A Dirty Job

A Dirty Job is the second Christopher Moore book that I picked up a while ago (also highly suggested by the guys I bowl with), and I read this one just as quickly as I read Lamb.

Book Stats

384 pages



The main character of this book is Charlie Asher, a Beta-Male who runs a second-hand store that he inherited from his father.  The idea of him being a Beta-Male was fun throughout the story, and it was interesting to watch how he reacts to the very strange situations he finds himself in.  During the course of the book, he interacts with a bunch of very strange characters, including his 16 year old goth employee Lily, the Emperor of San Francisco, a 7 foot tall black man named Minty Fresh, and a pair of 400 pound hellhounds who will only listen to his daughter.  So in other words, about your normal range of people in any major city.


Present day San Francisco.


With his wife dead shortly after giving birth to their first child, Charlie’s life starts to get a little crazy.  He buys pets for his daughter, and they all die almost immediately, and then people start to die around him as well.  Soon, Charlie learns that he is a Death Merchant, a person who goes around to people who have recently died and picks up objects that contain their souls.  He then sells these at his shop so that the souls can move on to other people.  And then things start getting weird when dark creatures start whispering to him from the sewers of the city.  Charlie has to deal with all of this while still getting used to living after his wife died and try to raise his daughter as well as he can.


This book is very strange (oh wait, I already said Christopher Moore wrote it didn’t I?).  Anytime you’re talking about souls being kept in used CD’s for the next buyer, hellhounds who will eat next to anything (including propane tanks and fire extinguishers), and 14-inch tall chimaeras made from taxidermied animal parts, you’d expect the book to be one non-sequitar after another.  But much like in Lamb, everything in this book just works.  One thing that was a little different for me in this book is that it was told from an omniscient point of view, which allowed Moore to tell jokes that he wouldn’t have been able to had he written the book directly from a character point of view.  I do have to say that I was a little upset with the ending because I figured out the biggest twist of it about halfway through the book.  But even though I knew what was coming at the end, I still enjoyed getting there.

Overall Grade

Another fun book with a lot of very strange elements thrown in, but it all works out by the end.


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  1. hannahrose42

     /  February 22, 2012

    This sounds pretty fun… I was never sure what to think of Christopher Moore. His covers put me off a little; they made me think the stories were more kid-ish. From your description, this sounds like something I would enjoy. It reminds me of the silliness in the Stephanie Plum novels that I read recently.

    • I said in my review of Lamb that it’s really easy to dismiss his books when you read what they’re about, but he’s actually a really good writer, I’m definitely going to be looking into more of his books in the future.

  2. This book definitely sounds interesting. I do like the idea of a “beta” main character. I can think of few examples, but it must bring a unique perspective.

    I also love the simple, yet effective structure of your reviews. Very well done.

    • There are so many books where the main character is overly strong or a paragon of virtue in some other way that this book was a welcome change. It’s kind of similar to Lord of the Rings in a way, Frodo and Sam are not your typical Fantasy heroes, yet they’re still able to get the job done.

      Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Great review Adam, I was a bit wary of Lamb as I am about most god related things (although it sounds like it’s a less typically Christian take on that story) but this one sounds like it might be a good introduction to Christopher Moore for me. I shall add it to my TBR list!

    • They’re both a lot of fun, I’m definitely going to have to pick up more of his books next time I go book shopping (which is probably later today).


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