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Sandman Slim: A Novel by Richard Kadrey

Sandman Slim: A Novel (edition 2009)

by Richard Kadrey

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,2301056,465 (3.82)68
Title:Sandman Slim: A Novel
Authors:Richard Kadrey
Info:Harper Voyager (2009), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 400 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:fiction, fantasy, urban fantasy, dark fantasy, 2012, favorite

Work details

Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey

  1. 50
    Storm Front by Jim Butcher (enrique_molinero)
  2. 30
    A Madness of Angels: Or, the Resurrection of Matthew Swift by Kate Griffin (saltypepper)
    saltypepper: Start of a series which begins with the resurrection of a man who uses magic and is seeking vengeance, in a city (Los Angeles, London) which is practically another character.
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    Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: Both these novels are told in first person by men who are not averse to a bit of violence every now and then, and who have a certain attitude towards the universe. Altered Carbon is SF, while Sandman Slim is more of a Supernatural Urban Fantasy.
  5. 20
    Already Dead by Charlie Huston (meleada)
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    LongDogMom: Similar feel and style, both deal with angels, demons, Hell, betrayal and love.
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» See also 68 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 105 (next | show all)
Sandman Slim is the first book in the series of the same name. The story tells of James Stark, aka: Sandman Slim, who was kidnapped, sent to Hell and back again…literally.

The series is gritty, profane, sacrilegious, and not for the faint at heart. You’ll meet demons, fallen angels, God, and other gods. There is magic, the good, the evil, ones in-between, and the just plain stupid.

So, if you can get beyond all the surface stuff, this book and series will entertain and make you think. Check out the first in the series at Sandman Slim at the Library. ( )
  AnnRushing | Jul 13, 2014 |
I liked the antihero of this book. Is Stark a good guy? Certainly not in the white hat noble way of looking at things. He is constantly stealing cars but only really expensive ones from people that can afford it. Even though he has spent many years in hell due to his magical friends sending him there he is completely motivated by revenge and to be honest who can blame him. The "good guys" in the book certainly don't like him since there is a prophesy about his coming but he certainly isn't acting the part of a good deed doer. The spoiler about "who" he is was interesting to me since this idea has been cropping up in more books that I have been reading in the last few years. No good myth shall go unplundered by writers. I plan on reading the rest of the series but I will not be gobbling them down. It is nice to know that when I need a good read I can pick up the next book and have a good time. ( )
  Glennis.LeBlanc | Jul 8, 2014 |
Updated review 10/15/11
Sandman Slim – don’t you just like how that rolls off the tongue? This book had me laughing out loud in quite a few places. But it isn’t a comedy by any means – it’s dark urban fiction and it hooks you right in with Kadrey’s character Stark who is smart ass, intense chain smoking & drinking, self indulgent bastard who you can’t help but like even with his act now and maybe I’ll think about it attitude. You hurt for him and his lost love Alice, though sometimes I think he clung to her memory a bit too much after what ten years? This guy was done wrong and you want to see him get some revenge.

This book has a good mix of stuff. You hear about hell, hellions (demons), fallen angels, angels and other paranormal creatures. I often shy away from books with a theme of angels and demons in it because sometimes I feel like they are a bit too preachy. However, what I like about this book is that I didn’t get religious overtones at all. This is like a lesson in all the bad habits one man could possibly ever pick up.

I really like Kadrey’s take on the hidden paranormal community that lives along side humans. I definitely recommend this to paranormal and urban fiction fans who like their reading treats with a bit of a darker and dirtier twist. If you get a kick out of Jim Butcher's Dresden files I think you'll like this series as well. I only wish there were more out already, I’ve zipped through the second book Kill the Dead as soon as it came out and I am eagerly awaiting Aloha from Hell that comes out October 18th!!

-----------------old review
This book had me laughing out loud in quite a few places. The character is snarky - also the kind of guy that acts now and still might not think about what he did later. You hurt for him and his lost love, though sometimes I think he clung to her a bit too much.

I definitely recommend this to paranormal and urban fiction fans. If you get a kick out of Jim Butcher's Dresden files I think you'll like this series as well. I only wish there were more out already!
( )
  Pabkins | Jun 24, 2014 |
If you like Felix Castor, Dresden Files or Hellblazer, you'll love Sandman Slim. He's a little more cynical and seems to our of far too many close calls but essentially the same noir, detective, urban fantasy. ( )
  revslick | Apr 15, 2014 |
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

“Trust me on this — Hell is a tough room.”

James Stark is back and it's time for heads to roll (literally). His “friends” managed to get him pulled into Hell and he's spent the last 11 years entertaining Lucifer and Beelzebub in the gladiatorial arena, learning plenty of new skills (including how to speak High Hellion, which sounds a lot like barking), and acquiring a couple of useful magical objects. Now he's crawled out of the abyss and he's ready for revenge on those who killed his girlfriend and sent him Downtown. Fortunately he's got a little help from a 200 year old French alchemist who's looking for a cure for his immortality and an L.A. Goth girl who runs a video store.

