Three and a half stars.If you threw Carl Hiaasen and Stephen King s brains into a blender and pureed them with nutmeg and cinnamon, drank it like a protein shake and decided to take up writing, your resulting book might be this You have death merchants, hounds from hell, grotesque monsters living in the San Francisco sewers and impending doom For Hiaasen you have a huge dollop of quirkiness Every character is quirky Hand me a handy wipe, for I have quirk all over my shirt.Charlie Asher is a beta male there s a funny addendum quiz at the back of the book that lets you test to see whether you re a beta male , which puts him slightly above average in the human pecking order Charlie has also been appointed to be a death merchant That means his job is to find the souls of dead people They re encased in a variety of objects, which glow red Poor Charlie also needs to run his business, grieve for his late wife, take care of his newborn daughter, battle monsters and deal with lots of quirky people.This is a funny book, with a few memorable characters sarcastic Goth girl Lily and a seven foot black man who dresses in a green suit and goes by the name of Minty Fresh, to name a few yeah, quirky however, if it was half the length and had half the quirk, I d have liked it even. Let me preface this by saying I LOVE Christopher Moore L O V E If he wrote a grocery list, I d read it rapturously This book along with Lamb, which I will also review shortly is one of my absolute favorites of his A Dirty Job may be his funniest, wittiest book yet although Lamb is pretty close This book has the average Beta male, Charlie Asher, his dead wife, their newborn daughter, little old Asian and Russian babysitters, a jailbait goth girl store clerk, expensive suits, hellhounds, Death Merchants, Three Fingered Hu the drycleaner and his granddaughter Cindy Lou Huget it , squirrels in tutus, Filipino she male dating sites, and a seven foot tall black record store owner driving a Cadillac Eldorado and dressed in green suits whose name is Minty Fresh, AND it is dedicated to hospice workers and the important work they do How could you not love it Moore has a smart, comical way of writing that just tickles my brain in that oh so delicious way that makes me just love language even , and this book does not disappoint His surreal, absurdist humor is sublime However, he tempers that humour with a compassion,a humanness, an ability to make one look at universal truths and the human condition in this book s case, death, dying, love, how we deal with our fears and the death of those we love, different tenents of world religions, destiny, the epic battle of good vs evil, etc When one looks past the comedy, one can see so much in his novels His writing is irreverent, wickedly fun, engaging, thoughtful and leaves you smiling, satisfied, giggling and groaning and full of all sorts of metaphysical thoughts Moore thoroughly draws you into his unique world and completely engages you And this book is set in San Francisco and is full of lovely little descriptions and anecdotes about the city which had me snickering and nodding as I love SF, but even if you don t know the city, it will make you feel like you d like to I m one of those people who, when I read a book I enjoy this much, love to jot down the poignant, funny, smart lines that really struck me or made me say now THIS is writing with this book, it was just too big a task There are delightful one liners peppered throughout, beautiful passages, and dialogue that has me snickering every other page All in all, this book vies for the title My Favorite Moore Book, and definitely for one of the funniest books I ve ever had the pleasure of reading Try it you ll giggle, you ll sigh, you ll think Trust me Like Bear giggle, snort Go read this book Now It s hilarious, you will not regret it That is all the review it requires. It seems to me that Moore wants to be a cross between Stephen King and Dave Barry, and for the first half of this book, he nearly succeeds But once he reaches the midway point, he falls into the trap of trying to squeeze in every one liner he can the result is that all of his characters end up speaking in the same, snarky voice, and no one really seems to be anything other than a generic, stock character This tends to be a consistent problem in all of his books I ve read to date he seems to value his own cleverness as far as crafting one off jokes rather than trusting that humor will naturally arise from well crafted situations and characters As comedic novels go, in this case Moore has taken a brilliant premise, then crafted a second or third rate sitcom around it In short, it feels like a first draft rather than a completed novel.However, his books do continue to grow in popularity which should be no surprise to me given that Two and a Half Men is consistently in the Nielsen top 10 And I keep reading his work because there is always a lot of promise in the basic concepts Next time, I hope he has a strong editor that will send him back to tighten up his plotlines and clearly define his characters so that his next novel will live up to the description on the book jacket.Even meh. Such an odd story The only bit I did not like was the very imaginative ending I just can t deal with monsters and evil crow women or 50 creatures made out of mixed animal parts The characters were brillant Funny situations and funny conversations Loved the Russian and Chinese woman that looked after Sophie all the time strong like bear My favourite quote from the book has to be Mrs Ling covered