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The Dirty Streets of Heaven by Tad Williams

The Dirty Streets of Heaven (edition 2012)

by Tad Williams

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4363124,126 (3.62)40
Title:The Dirty Streets of Heaven
Authors:Tad Williams
Info:Hodder & Stoughton Ltd (2012), Hardcover
Collections:Michael's Books Read
Tags:me12, fantasy, library book, angels

Work details

The Dirty Streets of Heaven: Volume One of Bobby Dollar by Tad Williams

  1. 20
    A Kiss Before the Apocalypse by Thomas E. Sniegoski (LongDogMom)
    LongDogMom: Another urban fantasy about angels. Remy has given up being an angel to live on Earth as human but when the Angel of Death goes missing his former colleagues come to him for help.
  2. 10
    Ghost Story by Jim Butcher (al.vick)
    al.vick: or the whole Dresden series.
  3. 10
    Already dead : a novel by Charlie Huston (LongDogMom)
    LongDogMom: Noir and gritty in a similar tone, Even though it's a series about a vampire instead of an angel I think readers who enjoy one would enjoy the other.
  4. 10
    Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey (LongDogMom)
    LongDogMom: Freshly escaped from Hell, a living soul who should never have been there in the first place, looks for those who put him there. A little darker but a similar feel and probably would appeal to the same audience.
  5. 11
    Agents Of Light And Darkness by Simon R. Green (LongDogMom)
    LongDogMom: A book set in the Nightside, the secret, magical heart of London, and a search for something called the Unholy Grail with angels who are scarier than many of the monsters that inhabit P.I. John Taylor's strange and gritty world.
  6. 00
    Defending Angels by Mary Stanton (LongDogMom)
    LongDogMom: A human lawyer and a group of angels work as advocates in the Celestial Court for their dead clients, solving their murders along the way in a lighter, cozy mystery way.
  7. 00
    Blood and Feathers by Lou Morgan (LongDogMom)
    LongDogMom: Good urban fantasy about angels who aren't so angelic

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Showing 1-5 of 30 (next | show all)
This is an example of what I choose to call the “worldly angel” sub-genre of urban fantasy that takes place in our contemporary world and draws on the Christian mythos of Heaven and Hell, demons and angels (fallen or otherwise). In Williams’ version, both Heaven and Hell draw their agents from among the spirits of dead humanity. Thus, the main character Bobby Dollar is an angel who started out as a human – although he’s not permitted to remember his human existence. His role is that of advocate, which means that he argues before the higher-level angels, who are the judges, on behalf of the souls of the recently deceased in an effort to win them entry into Heaven. That’s his job. But when one of these recently-deceased souls simply vanishes, things get interesting.

Fair warning: This is apparently the first book of a trilogy. Its ending resolves the immediate conflicts but leaves significant things dangling. I should also warn that there is some fairly explicit sex. I could have used less detail on that, but it didn’t seem overtly exploitative in the sense that it fit the needs of the story. There is also quite a lot of violence and mayhem. If you like that sort of thing, this is definitely a book for you. I found it a bit excessive, especially since there were human witnesses to a lot of it which meant that a lot of cover-ups would have been needed – an issue that was barely touched on.

While it’s always clear that Bobby is working on the side of right – that he cares about humanity, for example – a lot of his behavior, and his language, is not very angelic. That’s a large part of the fun of this book. There’s a certain amount of dark humor and the thoughts and dialog of the angels are often hilariously irreverent. I cared about the central character and there were lots of other interesting characters, too, and plenty of action. The set-up was novel within the sub-genre, and the story certainly held my interest. I probably won’t read the sequels, partly because of the sex/violence factor, but also because I thought Williams pulled too many things out of a hat at the end of the book. One thing in particular really bothered me: I’ll try not to spoil anything for anyone who wants to read this book, but if an author is going to hide something in a given location and needs the thing to show up chapters and chapters later, he/she should be sure to make it plausible that the location would still exist after everything that happens in between. ( )
  Carol_W | May 18, 2017 |
Fun and exciting urban fantasy by a master fantasy writer

( )
  suze8065 | Sep 22, 2016 |
Oh, man. I barely managed to finish this book; I am loathe to DNF a book, but this one sorely tempted me.

Alas, I made it through. I don't know if the style actually got better (aka irritated me less) or if I just gave up and let the book wound my readerly soul.

I liked a couple things: Caz, the complicated romantic relationship, Sam.

I couldn't stand: The protagonist. The protagonist's "voice." The irritating way the protagonist kept telling me stuff he'd already told me just in case I wasn't paying attention earlier. The protagonist.

