A Dirty Job

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Overview

Charlie Asher is a pretty normal guy. A little hapless, somewhat neurotic, sort of a hypochondriac. He's what's known as a Beta Male: the kind of fellow who makes his way through life by being careful and constant — you know, the one who's always there to pick up the pieces when the girl gets dumped by the bigger/taller/stronger Alpha Male.

But Charlie's been lucky. He owns a building in the heart of San Francisco, and runs a secondhand store with the help of a couple of loyal, ...

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A Dirty Job

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Overview

Charlie Asher is a pretty normal guy. A little hapless, somewhat neurotic, sort of a hypochondriac. He's what's known as a Beta Male: the kind of fellow who makes his way through life by being careful and constant — you know, the one who's always there to pick up the pieces when the girl gets dumped by the bigger/taller/stronger Alpha Male.

But Charlie's been lucky. He owns a building in the heart of San Francisco, and runs a secondhand store with the help of a couple of loyal, if marginally insane, employees. He's married to a bright and pretty woman who actually loves him for his normalcy. And she, Rachel, is about to have their first child.

Yes, Charlie's doing okay for a Beta. That is, until the day his daughter, Sophie, is born. Just as Charlie — exhausted from the birth — turns to go home, he sees a strange man in mint-green golf wear at Rachel's hospital bedside, a man who claims that no one should be able to see him. But see him Charlie does, and from here on out, things get really weird. . . .

People start dropping dead around him, giant ravens perch on his building, and it seems that everywhere he goes, a dark presence whispers to him from under the streets. Strange names start appearing on his nightstand notepad, and before he knows it, those people end up dead, too. Yup, it seems that Charlie Asher has been recruited for a new job, an unpleasant but utterly necessary one: Death. It's a dirty job. But hey, somebody's gotta do it.

Christopher Moore, the man whose Lamb served up Jesus' "missing years" (with the funny parts left in), and whose Fluke found the deep humor in whale researchers' lives, now shines his comic light on the undiscovered country we all eventually explore — death and dying — and the results are hilarious, heartwarming, and a hell of a lot of fun.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
From the twisted imagination of Christopher Moore (The Stupidest Angel, The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove, et al.) comes a dark -- and wonderfully weird -- novel about a hapless San Francisco thrift shop owner recruited to become a soul collector for the Scythe Wielder himself, Death.

Charlie Asher is a typical Beta Male. He's not exceptionally handsome or tall or strong, and he's definitely not the heroic type. But the slightly neurotic Asher has a good life; he owns a secondhand store in San Francisco, and his wife, Rachel, is about to give birth to their first child. Then the unthinkable happens: Asher's wife dies shortly after giving birth to a baby girl. When Asher inexplicably witnesses a Merchant of Death (a seven-foot black dude named Minty Fresh, who sports a green suit and is invisible to everyone else) enter the hospital room and take his wife's soul, he too becomes involved in the soul re-acquisitioning business. Accompanied by two giant hellhounds and his trusty sword-cane, Asher's dirty job leads him to an apocalyptic confrontation with the real forces of darkness…

