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A Dirty Job (Grim Reaper #1)

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4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  62,466 ratings  ·  4,278 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 ow
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Paperback, 384 pages
Published March 27th 2007 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published March 21st 2006)
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ttrygve
Go read this book. Now. It's hilarious, you will not regret it. That is all the review it requires. =)
Todd
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
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
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
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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Will Byrnes
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
Jim
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.
Rebecca
Dec 03, 2013 Rebecca rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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
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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Geordie
Sep 07, 2007 Geordie rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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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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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Clif Hostetler
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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Kass
Jun 20, 2008 Kass rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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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Kelanth, numquam risit ubi dracones vivunt
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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Sara
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
Natalie
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
Charlene
This book was hilarious and original. That is all!
Kua
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
Veeral
Christopher Moore wrote this book because there was a death in his family. And it’s funny! I am relieved that he does not seem interested to write a book about the Holocaust.

Moore has a penchant to pick up a serious subject matter and make fun of it without dumbing down the importance of the said subject.

Even here, although the first chapter starts with a birth and ends with a death, it is the funniest chapter in the book.

Charlie Asher, the protagonist, is a normal guy, who plays it safe and d
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Colleen Venable
I'm always hesistant when someone tells me that an author is "a modern day Vonnegut" because Vonnegut is the modern day Vonnegut. Give the man a little more time in the ground before you try to replace him. *geesh!* I probably would have never picked this up, it being a) a book for adult people and b) a book with the author's name larger on the cover than the title of the book (a big pet peeve for me that is only surpased by terrifyingly big "James Patterson" style pictures on the back of books) ...more
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
Michelle Balmeo
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
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Jessica
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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Erin
Aug 07, 2007 Erin rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone.
moore surpasses douglas adams and dave barry on the list of authors that make me laugh so hard i have to pee. that's a hard level of genuis to accomplish by mere words alone.

the reason he gets top spot is that i also cried in this book. yup, i cried. it's about death, and the subject is handled so beautifully and perfectly that it was strangely close to my own experiences and reactions to personal loss. i was surprised and touched. yes touched. let's not forget the same chapter that made me cry,
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Anne
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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Marvin
When I first read this book, I knew absolutely nothing about it and that is the way I recommend you read it.I can't think of a book that threw so much at the reader and managed to succeed at every twist and turn. It is a hilarious read which is saying a lot since the main theme is about death. And that's all I'm going to say except read it. You will love it
Jessica
So this book is split into three different sections... The first one was okay, I really like the second one, and I didn't like the third one at all... so, in the mathematical scene in my head, that equals two stars. By the end, I just didn't care. There were very funny parts, I'll give it that, but not enough humor to keep me interested.
Scott Rhee
Christopher Moore is wack. Funny-wack, not disturbingly mentally-ill wack (although that might explain a few things...) (As an aside: Do people still say "wack" or was that, like, so 2004? Just wondering, haven't heard people use it much anymore...)

"A Dirty Job" is spot-on hilarious, as one has come to expect from Moore. In this one, Charlie, a mild-mannered widower and single dad discovers that he is Death. Well, not Death-Death, but more of a minion of Death. People mysteriously die around hi
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Christopher Moore (born 1957 in Toledo, Ohio) 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
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More about Christopher Moore...
Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal Bloodsucking Fiends (A Love Story, #1) Fool You Suck (A Love Story, #2) Practical Demonkeeping

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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.” 443 likes
“Charlie Asher: I accidently shagged a monk last night.
Minty Fresh: Sometimes, in times of crisis, that shit cannot be avoided.”
104 likes
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