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4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 24 August 2013
This book has the most unusual premise for a book, I have not read anything similar ever, and I read a lot of books.
It is funny and irreverent, and although it is principally about death, it is not sad, dismal or unpleasant.
I highly recommend this book.
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on 26 January 2013
My first Christopher Moore book I couldn't put down (sequined love nun) but I found this hard to pick up. It may be due to its supernatural subject or its setting of San Francisco. It hasn't deterred me from purchasing more of his books but it has made me more choosy.
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on 28 May 2012
I was lucky enough to come across a second hand hard back edition of this. The comparison has already been made, but I agree Christopher Moore is a worthy adversary for the great Terry Pratchett. The writing style is fast, witty and intelligent with just the right amount of genuine sentiment. His characters are beautifully crafted with love and attention to the smallest details and the story is great fun with plenty of surprises. A great read. I'll definitely be looking out for more from this author.
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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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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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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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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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on 17 April 2009
Before I say anything about the book- i would recommend you do not read this whilst eating or drinking- the humor in the book sneaks up behind you and you run the risk of choking or spraying tea everywhere. This book made me laugh until my belly hurt and I could not put it down. I have forced several people to read this book too and they have all enjoyed it. Its not only funny but its intelligent- the idea, the concepts- genius. The ending was rather unexpected but so lovely at the same time. And after you have read it I dare you not to shout "Kitty" at people that bug you!
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on 19 January 2016
This is a fun book about the journey of a guy who finds he has become 'death' one day. I wouldn't exactly call it a comedy as it's not really funny but it's playful and enjoyable enough read.
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on 16 May 2012
The book in its self is a funny book. Characters are funny in their own way. Ending a rather big let down. Got recommended by a friend who also said the ending was pretty bad.
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