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Butcher Bird Kindle Edition

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Length: 265 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Fortune Smiles
2015 National Book Awards - Fiction Winner
Get your copy of this year's National Book Award winner for fiction, "Fortune Smiles" by Adam Johnson. Hardcover | Kindle book | See more winners

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Buffyand Angel fans are likely to enjoy Kadrey's offbeat supernatural romp, which blends demonic evil and quirky humor. The relatively normal life of San Francisco tattoo artist Spyder Lee goes thoroughly crazy when he's rescued from a mugger by Shrike, a mysterious blind woman who reveals that Lee's assailant was actually a demon. The wounds he suffered in the assault give him the ability to see the Dominions, other spheres of existence that regular mortals are unaware of. Soon Spyder finds himself hip-deep in demonic trouble, protecting his friend Lulu by offering his body to the organ-collecting Black and then dragging her off to join Shrike on a madcap journey to Hell, where they encounter monsters, Lucifer and even an alternate-time version of Lee himself. Kadrey (Kamikaze L'Amour) juxtaposes gore and brash insouciance in the face of apocalyptic evil, a blend that may not suit everyone's taste. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

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Product Details

  • File Size: 802 KB
  • Print Length: 265 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1597800864
  • Publisher: Night Shade Books (July 1, 2007)
  • Publication Date: September 22, 2014
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006OOIA30
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #192,899 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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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

42 of 46 people found the following review helpful By L* on July 19, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Richard Kadrey has been characterized as a 'poor man's Neil Gaiman'. Actually, the comparison does both writers a disservice: if Gaiman were a German Shepherd, cerebral, loyal and mostly friendly, Kadrey is a junkyard dog out to kick some...

The differences between the authors are more obvious than that, though: almost all of Kadrey's fantasy writing is firmly rooted in Judeo-Christian theology of angels and devils; Gaiman tends to write using Celtic and Norse mythology. Where Gaiman writes airy or bloody fantasy; Kadrey's writing reminds one more of grease and dirt.

Kadrey is what would happen if a J.D. Salingeresque novel tripped through tattoing and motorcycle mechanic school and accidentally ingested something slightly hallucinogenic. Indeed, this book was apparently partially self-published, which makes it all the more amazing that it's so engaging. It's well worth the ride.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Marianne Loves Octopuses on November 12, 2007
Format: Paperback
When I had 50 pages left to go in this book, I put it down for two days. I knew I'd read those 50 pages at the same breakneck pace I had raced through the rest of the book. And I wasn't ready for this to be over - I wasn't ready to leave the world of Richard Kadrey's Butcher Bird, to leave Spider and Shrike and Lulu and all the rest, behind.

Of course, I finished the book and it ended exceptionally well, but I shouldn't have been worried. The world is so vividly realized that, as I pass the book on to other people, I get to visit it again every time we talk about the story.

Kadrey's prose is visceral, his characters utterly realistic. The magical elements of his world compel you to believe in them.

The editing on the book, however, could have been tighter. My copy was rife with typos and transposed words. It's a testament to how good the writing was that I was able to overlook the error rate and still enjoy - indeed, thoroughly love - the story!
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Wilding on December 23, 2007
Format: Paperback
A really interesting angle on religion is in the heart of this story. Genuinely original ideas consistently appear in it's pages and a solid plot twist or two make it a generally enjoyable read.

That said, it has some problems. Most prominent among them is the dialogue. It feels synthetic a lot of the time: Like the counterculture that the author is trying to embody - that of tattoo parlors, punk rock and erotica - is nothing but a caricature of the reality. References to sex and emotion are particularly hollow, and oftentimes forced in for no particular reason.

There is also a pretty serious editorial problem. There is a pretty high volume of typos and grammatical errors in the published text. Although one or two are forgivable, the amount in this book is sort of ridiculous.

All in all, a worthwhile read. I'm interested in the authors future, but for now he comes off as the poor man's Neil Gaiman.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Trevor Gardner on April 11, 2008
Format: Paperback
Spyder Lee is an ink monkey just getting by. Putting tats on people during the day and drinking in oblivion at night. Until, a demon notices his mark on Spyder. Then all hell turns loose. Literally. Spider finds himself on a quest with a beautiful blind assassin, his junkie lesbian friend, and a friendly "monster" that can go "Hulk" when needed. There is a fifth in the quest, but I won't spoil it for you.

I really enjoyed this book. It is not for everyone. Spyder lives a rough life and it comes through in the language and imagery of the book. If you are not into the Hellraiser movies, then this may not be for you.

The book was well paced through most of the book but moved a bit too quickly after the main climax of the book. The book could have been fleshed out in several places, I like long books, but that is really not a complaint more than a wish for more.

The characters were believable, but maybe a little bit too "smartass" at times.

Give it a try.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By ChristinaAnime on January 7, 2012
Format: Paperback
This book is amazing. I absolutely love it. Its not the romance kind of demon book which is what is in every book now a days. Its full out demon killing, hell loving fun. I ended up liking Lucifer by the end of the book:) FYI: I am a catholic and Do Not like the devil. I can differenciate between entertainment and real life. So if you are easily offended by things of that nature, then do not get this book. Otherwise, it is a must read. Kept me intrigued from the first page which was a complete shock to me. READ IT!! LOVE IT!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Crum on December 27, 2011
Format: Paperback
This is the second book i have read by the author. A tattoo artist is accosted by a demon and suddenly sees the world for what it is. Demons, devils, mythology, the netherworld and a trip to hell all included. Plus a hot blind chick who is adept with a sword. Totally entertaining.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Seth in SF on April 4, 2013
Format: Paperback
Interesting book. The "I'm really cool and my main character is wisecracking and this world is way weird and I'm going to play games with whether Lucifer is evil and what demons are and... and... and..." breathlessness is old hat, of course, but it never gets to the annoying "breathless" stage and the cheap one-liners are actually funny. I kept handing pages to my gf to read.

The plot: our protagonist learns about multiple worlds and layers of invisible weirdness, sells his body to the supposedly-good-guys who keep the universe in balance (but who are hated and feared for destroying people at random) to save his best friend from being killed by them, joins up with an assassin because she's cute and he's gormless, agrees to go to Hell to steal a magic book (dragging along his best friend), meets allies along the way, and ultimately has to learn to shut up and trust himself enough to destroy the universe to save it.

Like I said, old hat, but not truly tiresome. And some of the jokes are great. The character development is subtly handled and pretty nice, especially since it's never really commented-on after a change, only before.

The deus(?) ex machinae are fine. This kind of book needs some. The side characters are fun. The locations are entertaining and no one stays around long enough for them to get tiresome.

The best part is the lack of pretension in the main character. He's pretension enough for the setup, but he knows it and doesn't try to hide (most) of his flaws. He's willing to admit mistakes and he doesn't mind acting like a not-hero. Actually, learning to act like a hero is part of his arc.

Throughout the book, I kept thinking that it had snuck by as readable and enjoyable, but there was no way the next chapter would hold my interest without annoying me. But no chapter actually did annoy me enough to matter and they stayed interesting.

Worth a read if you like the genre.
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