Can you tell I don't like Bobby Dollar? It's hard to love a book when the main character, who is also the narrator, hurts you like fingernails drawn across the proverbial chalkboard.

Far too clever for its own good.

I won't be reading more books about Bobby Dollar, public defender of the final kind. ( )
  ThePortPorts | Jul 19, 2016 |
In the war between heaven and hell, some angels and demons are lawyers who will argue for your soul. But then the souls start disappearing and Bobby Dollar was there for the first one.

Very creative, well written and fun. Think pulpy detective who is actually an angel...mind you, not very saintly. I am looking forward to reading the second in the series. ( )
  bookwormteri | Jul 13, 2016 |
Noir is a genre of attitude. Urban Fantasy a type of surrealism.

Only [a:Neil Gaiman|1221698|Neil Gaiman|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1234150163p2/1221698.jpg] with his mysterious parallel worlds, and [a:Larry Correia|1136158|Larry Correia|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1323587082p2/1136158.jpg] with his fast paced tongue-in-cheek pulp action have added quality to a niche too often conceded to boorish hacks acting out 15 year old male fantasies *cough* Jim Butcher *cough*.

Tad Williams is an accomplished writer. I loved his Memory, Sorrow and Thorn trilogy when I read it in my teens. I got warm little glows from [b:Tailchaser's Song|23340|Tailchaser's Song|Tad Williams|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1328382008s/23340.jpg|1514441]. I was very curious on how Williams could turn his writing to the Urban Fantasy genre.

Raymond Chandler and Philip K. Dick are listed among his influences, but disappointingly, this story seems to be channeling his inner Simon R Green. There's too much cooler-than-cool, nonchalant, wise-talking "Anti-hero" in the protagonist. The same shit we've seen before and failed to be convinced with then.

Add to that, the catalyst for the ensuring epic events just didn't grab me as all that much of an issue either. I can only theorise that I hadn't been hooked enough by the story to succumb to what seemed a pretty weakly setup up triggering event. The bureaucratising of the Angels and Demons further killed the mood for me. That was too cliche to form such an important part. The love interest had potential, but seemed steeped too bent in the Supernatural Romance (AKA Twilight) end of the spectrum. Too many pop culture references too - they always scare me. It's like you forgot the art of writing and fell back on "..like the girl in Friends."

Unfortunately, I found the experience as B grade as watching Grimm or Haven. It was Nickelback when I was craving Siouxsie and the Banshees. Too much Emo, not enough Goth. Where's the [a:James O'Barr|56002|James O'Barr|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1343843816p2/56002.jpg] suffering, dammit! God forbid I mention this word when talking about Urban Fantasy - but it lacked Gravitas.

Maybe it's the genre itself at fault? ( )
  StaticBlaq | Apr 26, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 30 (next | show all)
For me Tad Williams sits right up there with the very best fantasy story-tellers...
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This book is dedicated to my good friend, David Charles Michael Pierce.

Dave loved stuff like this and I think he would of liked this book too. I hope someday we'll see each other again, and he can let me know what I got right and what I got wrong.

Thanks for being my buddy, Dave. I miss you. We all miss you.
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I was just stepping out of the elevator on the 13th floor of the Five Page Mill building when the alarm began going off-those nightmarish, clear-the-building kindlike the screams of tortured robots-and I realized I pretty much lost any chance at the subtle approach.
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Book description
Bobby Dollar is an angel—a real one. He knows a lot about sin, and not just in his professional capacity as an advocate for souls caught between Heaven and Hell. Bobby’s wrestling with a few deadly sins of his own—pride, anger, even lust.

But his problems aren’t all his fault. Bobby can’t entirely trust his heavenly superiors, and he’s not too sure about any of his fellow earthbound angels either, especially the new kid that Heaven has dropped into their midst, a trainee angel who asks too many questions. And he sure as hell doesn’t trust the achingly gorgeous Countess of Cold Hands, a mysterious she-demon who seems to be the only one willing to tell him the truth.

When the souls of the recently departed start disappearing, catching both Heaven and Hell by surprise, things get bad very quickly for Bobby D. End-of-the-world bad. Beast of Revelations bad. Caught between the angry forces of Hell, the dangerous strategies of his own side, and a monstrous undead avenger that wants to rip his head off and suck out his soul, Bobby’s going to need all the friends he can get—in Heaven, on Earth, or anywhere else he can find them.

You’ve never met an angel like Bobby Dollar. And you’ve never read anything like The Dirty Streets of Heaven.

Brace yourself—the afterlife is weirder than you ever believed.
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Bobby Dollar, an angel who has taken part in the long battle between Heaven and Hell, must figure out why there are suddenly an unprecedented number of souls missing from both sides and who summoned a Babylonian demon to kill him.

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