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A Dirty Job (2006)

by Christopher Moore

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Grim Reaper {Moore} (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6,0362501,157 (4.02)114
Charlie Asher, a neurotic and anxious hypochondriac who hates change, confronts the challenges of being a widower and a single parent when his wife dies of a freak medical condition on the day his new daughter, Sophie, is born.

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» See also 114 mentions

English (238)  German (5)  Spanish (2)  Italian (2)  All languages (247)
Showing 1-5 of 238 (next | show all)
Great read! Hilarious, weird, just the kind of offbeat humor I didn't know I was looking for. As for this title, without spoiling I'll just say: don't miss the sequel! ( )
  Nakeeya | Jun 29, 2020 |
Heard lots of good things in general, and this book in particular, along with the Jesus-parable one. Took a stab at this one, and dragged myself through the first few chapters. Got as far as the wife's wake, I believe. I detected the humor, but couldn't find it funny. Jokes fell into one of 2 categories for me: a) amusing but not enough to get even a mental chuckle, or b) disgustingly sexist.

Beta male, really? His sister ordering him to do something and calling him bitch (sincerely, not tongue-in-cheek! They had long since established which of the two of them was alpha, of course) in the process. Yuck yuck yuck. Was it supposed to be satirical? Excessive character pigeonholing as hyperbolic comedy? Or did the author consider that actual characterization for a comedic figure?

Anyway, tl;dr - not funny enough when it wasn't being disgusting. Reliable book nerd advised me away from the rest based on that. No longer on the "on hold," shelf, book: DNF forever.
  elam11 | May 30, 2020 |
I loved this book until the last 10 or 15 pages. Moore's writing is hilarious and dark, and I thought the characters were the right amount of sass and emotion. I also think Moore did a great job moving the time frame along - I appreciated that the story was spread out over six years rather than all taking place in one short time period. My biggest complaint is the end - it wrapped up too quickly and plainly for my taste, and I was hoping for something a little more interesting. Overall, definitely a fun read. ( )
  bookishtexpat | May 21, 2020 |
Dnf 85%.
Main character is annoying, no emotional connections to the characters whatsoever. Scene in the alley (after massage) made me cry-laugh but not in a good way, it was so bad that I wanted to wash my ears with soap (read via audiobook).
If I could describe book in one word it would be "yuck". ( )
  Alevis | May 17, 2020 |
By far one of the funniest and most bizarre books I've read. ( )
  lvdark | Apr 29, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 238 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Christopher Mooreprimary authorall editionscalculated
Stevens, FisherNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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What you seek, you shall never find.
For when the Gods made man,
They kept immortality for themselves.
Fill your belly.
Day and night make merry,
Let Days be full of joy,
Love the child that holds your hand.
Let your wife delight in your embrace,
For these alone are the concerns of man.
—The Epic of Gilgamesh
This book is dedicated to Patricia Moss, who was as generous in sharing her death as she was in sharing her life.


To hospice workers and volunteers all over the world.
First words
Charlie Asher walked the earth like an ant walks on the surface of water, as if the slightest misstep might send him plummeting through the surface to be sucked to the depths below.
Thing settled in the City of Two Bridges, and all the dark gods that had been rising to erupt out over the world remembered their place and returned to their domains deep in the Underworld. (Epilogue)
'I don't even want to make her eat her green beans for fear she'll KITTY me.'
'I'm sure you have some kind of immunity.'
'The Great Big Book says that we're not immune to death ourselves. I'd say the next time a kitten comes on the Discovery Channel my sister could be picking out caskets.'
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The story centers on Charlie Asher, a "beta-male" (as opposed to "alpha-male") who leads a satisfying life as the owner and proprietor of a second-hand store in San Francisco. At the moment when his wife Rachel unexpectedly dies in the hospital shortly after the birth of their first child (Sophie), Charlie becomes involved in a new sideline of retrieving the souls of the dying, so as to protect them from the forces of the underworld. He only gradually realizes the ramifications of this business as various clues and complications unfold. Ultimately Charlie resolves to confront directly the forces of darkness.
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