Sandman Slim is a well-written and entertaining novel. What I liked best was Richard Kadrey's use of colorful metaphors and similes:

* "Aelita isn't what I imagined an angel would look like. She's about as ethereal as a zip gun. She walks like she's about to call in an air strike or buy Europe. Donald Trump in drag with her enemies' balls in a candy dish on her desk, right next to the stapler."
* "Wells motions me over, squinting at me like a constipated Clint Eastwood."
* "With a superhuman effort I try to push myself to my feet, but only get myself as far as propping myself on my elbows like a white-trash Sphinx."
* Stark manages to ruin every piece of clothing he puts on: "I'm the Joseph Stalin of laundry."

Sandman Slim is written in a present-tense first person voice and I enjoyed hearing James Stark's thoughts and, especially, his occasional Rules of Thumb:

"One rule of thumb in fighting is that crazy can often overcome skill and numbers, because, while a trained fighter might actually enjoy going up against another trained fighter, no one really wants to wrestle with crazy. Crazy doesn't know when it's winning. And crazy doesn't know when to stop. If you can't pull off crazy, if, for instance, you're handcuffed in a small van with six armed assailants, stupid is a decent substitute for crazy."

Sandman Slim was also informative. I've learned plenty of things that may be useful some day, like how to saw off a shotgun and how to use duct tape and cinder blocks to make a dead body sink. Also, in case I ever need to threaten to torture someone, I've got plenty of ideas — some of which involve the transposition of small round body parts.

There were some minor issues with the writing — a couple of mistakes (Kasabian drops the bat but then he's still holding the bat, Stark tells Candy to meet him somewhere and wonders why she doesn't show up in a different place, etc.). I read an advanced review copy, so I hope the editor catches these things (and the typos) before the final version comes out.

I really enjoyed Richard Kadrey's style, but I have to say that I didn't really enjoy the story of Sandman Slim. That's not really Mr. Kadrey's issue — it's me. Mostly the problem is that I'm not much of a fan of the urban bad-ass hero who's waging his own personal vendetta. I tried this novel, hoping it might change my mind, but it didn't — I just found it to be ugly, coarse, and lacking in beauty (except for those wonderful metaphors). Secondly, I'm a Christian and while I don't mind reading about people crawling out of Hell, I do have some sensitivities. For example, I feel uncomfortable with the premise that "God f'd up" which was sort of the theme of Sandman Slim.

I have no doubt that there will be many readers who will enjoy Sandman Slim a lot more than I did. I also have no doubt that I'd like to read other works by Richard Kadrey — something without the personal vendetta and God-f'd-up themes.
Richard Kadrey at Fantasy Literature. ( )
  Kat_Hooper | Apr 6, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 105 (next | show all)
It's the kind of book where suffering and slim hopes are the reality for almost all the characters, and where goals are not achieved without the kind of sacrifice and revelation that change people's lives forever. And by the standards of that kind of book, Sandman Slim is very, very good indeed.
added by lampbane | editSF Site, Greg L. Johnson (Oct 15, 2009)
This is a tightly plotted revenge story that grabbed me by the throat and didn't let go.
added by lampbane | editBoing Boing, Cory Doctorow (Jul 24, 2009)
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Just judge of vengeance, grant the gift of forgiveness, before the day of reckoning. - Dies Irae, Requiem Mass
The dumber people think you are, the more surprised they're going to be when you kill them. - William Clayton
For Nicola
First words
I wake up in a pile of smoldering garbage and leaves in the Old Hollywood Forever cemetery behind the Paramount Studio lot on Melrose, though these last details don't come to me until later.
Nothing nice happens to murdered women, except that maybe someone cares about how they got that way.
Ladies and gentlemen, meet the Metatron's Cube. One of the holiest of holy glyphs. The soul of the angel Metatron, the voice of God. Good for keeping away imps, flesh-eating zombies, and ants at a picnic. It slices. It dices. It has a thousand and one uses. A thousand and two if you draw it on a brick and throw it through the windshield of your ex-girlfriend's new boyfriend's car.
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Book description
When he was 19, James Stark was considered to be one of the greatest natural magicians, a reputation that got him demon-snatched and sent downtown - to Hell - where he survived as a gladiator, a sideshow freak entertaining Satan's fallen angels.

That was 11 years ago. Now, the hitman who goes only by Stark has escaped and is back in L.A. Armed with a fortune-telling coin, a black bone knife, and an infernal key, Stark is determined to destroy the magic circle - led by the conniving and powerful Mason Faim - that stole his life.

Though nearly everything has changed, one constant remains: his friend Vidocq, a 200-year-old Frenchman who has been keeping vigil for the young magician's return. But when Stark's first stop saddles him with an abusive talking head that belongs to the first of the circle, a sleazy video store owner named Kasabian, Stark discovers that the road to absolution and revenge is much longer than he counted on, and both Heaven and Hell have their own ideas for his future.

Haiku summary
Stark ends up in hell. 
Girlfriend dead, breaks out, revenge. 
Heaven and Hell, Scared.

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Working as a sideshow gladiator in Hell after being snatched by demons at the age of nineteen, James Stark escapes and returns to Los Angeles, where he plots to destroy the magic circle that stole his life.

(summary from another edition)

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Two editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Two editions of this book were published by Eos.

Editions: 0061714305, 0061976261

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