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A Dirty Job: A Novel by Christopher Moore

A Dirty Job: A Novel (2006)

by Christopher Moore

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Death Merchants (1)

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» See also 109 mentions

English (233)  German (5)  Italian (3)  Spanish (2)  All languages (243)
Showing 1-5 of 233 (next | show all)
With [b:Secondhand Souls|23460830|Secondhand Souls (Grim Reaper, #2)|Christopher Moore|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1434397134s/23460830.jpg|42753848] released recently, I decided I wanted to read Dirty Jobs beforehand. I love [a:Christopher Moore|16218|Christopher Moore|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1200095788p2/16218.jpg]'s works. [b:Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal|28881|Lamb The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal|Christopher Moore|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1331419009s/28881.jpg|3346728] is one of my favorite books of all time, and [b:Fool|3684856|Fool|Christopher Moore|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1434220875s/3684856.jpg|3793700] is one of my favorite reinterpretations of a Shakespeare story. Moore at his best is very, very funny, and also writes some fantastic heartfelt moments that linger after the story is finished. So, I was very excited to read A Dirty Job. And...it was good. Just not on par with the other two books I listed.

The plot-Charlie Asher is your typical normal guy (a "beta male" is how it's described here). He has a lovely wife, Rachel, who at the beginning of the book, gives birth to their daughter, Sophie. A strange man shows up in Rachel's room and kills her? It's not really explained well, but I assume he kills her. Either way, Rachel dies that is supposed to remain unseen. But, Charlie can see him, and soon, odd things start happening around him. People start dropping dead, objects start glowing red, and Sophie gains two huge, scary hellhounds for pets. The strange behavior around him is explained as hazards to his new job-Grim Reaper.

The good-I liked some of the side characters who were memorable. The other Reapers, a seven foot tall man in a green suit named Minty Fresh, and Lily, a goth girl who works in Charlie's secondhand shop who ends up going to culinary school. The world building set up in this book is also done rather well.

The bad-Charlie. Man, just Charlie. Charlie is an "every-man" character who falls into something fantastical. He was such an unmemorable, bland, whatever character, that it really brought the rest of the book down. This is particularly disappointing, as Pocket from [b:Fool|3684856|Fool|Christopher Moore|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1434220875s/3684856.jpg|3793700] and Biff from [b:Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal|28881|Lamb The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal|Christopher Moore|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1331419009s/28881.jpg|3346728] could also be considered "every-men" in fantastic roles (in the middle of Macbeth and best friend to Jesus, respectively), and they are fleshed out much better than Charlie.

Still, this was a fun book to read, for the side characters, and situations. Just not for the main Reaper. If you're looking for a funny book, I would suggest another Moore book, like the two I mentioned above, or [b:The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror|74731|The Stupidest Angel A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror|Christopher Moore|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1331320721s/74731.jpg|4116777] before I would suggest A Dirty Job. A decently funny book. ( )
  rkcraig88 | Jul 15, 2019 |
I'm not sure if I like how this author writes. I don't like fantasy and this reminded me of some things friends tried to get me to read. I'll have to try another one of his. ( )
  jill1121 | Jun 1, 2019 |
I've always loved Christopher Moore's writing, but this takes the cake. It was an awesome slice at that! Man meets woman, woman has man's baby, woman dies, second "man" appears, hilarious hyjinx ensue. SO GOOD ( )
  EBassett | Mar 20, 2019 |
Always a great read! I love how Moore brings characters from his other stories and creates this entire world of awesomeness! This one makes me think of our own mortality and how fickle it really is. Love it! ( )
  VoodooYeager | Mar 10, 2019 |
This was truly a weird story. I read this book on recommendation from others on Goodreads (I am trying to break out of my comfort zone). It started off quite well and I was really starting to enjoy it, but then it kind of fell flat and raced toward an ending. Charlie's wife dies in childbirth and he sees a strange man in her room. The CD he is bringing her disappears and he is confused. Things start to happen and he finds out he has become a "Death Merchant", His job is to retrieve souls from newly departed bodies and keep them until the person who is supposed to have that soul claims it. Things get strange when phantom beings like ravens show up and try to steal the souls. His friends and daughter are threatened and Hellhounds show up to protect his daughter. His babysitters are a laugh as well as his employees at his thrift store. It would make a good summer read, where you really do not want to think too much when you are reading. ( )
  Carlathelibrarian | Feb 5, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 233 (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.'
Last words
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
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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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060590289, Paperback)

Charlie Asher is a pretty normal guy with a normal life, married to a bright and pretty woman who actually loves him for his normalcy. They're even about to have their first child. Yes, Charlie's doing okay—until people start dropping dead around him, and everywhere he goes a dark presence whispers to him from under the streets. Charlie Asher, it seems, has been recruited for a new position: as Death.

It's a dirty job. But, hey! Somebody's gotta do it.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:11 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

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.

» see all 4 descriptions

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