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A Dirty Job (Grim Reaper #1)

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4.09  ·  Rating Details  ·  75,727 Ratings  ·  5,085 Reviews
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 own
...more
Hardcover, 387 pages
Published March 21st 2006 by William Morrow & Company
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Angela Shumake It's set to come out in August 2015. You can read an excerpt on Moore's blog linked here on his author page on Goodreads.
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas AdamsGood Omens by Terry PratchettLamb by Christopher MooreThe Princess Bride by William GoldmanMe Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
Best Humorous Books
7th out of 3,166 books — 6,184 voters
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas AdamsGood Omens by Terry PratchettLamb by Christopher MooreThe Princess Bride by William GoldmanA Dirty Job by Christopher Moore
Books that Make you Laugh
5th out of 2,453 books — 3,613 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jeff
Feb 11, 2015 Jeff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor
Three and a half stars.

If you threw Carl Hiaasen and Stephen King’s brains into a blender and pureed them with nutmeg and cinnamon, drank it like a protein shake and decided to take up writing, your resulting book might be this. You have death merchants, hounds from hell, grotesque monsters living in the San Francisco sewers and impending doom. For Hiaasen you have a huge dollop of quirkiness. Every character is quirky. Hand me a handy wipe, for I have quirk all over my shirt.

Charlie Asher is a
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ttrygve
Sep 22, 2008 ttrygve rated it it was amazing
Go read this book. Now. It's hilarious, you will not regret it. That is all the review it requires. =)
Todd
Oct 26, 2007 Todd rated it it was ok
It seems to me that Moore wants to be a cross between Stephen King and Dave Barry, and for the first half of this book, he nearly succeeds. But once he reaches the midway point, he falls into the trap of trying to squeeze in every one-liner he can -- the result is that all of his characters end up speaking in the same, snarky voice, and no one really seems to be anything other than a generic, stock character.

This tends to be a consistent problem in all of his books I've read to date - he seems
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Shan
Jun 26, 2008 Shan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Let me preface this by saying I LOVE Christopher Moore. L-O-V-E. If he wrote a grocery list, I'd read it rapturously. This book (along with Lamb, which I will also review shortly) is one of my absolute favorites of his. "A Dirty Job" may be his funniest, wittiest book yet (although "Lamb" is pretty close....). This book has the average Beta male, Charlie Asher, his dead wife, their newborn daughter, little old Asian and Russian babysitters, a jailbait goth girl store clerk, expensive suits, hell ...more
Amanda
Jun 04, 2014 Amanda rated it really liked it
Shelves: blog
After the birth of his daughter, Charlie Asher, mild-mannered Beta Male, finds his life upended--and not just because he's become a new father. Through a strange course of events, he finds that he has been selected to be a Death Merchant, harvesting the souls of the dead and helping them on their journey to transcendence. The job, unfortunately, comes with a shit-ton of problems, such as being suspected of murder; hellhounds unexpectedly manifesting in his home; sewer harpies taunting him at eve ...more
Chris
Feb 09, 2008 Chris rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
What is that, you might ask? Well, in Moore's words:

"When Alpha Males set out to conquer neighboring tribes, to count coups and take heads, Beta Males could see in advance that in the event of victory, the influx of female slaves was going to leave a surplus of mateless women cast out for younger trophy models, with nothing to do but salt down the heads and file the uncounted coups, and some would find solace in the arms of any Beta Male smart enough to survive.... The world is led by Alpha Male
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Lyn
Mar 01, 2016 Lyn rated it really liked it
I am a big fan of Moore, he is witty, kooky, has a penchant for the occult and tells a good story.

Way back in HS I read Piers Anthony's On a Pale Horse, and this is a satirical, humorous variation on that theme. Moore is stringing together elements of his other novels and has recurring characters, all the more fun.

