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Kill the Dead: A Sandman Slim Novel by…
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Kill the Dead: A Sandman Slim Novel (edition 2012)

by Richard Kadrey

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5482618,269 (3.95)23
Member:hairballsrus
Title:Kill the Dead: A Sandman Slim Novel
Authors:Richard Kadrey
Info:Harper Voyager (2012), Paperback, 464 pages
Collections:Read 2013
Rating:****
Tags:None

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Kill the Dead by Richard Kadrey

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You know how you can overlook a really good friend's faults? Moreover, how those faults kinda become the things you cherish most about him or her? For me, that's exactly why I love James Stark/Sandman Slim. This character is so broken and disjointed. He's unpredictable, but not in the sense that he's chaotic, but in that I believe Richard Kadrey had no idea (even in book two) who or what he wanted Stark to be. The end of this book is proof that Stark could turn out to be anything (aside from a nazi robot zombie vampire, of course), and I'd still have a sizable man-crush on him.

I hate everything about a synopsis: writing one, reading one. I tend to skip them because they're nothing more than spoilers disguised as information. So, going into KILL THE DEAD, I had no idea what I was in store for. I was pleasantly surprised to find myself surrounded by the walking dead.

Kadrey did everything right in this second volume of the Sandman Slim story line. I have only ever once given a sequel/continuation anything more than four stars, and that was Koontz's ODD INTERLUDE serial, which was (in my opinion) better than the first book in the series. To say the least, I was shocked that I loved KILL THE DEAD as much as I did SANDMAN SLIM. I couldn't see how Kadrey was going to keep up the epicosity, but he pulled it off. From the first paragraph on, I was entertained. With me, that's rare. Usually I find something about a book to complain about, but this time around I couldn't help but gush over every page, even the plot holes were like a birthmark on a lover's face. It's something you accept because the whole is worth loving... See, told you I had a raging boner for this series.

All right, enough maudlin bullshit, let's get down to business. Will you like this as much as me? Who knows? I sure can't say. I'll be completely honest with you, though: I'm biased as fuck. Keep that in mind if you read KILL THE DEAD.

SLIGHT SPOILERS AHEAD!

In a status update here on Booklikes, I mentioned how this book had become oddly Matrix-esque. Funny thing is, that was before the bullet-time scene wherein Stark ravages a swat team by using his angel vision (which is not unlike Neo seeing the Matrix in code form). Then you have Stark falling for porn star/zombie-carver, Brigette, who's a badass on par with Trinity, and their quick, albeit doomed, love affair. I don't know if Kadrey was purposefully channeling the Wachowski brothers (now brother and sister; good for you Larry/Lana), but it sure as hell felt like a tribute.

END SPOILATION

If nothing else, go into KILL THE DEAD expecting witty sarcasm and laugh-out-loud commentary. Stark is nothing if he's not funny. And vulgar. Did I mention how vulgar he is? You need to be a little sick and twisted to enjoy Kadrey's work, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

In summation, I dug the hell out of this book, and will likely love every sequel that comes after it. There's something about Stark that gels with me: be it his attitude, his sense of humor, or the fact that he's everything a boy like me looks for in a hero. I'm starting to understand why people like Harry Potter... ( )
  Edward.Lorn | Feb 13, 2015 |
The premise of this series is great. Stark (our hero) is likeable and interesting and a bastard. But the book needs to be tighter. Kadrey's writing gets too loose and I often found myself having to backtrack to sweep up the crumbs he left behind. For example, you lose track of whose speaking in a conversation. There are holes in the plot, which make you wonder if perhaps you missed something earlier in the novel, and in general the plot wanders a bit to much.
Still, it doesn't wander so far that you put the book down. It just annoys you occasionally.
Its probably a 3 star on those issues, but I liked it. I finished it and I bought the next book. That means its a 4.
( )
  blatherlikeme | Sep 28, 2014 |
I loved Sandman Slim (Sandman Slim, #1) and I was wondering if the second book would be as good as the first. It was. ( )
  Irena. | Aug 26, 2014 |
This is book two and I wasn't expecting this book to have zombies in it. (more on that later in the review) Book one, Sandman Slim didn't so I guess I just assumed. With this series I am beginning to believe it would be best not to assume anything. I thoroughly enjoyed both books.

I don't usually like books that involve any sort of religious context but this doesn't really come off like that. It uses the whole, God, Angels, demons, the devil but twists it into an awesome urban fantasy world.

Sandman is definitely a fuller character in this second book and I like how he spends less time moping over his lost love and more time thinking rather than reacting.

Now about those zombies! I loved how they were done in this book. The different types of zombies. Ones that don't think, ones that can but are more just thugs, then the ones that are just like people but with those special eating habits...and perhaps but I'm not going to add spoilers.

Read this series, I think its going to be one of those long series that will have a little bit of everything. At least that is how it seems to look right now. ( )
  Pabkins | Jun 24, 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 |
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Epigraph
Where all life dies, death lives, and nature breeds Perverse, all monstrous, all prodigious things Abominable, unutterable and worse...
–Paradise Lost, Book 2
I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve it through not dying. –Woody Allen
Dedication
For G and K
First words
Imagine shoving a cattle prod up a rhino’s ass, shouting 'April fool!' and hoping the rhino thinks it’s funny.
Quotations
If I was a religious man (and no, knowing there's a Heaven and Hell, God and devil and angels doesn't help being religious one little bit), I might take what I see as a sign. 
"The universe is a meat grinder and we're just pork in designer shoes, keeping busy so we can pretend we're not all headed for the sausage factory."
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Book description
James Stark, a.k.a. Sandman Slim, crawled out of Hell, took bloody revenge for his girlfriend’s murder, and saved the world along the way. After that, what do you do for an encore? You take a lousy job tracking down monsters for money. It’s a depressing gig, but it pays for your beer and cigarettes. But in L.A., things can always get worse.

Like when Lucifer comes to town to supervise his movie biography and drafts Stark as his bodyguard. Sandman Slim has to swim with the human and inhuman sharks of L.A.’s underground power elite. That’s before the murders start. And before he runs into the Czech porn star who isn’t quite what she seems. Even before all those murdered people start coming back from the dead and join a zombie army that will change our world and Stark’s forever.

Death bites. Life is worse. All things considered, Hell’s not looking so bad.

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While acting as a bodyguard for Lucifer and wooing a former French porn star, half-human fallen angel Stark is bitten by one of the many zombies roaming the countryside. This causes his human side to die and turns him into an emotionless killing machine. The condition has a cure-- should he choose to take it.… (more)

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