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Aloha from Hell: A Sandman Slim Novel Hardcover – October 18, 2011

182 customer reviews

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Hardcover, October 18, 2011
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Editorial Reviews


“Richard Kadrey’s ‘Sandman Slim’ series is one of my favorite sets of fantasy books from the last few years…” (John Scalzi)

“I hope Kadrey keeps putting out Sandman Slim books for the next 20 years. They’re that much fun to read.” (Wired)

“Kadrey’s prose is raw and gutter-tough, Raymond Chandler meets Lux Interior at the Whisky a Go Go at the end of days.” (Austin Chronicle)

“This bad-ass supernatural horror stuff is clearly the material he was born to write. Kadrey has an ungodly (literally) amount of fun with Stark’s wryer-than-wry and violenter-than-violent observations and dialog.” (Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing)

“Full of action, wit, and suspense, this grabbed a hold of me and wouldn’t let go. Kadrey is a master storyteller (overused, I know, but very apt) and he will have you rooting for him in Hell and on Earth.” (Suspense magazine)

“Kadrey knows how to spin a story, his prose is crisp and effortless, and the entertainment value is high.” (Charles de Lint, Fantasy & Science Fiction on Kill the Dead)

“Compelling...brilliantly metaphoric...profane mixture of noir atmospherics, black humor, and nonstop action will please Kadrey’s many fans.” (Publishers Weekly)

“Kadrey’s stylized treatment of the ubiquitous urban fantasy genre makes it seem fresh” (Kirkus Reviews)

“The perfect escapist storyline … side-splittingly funny. … gruesome slapstick mixed with down-and-dirty Hammett-esque mayhem and double-dealing. … If you’ve been hoping someone would bring the full-strength SoCal toxic waste to the urban fantasy game, then Sandman Slim is your poison.” (

“If authors were tarot cards, Richard Kadrey would unarguably be the Hierophant of Paranormal Fantasy.” (Paul Goat Allen)

“…endlessly inventive and high-octane…Kadrey’s an excellent writer who’s able to juggle all of it without dropping a single pin.” (Locus)

“Everything a sequel should be; that is, more. … There’s hardly a moment where you’re not chewing your fingernails to the wrist wondering what happens next. … Kadrey is a hell of a writer, versatile and seasoned, and these pulpy, dark, ultraviolent novels are his best work yet.” (Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing)

“James Stark, antihero of 2009’s Sandman Slim, returns in this gritty, over-the-top tale of supernatural mayhem…Profane, intensely metaphoric language somehow makes self-tortured monster Stark sympathetic and turns a simple story into a powerful noir thriller.” (Publishers Weekly on KILL THE DEAD)

“Witty, gritty, over-the-top mayhem to care. If you mixed Jim Butcher with Christopher Moore, forced a kicking and screaming Warren Ellis in after them, and shook well, you’d get . . . well, I’d be careful opening the mixer. But the result wouldn’t be too far away from this.” (Daytona Beach News)

“Hilarious … belongs up there with Dresden Files and Felix Castor novels. … some of the best supernatural buddy comedy ever created. ... This is that rare sequel that’s actually better than the first book (which was plenty great) and manages to take several leaps forward.” (

If you like your horror stories with a little camp, a little quirkiness and a whole lot of blood and gore then Kill The Dead: A Sandman Slim Novel by Richard Kadrey will be right up your alley. (Las Vegas Review Journal)

“Think Get Shorty meets Hellraiser.” (San Francisco Chronicle)

“If Simon R. Green wrote an episode of Dog the Bounty Hunter, it would read much like Sandman Slim – violent, vivid, non-stop action of the supernatural kind. I couldn’t put it down.” (Charlaine Harris)

“Dirty, disgusting, vulgar, violent, poisonously testosterone-driven, so politically incorrect it ought to be prosecuted, and generally all-round offensively in your face. … I loved it. It’s amazing.” (Robin McKinley)

“A sharp-edged urban fantasy, drenched in blood and cynicism, tipping its hat to Sam Peckinpah, Raymond Chandler and the anti-heroes of Hong Kong cinema. Kadrey brings it off through the propulsive force of Stark’s in-your-face, first-person, present-tense narration. It’s a bravura performance.” (San Francisco Chronicle)

“Nicotine and octane in equal parts might come close to the high-energy buzz from Richard Kadrey’s Sandman Slim. Crisp world building, recognizable and fully-realized characters, and a refreshingly unique storytelling style make for an absorbing read.Sandman Slim is my kind of hero.” (Kim Harrison)

“The most hard-boiled piece of supernatural fiction I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. … all confident and energetic and fresh and angry. I loved this book and all its screwed-up people.” (Cory Doctorow)

“Kadrey combines humor and horror to create a lively, scary tale of urban warfare with plenty of gory action in Kill The Dead.’ (Deseret News)

“His best work yet. . . . Kadrey tells his story in a swirl of tight, darkly intense prose. . . . Sandman Slim is very, very good indeed.” (SF Site)

Sandman Slim is one of the best books I have read in a very, very long while. Richard Kadrey is a genius. I read it on the plane ride home and was totally blown away.” (Holly Black)

“Paced like greased lightning (watch out for friction burns on your turning finger), blend the movie-ish delights of tough guy noir and such smart-mouthgore-fests as “Reanimator” and “Army of Darkness”, seasoned by soupcons of Gaimanian romanticism and Koontzian sentiment.” (Booklist)

“Kadrey’s tale lives on a tightrope, but the author nails the right balance of detective fiction and theological fantasy, seriousness and humor, pathos and absurdity.” (Lincoln Star Journal)

“Kadrey really is the anti-Twilight. Raw, real, funny, furious, all full of piss and hemoglobin. His third Sandman Slim novel, in which the supernatural anti-hero must go back to Hell to stop a war with Heaven, may be his finest.” (Fearnet)

From the Back Cover

Supernatural fantasy’s greatest anti-hero goes back to hell!

