Iggmyre, January 18, 2012 (view all comments by Iggmyre)
I have never read a book as strange and wonderful as A Dirty Job. It was in turns hilarious, creepy and thought-provoking, keeping me up many nights reading through chapter after chapter. Highly recommended for those with a off beat sense of humor and a desire to read.
PDXTodd, September 7, 2011 (view all comments by PDXTodd)
This was my first experience with Christopher Moore and I was extremely pleased. I liked Anthony's On A Pale Horse and thought a comedic version of a similar storey might be entertaining. Turns out I really, really, really like Moore's humor. But there was more than just humor. I really enjoyed the relationships between a lot of the characters (especially Charlie and his daughter). And I am headed over to Burnside in 10 minutes to get another of his books. Stay tuned.
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Gypsi, June 5, 2010 (view all comments by Gypsi)
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. Korjev (and her bears) and Mrs. Ling (and her wok). Even Charlie's enemies are wonderful; I adored the Sewer Harpies with their bickering, evil ways, puppet shows and continually amusing antics. In addition, Moore throws in a few return characters from other books which was a thrill for the Moore fan. I was especially glad to see the Emperor again.
Charlie's experiences as a soul collector are both funny and touching. As is so often the case with Mr. Moore, a surprising tenderness turned up on some scenes. There is one scene in particular (the cheese scene--read it and you'll agree with me), that made me step back and say, "Wow! I need to be sure I appreciate life to the fullest!". Terminal illness, hospice care, nurses, and death all received a reverential treatment at his hands--while still being funny in that twisted Moore way. Read it!!
Colle731, January 5, 2010 (view all comments by Colle731)
This was the first Christopher Moore book that I read, and it is still my favorite. It is a fascinating mix of characters, modern and ancient, American and international, alive and ...
It's everything that every other CM book is: zany, weird, charming, and even a bit educational.
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adenas, January 2, 2010 (view all comments by adenas)
"A Dirty Job" is definitely in my top ten books ever, not just the decade. Christopher Moore explores the subject of death with humor and warmth and, as in much of his writing, a bit of the supernatural. I've been a fan of his for a long time, starting with "Lamb", but knowing what prompted him to write this particular book, made me a fan forever.
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"Publishers Weekly Review"
by 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." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
by Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked and Son of a Witch,
"Dizzyingly inventive and hypnotically engaging, A Dirty Job is...like no other book I've ever read."
by Kirkus Reviews,
"One of the antic Moore's funniest capers yet."
by New York Times,
"This novel makes light of hellhounds, demons and outlandishly costumed squirrel cadavers....For all its tumultuous lunacy, A Dirty Job requires the occasional level-headed individual to provide a semblance of focus."
by Portland Oregonian,
"A Dirty Job offers wit, chaos, subversion and a chance to flip death the middle finger."
by Rocky Mountain News,
"To keep a straight face while reading this book, one would have to be dead already and in the final stages of rigor mortis."
by Library Jounral,
"Smart people will be enormously amused."
"[T]his showcases Moore's most distinctive gift: maintaining a breakneck pace while seemingly just numbly fumbling along."
by Entertainment Weekly,
"Moore's signature tossed-off humor is in full effect...and it's easy to care about his warm, lumpy, honest characters. Because of that, we'll forgive the occasional talking bobcat with a torso made of ham. You heard me." (Grade: B)
Powell's Books Presents... Christopher Moore at the Bagdad Theater Wednesday, April 4, at 7:00 p.m. 3702 SE Hawthorne Blvd., Portland, OR
This ticketed event takes place at the Bagdad Theater, 3702 SE Hawthorne Blvd. Tickets, $26.99, include admission and a copy of his new book, Sacré Bleu, and are available at the Bagdad Theater, the Crystal Ballroom, CascadeTickets.com, or by phone at 855-227-8499. Books distributed at the event.
by Harper Collins,
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 for a new position: as Death.
It's a dirty job. But, hey! Somebody's gotta do it.
Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.