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Sandman Slim: A Novel by Richard Kadrey

Sandman Slim: A Novel (edition 2009)

by Richard Kadrey

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1,3551135,685 (3.79)83
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

Recently added byprivate library, SnowCatMacDobhran, LJMax, jmiserak, TLJ, CC123, mostlyboring, tempus1234
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» See also 83 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 114 (next | show all)
Stark is back on earth, newly arrived from eleven years in hell, and is ready to raise some hell of his own. Wanting revenge on those responsible for the death of the love of Stark's life, he cares not who he hurts in his quest to get to the guilty. While this book had potential, it is just too irreverent with too much violence and not enough plot. There were some interesting plot points, but now enough to carry the story. ( )
  Maydacat | Jul 20, 2015 |
pretty good dramatic structure - good world building - barely likable character - takes what the author considers to be mythology and mixes it up, but its looking like not in a way that keeps it internally consistent.
overall 70% - and quite a bit better than at least half the other stuff in my library. ( )
  jason9292 | Jul 6, 2015 |
Life hasn’t been easy for Jim Stark, the protagonist of Richard Kadrey’s Sandman Slim. His old apartment isn’t his anymore, his lover Alice has been murdered, and, oh, yeah, he’s just spent the last 11 years in hell. Returning to Los Angeles to murder the cohorts who sent him to hell, Stark finds himself in the middle of something bigger, with the fate of the world at stake. In this showdown, the bad guys are terrifying and the good guys are only good by comparison. And Stark? He’s just looking out for his own.

Even for a work of urban fantasy, Sandman Slim is particularly dark and gritty without as clear-cut a sense of good and evil as many other books in the genre. Stark spent his time in hell fighting monsters in Hellion arenas for the amusement of the demons and Lucifer himself. Later, he became an assassin for warring Hellion generals. The result is an anti-hero who is hardened and violent—a monster who hunts other monsters. He is, in short, an intriguing protagonist for a promising series beginning.

The novel is not without its moments of humor, however, like the first time Stark sees a cell phone, describing it as the result of a union between a typewriter and a remote control. Some of the humor comes from his adjustment to the technological changes that occurred during his imprisonment in hell, while the rest of the (somewhat blacker) humor is the result of Kadrey’s knack for description. The language in Sandman Slim can get coarse, but it is not gratuitous.

This is a novel (and series) great for holding readers over between installments of Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files series. The snarky narrators and power dynamics within their respective magic communities are similar, though Kadrey’s vision is somewhat darker and more prone to shades of grey than earlier Dresden Files installments. Fans of dark humor and dark paranormal fiction will devour Sandman Slim. ( )
  quiet.dissident | Jun 16, 2015 |
Cross Donald Westlake's Parker with John Constantine: Hellblazer, and you've pretty much got Stark, aka "Sandman Slim", the eponymous protagonist. It's a fun revenge story, with cartoon physics and a lot of snarky dialog and film noir tropes. Don't think about it too hard, because the plot doesn't much sense, but it was a fun way to spend an afternoon. ( )
  scrapironjaw | May 25, 2015 |
I don't normally like urban fantasy, nor do I care much for anything involving Heaven, Hell, or any of the mythical beasts roaming around those lands. The difference here is Richard Kadrey's writing. His prose is faster than a bullet and as vulgar as a sailor pounding the back door out of a two dollar lady of the night. If that last sentence offended you, please stay away from Sandman Slim. The main character's first-person narration is far more blue. If you like crass descriptions and foul-mouth anecdotes, Sandman Slim is stuffed full of hilarity and offensive charm.

Another reason I should have hated this book is the present tense storytelling, but once again, Richard pulled it off. I normally put down a book as soon as I see the first "is" instead of "was," because I don't feel present tense is believable. I mean, how is the story being related? The only present tense stuff I can stand is normally short fiction and blog posts. I constantly wonder whether or not the narrator has a voice recorder in his pocket. If your doing this right now, how the hell are you writing it. I know, I know, I'm being to damn literal, but that's how I feel. I have no idea why I was able to withstand the tense of this book and not others. I just did.

I loved the fact that the main character, James Stark, (aka Sandman Slim) doesn't care about anything else aside from his own revenge. The world is going to end, and the only reason he's saves it is because the person bringing about hell on earth is the guy who killed his girlfriend. It's a very human story surrounded by magic and supernatural evils. Not to mention, one fun ride.

For those of you that care about typos and grammatical foibles, I will say that the book is full of words left in after editing, missing words and several instances where "bought" is used instead of "brought." I could almost see someone using the find function in word and accidentally replacing every instance with the wrong word. Oh, and for the ebook version, there are several formatting issues. Mostly with the dialogue. One person will talk and the quotation marks will close out the speech, but then another piece of dialogue, from a completely different person, will start up without a new paragraph. Nobody's perfect, not even the Big Six guys. But most of you already know that. The only reason I even mention it is because I know some of you will care enough to stop reading, which, in my opinion, would be a grand mistake, indeed.

I will definitely be checking out the rest of the Sandman Slim series.

E. ( )
  Edward.Lorn | Feb 13, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 114 (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)

» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Richard Kadreyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Andrews, MacLeodNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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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2 editions of this book were published by Eos.

Editions: 0061714305, 0061976261

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