Wednesday, September 18, 2013

A DIRTY JOB by Christopher Moore - Book Review

 Rating: 3.5/5 - Great if you’re in the mood for it, only okay if you’re not.
Title: A Dirty Job 

Author: Christopher Moore

Format: ebook and hardcover

Published: 2006

Genre: urban fantasy, humour

Publisher: William Morrow

Landed in my hands: purchased myself

Summary (from author’s website):

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.


It took me a long time to finish this book, and it had nothing to do with not enjoying it, and everything to do with that missing spark that makes me crave a book (hence the rating).

A Dirty Job has bizarre humour and a concept that drew my eye, but I found that depending on whether I was in the right mood, that same humour fell flat for me. Yes, it was fun. Yes, it had a charmingly quirky cast of misfits. Yes, it had that absurdity that usually has me quite enthralled wondering where the author will lead me next, but for whatever reason, I never got sucked into the book.

I’m confused, too. I expected to adore this book. I wanted to adore this book. There were times when I did, and then there were times when it was a touch too silly for me.

Will it remain on my shelf? Yes—because I’ve got a signed copy (thanks to the wonderfully thoughtful people at Bargain Basement Books in Atlanta who graciously remembered my request from one JordanCon to the next!), but unless my To Read list shortens, I don’t think the next in the series will be leaping to the head of the reading pile any time soon.

That said, A Dirty Job was a great little read to cleanse the pallet between heavier books. It’s light and fluffy and unusual enough to garner some laugh-out-loud moments, but like the rating reads: great if you’re in the mood for it, only okay if you’re not.

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