A Dirty Job deals with the tale of Charlie Asher, the owner of an antique store in San Francisco who is a “beta male” as opposed to an alpha and he is raising his daughter alone follo
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Rebecca
Dec 03, 2013 Rebecca rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: those who find Maxim heavy reading
Recommended to Rebecca by: No one, thank god. It would reflect poorly on my taste.
I wanted to read Moore's book Lamb, but it was checked out so I picked up A Dirty Job instead. It maybe was a bad sample of his work, but as luck would have it, it's what I read, wanting to stop in several places, but hoping it would redeem itself. No such luck. The book was hard to follow timewise-- basically you don't know if action is taking place over a week or 6 years. The characters are flat and annoying, and the dialogue is the same. The book is also misogynistic and racist at points, whi ...more
Will Byrnes
Jul 16, 2014 Will Byrnes rated it really liked it
Shelves: comedy-satire
Charlie Asher is a pretty regular guy having a regular life, until he sees death hovering over his wife following the birth of their first child. Strange things begin to happen and it takes a while before Charlie learns that he has been selected as a Death Merchant, a collector of the souls of those nearly or recently deceased. The job comes with a rulebook which, like most instructional manuals is of limited value. It gets even weirder when he learns that his baby girl has a bit of power all he ...more
Anzu The Great Destroyer
A Dirty Job is a hell of a book.

Get it? Hell-of-a-book?

Eh.

Christopher Moore is one sick bastard. That’s the only explanation I came up with for the stuff he threw at me.

And yes, that’s a compliment. This guy rocks.

So what do we have here?

A total geeky Beta Male who becomes Death. Check.



Snoop Dogg aka Minty Fresh (yes, that is his real name) as a faithful sidekick. Check.



A baby who owns two hellhounds and kills with the word “kitty”. Check.



Hot bird creatures that give men hand jobs in dark alley
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Jim
Oct 21, 2014 Jim rated it liked it
Shelves: 2fiction, fantasy, 1paper
It relies too much on a type of humor that won't tickle everyone. The first section, 100 pages or so were almost exclusively this, without much plot. While initially funny, I almost got tired enough of it to put it down, but there was just enough hope to keep me going. I'm glad I did. After that, the plot developed nicely & it was a fun read. It's a neat world that Moore created with a fun mythology about Death & he takes an insider look at San Francisco that will tickle any native, I th ...more
Krista, Ambassador of Shimmy
While I enjoyed the story line and found myself laughing out loud at some of the dialogue, this wasn't a book that kept me racing to the end. I'm happy I read it and would recommend it to others who are looking for a truly unique (and weird) read. I plan to give Moore another try in the near future...not sure which book yet.
Becky
Yeah... I'm counting the Squirrel People as zombies. Adorable, perfectly dressed little animal-part zombies.

Anyway. I chose this book for my upcoming Real-Life Bookclub because, well... It's Christopher Moore. He makes me laugh, and since this bookclub happens to fall the day after my 31st birthday, I figured some laughing was in order. Because otherwise, there would be crying. Lots, and lots of crying.

(Side note. I have stumbled across a surefire way to tell when you're "old". Watch 15 minute
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Geordie
Sep 07, 2007 Geordie rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: people who liked 40 yr old virgin and dick jokes
SUMMARY: funny dialogue. great premise. filled with plot leaks, story holes, and characters who start off strong and end weak.

The book started off with great premise: for some unknown reason a guy assumes the office/duties of DEATH. It was reminiscent of "On a Pale Horse" by Piers Anthony. It's hilarious for the first 2 sections. It reads like an action screenplay. I pictured Paul Rudd (40 year old virgin) as the main character, Asher. All was well and then the book tanked in section 3. I don't
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Anne
Aug 11, 2009 Anne rated it really liked it
Charlie Asher (Beta Male) suddenly finds himself widowed after the birth of his daughter, Sophie. He also finds himself the newest recruit of Death. No, he is not The Death, he is simply to collect the souls of the recenly departed and store them until they are ready to be placed with a new body. He is a Death Merchant, or at least that is the name coined by Mr Fresh, the record store owner who collected his wife's soul.
As if all of this wasn't enough, poor Charlie has to figure out how to keep
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Erica
This was cute and fun and delightful...
...until it wasn't.

