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
"Moore's enthusiasm and skill make it convincing, and his affection for the cast of weirdos gives the book an unexpected poignancy." (Publishers Weekly)
I bought this because of the many rave reviews, and because I was ready for some light-hearted fiction after reading some much more sobering book lately. It certainly turned out to be a break from anything educational, but I wouldn't say I really got anything else out of it. Where to begin...
-The humor, by and large, is cheesy and predictable - think Diablo Cody one-liners.
-The plot is so outrageously far-fetched that it almost achieved a sort of dream-like imagination at times, and for that I give it some credit, but this fictional world ends up being too silly to get lost in it.
-Charlie is the ONLY character with any shred of nuance and believability, so I have to give credit for that as well. The beta male theme isn't so much an undertone as a slap in the face, but it does lead to some funny situations. All of the other characters are either over-the-top (often racist) stereotypes with absolutely no substance, or silly monsters with boring, repetitive dialogue.
-The major plot twist (the real Death) will be immediately obvious to anyone with half a brain. It was almost painful to listen to the whole book knowing that it was going to be "revealed" in dramatic fashion at the finale.
-Okay - the narrator did a decent job.
Adding this to my list of things that are inexplicably popular. The more I think about it, the more I hated it.
It had quite a few unexpected twists and turns in this dark story line.
It had to be the main character Charlie.
Fisher Stevens was first rate as a story teller. He was funny in all the right places.
It was an entertaining read.
Three words: Out of breath.
In general, the narrator was good. But sometimes he spoke so fast, he seemed out of breath, which I found distracting.
Minty Green Funny
The hell hounds and Minty Green. Lots of twist and turns. Not your typical
Great performance, gave the characters depth.
Wife, mom of one amazing son, and I have the second best job in the world, working in a bookstore :)
quirky, dark and twisted
When he realizes his new
He is the voice of Charlie, hence, he is Charlie
If you have a twisted,dark, quirky sense of humour, then this is the book and the author for you!
I stumbled on this book after receiving my first credit. I had no idea where to start, so I went to the "Great First Listens" page. I was completely drawn in by the Narrator... so much so that I instantly started looking for other books he recorded. I was a bit disappointed that there were only a couple others narrated by him (I did snag one, though).
To me, narrators make or break an audio book, and if I don't like the narrator, I refuse to buy it. This one was fantastic. He had a very pleasing voice, and he was great at making each character have a unique voice. There were quite a few times that I forgot I was only listening to one person!
The plot of "A Dirty Job" was also fantastic. This was my first Christopher Moore book ever, and despite the fact that I generally don't like paranormal/fantasy/magical stories at all, I really enjoyed this one. I am a big fan of the TV show "Dead Like Me," so I think that's one of the main reasons this story appealed to me. The idea of a reluctant grim reaper is usually amusing, but the plot of "A Dirty Job" was kind of unique (apart from what I've read), so I didn't feel like I was listening to a repeat of another plot.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys subtle humor, paranormal/magic/fantasy stories, or the show "Dead Like Me." I would be careful, though, as there is at least one scene that could be considered quite adult/disturbing to some people, and it probably should not be listened to by children under 16 or so. However, that particular scene is not vital to the book, and could easily be skipped over.
I can't wait to listen to "Lamb" next!
It never gets old! I cannot convey how much I loved/love this book. I love love love the writing style. The characters are each unique and it is filled with humor - almost like the characters are able to laugh at themselves. The story is amazing - keeps my attention the entire time! The writing is so quick witted that I find new reasons to chuckle each time I listen. Suspenseful, touching, funny, unique story line, super interesting - just get it. You've wasted one credit on much worse I'm sure :) !!
Funny, original plot, good pace, excellent narration. However, the prevelence of F-bombs detracts from the enjoyment. Perhaps people really do speak that way where Christopher Moore lives, but I haven't heard crudity that since middle school locker rooms. You think such an accomplished and imaginative author could express himself with more creativity.
Clean up the language. I'm not a prude, nor do I demand that the story be G-rated, but the excess of F-this and F-that just gets tiring and then becomes annoying.
Excellent pacing. Able to express emotion without whispering or shouting, so I am not always reaching for the volume buttons. Does female voices well without resorting to a screeching falsetto.
A truly inventive and clever story of a young man drawn into a world he does not understand who is led down a path he cannot control. Cleverly written, extremely well read - the characterizations still ring in my ears - and a real delight. It was my summer mowing book last year and our lawn never looked so good because I couldn't wait to get back out there and listen to some more!
Avid marathoner and hi tech market analyst. Lover of Ken Follett, Christopher Moore, Timothy Zahn and any book that pulls me in.
IMHO, this is by far the best Christopher Moore book. It is dark, disturbing, cut and hilarious all at the same time. Surprising twists and turns and some truly classic characters. You gotta check this one out.
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