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The Dirty Streets of Heaven: Volume One of Bobby Dollar Hardcover – September 4, 2012

201 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the Bobby Dollar Series

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Editorial Reviews


"Tad Williams is a huge inspiration for me.... His books are epic, exciting, and filled with fascinating characters. When it comes to inventing imaginary worlds, he’s as skilled as J.R.R. Tolkien and Frank Herbert.... Tad Williams’ work is an essential part of any science fiction and fantasy library. I look forward to each new book he writes. If you like exciting, thought-provoking fiction, you owe it to yourself to give Tad a try." —Christopher Paolini, NYT bestselling author of Eragon

"Exhilarating action, fascinating characters, and high stakes will leave the reader both satisfied and eager for the next installment." —Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

"A tough, likeable hero and a multidimensional plot.... The author’s many fans as well as urban fantasy enthusiasts will enjoy Williams’s take on Heaven’s less desirable places as well as his wry humor and keen insights." —Library Journal (Starred Review)

"With a hint of detective noir, a colourful cast of characters and fast-paced, witty dialogue, The Dirty Secrets of Heaven is a fantastically fun read." — (Editors' Pick)

"Williams does a brilliant job.... Made me laugh. Made me curious. Impressed me with its cleverness. Made me hungry for the next book. Kept me up late at night when I should have been sleeping." —Patrick Rothfuss, #1 NYT bestselling author of The Kingkiller Chronicle

"Part urban fantasy, part spy thriller, part hard-boiled adventure, The Dirty Streets of Heaven is a worthwhile and entertaining new addition to the genre, and I’m looking forward to seeing where Tad Williams takes us next time." —

"The Dirty Streets of Heaven is a new breed of urban fantasy, gritty, unrelenting, and yet strangely human. The stakes are high, the costs are real, and all you've got to pay your way is Bobby Dollar." —Seanan McGuire, NYT bestselling author of Ashes of Honor

About the Author

Tad Williams is a California-based fantasy superstar.  His genre-creating (and genre-busting) books have sold tens of millions worldwide.  His considerable output of epic fantasy and epic science fiction series, fantastical stories of all kinds, urban fantasy novels, comics, scripts, etc., have strongly influenced a generation of writers.  Tad always has several secret projects on the go. 2016 will see the debut of a number of them; March 2017 brings The Witchwood Crown, the first volume in the long-awaited return to the world of the Memory, Sorrow & Thorn novels. Tad and his family live in the Santa Cruz mountains in a suitably strange and beautiful house.

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Product Details

  • Series: Bobby Dollar (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: DAW; 1 edition (September 4, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0756407680
  • ISBN-13: 978-0756407681
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.4 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (201 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #647,708 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Former singer, shoe-seller, radio show host, and inventor of interactive sci-fi television, Tad Williams is now a full-time writer. His 'Memory, Sorrow and Thorn' series established him as an internationally bestselling fantasy author. The series that followed, 'Otherland', is now a multi-million-dollar MMO launching in 2012 from dtp/realU/Gamigo. Tad is also the author of the fantasy series, the 'Shadowmarch' books; the stand-alone Faerie epic, 'The War of the Flowers'; two collections of short stories ('Rite' and 'A Stark and Wormy Knight'), the Shakespearian fantasy 'Caliban's Hour' and, with his partner & collaborator Deborah Beale, the childrens'/all-ages fantasy series, the 'Ordinary Farm' novels. Coming in September 2012 are the Bobby Dollar novels, fantasy thrillers set again the backdrop of the monstrously ancient cold war between Heaven and Hell: the first is 'The Dirty Streets of Heaven.'

Tad is also the author of 'Tailchaser's Song': his first novel spawned the subgenre of cats and fantasy that we see widely today. 'Tailchaser's Song' is currently in preproduction as an animated film from Animetropolis/IDA.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

60 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Miss Barbara TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 1, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Bobby Dollar is a fast-talking, wiseacre angel advocate for the recently demised. This book is so well and tightly written that if the author's name was removed from my copy and I had to guess who wrote it I'd guess Aaron Sorkin. Now, Tad Williams, if you're reading this review I'm not detracting anything from you, it's meant as a compliment.

