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Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey
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Sandman Slim (edition 2010)

by Richard Kadrey

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,180None6,798 (3.81)59
Member:blucatgirl
Title:Sandman Slim
Authors:Richard Kadrey
Info:Harper Voyager (2010), Edition: Reprint, Mass Market Paperback, 416 pages
Collections:Read 2013 (inactive), Traded
Rating:*1/2
Tags:santathing 2012, read 2013

Work details

Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey

2009 (10) 2012 (8) angels (33) anti-hero (9) dark fantasy (9) demons (41) ebook (44) fantasy (119) fiction (88) hell (34) horror (41) Kindle (36) Los Angeles (16) magic (26) mystery (8) Nephilim (8) noir (11) novel (9) paranormal (19) read (23) revenge (18) Sandman Slim (21) science fiction (14) series (15) sff (11) supernatural (18) to-read (53) unread (12) urban fantasy (104) wishlist (9)
  1. 50
    Storm Front by Jim Butcher (enrique_molinero)
  2. 30
    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. 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.
  4. 41
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  5. 20
    Kill the Dead by Richard Kadrey (Librariasaurus)
  6. 20
    Already Dead by Charlie Huston (meleada)
    meleada: Similar urban fantasy noir tone, dark humor, and violence-prone anti-hero protags.
  7. 20
    Dead Eye: Pennies for the Ferryman by Jim Bernheimer (enrique_molinero)
  8. 10
    Something From The Nightside by Simon R. Green (MyriadBooks)
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    London Falling by Paul Cornell (majkia)
    majkia: gritty supernatural thriller
  12. 00
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    LongDogMom: Similar style
  13. 00
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    LongDogMom: Similar feel and style, both deal with angels, demons, Hell, betrayal and love.
  14. 00
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  15. 00
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    LongDogMom: Similar in tone and I think would enjoy a similar audience.
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» See also 59 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 101 (next | show all)
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 |
Dark, haunting, and funny as hell. You know that you should not like Sandman Slim but at some point you find yourself cheering and saying Hell, yes! as Stark inflicts pain on another one of the hoarde aligned against him. It's hard-boiled science fiction at its best. ( )
  Vantine | Mar 14, 2014 |
I picked up Sandman Slim after absolutely adoring another one of Kadrey's novels, Butcher Bird, and it definitely lived up to my expectations. While different from Butcher Bird, Kadrey still makes use of his awesome writing skills, and describes for us the world as it is, or at least as he or maybe better yet, as Sandman Slim sees it. It's a quirky, action packed novel for those of us who can't get enough of the horror genera, but isn't so off-putting that someone who isn't so into horror wouldn't get a kick out of it. As always, I love Kadrey's humanization of both The Devil and angels and demons, and how everything is so gritty. The language and attitudes of the characters fit perfectly and I don't think I've stuck with a series as long as I have with the Sandman Slim books. No holds barred in this series. There are times (as in a lot of books) where the narration drags a little, but it in no way takes away from the epicness that is Sandman Slim. This series has everything - angels, demons, revenants, vampires, and whatever else you can think of, all wrapped up in an ugly little package of awesomeness. ( )
  morgtini | Feb 25, 2014 |
Oh, I don't recall who suggested this one, but thanks! I quite enjoyed it, and am ready to start the second book in the series.

The series is similar, in some superficial ways, to the Harry Dresden novels, but considerably darker. I hope it stays that way because, as much as I like Dresden, the elf and pixie stuff is starting to feel a bit too silly for my taste. ( )
  duende | Feb 6, 2014 |
My friend phoebe recommended this to me on friday as there was a .99 special for the ebook on amazon. I don't think I even got around to reading the synopsis, sorta just decided that since it was a recommendation and so cheap, why not. Especially after someone said Dresden (I have heard awesome things about the series, and loved the tv show)

I think this was my first urban fantasy novel. I found I couldn't put it down. I was 50% done before 24 hours was up. I finished the rest of the book today.

It had a lot of the god/heaven-hell mythology tied into it. Angels, Demons, Other things. I'm not really sure what to say about that, but I thought it was put together to form a good book. Even the minor characters seemed to enough depth to pull you in and like them (or hate them).

I've already picked up the next book and will get to it asap. ( )
  halkeye | Feb 6, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 101 (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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Epigraph
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
Dedication
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.
Quotations
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.
(chaos012)

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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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Editions: 0061714305, 0061976261

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