A Dirty Job

A Dirty Job

Book - 2006
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Baker & Taylor
Charlie Asher, a neurotic and anxious hypochondriac who hates change, gets more than he had bargained for when his wife dies of a freak medical condition on the day his new daughter, Sophie, is born, as he is confronted by the challenges of being a widower, a single parent, and the focus of a strange and deadly series of bizarre occurrences. 150,000 first printing.

Blackwell North Amer

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.



Baker
& Taylor

Charlie Asher, a neurotic and anxious hypochondriac who hates change, confronts the challenges of being a widower and a single parent when his wife dies of a freak medical condition on the day his new daughter, Sophie, is born.

Publisher: New York : William Morrow, c2006
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780060590277
0060590270
Branch Call Number: Fiction Moo
Characteristics: 387 p. ; 24 cm

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JCLS_Ashland_Kristin Jul 16, 2019

Christopher Moore is v. v. good at bringing the funny. I got a little fatigued by his ongoing use of the term "beta male" to describe the main character's behavioral tics and pseudo-inappropriate interactions with attractive women. My guess is that men who find themselves relating to the main character (or attracted to his quirkiness) will find this one more entertaining than I did. BTW, I did, legit, enjoy this book, just not that specific element!

c
Chuckod451
Jul 18, 2018

You'll laugh like bear!

b
bsstillman
Dec 15, 2017

"Congratulations, you've been chosen to act as Death. It's a dirty job, but someone has to do it."

The birth of your first child is supposed to be one of the highlights of your life; however, for Charlie Ascher, a mild-mannered beta-male, and second-hand store owner the day turns out to be so much more. Charlie's wife Rachel dies shortly after childbirth, and Charlie sees a tall black man in a mint green suit by her bedside -- but no one else sees him. The man turns out to be Minty Fresh, a soul-collector, or as Minty like to say - "death merchants."

Charlie is coping with his grief and raising his daughter, Sophie, with the help of his sister and his neighbors, when strange things start to happen to him. People start to die and objects near them begin to glow red. Sophie begins to exhibit some unusual traits -- killing people by uttering the word "Kitty", and a very unlucky streak with pets, that is until she finds herself protected by two (big, like bear) hell hounds. Minty steps in to help Charlie understand his new responsibility.

In his new role, Charlie is tasked with collecting soul vessels of those people who passed, and then keeping them in his shop (which is the perfect cover for a death merchant) until the new owner comes in to buy it. He must strictly adhere to the names and dates that start showing up in his death datebook; for if he doesn't the underworld can take over. As the story unfolds, the demons of the underworld, or in this case the San Francisco's sewers, start to get restless. Charlie and Minty, with the help of a police detective and Charlie's employee Lily work to keep the balance in order.

s
storywizard
Jan 10, 2017

nice fast read, humor, a little pathos...entertaining...
Glad I found this author....

j
jeffi22
May 02, 2016

funny quick read. lots of one-liners and sexual references/scenes. Some deeper themes about death, etc.

l
LT
Aug 30, 2014

A funny, sad book about coming to terms with Death (personified). I am occasionally offended by Moore's coarseness, but in general his witty and imaginative style makes up for it.

j
Jsm047042461559
May 03, 2014

This is a funny story with lots of wicked jokes! It has a few cross-over characters with the Bloodsucking Fiends which is fun trying to follow! But not necessary.

d
dtaylz
Apr 17, 2013

This stands alone as a fun read but can also be considered an interval in the Bloodsucking Fiends trilogy between You Suck & Bite Me.

j
jmdeinken
Jul 05, 2012

Upon friends recommendation I checked out this audio book. Was very different from anything I've read in the past, so was not too sure about it at first, but by the time it came to an end, I was totally in love with the story--had an absolutely wonderful ending!! Definitely listen on CD--very funny story with lots of laughs along the way.

eatlizzardsdaily Jun 20, 2012

At the Semi-Annual Used Book Sale at the Main Library Downtown, I picked up this title for .50 cents. I'd read Christopher Moore's "You Suck" and while it was entertaining I wasn't expecting a whole lot from "A Dirty Job." Holy twisted cheese doodle, was I wrong!!

Charlie Asher is an average "Beta-Male" who has the unlucky fortune of receiving the calling of "Death Merchant." He's basically a soul-reclaiming Repo Man. As people die their souls are stored into one of their treasured possessions and it's Charlie's job to reclaim these soul items from the family of the deceased .

This book was memorable because I laughed out loud the whole way through. Whether it was the Gothic employee Lily, with her charitable sexing; the squirrel people creatures in complete time-period costumes; or Sophie and her set of 400 lb. Hell Hounds; there were laughs to be had through all 384 pages.

There was a fair amount of sex, a lot of swearing and copious amounts of violence. Like I said, fun for the whole family!!

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pokdej
Jun 05, 2008

Violence: This title contains Violence.

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pokdej
Jun 05, 2008

Coarse Language: This title contains Coarse Language.

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pokdej
Jun 05, 2008

Sexual Content: This title contains Sexual Content.

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JessicaLynne
Dec 22, 2011

JessicaLynne thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

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