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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 (4337 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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Overall
4.1 (1621 )
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Story
4.3 (1610 )
5 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Chris Martinez St. Louis, MO 12-13-07
    Chris Martinez St. Louis, MO 12-13-07 Listener Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    24
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    55
    24
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "One of the best I've listened to!"

    This is a great book, I found myself laughing outloud and remembering lines from the book in the middle of the day and laughing (and freaking out my coworkers in the process!). Fisher Stevens does an EXCELLENT job reading as a Beta male. You'll find yourself wishing you could "kitty" people throughout the day so that they'll "take the big ambien!"

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gurmukh 11-23-07
    Gurmukh 11-23-07 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    176
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    45
    17
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    "An Instant Favourite"

    This is one of the best stories I've seen. Filled with hilarious wit and some dark humor as well, this book just made me smile.

    The characters that populate this story are absolutely fantastic. The protagonist constantly worries about everything (including getting diseases from under-cooked toast), wears fancy dress suits and walks around with a sword cane. Then there's Mr. Fresh who's first name is "Minty" and who dresses all in green. There's also the protagonists goth-girl employee who has no respect for authority and is angry that she wasn't chosen to be a "death dealer". The list of strange, wonderful, and memorable characters goes on and on.

    The whole concept of death merchants and how souls get passed to new hosts is absolutely inspired. The ultimate battle between good and evil is happening to a bunch of ordinary, if strange, folk who have no idea what they're doing. It's engrossing.

    The only complaint I have regarding this audio book has to do with the narrator. He does some of the voices well, I love his interpretations of Mr. Fresh and of the old woman dying of cancer. But some of his choices for other voices just aren't right.

    Some of the voices, for example, seem way too similar and I had trouble telling who was talking at times. Also, the protagonist has an older man working for him, but for some reason the narrator gave him the voice of a teenage surfer dude. That was a little distracting.

    But other than that it wasn't a hard listen. I highly recommend this book, it's definitely among my favourites.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William Arnold, MD, USA 11-02-07
    William Arnold, MD, USA 11-02-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "Hilarious!"

    This is the perfect audiobook ... a terrific book read by a terrific story teller. I was a bit apprehensive when I ordered this book since it sounded a bit like science fiction which isn't my cup of tea. But it is anything but, although it does require that the reader suspend disbelief. Go with the flow on this one and you will being laughing out loud in no time!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joanna Pflugerville, TX, United States 04-11-07
    Joanna Pflugerville, TX, United States 04-11-07 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    79
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    45
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    11
    0
    Overall
    "Perfection!"

    Wow! This has been one of my most enjoyable listening experiences since becoming a member. The story has everything you could ask for: well developed lovable characters, a fast paced story line, excitement, and laugh out loud at work moments. If your humor tends to run a bit darker than most, you will love the story. The narrator is perfect for this author's writing style. It's the best pairing since peanut butter and jelly and I can't wait to hear more from this author and narrator. Enjoy!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kelley great bend, KS, United States 01-12-07
    Kelley great bend, KS, United States 01-12-07 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    53
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "OMG This is the funniest book ever"

    I loved this book. It was the funniest book I have read or listened to in a long long time. It is quite possibley the funniest book I have ever read. The humor is quite dark and if you are easily offended by language or other points of view religiously, then this is NOT the book for you. But if you are open to new experiences and ideas then by all means get this book!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer M. Monrose 12-17-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
    ratings
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    27
    3
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    0
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    Overall
    "Dry, Dark Comedy at its Best"

    Christopher Moore leaves you wanting more, and more, and more. His comedic timing and dark, dry wit bring the concept of afterlife to a hilarious conclusion. This, combined with the perfect Beta-male recitation by Fisher Stevens will make you want to listen over and over. Oh, and you will never be able to hear your children to say "kitty" again without breaking into that knowing sly smile that only you and other "Dirty Job" listeners will understand.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mcwaters Corona, CA, United States 04-05-06
    Mcwaters Corona, CA, United States 04-05-06 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    34
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    37
    9
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "Are you kidding me? Don't waste your time!"

    Quite possibly the worst book I have ever read! It
    was supposed to be funny. There are a few humorous
    lines, but they are burried under unnecessary
    profanity every other sentence. Just really a
    disappointing waste of time. I wish I could UN-buy
    it. This author is supposed to have written other
    books. I won't be buying them, even if they win a
    pulitzer. The narrator isn't the best, either.

    12 of 40 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Fort Lauderdale, FL, United States 11-13-09
    Mark Fort Lauderdale, FL, United States 11-13-09 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    294
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    94
    26
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    28
    1
    Overall
    "Not Recommended"

    Poorly conceived and clumsily written, this book is chock full of racism and profanity.

    I couldn't tell whether or not the author meant this book to be a satire on the horror genre. If so it would fail in the attempt as the work is hardly clever enough to qualify as anything but meaningless garbage.

    If I could get my money back from this purchase I'd continue to be unhappy as I'll never recoup the time I wasted on this book.

    3 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Antonia san rafael, CA, USA 09-19-08
    Antonia san rafael, CA, USA 09-19-08 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    119
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "What a Mess"

    This book was so bad I'm actually surprised it even got published. I forced myself to listen to most of it, just in case it miraculously got better, but it never did. Eventually I started breaking out in a rash, and had to give up the whole enterprise altogether.

    I found the whole demon-underworld theme hackneyed and unoriginal, the outrageous plot twists messy and self-indulgent (squirrels of the living dead with eighteenth-century costumes on? who cares?), and the underlying metaphysics of the story just made me yawn.

    The author occasionally gets off a funny line, but for the most part his wise-cracking asides just yanked me out of the world of the story, as though I was being read to by an annoying teenager who can't resist a constant stream of snide commentary.

    The vulgar language didn't bother me, but the F-bombs are over-used to the point of losing their emphasis.

    Finally, the audio production was just sloppy. As a native San Franciscan, it annoyed the hell out of me when the narrator repeatedly mis-pronounced place names. (I mean, how hard can it be? San Francisco is not exactly an obscure little hamlet.) And once, he mispronounced a word so as to change its meaning entirely, saying "wicked" (as in evil), rather than "wicked" (as in the past tense of the verb "to wick.") Call me a curmudgeon, but didn't anybody proof read this audio recording?

    This author might well write amusing columns or essays, but as far as this novel goes, he just can't hang a long narrative together and make me care enough to finish it.

    3 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steven Tyngsboro, MA, United States 04-28-09
    Steven Tyngsboro, MA, United States 04-28-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    110
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Badly Written"

    It sounds like it was written by an amateur. None of the characters have any depth. The comedy is cheap and unimaginative.

    1 of 5 people found this review helpful
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