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A Dirty Job

(Grim Reaper #1)

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  107,244 ratings  ·  6,674 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
Hardcover, 387 pages
Published March 21st 2006 by William Morrow
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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.
Zia If reading the book itself isn't your thing. Then I highly recommend the audio book. Very funny ;)
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Federico DN
Feb 24, 2014 rated it liked it
It's hard enough to be a parent that you also have to be Death incarnate.

One day you are a parent trying hard to make things work, the next thing you know, you receive the big book of the dead and unwillingly become a taker of souls. Charlie Asher is a highly insecure owner of a modest second hand shop, has a little baby girl named Sophie, and now, he is a reluctant part time grim reaper. It's a dirty job, but somebody has to do it.

The big book clearly warns it: Don't screw it up! But when peop
Will Byrnes
Oct 05, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comedy-satire
Christopher Moore - image from the Portland Mercury

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 h
May 28, 2014 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 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. =)
Oct 26, 2007 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
Aug 01, 2008 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
Jun 26, 2008 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
John Martin
Feb 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 16, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013, usa
Such an odd story.
The only bit I did not like was the very imaginative ending. I just can't deal with monsters and evil crow women or 50+ creatures made out of mixed animal parts.
The characters were brillant. Funny situations and funny conversations.
Loved the Russian and Chinese woman that looked after Sophie all the time "strong like bear"

My favourite quote from the book has to be " Mrs Ling covered Sophie's eyes to shield her from the abomination her fathers' unwillingly journey into beasti
Nov 19, 2008 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
Jul 18, 2011 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
Jan 31, 2008 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
Apr 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book was hilarious! So many times I had to stop reading because I was laughing to hard. The humor is a bit darker and more adult though, fair warning.
The easiest way to even explain this book is simply that the main character, Charlie Asher, is a Beta Male. He overthinks things and wouldn't involve himself if he didn't have to, which is really hard to do now since he's been recruited to be Death. Which is really a complication for him now that he also has a newborn baby girl named Sophie th
Jun 06, 2011 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
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 all
Dec 16, 2019 added it
Shelves: fantasy, dnf, contemporary
No rating.

The only reason I kept reading for as long as I did was curiosity with the kid. I had two theories and I've just cracked it.

There's too much rambling about beta males. As a black woman I just find it very hard to relate or care for this insipid attempt at paranormal dick lit. This book is, quite simply, not for me.
Nov 04, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: 1paper, fantasy, 2fiction
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 think. I'd ...more
Sep 07, 2007 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
Twerking To Beethoven
Mar 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
I've read a couple of books by Christopher Moore, his masterpiece Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal and Practical Demonkeeping. I loved them both so I figured I'd pick this one up. "A Dirty Job" is very well put together, and a funny book, all right, but not hysterically funny as I was expecting it to be, oh well, that's personal. All in all, a solid novel, I liked it, 4 well deserved stars. ...more
Jun 28, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror, comedy, limbo
3 stars.

Charlie: "I can prove it. Just take me to the music store in the Castro. You need to talk to Minty Fresh" (actual character name)
Rivera: "Of course, that clears things up. I'll have a word with Krispy Kreme while I'm there"

Somehow, this book kept getting pushed back in my reading list, even though I've clearly remembered what it's about all this time; how could I NOT when there's the Grim Reaper involved?

Honestly, this book would have gotten a full 4 stars if there weren't too many crude
Feb 18, 2009 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
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
Oct 06, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: paranormal
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.
Jul 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio-book
This book was hilarious and original. That is all!
« Kitty! »

Poor Charlie… Not only is he an awkward beta male who lost his wife, but he also has insubordinate employees, an unhelpful sister and sewer harpies to deal with! To cap it all off, his infant daughter can kill people with an innocuous word and he thinks he’s Death…

This book made me laugh. It also made me cry way more than I expected a Chris Moore book ever could, which either means that he is a genius or that I am, in fact, a weep-bag. “A Dirty Job” is set in Moore’s San Francisco univ
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
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
Jun 09, 2008 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Adam Sandler fans, men
Recommended to Kassandra 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
Mar 28, 2008 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
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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

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

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