Book reviews, musings and waffle from a British lit addict

Review: ‘A Dirty Job’ by Christopher Moore

I actually finished this on Tuesday but you know how it is – you keep on going to work and then before you know it, it’s Friday and you have no clue what happened to your week.

So, without anymore dallying, my review:

What the blog said:

Charlie Asher is a pretty normal guy. A little hapless, somewhat neurotic, more of a Beta than an Alpha Male. Charlie’s been lucky, though. He owns a building in the heart of San Francisco, and runs a second-hand 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 normality. And she, Rachel, is about to have their first child. But normal service is about to be interrupted. As Charlie prepares to go home after the birth, he sees a strange man dressed in mint-green 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. Yep, 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.

What I would say:

This was the first book of Christopher Moore’s that I’ve read and I really enjoyed it!

It really reminded me of (and I apologise if I inadvertently upset someone here) of Terry Pratchett, without as much of the fantasy. Not, of course, that this story hummed with realism but it was based in San Francisco so it’s closer than Discworld! What I am referring to is the humour – it’s dark and adult but also just downright silly in places, which was perfect! It prompted my boyfriend on a number of occasions to ask what on earth I was laughing at…out loud…on a bus…While I don’t appreciate the odd stares while I’m commuting,I do like starting the day with a chuckle.

I loved how warm all the characters were, with the exception of ‘the Morrigan’ – a trio of devil women hell-bent on ruining Charlie’s…well…world! Charlie was very enlightening as a ‘Beta Male’ and Sophie was just adorable (I’m a sucker for a cute baby…) and I loved that through it all they were just a father and daughter trying to get through life without their wife/mother.

Basically, this novel is just fun – the whole cast of “death merchants” (but not Death, you know, with a capital ‘D’) whose job it is to retrieve and distribute soul vessels is fantastic, particularly Minty Fresh – the scene where Charlie first goes to visit him after finding out about his new vocation was one of my favourites in the book.

Overall: I love Pratchett’s novels so this was an easy one for me to enjoy – I would recommend it to anyone with a slightly dark sense of humour looking for a light(ish) read.

  • Red

    I'm glad you enjoyed it! A few of the characters from this book make their way into other of Moore's books.

  • I really did so thanks for the tip! Can't believe that some of these characters make it past this book – you have to tell me which ones so I can follow..

  • Red

    Out of the books I've read (though I wouldn't be surprised if they show up elsewhere in his work)

    -Minty Fresh shows up in Coyote Blue
    The Emperor and the red headed girl cold girl that shows up in the show are both in You Suck. She is a main character of that whole series (Bloodsucking Fiends, You Suck and Bite Me) and I'm sure he shows up as well. I've only read the second book because I didn't realize it was a series when I picked it up. Whoops!

  • I've been thinking I need to check out these books so thanks for the review!

  • Ooh – only just saw this comment! I'd definitely recommend this one and I'm hoping to check out some more from my library soon – let me know if you read one you like!