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A very unusual/unique novel. I found it refreshing and darkly humorous, an excellent fantasy noir.
I’ve heard about Richard Kadrey’s Sandman Slim books but before reading one I expected some gritty cyberpunk type thing. So I was surprised that it was all magic and ass-kicking, not clever, understated detective work.
Stark is a man who just came back to Los Angeles from 11 years in hell and he’s looking for his old magical friends who turned on him and sent him there. I loved how the book throws you right in, like you’ve missed something that would explain how Stark wasn’t dead when he went to hell. Instead of worrying about that Stark just steals money, uses a hell-coin to make decisions and basically cuts a swathe through the magickal underworld.
It was fun, but had less oomph to it than I’d hoped. Good popcorn reading.
Oh how I love it when the literati post reviews just so they can spout pseudo-intellectual bullshit and look down their noses at "pulp". Here's what to expect if you decide to jump into this series with both feet. Sandman Slim is the first in a series of books; the seventh, Killing Pretty, will be released soon. The series is written in such a way that it doesn't really matter which book you read first, but if you can, read them in order. There is also a stand-alone novella, Devil In The Dollhouse. Kadrey has been compared, by lazy reviewers, to Jim Butcher and Joss Whedon. He is an inveterate smart-ass and this is urban fiction, but that's where the similarities begin and end. If you pay attention, there is a good deal of world-building throughout the series, but it is subtle, and the reader must string bits and pieces together to make sense of it. Not a bad thing-I'd much rather learn as I go along than be bashed in the head with information. Sandman Slim is definitely a violent, egotistical asshole of a manly man, but not a sexist, and Kadrey has written some very strong and interesting female characters. Sandman Slim is not just about kicking Evil's ass, or fighting scary monsters, though its monsters are original and much more interesting than your standard vampire or zombie, and ass does get kicked. Kadrey is hilarious-too many horror fiction writers take themselves far too seriously. I can think of many I'd love to stake in the pedantic little heart. The only book in the series that I found a bit slow was Aloha From Hell, but that may be because I read the first four books back-to-back. The series is irreverent and profane and really, really fun to read. Lots of violence, lots of gross-outs, not for the faint of heart or for kids. Also not for readers who take themselves too seriously. Have fun.
Could not stand the character. He's a 30 something year old man with a hell of a chip on his shoulder. He was too immature which made the book drag on and on.
A bit flat. For riotous fun, you should try Simon R. Green's "Shaman Bond" series.
This is NOT great literature, but it is one heck of a ride. Dark, wild, testosterone fueled, horribly funny, filled with some of the greatest characters we'll never get to meet--and the women--sweet and strong and so beautiful!....Yeah, if you have one particle of badass in you, you'll enjoy this hero and his steel-toed boot stomp through the LA you will love to hate. This is the fun stuff, folks, this is a big treat.
Given the set up for this book not much happened within the first 150 pages. Maybe there was a payoff to be had later. I'll never know. The first-person narrator liked to blather along and the author set him up with all the tools he needed to get his vengeance. The book would have been much more interesting if the main character had either
a. Got right down to the vengeance business
b. Given some details about what his time in hell was like
c. Had some actual obstacles to overcome early on
Enjoyable, interesting read with tough, irreverent, extremely violent hero. The black humour adds spice to the book. Looking forward to book 2.
This one grabbed me. I love dark humor and found this by finding what others Dresden Files lovers would like. I've got the second book reserved and look forward to starting it.
Heaven vs. Hell. Main character escapes from hell after 11 years to track down those who sent him there. Fun but not great.
So the guy who got sent to Hell alive and got work down there as a hit man escapes and meets a nice girl who is trying to quit drinking. Turns out she is still up for occasional mass slaughter, so long as it doesn't entail shooting people full of digestive enzymes and then sucking them dry. They have a lovely first date killing hordes of magicians, demons, and Things from the Void, and then he has to leave her because his Destiny, because his Vengeance, because his Deeply Wounded Soul, and because the author has a mortgage to pay and a viable series character, which means no character development can occur for at least three more books. This is why I wind up reading literature instead of pulp, even though literature is too hard for me in every way.
Will, don't tell anyone! I adore these books! Kadrey sweet talks you into his world, ties you down (actually you volunteered) and subjects you to the filth and glory of his imagination!
I loved this - first book of a series, I think the third is just coming out now. Sandman Slim is part of circle practicing magic when his circle turns on him and banishes him to hell. Eleven years later he escapes and he's back for revenge. Set in griddy L.A., it's supernatural and awesome!
From the description on the back, this book turned out to be a little different than I expected. None the less, if you like gritty urban fantasy with a dash of humor than this is for you. Stark is an anti-hero easy to get attached to. My only caution is: ladies? This is not supernatural romance so do not look for it here, you will be disappointed.
Great novel. Love the heaven/hell thing. you gotta read it to understand but well worth it.
Darkly entertaing and full of sarcasm and black humour. If your tired of happy, fluffy do-gooders, pick this one up and you won't be disappointed.
Somewhat dark, gritty & violent with a snarky protagonist but totally enjoyable.
The story kept you interested and wanting more. Stark was a caustic anti-hero that everyone roots for, unless your one of the sunshine fantastic "Me" generation hippy. This book has everything an X'er would enjoy in a fantasy, except sex, sadly missing. Sarcasm, humour and violence, perfect.
There's a lot of typos in this book. Other than that, it's pure fantasy; a comic book dream, for lovers of this sort of gruel. Hell, Heaven, Lucifer and that famed na'at ( the most interesting object in this book, if we forget Kasabian's talking head.)