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A Dirty Job | [Christopher Moore]

A Dirty Job

People start dropping dead around Charlie, 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.
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Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential: Death never sounded so good. This one probably tops the list of unexpected pleasures here at Audible. Fisher Stevens gives a rousing narration, perfectly delivering Christopher Moore's often off-color jokes in a lovely "dead"pan. A Dirty Job has won fans for both author and narrator, and it will keep winning them for years to come. —Chris Doheny

Publisher's Summary

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.

©2006 Christopher Moore; (P)2006 HarperCollinsPublishers

What the Critics Say

  • 2006 Quill Award Nominee

"Moore's enthusiasm and skill make it convincing, and his affection for the cast of weirdos gives the book an unexpected poignancy." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (4256 )
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  •  
    colleen ANCHORAGE, AK, United States 09-25-12
    colleen ANCHORAGE, AK, United States 09-25-12 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I loved it!"

    Awesome story of a beta male who becomes a death merchant, (collector of souls) Funny to the last page. Fisher Stevens does an outstanding job.

    27 of 28 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janie Gulf Breeze, FL, United States 03-24-06
    Janie Gulf Breeze, FL, United States 03-24-06 Member Since 2004

    I have a listening addiction.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Listen!"

    This book was well written and REALLY well read. Is the narrator Fisher Stevens – the actor? It would make perfect sense – this book is so much fun - and the read was a big factor.
    I enjoyed the whole experience and would happily recommend you get this one. It is not often the reader will get me to laugh out loud – ( I wonder what the other drivers on the road with me were thinking?) - This is an interesting and silly take on death and the transition of the human soul. If you have ever been a fan of Piers Anthony, you will surely enjoy this romp through the macabre. This author is a more mature writer. Please Note: This book not intended for anyone but an adult audience, so be sure you are not sharing with the kids. There are a few words the kids can wait to learn – at least until after your mother-in-law comes to visit.

    24 of 25 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. Baumander 04-08-06 Member Since 2005
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    "A truly inspired bit of lunacy!"

    This was my first experience with a Christopher Moore Novel and I can't wait to listen to the next one! Part of the enjoyment was the giddiness with which Fisher Stevens read the book. He was having as good a time narrating as I was listening. The previous reviewer must not have been a Beta male. Alpha males are so full of themselves they'd not recognize brilliant humor if they were hit in the back of the brain stem with it! For us Beta males, understanding that we are flawed and forever trying to come to grips with our failings, only helps us to appreciate the humor with which Moore spins his tale!

    I was actually disappointed when I was on the last CD to know it was coming to an end soon. I'll miss Ray and Lilly and Charlie and Sophie, now that they won't be part of my daily drives. They're all such great characters and Fisher Stevens brought live to all of them. Especially the "sewer harpies." His voices for those underworld misfits really captured the essence of who and what they are: "Guns suck, I can tell you that!"

    So, if you're a Beta male or a woman who just feels pity for Beta males and goes out with them, only to find they are such terrific guys after all, then this book is for you.

    It was one of the best audio books I've ever listened to!

    I only hope that Tony Roberts narrates The Stupidest Angel with such a flair for the characters and the brilliant comic talents of Christopher Moore.

    31 of 33 people found this review helpful
  •  
    04-03-06
    04-03-06 Member Since 2005

    khowaga

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    "Vintage Moore"

    A Dirty Job is vintage Christopher Moore. For those familiar with his writing style, you will be unsurprised to find Death taking the form of a neurotic second-hand shop owner (in Moore-speak, a classic "beta male"). Add to this: a Goth-girl assistant who can't decide if she's jealous or repulsed that her dorky boss is a "Death Merchant"; a designer-men's-suit-wearing lesbian sister whose ultimate goal is to get her widowed brother laid (for the good of humanity); a seven foot tall record shop owner slash compatriot Death Merchant named (and I'm not making this up) Minty Fresh; a trio of Celtic dealth goddess avatars with a penchant for torture and kinky sex (but not dogs); and, just for good measure, a toddler whose sidekicks are two four hundred pound Hell Hounds whose favorite snacks include toasters and hubcabs, and you pretty much get the picture. Like I said, classic Moore.

    Fisher Stevens does a fantastic read - it sounds like he's having a blast, which definitely moves the story right along, even during the slow bits. The weird disco-music that separates the chapters is annoying, particularly when whoever did the sound editing forgot to turn it down so that the narration would be more audible. Fortunately, it doesn't last very long.