Sophie s eyes to shield her from the abomination her fathers unwillingly journey into beastiliaty. I wanted to read Moore s book Lamb, but it was checked out so I picked up A Dirty Job instead It maybe was a bad sample of his work, but as luck would have it, it s what I read, wanting to stop in several places, but hoping it would redeem itself No such luck The book was hard to follow timewise basically you don t know if action is taking place over a week or 6 years The characters are flat and annoying, and the dialogue is the same The book is also misogynistic and racist at points, which I m sure the author saw as gentle teasing but in actuality was quite disgusting In the end, my interest in reading any of Christopher Moore s other books has been permanently put to rest. After the birth of his daughter, Charlie Asher, mild mannered Beta Male, finds his life upended and not just because he s become a new father Through a strange course of events, he finds that he has been selected to be a Death Merchant, harvesting the souls of the dead and helping them on their journey to transcendence The job, unfortunately, comes with a shit ton of problems, such as being suspected of murder hellhounds unexpectedly manifesting in his home sewer harpies taunting him at every turn encounters with an army of small, nattily dressed chimera the perpetual threat of the Forces of Darkness rising if he fails and the disconcerting knowledge that his daughter can kill by simply pointing and uttering that most powerful and fear inducing of words kitty Plus, Hi, I m Death With the big D doesn t really work as a pick up line with the ladies He s got ninety nine problems, but a bitch ain t one His guide to his new lifestyle is The Great Big Book of Death, which really isn t that big Or informative Really it s just a lot of cartoonish pictures with such helpful tips as In order to hold off the Forces of Darkness, you will need a number two pencil and a calendar Death shops at Staples Sucks to be Charlie.There are a lot of words that I could throw around about Moore s writing zany, wacky, demented, hilarious But let s go ahead and toss poignant on the list Trust me, everything you expect from a Moore novel is here, but one of the things I admire about his stories is that, for all the strangeness getting stranger, there s a well spring of compassion and respect for humanity in his work that can surface when you least expect it It should be no surprise that people die in a book about death, but what may catch many off guard is the genuine respect Moore demonstrates for the passing of a human life and a keen understanding that Most of us don t live our lives with one, integrated self that meets the world, we re a whole bunch of selves When someone dies, they all integrate into the soul the essence of who we are, beyond the different faces we wear throughout our lives Moments like this are what elevate Moore s work above pure screwball comedic writing He has a keen understanding that life is absurdity and that humor is the best coping mechanism we have.Cross posted at This Insignificant Cinder Charlie Asher Is A Pretty Normal Guy With A Normal Life, Married To A Bright And Pretty Woman Who Actually Loves Him For His Normalcy They Re Even About To Have Their First Child Yes, Charlie S Doing Okay Until People Start Dropping Dead Around Him, And Everywhere He Goes A Dark Presence Whispers To Him From Under The Streets Charlie Asher, It Seems, Has Been Recruited For A New Position As DeathIt S A Dirty Job, But Hey Somebody S Got To Do It I am a big fan of Moore, he is witty, kooky, has a penchant for the occult and tells a good story Way back in HS I read Piers Anthony s On a Pale Horse, and this is a satirical, humorous variation on that theme Moore is stringing together elements of his other novels and has recurring characters, all the fun.A Dirty Job deals with the tale of Charlie Asher, the owner of an antique store in San Francisco who is a beta male as opposed to an alpha and he is raising his daughter alone following his wife s death Charlie is a death merchant meaning that he finds, collects and protects souls from the forces of the underworld Moore includes elements of the strange and bizarre, mythological and fantastic characters like the Irish Morrigan and also Orcus of Advanced Dungeons and Dragons fame and Roman and Etruscan myth.One of Moore s better books, it is told with humor and warmth and would be a good introduction to his work A fan of Neil Gaiman s American Gods and Kevin Hearne s Iron Druid series would also like this. I struggled to find a pigeonhole for this book, so I did a quick internet search to find some help This just confused me take your pick of genres dark humour, supernatural horror, absurdist fiction, paranormal and Whatever it is, I found it to be funny.Is it my usual fancy Probably not I generally like my humorous reads to straddle the edge of believability, and this went a bit further than that I accept though the boundaries of other people s imaginations can stretch a lot further than mine.The book is slickly written and it tweaked my funnybone quite a few times It is a good story with some wonderfully bizarre characters, which I very much like I was fine with the sexual references.I confess it took me six weeks to read this book But my sluggishness had much to do with my busy work schedule than the ease of the read Having cleared my work commitments, I ripped through the last third of the book today I found the ending to be a rollercoaster, with a nice little twist at the end.