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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Laugh With Death
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...
Published on 21 Mar 2008 by Steven R. McEvoy

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars OK But not as good as Lust Lizard
Moore has a touch of Terry Pratchett and this can be likeable. He writes great characters and funny moments. However sometimes he writes a bit slowly and this is the case with dirty Job. I enjoyed his analysis that all human progress was not down to brave and assertive alpha males but their less endowed but cleverer cousins beta man. The concept of a junk store man...
Published 15 months ago by Robert


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Laugh With Death, 21 Mar 2008
By 
Steven R. McEvoy "MCWPP" (Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: A Dirty Job: A Novel (Paperback)
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.

We have a cast of Characters that would put a Shakespeare comedy to proud our Falstaff is the Emperor of San Francisco, a man of the street who knows and care for his city deeply, Charlie's Daughter who is protected by two hellhounds - 400lb dog that eat toasters and small engines named Mohamed & Alvin these two also love eating soap and shampoo, Minty Fresh a used music dealer who is over 6 foot tall and always dressed in green. And many many more.

If you have read any of Moore before this one will be even more funny. You go on a walkabout both above and below the city of San Francisco.

(First Published in Imprint 2006-05-18 in the column Live it/Hate It Book Reviews)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Big Thumbs Up!, 28 Feb 2008
By 
Tink (Edinburgh, Scotland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A Dirty Job: A Novel (Paperback)
Just finished reading this book and I have to say that I can't believe it sat on my list of books to read for so long, about 18 months, and I read a lot!. It was a FAB read, soooo funny, I keep trying to remember the one liners but ultimately it was a great story, great characters ... it had the whole shebang!!! A Dirty Job definately gets a great big thumbs up from me and I'll be lending this book to everyone I know.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Up there with Terry Pratchett, 29 Oct 2007
By 
This review is from: A Dirty Job: A Novel (Paperback)
Without doubt one of the funniest book I'ver ever read. A decent plot, tons of hilarious remarks and a sense of words that you'll love if you like the humour of the likes of Terry Pratchett.
I can't wait to read his other books!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A dead giveaway, 10 July 2006
By 
Stephen A. Haines (Ottawa, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: A Dirty Job (Hardcover)
There's a distinction between comedy writing and using humour in fiction. In the first, the comedy is the foundation. Anything that can be inserted to confirm the framework will find a place - somehow. Using humour to enhance an idea or lighten an approach is often welcome. Using humour as an additional aspect of developing a story requires more finesse and care than having comedy as a starting point. Moore, who possess a delightful wit, and a fine sense of story-telling, has created a comedy novel. While its topic, the existence and handling of souls, might seem to be a serious matter, in Moore's hands it becomes merely a foundation upon which to exercise his skills at jollity.

Charlie Asher has inherited a second-hand clothing store in San Francisco, The City of Two Bridges. He's also suffered the devastating loss of his wife in childbirth. The sight of a black man clad in a bizarre green outfit in his wife's room initiates a further turn in Charlie's life. Alone, almost, with his new daughter, Charlie tries to rebuild his shattered life. Other deaths, some right in the streets of The City, have a certain intimate relation to him. Particularly when some of the departed appear to have been sent on their way by his daughter.

Charlie manages to track down the man in the green suit. He is also a dealer in second-hand goods - music CDs. It turns out these items and certain of those in Charlie's establishment have special properties. They carry the souls of certain of the dead. The items are in these stores in order to be conveyed to new owners. The man in green, "Minty Fresh", tells Charlie he's one of San Francisco's half-dozen "Death Merchants". They are located there [and elsewhere as it turns out], because The City of the Two Bridges will be invaded by the Forces of Darkness if they fail in their task. They are but temporary stand-ins for the Real Death - the one with a capital "D" who is due along at some future time. Since Moore has depicted Charlie as a " Beta male" [thus displaying his ability to keep up to date with the latest theories of evolutionary psychology], we are given a West Coast version of Woody Allen without the scandals. Charlie would like a more elevated status. What more logical promotion than to rise above being merely a Death Merchant. He decides he's Luminatus, the real Death, and struggles to assume the role.

