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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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5,6512351,100 (4.03)107

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English (225)  German (5)  Italian (3)  Spanish (2)  All languages (235)
Showing 1-5 of 225 (next | show all)
A group of Death Merchants battle for forces of the Dark Underground. Although the book is humorous in spots and has some genuinely clever lines, I found it to be light-weight and somewhat shallow. ( )
  M_Clark | Sep 1, 2018 |
4.25ish ( )
  ThatOneLibrarian | Aug 18, 2018 |
This one was gifted to me by a friend because I'd never read it before but also because it fit a category in our 2018 reading challenge that our book club is attempting to complete. There were parts that made me laugh out loud and it, for the most part, was pretty enjoyable. That being said, I don't think I would've read it if I hadn't been gifted it and felt obligated to read it. I enjoyed it well enough but I don't know that I'll read much more Christopher Moore. He has his own style and humor and I think I can only take it in small doses. ( )
  justagirlwithabook | Aug 2, 2018 |
I've previously read two books by [a: Christopher Moore|16218|Christopher Moore|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1200095788p2/16218.jpg]: [b: Coyote Blue|33459|Coyote Blue|Christopher Moore|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1428328692s/33459.jpg|813988] and [b: The Gospel According to Biff|28881|Lamb The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal|Christopher Moore|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1331419009s/28881.jpg|3346728]. I enjoyed both of those books, and rated accordingly. I received a free copy of [b: Secondhand Souls|23460830|Secondhand Souls (Grim Reaper, #2)|Christopher Moore|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1434397134s/23460830.jpg|42753848] through the GoodReads First Reads program in exchange for an honest review, and was quite excited to dig into it.

Then I was disappointed. Gravely.

I made it 99 pages in before giving up in confusion. I picked up this book, [b: A Dirty Job|33456|A Dirty Job (Grim Reaper, #1)|Christopher Moore|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1331323415s/33456.jpg|3258721], as it's the prequel to [b: Secondhand Souls|23460830|Secondhand Souls (Grim Reaper, #2)|Christopher Moore|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1434397134s/23460830.jpg|42753848] and I figured the latter might make more sense if I had read the prequel first.

Unfortunately, [b: A Dirty Job|33456|A Dirty Job (Grim Reaper, #1)|Christopher Moore|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1331323415s/33456.jpg|3258721] rubbed me the wrong way as well. It didn't really help my reading effort as much as I would have liked it to.

[a: Christopher Moore|16218|Christopher Moore|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1200095788p2/16218.jpg] has built a wonderful world with these books. He invokes mythological gods, demigods, and beasts. He weaves together clever concepts from a variety of religious and ancient tradition until they make sense for his own concepts. He has created and interesting shared universe in his San Francisco books, filled with characters he uses again and again and callbacks to previous books. He creates interesting plots, for certain.

For me, it is the characters and execution that are severely lacking.

I can't seem to get behind his writing overall, and his character writing in particular. He suffers from the same problem that [a: Joss Whedon|18015|Joss Whedon|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1302721520p2/18015.jpg] does for me: he creates a variety of incredibly irreverent and sarcastic characters that only serve the purpose of being irreverent and sarcastic. The witty asides destroy any chance of raised stakes and sense of danger. There was never a moment where I worried about the characters, never a moment where I particularly cared what they were doing. They only annoyed me.

Moore's use of that same humor throughout his own writing, in descriptions in particular, further took away from the book. I never felt immersed, only irritated. It didn't seem clever to me, just lazy. It's possible to write a humorous book without defaulting to a Russian who says everything is "like bear" and a Chinese woman who calls everyone a "White Devil" and steals dead pets to cook them for food. It's possible to be funny without having a lesbian character constantly stealing her brother's expensive suits.

I know many people like this book, it just really, really wasn't for me.

I think I just grew up. ( )
  Lepophagus | Jun 14, 2018 |
It's a wacky, quirky, silly book, but it works. I almost stopped reading because the rapid-fire jokes were too much. There's no rest from the funny phrasings and clever dialogue. But I got into the story, and it carried me to the end. ( )
  TromboneAl | May 4, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 225 (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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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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