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The Dirty Streets of Heaven by Tad Williams
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The Dirty Streets of Heaven (edition 2012)

by Tad Williams

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3542630,811 (3.58)39
Member:amobogio
Title:The Dirty Streets of Heaven
Authors:Tad Williams
Info:Hodder & Stoughton Ltd (2012), Hardcover
Collections:Michael's Books Read
Rating:***1/2
Tags:me12, fantasy, library book, angels

Work details

The Dirty Streets of Heaven 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 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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» See also 39 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
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 |
I wanted to like this book much more than I did. While I didn't dislike it, nonetheless it failed to live up to its potential. Too many plates spinning at once, not enough payoff when the big reveal occurs. Williams is long-winded at times, and the "wise guy" narration felt forced at times. My biggest complaint with the book was the way the female characters (all two of them) were depicted. The women were not well developed and mostly existed to boink the main character. Caz could have been really interesting, and I hope that she has more to do beside frolic in bed with Bobby in the next book.

UPDATE: I tried reading the sequel, but everything I disliked about this book seemed magnified. I've decided to give the rest of this series a pass. ( )
  MadameWho | Dec 26, 2014 |
Angels and demons advocate for the soul of each dead person; when the angels win it’s Heaven or Purgatory, and when the demons win it’s eternal damnation. Bobby Dollar is a hardboiled combat vet turned angel advocate, and my main reaction was that Williams was trying too hard for the noir narrative, even as the setting (sunny California) and the plot (corruption on high, lots of threats and beatings from bruisers, femme fatale with her own agenda despite her incredible attraction to our narrator) fit the bill to a T. Also, I was just creeped out by the narrator’s constant comparisons of his demonic lady love to a child, e.g., “With her youthful, wide-eyed face and long white-gold hair cascading over her naked shoulders she might have been a portrait of Alice that Reverend Dodgson would have kept locked away and shown to no one”—this, right after an explicit sex scene. Not my thing. ( )
  rivkat | Jul 12, 2014 |
This is a modern day urban fantasy with as you can guess, angels and demons. It hits just the right balance between too-good fantasy and gritty, dark fantasy, not too much of either. The 'hero' of the story is an angel named Dolorial, or his street name of Bobby Dollar. Angels appear to be normal humans when seen around town, but are tougher and stronger than normal humans. Dolorial is an advocate, an angel that speaks for the dead when they are judged immediately after death (no judgement at the pearly gates here). Things start to get strange when a soul disappears while Bobby is advocating.
The story is mostly an urban fantasy detective story, as Bobby sets out to find out what's going on with the missing souls and ends up in the middle of a huge conspiracy. Mr. William's writing is excellent, the pace of the book is fast but not too fast and his characters are compelling. There's nothing less than excellent about this book.; unless you object to his 'objective' views of religion, which while somewhat Christian doesnt really favor one religion over another. Sure, at times it isn't 'realistic', but its a fantasy novel with angels and demons, what would be realistic about that? I enjoyed this very much. ( )
1 vote Karlstar | May 17, 2014 |
The Dirty Streets of Heaven is quite different from what I had previously read by Tad Williams which was his Memory, Sorrow, & Thorn epic fantasy series. However, what was familiar was the solid storytelling, excellent world & character building and dialog. This was an angel themed urban fantasy unlike most that I've read recently. Williams' imagining of the inner workings of Heaven and Hell were quite original and intriguing as well as including a fast moving plot that is not lacking in action or suspense. The Dirty Streets of Heaven definitely has all the ingredients for an exciting urban fantasy This almost had a noir feel to it with the heirarchy of both heaven & hell almost set up like a Godfather movie.

Angel Doloriel aka Bobby Dollar is a fast talking, snarky cynic who spends his days advocating for souls caught on the brink of heaven and hell. He finds himself in the middle of a dangerous situation that is likely far beyond his ability to handle and he's not really sure how he got there or how to get out of it. This first novel in the series introduces a quite array of quirky characters who were as abrasive as the dirty streets the title refers to, but satisfyingly so.. I've seen this compared with Jim Butcher's Dresden series and I would agree that fans of that series may want to check out this series.

I'm excited to follow Bobby Dollar's (mis)adventures in the upcoming sequel Happy Hour in Hell which should be released September 3! I would absolutely recommend this to fans of urban fantasy, noir fantasy, detective novels, and as I said above, fans of the Dresden Files. ( )
  ahappybooker | Feb 7, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 26 (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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