In depicting Charlie's coming to understand who and what the Luminatus is and what is expected of Death as a force, Moore is at his best. Charlie's awareness grows through various events, including the death of his own mother. Charlie encounters the Forces of Darkness - in fact, one tries to seduce him in an alley. As the Luminatus, he knows it's his job to defeat them, if he can only learn how. He even gains support of a sort from an SFPD Inspector, who seems mildly interested in "weird" events. Charlie's major vulnerability is his daughter, Sophie. She matures wondrously as the book skips over several years. Charlie tries to help along her development through a series of unfortunate episodes dealing with animal pets. The problem is finally solved by the unexpected acquisition of a pair of huge dogs - hellhounds.

To anybody even slightly versed in the fantasy genre, these monstrous canines give away the game. Why are they so defensive of Sophie? They are omnipresent, except when lured away by somebody [something?] aware of their predelictions. And they are an endless source of amusing anecdotes by Moore's depiction of Charlie attempting to explain them. In stories of "magical realism", the fantasy world hovers close to the real world, just out of sight. In San Francisco, the Forces use the sewer system, which, in Moore's hands, make the Paris system seem simplistic. Charlie must meet them on their own ground, and it's clear he's poorly equipped to deal with the challenge. He needs better support than a mildly sceptical copper, and sure enough, someone arrives to save the day. Who that is must be left for the reader to learn. A quick glance at the book's dust jacket or any chapter heading suggests the answer. That's a bit of a surprise on the publisher's part. And gives the ending a rather formulaic aroma. Getting to this point, however, is part of Moore's genius. In most ways, the book is a fine cliffhanger. It excels much of his other work in some ways, falling short in others. It's a must for Moore fans and a great read for anybody who likes inventive writing. [stephen a. haines - Ottawa, Canada]
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Death takes a battering, 18 Sep 2007
By 
Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog "Falcata T... - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: A Dirty Job: A Novel (Paperback)
A tale that I loved with Chris' humour emerging from behind the pages. Highly entertaining and one that will keep you enthralled right up to the end. If your looking for something a little different that presents the reader with a humourous tale that's far enough removed from Pratchett but with a more earthy feel, then I can highly recommend this book for you. Poking fun at Death in more than one way blending it with the human touch and showing how mankind adapts to changes it's a book that will not only warm the heartstrings but one that will keep you laughing as it goes on its own merry way.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funniest Book in Ages, 14 Aug 2009
By 
M. G. Chisholm "chiefengineer3" (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: A Dirty Job: A Novel (Paperback)
Moore seems to have nicked the fantasy/horror comedy crown from the more established authors in this genre. He has style all of his own that is both adult in feel but retains a nice twist of the absurd. He has not abandoned a good story for a one line joke either, although he does manage to get in the odd line that makes one chuckle out loud.

If I was to compare him to other authors I'd say he mines a similar seam to Neil Gaiman and Tom Holt, but manages to remain a little more grounded - realatively, than both. More accessible perhaps, with some of the extreme ridiculousness of Tom Holt removed. he does use adult language to good effect too. Not gratuitous but nicely placed to hit the mark.

Whilst many people who would consider this would be fans of Terry Pratchett, I'd say that his style and humour is differnt, as is the setting of course. The humour would appear to that reader though so if you are tempted then buy into it - you won't be disapointed.

