collection.Published on Jan. 11 2003 by Larry A. Hollar