Comparable to works from popular satirical authors like Tim Dorsey, Carl Hiaasen, Terry Pratchett, and Paul Di Filippo, Moore's blend of dark fantasy, supernatural mystery, and absurdist fiction will have readers irresistibly hooked from the first page to the last. Chock-full of laugh-out-loud sequences and more than a few profoundly moving morsels of existentialist insight, A Dirty Job handles some highly sensitive subjects (terminal illness, grief and healing, the afterlife, etc.) with both humor and reverence -- a truly twisted masterwork. Paul Goat Allen
Entertainment Weekly
“Moore’s signature tossed-off humor is in full effect, and it’s easy to care about his warm, lumpy, honest characters.”
Cleveland Plain Dealer
“[A DIRTY JOB] will keep a smile on your face long after you put it down.”
Rocky Mountain News
“Makes you laugh in the face of death.”
Denver Post
“A bravura mix of the familiar and the hilariously original.”
Hartford Courant
“Death, of course, is not usually a funny subject, but in the hands of Christopher Moore it sure is.”
Washington Post Book World
“Outstanding . . . The dialogue follows a zany illogic worthy of the Marx brothers.”
Sarasota Herald-Tribune
“My top pick for laugh-out-loud reading . . . dark, dark, dark and funny, funny, funny.”
The Oregonian (Portland)
“[Moore’s] most speculative, tripped-out and deeply felt book to date.”
Syracuse Post-Standard
“Outlandishly funny.”
Paul Di Filippo
A Dirty Job is an outstanding addition to his canon. Protagonist Charlie Asher is a naturally cautious and timid soul, content with life as the proprietor of a junk shop. What sustains him is his marvelous wife, Rachel, who he can hardly believe ever consented to be his mate. And now that Rachel has delivered their first child, Sophie, Charlie's life seems complete. Of course, the birth of a daughter gives him lots of new apprehensions about mortality and the future, but in a superb example of Moore's narrative cunning, Charlie's dreads are misdirected. As the book begins, he loses not Sophie but Rachel to a "cerebral thromboembolism." Bad enough. But to complicate matters, a tall man dressed garishly in green, whom only Charlie can see, is at Rachel's side when she dies. And the fellow steals Rachel's favorite CD -- now oddly aglow with her disembodied soul -- in the confusion.
— The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
Moore spends a significant portion of his new novel speculating on the nature of the careful, cautious beta male, so it's appropriate that Stevens, reading the novel, sounds like one himself, gently picking his way through the blackly comic tangles of the book's dense plot. Charlie Asher's life is thrown into chaos when his beloved wife unexpectedly dies, and while trying to recover a sense of balance, he finds himself suddenly surrounded by the dead and dying. Stevens's voice is professional and assured, letting the jokes take care of themselves rather than pounding them into submission. Most importantly, Stevens's average-guy voice stands in for Charlie's own increasingly puzzled demeanor, besieged by a world which makes less and less sense, in which the realm of the dead grows ever larger. Simultaneous release with the Morrow hardcover (Reviews, Feb. 20). (Mar.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Have you ever wondered about the beta male's place in history-as opposed to alpha males of course? I haven't. But here comes fantasist/satirist Moore to explain more than we ever suspected about beta masculinity. He does this in the tale of Charlie Asher, a mild-mannered secondhand dealer, who walked in while Death was collecting his wife's soul and then became Death himself-well, Death with a small d, a sort of helper death, responsible for a section of San Francisco. If the idea of Death having a legion of helpers (like Santa with his department store doubles) isn't bizarre enough, there is also a rising of the Forces of Darkness (represented by Macha, Nemain, and Badb, the Morrigans of Irish myth), guardian hellhounds named Alvin and Muhammed, the ever-helpful Squirrel People, and the rebirth of the Luminatus (Death with a capital D). This is Moore's eighth modern fantasy (Practical Demonkeeping, The Stupidest Angel, etc.), and he is superb in this mock epic of death and love. Smart people will be enormously amused. Death-it's a dirty job, but somebody has to do it! Recommended for all public and academic libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 12/05.]-Ken St. Andre, Phoenix P.L. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Contemporary fantasy and New Age fiction take another good-natured licking in Moore's ninth, which bears strong resemblances to his Practical Demonkeeping (1992) and Bloodsucking Fiends (1995). It's set in San Francisco, where mildly nerdy thrift-shop proprietor Charlie Asher experiences unprecedented stages of grief after his wife Rachel gives birth to their daughter Sophie, then dies. The presence at Rachel's bedside of a tall black man wearing green hospital scrubs foreshadows appearances by people who give off a reddish glow just before expiring, leading Charlie to confront the tall black man (named, for no particular reason, Minty Fresh), who explains that Charlie has (like Fresh himself) become a "Death Merchant," assigned "to retrieve soul vessels" from the dead and dying, and convey them to new host bodies. Okay, this seems plausible. But plots thicken as Charlie undertakes (so to speak) his new duties, aided and abetted and abused by his Punk Goth teenaged store-clerk Lily, his take-charge lesbian sister Jane, his ethnic tenants Mrs. Ling and Mrs. Korjev, the self-proclaimed homeless Emperor of San Francisco (on loan from Bloodsucking Fiends) and precociously paranormal Sophie, who exhibits Herculean toddler powers, while being guarded by two gigantic slavering "Goggies" (actually, they're "hellhounds"). Complicating matters are Dark Forces that congregate in sewers, drive a vintage Cadillac and threaten to make dying even more unpleasant by unleashing chaos and Armageddon and all that stuff. Charlie retrieves his lost sex life and, having become a "Luminatus" with a killer workload, maintains universal order, thanks to the Emperor and the "squirrel people" (don't ask), and aclimactic shoot-out provoked when a black ship of death sails into Frisco Bay. The lunacy is appealing, but the book, alas, is way, way too long. Not quite to die for, then, but one of the antic Moore's funniest capers yet.
Hartford Courant
“Death, of course, is not usually a funny subject, but in the hands of Christopher Moore it sure is.”
Syracuse Post-Standard
“Outlandishly funny.”
Denver Post
“A bravura mix of the familiar and the hilariously original.”
Washington Post Book World
“Outstanding . . . The dialogue follows a zany illogic worthy of the Marx brothers.”
Entertainment Weekly
“Moore’s signature tossed-off humor is in full effect, and it’s easy to care about his warm, lumpy, honest characters.”
The Oregonian (Portland)
“[Moore’s] most speculative, tripped-out and deeply felt book to date.”
Rocky Mountain News
“To keep a straight face while reading this book, one would have to be dead already ... Grade: A.”
Sarasota Herald-Tribune
“My top pick for laugh-out-loud reading . . . dark, dark, dark and funny, funny, funny.”
Cleveland Plain Dealer
“[A DIRTY JOB] will keep a smile on your face long after you put it down.”
Gregory Maguire
“Dizzyingly inventive and hypnotically engaging, A DIRTY JOB is . . . like no other book I’ve ever read.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060590277
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/21/2006
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Christopher Moore

