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Aloha from Hell: A Sandman Slim Novel by…
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Aloha from Hell: A Sandman Slim Novel (edition 2012)

by Richard Kadrey

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3583130,413 (3.8)28
Member:GhostWriter57
Title:Aloha from Hell: A Sandman Slim Novel
Authors:Richard Kadrey
Info:Harper Voyager (2012), Paperback, 464 pages
Collections:2012
Rating:***
Tags:None

Work details

Aloha from Hell by Richard Kadrey

  1. 00
    Dead Men's Boots by Mike Carey (LongDogMom)
    LongDogMom: Similar type of writing and characterization
  2. 00
    For Heavens Eyes Only by Simon R. Green (chaos012)
  3. 00
    Already Dead by Charlie Huston (crimeminister)
    crimeminister: If you like your urban fantasy a little gritty, a little grimey, with a stiff splash of noir to add character, read the Joe Pitt series by Charlie Huston. It's a little less fantastic, a little more bleak than the world of Sandman Slim, but any fan of one will probably like the other.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
I don't know how I feel about the ending.
  FourOfFiveWits | Feb 23, 2015 |
I think overall the whole series is refreshing. I enjoy the take on Heaven and Hell. ( )
  jaddington | Feb 16, 2015 |
I think overall the whole series is refreshing. I enjoy the take on Heaven and Hell. ( )
  jaddington | Feb 16, 2015 |
I started reading Aloha From Hell on February 15th of this year. Here it is, September 20th, and I've just now finished it. What began as a read on my Kindle changed to the hardcover edition in July when I found it at the library. I made it to about page 100 before I had to take the book back so someone else could tear their fucking hair out. Finally, I downloaded the audio book, because MacLeod Andrews can make Cannibal Corpse lyrics sound like Catholic hymns. And whataya know? I actually finished this mother-humping book. Amen, and pass the maledictions!

Oh, how I loved the first two books in this series. The witty sarcasm, the foul-mouthed humor, action that explodes on the page... What in the name of Tom Cruise's bleached asshole happened here? Sure, Stark is just as sarcastic as ever, but the humor was like listening to an obese comedian tell his hundredth fat joke of the night. It was funny the first 99 times, but now it's just kinda sad. Doesn't he have any other material, for Cruise's sake?

Aloha From Hell drones on about religious bullshit and other godly mythos as Kadrey tries to figure out who God is and what purpose the deity will serve in his Sandman Slim urban fantasy series. As far as action is concerned, we get an anti-climactic exorcism, three or four gladius battles that seem ripped from the Sword Fighting Playbook of 1940, Stark driving a Ferrari Testarossa out of Hell and into a war with Heaven ( literally pause the audio because I was laughing so hard at the mid-life-crisis-fantasy-porn), and a finale on par with the ending of the Richard Donner's Superman. Other than that, we receive roughly two billion conversations. There's so much dialogue in this book, I though I was reading a script. And, for the most part, the cast are not talking about anything worth a fuck. No! We get page after page of hellions whining about why Hell sucks, bad guys spouting off exposition, and good guys complaining about having to be good guys. By the time I was done with this (and I never thought I'd say this, but...), I was chomping at the bit for some of Peter Straub or Stephen King's infamous walls of text, wherein we get paragraphs that last two or three pages without a single shred of dialogue. I was actually tired of hearing people talk. More than once I thought, "Shut the fuck up and get on with the goddamn story, you mouthy pricks!"

This book is packed full of filler. It's bursting at the seams, really. I mean, for fuck's sake, it takes Stark until the 54% mark to get to Hell. The book's story doesn't even really start until halfway through the goddamn book! All the bullshit before he goes to Hell is superfluous. Wanna know how I know? Because I forgot everything that happened during the first section of the book and was not even close to lost at the end. I got the full picture, and I can't even remember the first fifty percent!

Oh, and Jack the Ripper's appearance was pointless. So very cliched and pointless. What about H. H. Holmes or Albert Fish, or someone who hasn't popped up half a trillion times in books about Hell.

See also: Hell being a twisted version of Los Angeles... FUCKING GODDAMN SQUIRREL-MOLESTING MOTHERFUCKING CHRIST ON A TAMPAX YACHT, KADREY, SHOW SOME ORIGINALITY!