Here's the weird thing about this book. That cover, it intrigues me, it always has. I see it and think, "I want to read that!" but then I never do.
Or do I?
Because I popped this audiobook into my super-modern six-disc changer that resides in the trunk of my car (seriously, how did anyone ever think that was a good idea?) and immediately felt a sense of deja-vu which lasted for, oh, I dunno...maybe 7 discs?

I think I know what happened. I th
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Michael
This is a lot of silliness blended with charm and heart and it could just be what the doctor ordered. The medicine was strong for me. I can only take so much laughing in one sitting, and the drug starts to lose its power. The madcap plot takes you over the top into a land where a bumbling sweetheart Charlie Asher, a junk dealer, becomes some sort of assistant to Death. It takes him awhile to figure out his assignment as communications were bollixed.

He’s the owner of Asher’s Secondhand Store in
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Kass
Jun 20, 2008 Kass rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Adam Sandler fans, men
Recommended to Kass by: My husband
This is my third Christopher Moore book. The first was Lamb, which I recommend to anyone who's heard of a guy named Jesus. The second I can't even remember, only that I couldn't finish and it was about vampires or something. This one is about as good as the second I read.

A Dirty Job starts with a fun premise - a sad sap becomes a collector and placer of souls called a Death Merchant. Then it deteriorates as evil forces come after him, giving him hand jobs in alleys and speaking to him from the s
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Stephen
4.0 stars. This was the first Christopher Moore story I ever read and did not know exactly what to expect. I was laughing out loud in the first 10 pages (the opening hospital scene was just great).

The main character is Charlie Asher, self-described "beta-male" who owns a second-hand store in San Francisco. Following the unexpected death of his wife, Charlie takes on a new job, that of retrieving the souls of the dying with hilarious results. Smart and very funny but also emotionally touching. A
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K4tie
This was my first Christopher Moore book and it felt just like reading Neil Gaiman and/or Terry Pratchett. And how does that feel? Well, it takes a subject that is both fanciful and dark and makes you laugh out loud at the absurdities that are thrown in for fun. I don't mean to say that Mr. Moore doesn't have his own style, but it is very similar to Gaiman and Pratchett and flawlessly so.

There are a great many things I liked about this book and every one of them would spoil the magic of the stor
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Charlene
Oct 10, 2014 Charlene rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio-book
This book was hilarious and original. That is all!
Kelanth
Aug 31, 2011 Kelanth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, humor
Libro divertente che miscela e mescola vari generi per un cocktail davvero dissetante e frizzante per evadere qualche ora dalla realtà quotidiana che ci circonda, o forse sarebbe meglio dire per guardarla con occhi diversi. Chissà mai cosa vediamo spuntare dal prossimo tombino?
Ci troviamo a leggere di un maschio beta (Moore utilizza spesso la contrapposizione tra maschi beta e alfa: del tipo le donne passerebbero ore a parlare con un beta, ma alla fine si scoperebbero un alfa), di nome Charlie c
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Clif Hostetler
May 25, 2013 Clif Hostetler rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel
I became interested in this book when I heard that it was funny. As I got into it and learned that it was filled with inappropriate and politically incorrect language plus described fantasy characters, I decided I wasn't going to like the book. Furthermore, the main theme of the book is death. How can that be funny? But I had a smile on my face all through the book and laughed out loud with great frequency in spite of myself. So I guess the book must be funny to do that.