Christopher Moore is the author of twelve previous novels: Practical Demonkeeping, Coyote Blue, Bloodsucking Fiends, Island of the Sequined Love Nun, The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove, Lamb, Fluke, The Stupidest Angel, A Dirty Job, You Suck, Fool, and Bite Me. He lives in San Francisco, California.

Biography

A 100-year-old ex-seminarian and a demon set off together on a psychotic road trip...

Christ's wisecracking childhood pal is brought back from the dead to chronicle the Messiah's "missing years"...

A mild-mannered thrift shop owner takes a job harvesting souls for the Grim Reaper...

Whence come these wonderfully weird scenarios? From the fertile imagination of Christopher Moore, a cheerfully demented writer whose absurdist fiction has earned him comparisons to master satirists like Kurt Vonnegut, Terry Pratchett, and Douglas Adams.

Ever since his ingenious debut, 1992's Practical Demonkeeping, Moore has attracted an avid cult following. But, over the years, as his stories have become more multi-dimensional and his characters more morally complex, his fan base has expanded to include legions of enthusiastic general readers and appreciative critics.

Asked where his colorful characters come from, Moore points to his checkered job resume. Before becoming a writer, he worked at various times as a grocery clerk, an insurance broker, a waiter, a roofer, a photographer, and a DJ -- experiences he has mined for a veritable rogue's gallery of unforgettable fictional creations. Moreover, to the delight of hardcore fans, characters from one novel often resurface in another. For example, the lovesick teen vampires introduced in 1995's Bloodsucking Fiends are revived (literally) for the 2007 sequel You Suck -- which also incorporates plot points from 2006's A Dirty Job.