(*takes a deep breath* Sorry, about that. Now back to our regularly scheduled review)

I almost rage-quit this pile of dumpster leavings five times since February, but friends kept telling me, "The fourth book is SOOOOO worth the trouble." You guys better be right, or I'm going to burn this book and use the flames to light your pubes on fire.

Now, with all this cussing and fussing, I bet you're asking yourself how in the name of Tom Cruise's waxed weasel hole did it garner three stars from me? Well, the answer is this: There are parts in this book that I liked quite a bit. All the emotional stuff was handled expertly, and I even teared when Alice tells Stark how she really died. I got another sentimental boner while Stark was ranting about how God was just another deadbeat dad in his life. Any scene that was designed to tug at my heartstrings worked like a bodybuilder bench pressing bags of cotton. And that's what I don't understand, Mr. Kadrey. This is urban fantasy, not literary fiction, so why the huge emphasis on emotional content here? Some of your prose herein is fucking gorgeous, but when it comes to action and plot progression, Aloha From Hell eats all the ass with pancake syrup and sprinkles on top. Had the fight sequences been up to par with the tear-jerking shit, and the dialogue edited down a couple dozen pages, I believe this would have been the best book in the series. Because, Kadrey,dude, you had some important shit to say, it's just that most of it got buried under a metric-fuck-tonne of bloated text.

In summation: I don't know if reading this volume was worth it yet, so I cannot recommend Aloha From Hell, nor can I tell you to stay the fuck away from it. I will tackle that after reading the next book in the series, which, strangely enough, is a novella. Devil in the Dollhouse (book 3.5) comes before Devil Said Bang (Book 4), so to the Dollhouse I turn. It best not suck, Kadrey. Best not!

Three balls sucked out of five. ( )
  Edward.Lorn | Feb 13, 2015 |
I read the first two and enjoyed them, despite some editing issues.
But in this novel, there are construction issues, world building conflicts as well as editing problems.
Editing was the usual loose style that needs to be tightened. For example, reference is made in a conversation to something that was not actually part of the conversation. It probably probably referring to a line of dialog that was edited out, but it needed to be corrected in the entirety.

But those are issues that can be ignored. What dropped this novel to a 3 star was its general "throw the spaghetti at the wall and call it a plot" theme. The first half of the novel doesn't feel related in any way to the second. And frankly the first half is better. The second half takes place in hell, which is fine, but the amount of filler descriptiveness is truly dismally boring. And there does seem to be a sort of contrived meandering around, without any movement in the plot.

The fact that the hell he visits is now entirely different than the one we get glimpses of in his previous books, is explained in a rather contrived manner. And frankly, I think the choice of making hell a carnival mirror representation of LA was just silly. Beyond that, it has some glaring internal conflicts as well as logic conflicts.

The final twist at the end, was I suppose surprising. But it was hardly satisfying, and made the entire Metaphorical Hell even more unrealistic. It was also a bit of an internal conflict compared to previous book issues. ( )
  blatherlikeme | Sep 28, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Richard Kadreyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Andrews, MacLeodNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
I sat the shore
Fishing, with the arid plain behind me
Shall I at least set my lands in order?

–T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land
Life is a bucket of shit with a

barbed wire handle. 

–Jim Thompson 
Dedication
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"Tell me," says the Frenchman. "How long has it been since you last killed anything?"
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Supernatural fantasy’s greatest anti-hero goes back to hell!
In Sandman Slim Stark came back from hell for revenge.
In Kill the Dead he tackled both a zombie plague and being Lucifer’s bodyguard.
Once again all is not right in L.A. Lucifer is back in Heaven, God is on vacation, and an insane killer mounts a war against both Heaven and Hell.
Stark’s got to head back down to his old stomping grounds in Hell to rescue his long lost love, stop an insane serial killer, prevent both Good and Evil from completely destroying each other, and stop the demonic Kissi from ruining the party for everyone.
Even for Sandman Slim, that’s a tall order. And it’s only the beginning.
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In "Sandman Slim", Stark came back from hell for revenge. In "Kill the Dead" he tackled both a zombie plague and being Lucifer's bodyguard. Once again all is not right in LA. Lucifer is back in Heaven, God 's on vacation, and an insane killer mounts a war against both Heaven and Hell.… (more)

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