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A Dirty Job (Grim Reaper #1)

4.08  ·  Rating Details ·  82,012 Ratings  ·  5,476 Reviews
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 ...more
Audiobook, 387 pages
Published (first published March 21st 2006)
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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.
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May 28, 2014 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
Jul 08, 2008 ttrygve rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Go read this book. Now. It's hilarious, you will not regret it. That is all the review it requires. =)
Oct 26, 2007 Todd rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Nov 19, 2008 Amanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
John Martin
Feb 03, 2017 John Martin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I struggled to find a pigeonhole for this book, so I did a quick internet search to find some help. This just confused me more -- take your pick of genres: dark humour, supernatural horror, absurdist fiction, paranormal and more. Whatever it is, I found it to be funny.
Is it my usual fancy? Probably not. I generally like my humorous reads to straddle the edge of believability, and this went a bit further than that. I accept though the boundaries of other people's imaginations can stretch a lot fu
Jan 31, 2008 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 01, 2008 Rebecca rated it did not like it  ·  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
Jul 18, 2011 Lyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Anzu The Great Destroyer
A Dirty Job is a hell of a book.

Get it? Hell-of-a-book?


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
Will Byrnes
Oct 05, 2008 Will Byrnes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 04, 2008 Jim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sep 07, 2007 Geordie rated it it was ok  ·  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
Feb 18, 2009 Anne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
Jun 06, 2011 Jessica rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jun 09, 2008 Kass rated it it was ok  ·  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
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
Rebecca McNutt
A Dirty Job is a very strange but hilarious paranormal urban fantasy novel, following the tale of an ordinary but unfortunate man whose life goes crazy the minute his child is born. It has similar tones to works by Tim Burton or vaguely Wes Anderson.
Giulia China
Feb 06, 2017 Giulia China rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It took me sometimes to finish it, the uni's exams session did break up my TBR, anyways I finally got sometime to relax and enjoy my readings.
This book caught my eye in the bookstore for the creepy title and cover, and I was a goner once I read the sinapsis.

Our hero, Charlie Asher, is a pretty normal guy with a normal life, a Beta guy inside out. He is married to a brilliant, pretty women and they are about to have their first kid. But when his wife dies, other deaths follow. People start drop
Aug 05, 2007 Natalie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Christian Scala
Jul 16, 2011 Christian Scala 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
Clif Hostetler
May 24, 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
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
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
☼♎ Carmen the Bootyshaker Temptress ☼♎
This was so funny. Moore had me laughing throughout the book.
It was such a fun book to read. Right from the beginning Charlie was such a funny character except when his wife dies at child birth but that is when his life took a spin and his daughter is also quite a character as well. I really enjoyed all the characters in this book and find this author has such a great sense of humor.
Jul 23, 2014 Char rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-book
This book was hilarious and original. That is all!
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Play Book Tag: A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore 2 stars 7 18 Apr 12, 2016 04:36PM  
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What are your favorite FUNNY books? 25 167 Jul 09, 2015 01:39PM  
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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 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.” 476 likes
“Charlie Asher: I accidently shagged a monk last night.
Minty Fresh: Sometimes, in times of crisis, that shit cannot be avoided.”
More quotes…