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Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey

Sandman Slim (edition 2010)

by Richard Kadrey

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,5391334,773 (3.79)84
Title:Sandman Slim
Authors:Richard Kadrey
Info:Harper Voyager (2010), Edition: Reprint, Mass Market Paperback, 416 pages
Tags:santathing 2012, read 2013

Work details

Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey

Recently added bychristieCA, JustMe869, private library, krazykiwi, bodly, KellyWolf, Aneris
  1. 70
    Storm Front by Jim Butcher (enrique_molinero, kale.dyer)
    kale.dyer: Also contains an anti-hero magician in a real-world setting.
  2. 40
    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.
  3. 40
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» See also 84 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 135 (next | show all)
A fast read, well-written, and I enjoyed the noir...but urban fantasy still not my genre.
  JudyGibson | Jul 17, 2016 |
At age 19, James Stark was betrayed by "friends" and dragged "Downtown" into Hell. After surviving 11 years as a gladiator and hit man, Stark has returned to LA with the single goal of avenging the murder of his true love.

Kadrey has created a very gritty, dark urban fantasy version of LA. The world building is interesting with unique twists and ideas. Bloody violence between devils, angels, humans, and other creatures provides high action and drama. Anti-hero Stark's self-deprecating style and twisted sense of irony provide some comedic relief. Language, violence, and impious scenes may be limiters.

I think this series would appeal to fans of Supernatural or Grimm TV shows, as well as lovers of dark, urban fantasy. ( )
  ktoonen | Jun 24, 2016 |
  apomonis | Jun 2, 2016 |
“So why’d you come back?”
“I’m going to kill some people,” I tell him. I pour the Jack into the coffee. “Probably a lot of people.”

James Stark is back on Earth after eleven years spent down in Hell, “Downtown” as he refers to it, fighting demons in the pits. He didn’t die to end up in Hell though, his magical group of friends sent him down in exchange for power. They also killed his girlfriend, Alice, the only person he’d ever found that loved and accepted him for who he was, so now he’s back in L.A. for some good old fashioned revenge.

Upon his return, he doesn’t actually realize eleven years has passed and that he’s no longer a 19 year old kid. Time flows differently Downtown. He does manage to bring back a few helpful items to ensure his survival: new Hellion magic to add to the magic he already knew, a magic knife that can not only cut through anything but also quite handily starts cars, a Veritas coin that will answer snarkily any questions posed to it, and a magic key he keeps safely inside his chest (yep, you read that right, inside) which allows him to slip into shadows and appear anywhere he desires. He’s fairly impossible to kill too which certainly helps. Stark is dead set on his revenge, but along the way he gets ensnared in the building evil on Earth which involves some asshole angels, a new sort of beast he didn’t even know existed, neo-Nazis, and even Homeland Security. Suffice it to say, he’s found himself in some shit.

“I’m not rich, but I know I’ll never starve because I can order a burrito and make the counter person think I’ve already paid.”
“Aim high, dude.”

And that’s the best part about Stark: his sense of humor. I adore a great story that is rife with violence and evil and all the wonderful things that go along with that but can still manage to sustain a sense of humor through it all. Stark’s life can admittedly be defined as shitty (eleven years spent in Hell can only be described as such), however, his snide cynicism adds a certain amount of wittiness that makes this damn near perfect. Sandman Slim has often been compared to Harry Butcher of The Dresden Files and while I can certainly see the similarities (male magician, hunting bad guys, solving mysteries, etc.) Stark is an infinitely more compelling character in my most humble opinion. Sure, these books are quite a bit more violent but the violence and the humor go hand in hand. Perfect example: within the very first few pages he’s cut the head off someone but still kept them alive and sat their head on a shelf forcing them to watch infomercials all day.

Bottom line, I really have no excuse for why it took me SO long to read these. They are suited perfectly for me and should be at the top of any Urban Fantasy lovers list. Sandman Slim is the start of a series which is followed by Kill the Dead. The eighth installment, The Perdition Score, is out this June so I have plenty of catching up to do. I can’t wait to dive back into the gritty streets of L.A.

‘There’s only one problem with L.A.
It exists.
L.A. is what happens when a bunch of Lovecraftian elder gods and porn starlets spend a weekend locked up in the Chateau Marmont snorting lines of crank off Jim Morrison’s bones. If the Viagra and illegal Traci Lords videos don’t get you going, then the Japanese tentacle porn will.’ ( )
  bonniemarjorie | May 26, 2016 |
Sandman Slim is a dark and disturbing supernatural tale of vengeance. The summary was intriguing and since I haven't read much noir, I thought I'd give it a try. The first obstacle turned out to be the main character. Stark's been through Hell, literally, since he spent eleven years there fighting for the enjoyment of the Hellions, but his hyper-focused rage and violent outbursts just didn't move the plot forward for me. Yes, I know what "noir" means. I think it would've been better had there been more to the sub-plot. The questions I had about Stark's abilities and origin weren't addressed until late in the story. It's probably a case of first-in-seriesitis as the whole book felt like world building on hold. (Let me kill all these people and get my rage on first).

The second obstacle was more of a reader's preference. I really enjoy the Dresden Files, but Harry Dresden is fighting imaginary creatures. In this book, Stark's enemies are angels, heaven, hell, Lucifer and God. He's an equal opportunity hater. It just didn't mesh well with all with my spiritual beliefs. Again, it's personal preference.

There is potential here, though. I did read the excerpt from the next book and it was so much better. I might give the second book a chance sometime in the future, just to see where the series is going and if Stark has any redeeming qualities. ( )
  Becky_McKenna | Mar 10, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 135 (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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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kadrey, Richardprimary 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.

No descriptions found.

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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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