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Product Details

  • Paperback: 405 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; Reprint edition (March 27, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060590289
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060590284
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (434 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,050 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Cult-hero Moore (The Stupidest Angel) tackles death—make that Death—in his latest wonderful, whacked-out yarn. For beta male Charlie Asher, proprietor of a shop in San Francisco, life and death meet in a maternity ward recovery room where his wife, Rachel, dies shortly after giving birth. Though security cameras catch nothing, Charlie swears he saw an impossibly tall black man in a mint green suit standing beside Rachel as she died. When objects in his store begin glowing, strangers drop dead before him and man-sized ravens start attacking him, Charlie figures something's up. Along comes Minty Fresh—the man in green—to enlighten him: turns out Charlie and Minty are Death Merchants, whose job (outlined in the Great Big Book of Death) is to gather up souls before the Forces of Darkness get to them. While Charlie's employees, Lily the Goth girl and Ray the ex-cop, mind the shop, and two enormous hellhounds babysit, Charlie attends to his dangerous soul-collecting duties, building toward a showdown with Death in a Gold Rush–era ship buried beneath San Francisco's financial district. If it sounds over the top, that's because it is—but Moore's enthusiasm and skill make it convincing, and his affection for the cast of weirdos gives the book an unexpected poignancy. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Bookmarks Magazine

It's certainly original. Even the harshest critic can't begrudge Christopher Moore his vivid imagination, satirical plots, and humor. Like a good sleight-of-hand artist, Moore builds up a huge reserve of goodwill to pull off his most demanding trick yet: laughing at death. The already-strained boundaries of his previous work (Lamb, an alternate history of Jesus's life; Bloodsucking Fiends, a vampire love story; and The Stupidest Angel, concerning the resurrection of Santa Claus) stretch even further to produce this tale that critics praise for its "improbable humor" (New York Times) and courage in "embracing what we fear" (Washington Post).<BR>Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Christopher Moore is the author of eleven previous novels: Practical Demonkeeping, Coyote Blue, Bloodsucking Fiends, Island of the Sequined Love Nun, The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove, Lamb, Fluke, The Stupidest Angel, A Dirty Job, You Suck, and Fool. He lives in San Francisco.

Customer Reviews

This is a very funny book.
T. Pendleton
Just finished the book a few minutes ago -- what a great read!
Michael Rucki
This is a great book and I love the character development.
Mel

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

102 of 108 people found the following review helpful By bensmomma on May 19, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I tell you how much of a Moore junky I am - although I am just now in England, and thus cannot easily get a hard copy of "Dirty Job," I downloaded the audiobook for this because I just...couldn't...wait. There should be a support group for people like me, people that like to laugh uncontrollably when reading/listening in public, people who appreciate the fine art of wedding a raunchy attitude, a comic genius, a knack for REALLY fun secondary characters, and the End of the Universe As We Know It into a single novel. If you are a fellow junkie, rejoice; Moore is in top form here (I would place it up with "Lamb" and "Bloodsucking Fiends," but everyone in the group is likely to have different favorites). If you are compelled to the audiobook, the actor Fisher Stevens does a dynamite job of reading.

In "Dirty Job," Moore returns to his favorite haunt, San Francisco, with a winsome new hero, Charlie Asher. Following the death of his beloved wife Rachel after the birth of daughter Sophie, Charlie learns he has become a sort of Death Merchant, responsible for retrieving the souls of the recently departed from the material objects they most loved. However, various forces of Darkness would like to get their hands on these things, so Charlie must battle harpies demons and various other devils, while protecting Sophie from their murderous schemes.

That's about all I'm going to say about the plot. Really, I don't think it's possible to summarize a Moore plot in a public place without risk of arrest. I will only say that "Dirty Job" contains all the elements of Moore's unique type of lunacy -

(1) the perfect willingness for Guys to be Guys, sex-obsessed and confounded by women, but fundamentally good guys nevertheless.
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58 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Steven R. McEvoy TOP 1000 REVIEWER on May 1, 2006
Format: Hardcover
How often do you think about death, or even more so about your soul? Well what if soul's were passed from one person to another like hand-me-down jeans? Where would that leave us the teaming masses of earth? Well Christopher Moore tries to tackle the big questions in his latest book A Dirty Job.

Our not so gifted hero is Charlie Asher, who is a normal guy, or we should say a normal Beta Male. He has a very active imagination but has lived by flight rather then the fight instinct. He has a pretty good life, a loving sister, and adoring wife and a little baby on the way; then his world comes crashing down around him. First his wife dies, and a mysterious man who only Charlie saw was in her hospital room when she died. He doesn't appear on the security tapes, and no one recalls seeing him. Then things really start getting weird.

Charlie has become a `Death Merchant' sort of an assistant to Death, or the equivalent of the Salivation Army's Santa's to Santa. He is a little death, and as such his job is to collect soul objects and pass them on to people without souls. Which as an owner of a second hand store he is in a good position to do. However he does not get receive `The Great Big Book of Death' one of his employee's borrows it for her own amusement. So Charlie does not know what to do, or how to do it but weird things keep happening to him. He keeps showing up when people are dying and there are items that are glowing a bright red. These were the soul vessels.

But all is not well in the great city of San Francisco, darkness it trying to rise for the cosmic battle will soon take place between the powers of darkness and the little deaths, before the rising of the Great Death once again.
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64 of 73 people found the following review helpful By Gypsi Phillips Bates VINE VOICE on February 28, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Charlie Asher is a nice, likable and (except for his exceptionally over-worked imagination, common in a "Beta Male") normal guy. At least he was normal, until the day he accidentally walked in on Death--well actually, one of his minions, the dapper and cool Minty Fresh--and finds himself as one of Death's Little Helpers as well, collecting the souls from the newly departed and saving these souls from unscrupulous use by a set of female demons and their wicked lord. Once Charlie gets the hang of it, he finds out that it's not such a bad job, makes him a decent living and gives him plenty of time with his daughter Sophie. There's just one flaw. . . it seems that the Sewer Harpies (as Charlie comes to call the female demons) are growing stronger. So strong in fact, that there will be no other course of action than a ferocious battle for the world, between the forces of good and evil.

Charlie is alternatively helped and hindered on his path by the sort of wonderful characters only Moore could create. There's Lily, the wise-cracking teenaged Goth and "creepiness child prodigy" (who quickly became my favorite), and Ray, an ex-police officer searching for love on Asian dating sites. Charlie's sister Jane -the Alpha Male that Charlie isn't- gives Charlie strength and love--all the while looking better in his suits than he does. Even Charlie's daughter Sophie, who grows up before our eyes, has some odd tendencies--bad luck with pets, one very dangerous word, her own personal hounds from hell and the typical child's memory for things that one was not supposed to hear in the first place. Of course, one couldn't expect her to be completely normal, given her father (who was convinced he saw a tail on her six-month sonogram) and the influence of her unintentional hilarious babysitters, Mrs.
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