For a writer of satirical fantasy, Moore is a surprisingly scrupulous researcher. In pursuit of realistic details to ground his fiction, he has been known to immerse himself in marine biology, death rituals, Biblical scholarship, and Goth culture. He has been dubbed "the thinking man's Dave Barry" by none other than The Onion, a publication with a particular appreciation of smart humor.

As for story ideas, Moore elaborates on his website: "Usually [they come] from something I read. It could be a single sentence in a magazine article that kicks off a whole book. Ideas are cheap and easy. Telling a good story once you get an idea is hard." Perhaps. But, to judge from his continued presence on the bestseller lists, Chris Moore appears to have mastered the art.

Good To Know

In researching his wild tales, Moore has done everything from taking excursions to the South Pacific to diving with whales. So what is left for the author to tackle? He says he'd like to try riding an elephant.

One of the most memorably weird moments in Moore's body of work is no fictional invention. The scene in Bloodsucking Fiendswhere the late-night crew of a grocery store bowls with frozen turkeys is based on Moore's own experiences bowling with frozen turkeys while working the late shift at a grocery store.

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    1. Hometown:
      Hawaii and San Francisco, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      August 5, 1958
    2. Place of Birth:
      Toledo, Ohio

Read an Excerpt

A Dirty Job

A Novel
By Christopher Moore

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Christopher Moore
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060590270

Chapter One

Because I could not stop for death he kindly stopped for me

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. Blessed with the Beta Male imagination, he spent much of his life squinting into the future so he might spot ways in which the world was conspiring to kill him -- him; his wife, Rachel; and now, newborn Sophie. But despite his attention, his paranoia, his ceaseless fretting from the moment Rachel peed a blue stripe on the pregnancy stick to the time they wheeled her into recovery at St. Francis Memorial, Death slipped in.

"She's not breathing," Charlie said.

"She's breathing fine," Rachel said, patting the baby's back. "Do you want to hold her?"

Charlie had held baby Sophie for a few seconds earlier in the day, and had handed her quickly to a nurse insisting that someone more qualified than he do some finger and toe counting. He'd done it twice and kept coming up with twenty-one.

"They act like that's all there is to it. Like if the kid has the minimum ten fingers and ten toes it's all going to be fine. What if there are extras? Huh? Extra-creditfingers? What if the kid has a tail?" (Charlie was sure he'd spotted a tail in the six-month sonogram. Umbilical indeed! He'd kept a hard copy.)

"She doesn't have a tail, Mr. Asher," the nurse explained. "And it's ten and ten, we've all checked. Perhaps you should go home and get some rest."

"I'll still love her, even with her extra finger."

"She's perfectly normal."

"Or toe."

"We really do know what we're doing, Mr. Asher. She's a beautiful, healthy baby girl."

"Or a tail."

The nurse sighed. She was short, wide, and had a tattoo of a snake up her right calf that showed through her white nurse stockings. She spent four hours of every workday massaging preemie babies, her hands threaded through ports in a Lucite incubator, like she was handling a radioactive spark in there. She talked to them, coaxed them, told them how special they were, and felt their hearts fluttering in chests no bigger than a balled-up pair of sweat socks. She cried over every one, and believed that her tears and touch poured a bit of her own life into the tiny bodies, which was just fine with her. She could spare it. She had been a neonatal nurse for twenty years and had never so much as raised her voice to a new father.

"There's no goddamn tail, you doofus! Look!" She pulled down the blanket and aimed baby Sophie's bottom at him like she might unleash a fusillade of weapons-grade poopage such as the guileless Beta Male had never seen.

Charlie jumped back -- a lean and nimble thirty, he was -- then, once he realized that the baby wasn't loaded, he straightened the lapels on his tweed jacket in a gesture of righteous indignation. "You could have removed her tail in the delivery room and we'd never know." He didn't know. He'd been asked to leave the delivery room, first by the ob-gyn and finally by Rachel. ("Him or me," Rachel said. "One of us has to go.")