The story is set in San F
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JG (The Introverted Reader)
Charlie Asher is your average Beta Male. He owns a second-hand shop in San Francisco and rents out the apartments in the rest of the building to some kooky tenants. He has somehow managed to win the heart of beautiful Rachel and she has just given birth to their daughter Sophie when the book begins. Charlie can't believe his luck, and, with typical Beta Male imagination, believes that Sophie has eleven toes or a tail or something--good things just don't happen for Beta Males. After Sophie's birt ...more
Sara
Mar 28, 2008 Sara rated it it was amazing
If you have not read this book, you must put down whatever you're doing, sign off this computer, and find a copy. Apart from giving the precise sociological explanation of a beta male (to which women are not initially attracted, but to whom they really will enjoy being married), this book explains in a comforting, eloquent, and humorous way what happens to your soul when you die. Toss in the spawn of Satan as a baby, a couple of indestructible Hellhounds, a handful of Harpies, and the end of the ...more
Michelle Balmeo
Jul 09, 2008 Michelle Balmeo rated it it was amazing
Shelves: quick-reads, bookclub
I can't remember the last time I read a raucously funny book. You know, the kind that sort of shocks and surprises you, that makes you laugh aloud in a conspicuous way. Christopher Moore's A Dirty Job did exactly that and was just what the mortician ordered when it came to relieving stress and just enjoying a freaking book.

This story of a smart and cynical paranoid "beta-male" raising his somewhat strange daughter in the Bay Area takes the reader right to the edge of seriousness, staring mortali
...more
Jessica
Jun 06, 2011 Jessica rated it did not like it
Don't read this book! The characters are at best one-dimensional and at worst the product of a racist white man who is unimaginative and unclear of the line between clever satire and misperception of the world around him.

The main character is a white man but the supporting cast are all drawn from offensive stereotypes (racial and otherwise): a big black man who is sassy, violent and who gets accused of pulling "the race card" for no apparent reason; an old Russian grandmother who's always talki
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Natalie
Aug 16, 2007 Natalie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: alltimebests
If you should ever wake up and find that you have become the main character in a Christopher Moore novel, do whatever it takes to get yourself out of there quickly. So far the protagonists of his stories have been beset by Zombie Santas, swallowed by whales, exiled to cannibal-infested islands in the tropics, and more recently, discovered they are Merchants of Death. So begins Christopher Moore's "A Dirty Job," where life is full of promise for Charlie Asher, a well meaning if overly concerned A ...more
Monnie
Oct 04, 2015 Monnie rated it really liked it
Have I mentioned that I have a truly warped sense of humor? Nothing is sacred to me when it comes in the form of a joke - not life, nor religion, nor death. And trust me, not one of those three topics gets short shrift in this book (I'd give it 4.5 stars if that were possible).

Because I enjoy the dark side of funny, it stands to reason I love Christopher Moore's books. Back when I read Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal, I giggled so hard and so often that I had to move a
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Kua
Dec 16, 2014 Kua rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor, gdl, b-1-3
Questo libro mi ha spiazzato. Primo perchè pensavo di ridere di più e anche se ho sogghignato spesso, non è stato tanto spesso quanto avrei voluto. E secondo perchè ci sono molte parti che denotano una profonda ricerca sulla morte, gli innumerevoli rimandi alla dott.sa Kübler-Ross e al suo saggio La morte e il morire o al Bardo Thodol (il Libro dei Morti tibetano), hanno fatto sì che questo libro io lo abbia letto un pò come quelle frecciatine che ci si fanno tra amici, della serie "te lo dico c ...more
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2015 Reading Chal...: A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore 8 21 Feb 25, 2015 06:52PM  
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Christopher Moore is an American writer of absurdist fiction. He grew up in Mansfield, OH, and attended Ohio State University and Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, CA.

Moore's novels typically involve conflicted everyman characters suddenly struggling through supernatural or extraordinary circums
...more
More about Christopher Moore...

Other Books in the Series

Grim Reaper (2 books)
  • Secondhand Souls (Grim Reaper, #2)

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“Don't be ridiculous, Charlie, people love the parents who beat their kids in department stores. It's the ones who just let their kids wreak havoc that everybody hates.” 469 likes
“Charlie Asher: I accidently shagged a monk last night.
Minty Fresh: Sometimes, in times of crisis, that shit cannot be avoided.”
108 likes
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