Thursday Quotables: A Dirty Job


Welcome back to Thursday Quotables! This weekly feature is the place to highlight a great quote, line, or passage discovered during your reading each week.  Whether it’s something funny, startling, gut-wrenching, or just really beautifully written, Thursday Quotables is where my favorite lines of the week will be, and you’re invited to join in!

NEW! Thursday Quotables is now using a Linky tool! Be sure to add your link if you have a Thursday Quotables post to share.

Dirty Job

A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore
(published 2006 )

I’m listening to the audiobook of A Dirty Job to get read for the sequel, Secondhand Souls, due out in August. I remember loving A Dirty Job the first time around — but listening brings it to an entirely new level of hilarity. Maybe it won’t be quite as funny out of context, but here’s a passage that brings on the giggles:

Charlie’s problem was that the trailing edge of his Beta Male imagination was digging at him like bamboo splinters under the fingernails. While Alpha Males are often gifted with superior physical attributes — size, strength, speed, good looks — selected by evolution over the eons by the strongest surviving and, essentially, getting all the girls, the Beta Male gene has survived not by meeting and overcoming adversity, but by anticipating and avoiding it. That is, when the Alpha Males were out charging after mastodons, the Beta Males could imagine in advance that attacking what was essentially an angry, woolly bulldozer with a pointy stick might be a losing proposition, so they hung back at camp to console the grieving widows.
Into the breech of the Castro district Charlie Asher charged, an antique sword-cane from the store on the van seat beside him, his jaw set like a bayonet, his visage a study in fearsome intensity. Half a block, half a block, half of a block onward — into the Valley of Overpriced Juice Bars and Outlandish Hair Highlights — rode the righteous Beta Male. And woe be unto the foolish ne’er-do-well who had dared to fuck with this secondhand death dealer…
And finally, rule number one from Charlie’s volume of  The Great Big Book of Death, summing up more or less the main gist of the entire plot of A Dirty Job:
1. Congratulations, you have been chosen to act as Death. It’s a dirty job, but someone has to do it. It is your duty to retrieve soul vessels from the dead and dying and see them on to their next body. If you fail, Darkness will cover the world and Chaos will reign.

What lines made you laugh, cry, or gasp this week? Do tell!

If you’d like to participate in Thursday Quotables, it’s really simple:

  • Write a Thursday Quotables post on your blog. Try to pick something from whatever you’re reading now. And please be sure to include a link back to Bookshelf Fantasies in your post (, if you’d be so kind!
  • Click on the linky button (look for the cute froggie face) below to add your link.
  • After you link up, I’d love it if you’d leave a comment about my quote for this week.
  • Be sure to visit other linked blogs to view their Thursday Quotables, and have fun!

11 thoughts on “Thursday Quotables: A Dirty Job

    • It’s make me laugh… which can be weird because I listen to it in my car. I must look ridiculous! 🙂 Since I’ve read it before, I’m not sure I’ll review it this time around, but I’ll definitely be reviewing the sequel!

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