In Rachel's room, Charlie said: "If they removed her tail, I want it. She'll want it when she gets older."

"Sophie, your Papa isn't really insane. He just hasn't slept for a couple of days."

"She's looking at me," Charlie said. "She's looking at me like I blew her college money at the track and now she's going to have to turn tricks to get her MBA."

Rachel took his hand. "Honey, I don't think her eyes can even focus this early, and besides, she's a little young to start worrying about her turning tricks to get her MFA."

"MBA," Charlie corrected. "They start very young these days. By the time I figure out how to get to the track, she could be old enough. God, your parents are going to hate me."

"And that would be different how?"

"New reasons, that's how. Now I've made their granddaughter a shiksa." "She's not a shiksa, Charlie. We've been through this. She's my daughter, so she's as Jewish as I am."

Charlie went down on one knee next to the bed and took one of Sophie's tiny hands between his fingers. "Daddy's sorry he made you a shiksa." He put his head down, buried his face in the crook where the baby met Rachel's side. Rachel traced his hairline with her fingernail, describing a tight U-turn around his narrow forehead.

"You need to go home and get some sleep."

Charlie mumbled something into the covers. When he looked up there were tears in his eyes. "She feels warm."

"She is warm. She's supposed to be. It's a mammal thing. Goes with the breast-feeding. Why are you crying?"

"You guys are so beautiful." He began arranging Rachel's dark hair across the pillow, brought a long lock down over Sophie's head, and started styling it into a baby hairpiece.

"It will be okay if she can't grow hair. There was that angry Irish singer who didn't have any hair and she was attractive. If we had her tail we could transplant plugs from that."

"Charlie! Go home!"

"Your parents will blame me. Their bald shiksa granddaughter turning tricks and getting a business degree -- it will be all my fault."

Rachel grabbed the buzzer from the blanket and held it up like it was wired to a bomb. "Charlie, if you don't go home and get some sleep right now, I swear I'll buzz the nurse and have her throw you out."

She sounded stern, but she was smiling. Charlie liked looking at her smile, always had; it felt like approval and permission at the same time. Permission to be Charlie Asher.

"Okay, I'll go." He reached to feel her forehead. "Do you have a fever? You look tired."

Continues...


Excerpted from A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore Copyright © 2006 by Christopher Moore. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Reading Group Guide

Introduction

Charlie Asher is one lucky guy. He owns a building in the heart of San Francisco where he runs a successful secondhand store, and he's married to Rachel, a bright and pretty woman who is about to deliver their first child.

But on the day that Sophie, his daughter, is born, Charlie sees a strange man in a mint-green suit at Rachel's hospital bedside, a man who claims that no one should be able to see him. But see him Charlie does, and from here on out, things get really weird.

People start dropping dead around him, giant ravens perch on his building, and everywhere he goes, a dark presence whispers to him from under the streets. Unfamiliar names start appearing on his nightstand notepad, and before he knows it, those people end up dead, too. It seems that Charlie Asher has been recruited for a new job, an unpleasant but utterly necessary one: Death. It's A Dirty Job. But hey, somebody's gotta do it.

Questions for Discussion

1. How does the opening scene at Rachel's bedside, in which Charlie first encounters Minty Fresh, foreshadow Charlie's reluctant role as Death Merchant?

2. How do the efforts of the Morrigan (Babd, Nemain, and Macha) and Orcus to reclaim the Above with their dark powers come into conflict with Charlie's work as a Death Merchant?

3. A number of characters in A Dirty Job are primarily comic, most notably the Hellhounds, Alvin and Mohammed, and Sophie's babysitters, Mrs. Korjev and Mrs. Ling. Why might the author have chosen to incorporate so much humor into a novel about the business of death?

4. Why does Charlie avoid discussing his secret identity with hissister, Jane, who serves as his sounding board and shoulder to cry on throughout the novel?

5. Weird things happen in the San Francisco of A Dirty Job. How did you reconcile the impossibly fantastic occurrences in this novel with the more commonplace events?