In Sandman Slim Stark came back from hell for revenge.

In Kill the Dead he tackled both a zombie plague and being Lucifer’s bodyguard.

Once again all is not right in L.A. Lucifer is back in Heaven, God is on vacation, and an insane killer mounts a war against both Heaven and Hell.

Stark’s got to head back down to his old stomping grounds in Hell to rescue his long lost love, stop an insane serial killer, prevent both Good and Evil from completely destroying each other, and stop the demonic Kissi from ruining the party for everyone.

Even for Sandman Slim, that’s a tall order. And it’s only the beginning.

See all Editorial Reviews

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Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Series: Sandman Slim (Book 3)
  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager; First Edition edition (October 18, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061714321
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061714320
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 1.4 x 7.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (182 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #357,723 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Richard Kadrey is a writer living in San Francisco. He is the author of dozens of stories, plus five novels, including Metrophage and Butcher Bird. His Wired magazine cover story, "Carbon Copy," was made into one of the worst movies of 2001. It starred Bridget Fonda. Sorry, Bridget.

Kadrey created and wrote the Vertigo comics miniseries Accelerate, which was illustrated by the Pander Brothers. He plans to do more comic work in the near future.

He is written and spoken about art, culture, and technology for Wired, The San Francisco Chronicle, Discovery Online, The Site, SXSW, and Wired for Sex on the G4 cable network.

He is also a fetish photographer.

He has no qualifications for anything he does.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 45 people found the following review helpful By nekojita VINE VOICE on August 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
When I saw that Kadrey's latest Sandman Slim book was available for review, I grabbed it as quickly as possible. The first book in the series, Sandman Slim, I picked up on a whim and I haven't regretted it since. That book and its sequel, Kill the Dead, are wonderful urban horror/noir/whatever you want to call it novels that are a mix of humor, darkness, wit, mythology and violence. You've got magic, demons, angels, talking heads, zombies and more set in current day Los Angelos, all courtesy of Stark, aka Sandman Slim, someone who got sent to hell as an act of betrayal and clawed his way back because of love and revenge.

Aloha from Hell picks up a few weeks from Kill the Dead, and there's one or two changes going on with Stark because of what was revealed about him in the second book (not to give away spoilers). After the usual mayhem and violence that always seems to find him, he ends up with the long awaited return to Hell to deal with some loose threads from the past two books. This is not a standalone book and it would probably be confusing for someone to pick it up without reading the previous two, which really do explain a lot of the relationships and past histories. While there's some summing up of what went down with whom, since everything is through Stark's first person point of view it's not very detailed.

There's a real momentum in this volume, a resolve to get things done. Stark's put off things for too long and now he has no choice, which only seems to make him more determined. Some very memorable characters from the previous books, such as Candy and Muninn, return. Some questions are answered, and the book leaves off in a place of decent resolution while still open to more sequels to follow. I certainly hope that there's more.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By George on November 5, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read the first two and enjoyed them, despite some editing issues.
But in this novel, there are construction issues, world building conflicts as well as editing problems.
Editing was the usual loose style that needs to be tightened. For example, reference is made in a conversation to something that was not actually part of the conversation. It probably probably referring to a line of dialog that was edited out, but it needed to be corrected in the entirety.

But those are issues that can be ignored. What dropped this novel to a 3 star was its general "throw the spaghetti at the wall and call it a plot" theme. The first half of the novel doesn't feel related in any way to the second. And frankly the first half is better. The second half takes place in hell, which is fine, but the amount of filler descriptiveness is truly dismally boring. And there does seem to be a sort of contrived meandering around, without any movement in the plot.

The fact that the hell he visits is now entirely different than the one we get glimpses of in his previous books, is explained in a rather contrived manner. And frankly, I think the choice of making hell a carnival mirror representation of LA was just silly. Beyond that, it has some glaring internal conflicts as well as logic conflicts.

The final twist at the end, was I suppose surprising. But it was hardly satisfying, and made the entire Metaphorical Hell even more unrealistic. It was also a bit of an internal conflict compared to previous book issues.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful By L. A. Kane TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 19, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
After reading the first two books in this series I was eagerly anticipating the release of this one when those wonderful folks at Amazon decided to offer me a pre-release copy. Snatched that up straight away. And finished it in one day. Now I'm chomping at the bit for another one. Kadrey's a freaking amazing author, think Jim Butcher with tats and a darker, twisted sense of humor. Yeah baby...

Our hero Stark, aka Sandman Slim, was an "innocent" dragged to hell, tortured, and forced to fight in the arena who managed to escape (to L.A. of all places) looking for vengeance. Unfortunately he wasn't able to kill Mason, the guy who sent him there. But he did manage to avert a zombie apocalypse. And send Mason to hell, which unfortunately is exactly where he wanted to be. That's books one and two. Now, it's been a while since Sandman's killed anyone important, the bad guys aren't as scared of him as they should be, Lucifer's on "vacation," there's a rebellion brewing in hell, the demonic Kissi are still skulking around, and, well, the universe is about to be ripped apart as heaven and hell go to war... Just another day at the office, right? Well sorta.

It is a challenge to read this offering without first breezing through the other two since the story is more-or-less on continuous thread, but then again those books are awesome so it's no hardship. The story is fairly original, but as with the rest of the series, what really shines is the the characterization and dialogue. They are far and away some of the best I've ever read, and I stopped counted at 3,000 books. Really. Kadrey's that good.
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