In The Dirty Streets of Heaven we're introduced to the parallel real estate beyond the "zipper" where the fresh souls of the newly departed are up for grabs and the decision to send them on the up or down elevator is debated by the Angel Advocates and the Prosecutor Demons. They argue the merits of the departed before the Principalities Judge. The lesser angels and demons appear on sight by a short step out of earthly reality but the Principalities, we are told, appear on scene like silent lightening and we learn the important angels are bright and beautiful with a lot of scary in them.

Dollar tells us that it's pretty darn interesting being an angel; that he's not met God yet; it's not clear what religion is right and though he'd like to explain Heaven it's kind of complicated. Reading this book is like taking an amusement park ride through Theology. Bobby Dollar is actually sort of a community activist for us mortals and has all the foibles we humans suffer including a taste for demon rum and a little lust now and again.

The Dirty Streets of Heaven really gets rolling along with the death of a Captain of Industry in the Silicon Valley. When his soul disappears, something that has never happened before in the history of, well, history, both sides are upset, distressed, and go a little berserk. The dark side sends in a Fixer known only as the Countess, a shapely vixen who immediately gets the attention of Bobby.
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41 of 46 people found the following review helpful By A. Reid VINE VOICE on August 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I am familiar with Tad Williams by reputation, but had not read him; I picked up the book for its description more than the author, and I have to say I understand why Williams has a following. The world-building in this urban fantasy novel is seamless. Its depth does change the experience of reading a bit. Much of the urban fantasy I read zips along like a Summer blockbuster, a light and enjoyable experience without a ton of depth. This, by contrast, is a pretty meaty book. I took the time to fully experience it, and I was glad I did. Williams may have departed from his usual genre, but he clearly brings with him the tools of a master. Right down to the infomercial playing on t.v. during one intimate scene, he creates a world of such depth and consistency that it feels completely three-dimensional, entirely real. No small feat, given that our major players include angels, demons and a cursed werepig.

In the finer tradition of urban fantasy, which owes quite a debt to film noir, Williams' characters are morally nuanced. As hinted by the title, "the dirty streets of heaven", good and evil are not so clearly delineated. Told from the tight perspective of its titular hero, it doesn't try to detail every angel or demon, but it gives enough insight to those who are closest to the hero to make it obvious that you can't judge by the trappings or even necessarily by the actions.

Inside this morally-nuanced, three-dimensional world is an engaging mystery that offers good closure. I sometimes flinch away from books that broadcast themselves as "Volume One" - I don't have the memory I once did, and epic fiction can lose me as I wait between books. I appreciate that Williams managed to leave me feeling satisfied by this story, while at the same time leaving enough open-ended in Dollar's world that I'll want to immerse again with book two.

I thought it was wonderful. I recommend.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Brian Hawkinson VINE VOICE on August 22, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I'm a big fan of Williams with his Memory, Sorrow and Thorn and Otherland series (although he fell off the wagon with his Shadowmarch series), and was even a fan of the one off The War of the Flowers. Urban fantasy didn't really seem like it would be something Williams could pull off, but I quickly became a fan and look forward to the next installment in the Bobby Dollar series.

Urban fantasy, of course, has been done before. Recently I've read a lot of it as I take a break from the epic fantasy of Jordan and Martin and their ilk. With The Dirty Streets of Heaven we get an urban fantasy that I have never read, a take on the genre that is fresh and unique. Maybe there are angels in other urban fantasy, but Williams' depiction of Heaven and Hell, of Angels and Demons, is an all together fun one, where Angels and Demons are your advocates and battle it out in front of a judge to see where you will call home. The ever present tension, held at bay by a truce and understanding built upon laws set up by the hierarchy of both, adds an interesting touch to the characters, bringing them to life in different ways.

Dollar is a rebel Angel, one who has his doubts, one who doesn't always do things the way Heaven wants it to be done. This makes for an interesting lead in to the trouble that suddenly descends upon him and he uses his advocate skills to try and solve the mystery behind why he is the target of the nobility of Hell. There is a lot of action and interesting interactions with the denizens of Hell. This was the fascinating part of his story, meeting ancient evil spirits, or a Duke of Hell, and being able to feel the power and helplessness of Dollar with them.
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