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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

Critic Reviews

  • 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

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  • Overall

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.

47 of 49 people found this review helpful

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  • colleen
  • ANCHORAGE, AK, United States
  • 09-25-12

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.

44 of 47 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

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.

46 of 50 people found this review helpful

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Before you take a DIRT NAP, you need to get this book. Really, no MOOPOO, this is a funny, funny book about a Beta Male, become DEATH MERCHANT. This is my fifth book by Christopher Moore and I love it. I have yet to be disappointed. His books are great because they are filled with the funniest wild and crazy characters who face the most off the wall situations. I was trying to decide who my favorite character was and could not decide. The Russian baby sitting grandmother who says everything is like bear is hilarious. I loved the sewer witches (scary and funny). The Goth assistant who really wants something tragic to happen to her. The ex cop who keeps searching the web for true love, usually women from foreign countries. Sophie the baby is great, she has a couple of Hell Hounds for pets. A character from his vampire series makes a cameo appearance.

The Narrator is great and this, like all of Moore's book is meant to be read out loud.


15 of 16 people found this review helpful

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A Fidgety Reaper

The formula for this novel is rather simple - take an average,somewhat neurotic but very likable guy, throw him into a boiling world of mythical underworld creatures, ad a dash of spirituality, half of cup of sex jokes and pour humor generously and when almost done sprinkle with some Armageddon -- and you have yourself a delicious and hilarious book

Dirty Job is for people who love Hitchhiker Guide to the Galaxy, Good Omens, Agent to the Stars and Discworld series.

The narration was great and added color and dimensions to the novel. His tone and inflection were spot-on for these characters.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • phillip
  • toronto, ON, Canada
  • 03-27-11

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)

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

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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.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • Carrie
  • Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • 12-03-09

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!

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

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OK, this is really hilarious

I had not heard of Christopher Moore before listening to this book. I was hoping to be entertained, but not expecting more. Moore!! He's hilarious! and no cliches, no used jokes, no good ol' boy humor, just really funny original crazy-inventive comic writing that had me laughing out loud, which is rare. This guy must be a real kick at happy hour! Loved, loved listening to this. Fisher Stevens' narration was hysterical, too. Pure fun.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

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.

21 of 24 people found this review helpful