    If you're a Moore fan, you'll find all the classic bits here (and even a return character from some of the previous books, but I won't ruin it for you). If this is your first experience with Chris Moore's writing you'll find that this is a lighthearted book that doesn't take itself too seriously when it doesn't need to, and knows enough to end before it all gets to be too much. Sit back, relax, and be prepared to giggle. A lot.

    16 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    january huntersville, NC, United States 11-19-12
    january huntersville, NC, United States 11-19-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Another great CM book"

    I have never been let down by a Christopher Moore book, and this is no exception. This book is clever and preposterous, but not totally unbelievable. How can I say that a book about death coming to earth is believable? Well, that's just what Christopher Moore does. He takes the craziest stuff (I mean really crazy, like I must have been high when I thought this up kind of crazy) and makes you think that it's all possible. He does this by developing the characters into people that you like. People you could go have a beer with, or talk about shreiking ancient sewer dwelling goddesses over a latte with. And his pacing is right on. He never slows down so much that you lose interest, or speeds up so much that you're left scratching your head, saying, "Wha...?"

    So what I'm trying to say is, if you already like CM, this is one of his many great books. You'll like it. And if you've never read a CM book before, this is a good place to start. You'll also like it.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    phillip toronto, ON, Canada 03-27-11
    phillip toronto, ON, Canada 03-27-11 Member Since 2011

    From the way she acts when I take them off, I've a feeling my baby girl thinks I have headphones graphed to my skull.

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    "Don't listen to this on an ipod in public!"

    Don't listen to this on an ipod in public because people are going to think you're a nut. They do that when you bust out laughing seemingly for no reason every couple of minutes. A little dignity please! (I wouldn't drink any milk either)

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carrie Calgary, Alberta, Canada 12-03-09
    Carrie Calgary, Alberta, Canada 12-03-09 Member Since 2008
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    "The best credit I've spent!"

    This is absolutely one of the funniest books I have ever read or listened to! The story manages to be heartwarming and edgy at the same time, and the narrator puts in an amazing performance. I don't even know how many times I've listened to this book in the few months since I downloaded it, but I still laugh every time!

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jessie FRESNO, CA, United States 12-01-09
    Jessie FRESNO, CA, United States 12-01-09 Member Since 2009

    Sweetest gadget geek around!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Really funny!"

    My husband and I listened to this together. We both laughed so hard at some parts that we were crying! This book does not take itself seriously AT ALL. Christopher Moore knows how to write a funny book! He loves San Francisco and he loves to write and it all shows in this book. This is meant to make you laugh but it's also a good story with a great plot and wonderfully funny supporting characters. If you want serious, go grab a copy of the history of Egypt or something but if you want a laugh-your-head-off break from life then this is the book for you. Anyone with a broken or missing sense of humor, WALK AWAY NOW!

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mari Cleveland Heights, OH, United States 05-29-09
    Mari Cleveland Heights, OH, United States 05-29-09 Member Since 2005
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    "What A Joy!"

    This was my first Christopher Moore book from Audible, and I loved it. I quickly got everything else from this delightful author that is on this site. Though it is all light fare, Moore is a wonderful writer. He knows how to tell a tale, create compelling characters, build tension in all the right places and, most important, how to do that most astonishing thing - make one laugh out loud.

    The narration on this story is terrific. Fisher Stevens hits perfect notes of mild bemusement, subtle enthusiasm and stark terror as he tells the story of the ultimate "Beta Male", Charlie Asher (don't let the music in the beginning throw you, it only comes up a few times, thankfully). All of the characters are well drawn and loads of fun; particularly Lilly, the perpetually irritated goth working at Asher's Second Hand. Though she does stand out (Moore must have a teen-age daughter), there is not a dull individual in the lot.

    I believe this to be one of Moore's best in the Audible collection (only beaten by Fool), but I have not been disappointed by any of his titles here. Enjoy!



    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Caralyn Caldwell. NJ 04-01-09
    Caralyn Caldwell. NJ 04-01-09

    Caralyn S

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    "Loved it"

    This is a great book. Fischer Stevens narrates to a "T". Silly and strange, I some how cared about the characters. I never wanted it to end. One of my top 10 reads.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
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