6. How are Audrey and the squirrel people significant in ending the reign of the Morrigan, and why do Charlie and Audrey fall in love with each other so suddenly?

7. How does Inspector Alphonse Rivera facilitate Charlie's mission against the Morrigan, and in what respects does he impede it?

8. How does the revelation of Sophie as the Luminatus alter the course of the novel, and Charlie's role as hero, and how was Sophie's role foreshadowed early on in A Dirty Job?

9. "Heartbreak is the natural habitat of the Beta Male." To what extent do Charlie's heroics in the sewer succeed in elevating him from the Beta Male category in which he classifies himself to an Alpha Male?

10. In what respects does the death of Charlie Asher at the end of A Dirty Job seem inevitable? Were you at all surprised that the author decided to kill him off?

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 394 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(251)

4 Star

(102)

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(25)

2 Star

(7)

1 Star

(9)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 396 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 26, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    It's Stong Like Bear

    Cover caught my eye and I just couldn't help myself. This is the first book I read of Moores and afterwards his name was forever etched in my brain, placed in the must keep and eye out for his books category. Moore has the most interesting imagination out there, when I wasn't laughing myself into tears I was wondering how the heck he came up with this stuff. If you have an offbeat sense of humor and think you can handle a six-foot tall black man named Minty Fresh, Sewer Harpies, and garbage disposal Hell Dogs then I highly recommend this book. At the end of it you will find yourself yelling down manholes, try to find your own pair of Hell dogs, and calling everything strong like bear.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2009

    GREAT READ

    This is by far one of the most entertaining books I have ever read! I laughed out loud throughout the entire book. The characters were dramatic and amusing and the plot and general scene was perfect. I couldn't ask for a better and more entertaining story. If you like comedies and want to have a laugh...BUY THIS BOOK! By far one of Moore's best works!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2007

    Great idea, poor execution

    When I read the description of this book and the other reviews on this site, I was so excited to read this book--I was looking for something different and exciting, and this sounded great. By the time I was twenty pages in, though, I was already disappointed. Besides the fact that the 'punchline' is given away numerous times throughout the book and ignored by the main character until the end, it is also given away IN THE COVER ART, so that I knew what was coming before I even started reading. I'm also not a big fan of books whose resolutions come in neat and tidy packages in the last five pages, as happens here. The main character, Charlie, was so inconsistent that I found myself wondering if he had multiple personalities. It's one thing for a character to evolve and change throughout a book, but quite another for him to say completely uncharacteristic things on every other page. The same was true with the voice of the narration--it was maddeningly inconsistent. While some of this was obviously meant to be add humor and satire to the story, it often seemed, well, wrong, and distracted from the story itself. As I said I loved the concept of the book and the plot idea, but as I read the book it felt as though it was written as quickly as possible and with little care. All of the Beta Male detail seemed useless in the end, as if the author had a plan for it in the beginning and then just, well, forgot about it later on. Maybe Moore's other books are better, this was the first of his that I have read, but I was so disappointed by A Dirty Job that I will never find out.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2012

    Not funny

    The concept of a death merchant is great and interesting. However, the author dosen't quite pull off the humor throughout. You have to really like ethnic jokes because he dosen't stop. I almost started to feel like i was listening to that politically incorrect relative who starts out pretty funny but after awhile you start shifting in your seat and giving him the side eye. I saw the ending coming. I second the review that said some of the plot twists were unbeleivable and Charlie says and acts in ways that are out of character.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 23, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I read this book for our Book Club Pick.. Let me say I am glad I

    I read this book for our Book Club Pick.. Let me say I am glad I checked this out at the library then buy the book.. I was disappointed with the book.. There was funny parts but there was also parts you were like HUH? There was several times I wanted to just put it down.. I pushed through the book to get to the end and that happen.. REALLY.. I was very upset that the book ended the way it did.. I see on this site it has alot of good reviews I just did not like and I would not recommend it to read.. I would have to seriously consider reading anything else by this author..