So here we have a very funny book about one man's part time job as a death assistant who fights off the forces of evil. This may have been done before but definately without the same level of panache.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Work Of Art, 15 Oct 2007
This review is from: A Dirty Job: A Novel (Paperback)
I Stumbled across christopher moore while in a book shop and have been unable to stop buying his humourous and alll round witty books. Dirty Job is my favourite of all his books so far, it had me laughing out-loud. Also the story is so cleverly written I am suprised this author does not get more press!
If you enjoy the supernatural and clever humour you can not go wrong with moore!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ingenious, 5 Oct 2008
By 
SonicQuack (Essex, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: A Dirty Job: A Novel (Paperback)
So many great ideas get wasted, but in Christopher Moore's deft hands, a great idea becomes a really enjoyable read, from cover to cover. Packed with wry, sarcastic, deadpan and cutting edge humour, Moore tickles us with an off-kilter tale about Death Merchants. The people responsible for giving souls homes - but what if you never got the manual? What if the Apocalypse was due? And what if it was your fault? A Dirty Job pulls no punches as Moore, once again, finds new material, with cameos from previous books, and takes every opportunity to take shots at our culture, society and crazy mixed up world. An easy recommendation - prepare to break in to a grin.
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4.0 out of 5 stars "Most of us don't live our lives with one, integrated self that meets the world, we're a whole bunch of selves.", 1 July 2008
By 
Mary Whipple (New England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: A Dirty Job (Paperback)
If this sentence sounds different from the Moore you were expecting, it's because this novel is different. Noted for his irreverent and sometimes off-color humor, Christopher Moore has always created his own new worlds--the world of vampires in Bloodsucking Fiends: A Love Story, the spirit world of Native America in Coyote Blue: A Novel, and the world of singing whales and the researchers who study them in Fluke: Or, I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings. In this novel, however, he explores his most serious themes ever, examining the subject of death itself, creating wild and wacky situations while making many thoughtful observations about real life--and death.

Here Charlie Archer, an always timid Beta male, comes face to face with death when, just moments after giving birth to their daughter, his wife suddenly expires. The devastated Charlie soon believes that he is Death personified, a "Death Merchant." Along with others like him, the "Santa's Helpers of Death," Charlie learns that his mission is to retrieve "soul vessels"--those personal objects which contain the souls of the dead who owned them, objects which Death Merchants see as red and glowing.

In the five years that pass during the novel's time line, Charlie meets a typically Moore-like assemblage of unique people--a mailman who collects vintage 1970s pimpwear; the homeless "Emperor of San Francisco" and his dog; and a tall, green-clad black man named Minty Fresh, who sells used CDs. Gradually, Charlie discovers the mysterious other-world of Death and the creatures that inhabit it--ferocious "sewer harpies," Orcus the Ancient One, the Luminatus or Great Death, and the Hellhounds, who serve the Ruler of the Underworld. Eventually, Charlie and his Death Merchant friends must fight the evil forces of the Underworld in a final climactic battle, filled with the non-stop action and crazy twists that Moore has made his trademark, including a terrific surprise ending, guaranteed to leave a smile on your face.

As Moore examines the subject of death in surprising, imaginative scenes, he highlights death's outrageous ironies, using clever wordplay, puns, and throwaway humor about life. This book contains no "sequined love nuns," no sunglass-clad fruit bats, no porn stars like Kendra, Warrior Babe of the Outland, and no notable profanity or vulgarity. Moore maintains his iconoclastic spirit and his offbeat humor by giving us some new ways to look at death, the ultimate challenge for us all. n Mary Whipple
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5.0 out of 5 stars Laugh out loud funny, wil make you take death lesss seriously., 31 May 2008
By 
Steven R. McEvoy "MCWPP" (Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: A Dirty Job (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.

We have a cast of Characters that would put a Shakespeare comedy to proud our Falstaff is the Emperor of San Francisco, a man of the street who knows and care for his city deeply, Charlie's Daughter who is protected by two hellhounds - 400lb dog that eat toasters and small engines named Mohamed & Alvin these two also love eating soap and shampoo, Minty Fresh a used music dealer who is over 6 foot tall and always dressed in green. And many many more.

If you have read any of Moore before this one will be even more funny. You go on a walkabout both above and below the city of San Francisco.
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A Dirty Job: A Novel
A Dirty Job: A Novel by Christopher Moore (Paperback - 7 Jun 2007)
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