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Butcher Bird [Kindle Edition]

Richard Kadrey
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Spyder Lee is a happy man who lives in San Francisco and owns a tattoo shop. One night an angry demon tries to bite his head off before he's saved by a stranger. The demon infected Spyder with something awful - the truth. He can suddenly see the world as it really is: full of angels and demons and monsters and monster-hunters. A world full of black magic and mysteries. These are the Dominions, parallel worlds full of wonder, beauty and horror. The Black Clerks, infinitely old and infinitely powerful beings whose job it is to keep the Dominions in balance, seem to have new interests and a whole new agenda. Dropped into the middle of a conflict between the Black Clerks and other forces he doesn't fully understand, Spyder finds himself looking for a magic book with the blind swordswoman who saved him. Their journey will take them from deserts to lush palaces, to underground caverns, to the heart of Hell itself.

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: 795 KB
  • Print Length: 265 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1597800864
  • Publisher: Night Shade Books (July 1, 2007)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006OOIA30
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #216,470 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
41 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More, more, more! 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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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Too Good To FInish November 12, 2007
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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42 of 50 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun book for Kindle people, too.... August 22, 2009
It appears that there is a Kindle version of this great dark fantasy/fiction book by the name "Blind Shrike", but it does not seem to be available at the moment on Amazon ... However, Kindle people can get this book for FREE.

A DRM-free, FREE download of "Butcher Bird" (that includes cover art and a working TOC), is available at the publishers website (Night Shade Books). Download the Enhanced MobiPocket version to your computer, then transfer it to your Kindle via the USB. DRM-free and legal from the publisher. Enjoy!
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Strengths and weaknesses December 23, 2007
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Wow! April 11, 2008
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Book is Incredible! January 7, 2012
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Really weird and odd December 27, 2011
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Butcher Bird
While waiting to read Richard Kadreys next installment of Sandman Slim, I picked up one of his older books. Wow, I'm glad I did. Great story and I recommend it to all his fans.
Published 25 days ago by Pipeline
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay, but not his best work
Good read, but not as good as Sandman Slim or many of his other works. Those I might go back and read again sometime...this I won't.
Published 1 month ago by castillet
4.0 out of 5 stars Good
It is a good book that I enjoyed with interesting twist and turns. I would recommend it to my friends.
Published 1 month ago by Rox
5.0 out of 5 stars Another stellar novel
It is so rich in all that made sandman slim such a stellar novel, and yet completely different. The Painted Man is not Sandman Slim, and completely captivates you into a whole new... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Katy Kendrick
3.0 out of 5 stars This is a good read and it has possibilities
This is a good read and it has possibilities. Kadrey, obviously got side-tracked by the Sandman Slim series but I can see this being picked up again.
Published 2 months ago by Arthur W. Scholbe
5.0 out of 5 stars the book reads like a screenplay
Reminds me of some of the Neil Gaiman other/hidden world fantasy stuff I used to really be into. Structurally, the book reads like a screenplay, with a clear protagonist and three... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Jared W.
4.0 out of 5 stars Richard Kadrey at his best
Very unique story, I loved the characters. I've read the Sandman Slim series and this is along those same lines; clever, odd, interesting, and full of awesomely strange characters.
Published 3 months ago by stephanie a king
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely a wild ride!
When I first started this novel, I wasn't exactly sure what to expect. However, as I got deeper and deeper into the story, I found myself eager to continue and find out what... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Shan Winslow
5.0 out of 5 stars Unsettling and awesome
This is just good storytelling. If you were to take a basic quest/revenge story, throw in some unexpected romance, merge it with the Divine Comedy and Paradise Lost, then filter... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Mathew Carruthers
5.0 out of 5 stars HOLY CRAP
I love this book. it's a strange wild ride.
kind of like a Alice and Wonder land princess wrapped in monsters and demons story
Published 6 months ago by Adam Norton
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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.

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