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2011

    Hilarious

    Hilarious, like the rest of Moore's work.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 24, 2011

    Decent

    The first word that comes to mind is predictable. The writing was relatively entertaining in true Christopher Moore fashion, but I certainly wouldn't call this one of his best. I don't regret reading it, but I also won't be picking it up again anytime soon.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2008

    not his best

    On the positive side, the 'Beta Male' theory and some laugh-out-loud dialogue. The negative -- and it's a big one -- a meandering, makin'-it-up-on-the-fly, is-this-ever-going-to-get-somewhere story line. Whoever edited this did Moore no favors.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    way out fantasy

    In San Francisco, thrift store owner Charlie Asher is euphoric when his beloved wife Rachel gives birth to their daughter Sophie, but his happiness turns to grief when his spouse dies while still in the maternity ward recovery room. Afterward Charlie asks the hospital staff who is the incredibly tall black man in a green suit he noticed next to Rachel when she died? Everyone he asks says no one was there and no one fit his description. Even the video security camera shows no one. --- Soon after Charlie cannot explain why strangers abruptly die at his feet. That is until Minty Fresh visits him and explains that they are kindred souls known as Death Merchants, whose assignment is to collect souls before the Forces of Darkness steal them. Enlisting help with the mundane aspects of his life like minding the store and hiring babysitters from hell to watch Sophie, Charlie does A DIRTY JOB, but someone has to do it while believing that a showdown with Death is imminent. What he does not know is his adversary picks the time (the California Gold Rush) and place (San Francisco's financial district). --- This is a way out tale filled with a wacky eccentric cast and not just those from the other side. The story line is fast-paced as Charlie goes about his new profession with enthusiasm. He remains the focus that keeps the tale from losing steam as he goes through the stages of grief paralleled with the joy of a new child while doing A DIRTY JOB in which he anticipates a battle to the death against Death and the Forces of Darkness. This is insane fun Christopher Moore¿s tale grips the reader with its underlying angst laden human message that all there really are is life and death with nothing in between. --- Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2014

    Cracked me up.

    I couldn't put this book down. It has it all, comedy, action, and a above all twisted sense of humor. This book deals with an outside idea that death is some sort of job that people get chosen for. Must read if your sense of humor is dark and twisted.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2014

    A Dirty Job

    Kitty

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  • Posted January 19, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Awesome book!

    This book was so hilarious! I cracked up the entire time I was reading it. Every page was more funny than the last!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2013

    Good book.

    Good book.

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  • Posted September 22, 2013

    My new favorite author!

    This is such an entertaining read...funny, smart, heartwarming, and delightfully zany.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2013

    Join team zecrom at dutel jump

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  • Posted July 9, 2013

    This one is tough for me. I enjoyed this book but I also stopped

    This one is tough for me. I enjoyed this book but I also stopped reading about two thirds of the way through which is not a good sign. I eventually picked it back up and finished it. I love the humor in the book, the way Charlie is so sarcastic, sardonic even, is great. Charlie, the main character, manages to take his bizarre new job as a Death Merchant in stride. One thing about this book is there is quite a bit of vulgarity, profanity and innuendo (almost explicit at times). It didn’t bother me for the most part but now and again it did. That really is a personal preference I think, I don’t necessarily care for expletives in what I read; however that being said, one of the funniest parts for me is when Charlie goes to the gym and the book mentions the [Censored] puppets. I just laughed and laughed at that bit.
    This book was pretty predictable which I don’t think it was really trying not to be. It seems the author wanted to make a humorous enjoyable ride which this book delivered. In the end I would recommend this book.
    This book is on the Green Embers’ Recommended List.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2013

    Read it twice

    Absolutely love this book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2013

    Grreat read

    Loved it

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  • Posted March 17, 2013

    Loved this book!  I definitely recommend reading it

    Loved this book!  I definitely recommend reading it

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2013

    LOVE!!!

    Christopher Moore is a sick GENIUS!!!!

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