Review: A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore

The thing is, I love stories with personifications of Death (with a capital D). So I think even before I read A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore, I already liked it. When I actually finished it, I was in love. I was completely and utterly sold on this Moore guy – this brilliant bastard – who could make me laugh and cry in the space of a single chapter.

A Dirty Job was my first taste of what would later become an acute addiction to Moore’s work. To say I was impressed is a gross understatement. I basked in the unhinged humor, the zingy back-and-forths between kooky characters, and the thick tangle of a plot. In between all that, Moore manages to make social commentary with his study of the Beta Male and talks about death and reincarnation in a new and interesting light. I was reeling, mystified as to where all this awesomeness had been all my life. So there I was, happily wandering around in this aforementioned blur of awesome, when out of nowhere, I was accosted by hell-hounds and reanimated forest animals and sewer harpies! It was madness. It was magnificent. All this in superb writing.

A quick summary: Charlie Asher is a Beta Male perfectly content with his normal life. He has a beautiful wife and a new baby girl – they are happy. If only things could stay the same, but of course they never do. In Charlie’s case, the changes are life-altering (so to speak). Suddenly whenever he’s around, people start dying. He begins to see odd objects glowing in red and hear hissy death threats from sewer vents. Apart from his day job as a secondhand store owner, Charlie has just become Death’s newest employee.

The book covers a period of several years so that by the time it is done, Charlie’s daughter Sophie is already a little girl. We are immersed in a life that has become chock full of strange, hilarious situations. Charlie, in all his Beta Male-dom, is heartbreakingly lovable. His sister Jane, perpetually clad in fine suits, is a person (yes, I said person) I would love to hang out with. Sophie is a firecracker. A certain used record store proprietor with the most refreshing name totally owns. The rest of the supporting cast is just as vivid: Charlie’s gothic/horny store assistants, Inspector Rivera, and the Emperor and his dogs (Moore regulars).

A Dirty Job has become one of my greatest favorites, so there is that tug-of-war between my heart and my brain where I am rave-y and speechless at the same time. There is this flux of emotions and thoughts, and I’ve started to ramble. I will end here while the excitement is still in my bones and I am itching for a re-read.

This was a post by Kubi whose toes are cold.


And with that we end Christopher Moore month. It has been a pleasure running amok amidst all things Moore. But worry not, fair readers! We will continue to enliven our humble blog with nuggets from the cosmos of the Moore mind. Heinous fuckery is brewing as we speak.

Review: A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore

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