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Sandman Slim: A Novel Kindle Edition
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“An addictively satisfying, deeply amusing, dirty-ass masterpiece.”
“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….A bravura performance.”
—San Francisco Chronicle
“I couldn’t put it down.”
Sandman Slim has arrived—a wild and weird, edge-of-your-seat supernatural roller-coaster rider that propels author Richard Kadrey to the forefront of the fantasy, thriller, and a host of other literary genres. This spellbinding, utterly remarkable tale of a vengeful magician/hitman’s return from hell is part H.P. Lovecraft, part Christopher Moore, part Jim Butcher, and totally, unabashedly dark, twisted, and hilarious.
From Publishers Weekly
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- ASIN : B00338QF1E
- Publisher : HarperCollins e-books; Reissue edition (January 8, 2010)
- Publication date : January 8, 2010
- Language : English
- File size : 2265 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 404 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #105,875 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Reviewed in the United States on October 25, 2017
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Also, his powers are pretty much completely broken and the only thing keeping him in check is the fact that Kadrey never puts any sort of reasonable power system into the whole series of books. Things just "magically" work or don't depending on where the plot is supposed to go and this is probably my biggest gripe with the series. It's not much fun to have a power system that's this broken, guns/knives/fire/power of old Gods all boils down to about the same level of danger for characters and are relatively interchangeable. Pretty much no one can actually die until the author suddenly lets them and then you have no idea why this one type of magic/attack worked where it has failed in past encounters.
And the world, don't even get me started on it. They live in this weird universe where there is technically a planet called Earth but apparently is populated by LA and nothing else. No one ever leaves LA nothing takes place outside LA. If they somehow manage to leave LA for some reason, they only go to an alternate plane that is alternate-LA and is almost exactly the same. It's pretty hard to care around a world this simplistic, especially when the author is nihilistic and seems to actively hate LA and makes every effort to make it sound like a pretty miserable place.
Finally, this book is a bit weird from a religious angle. The first book is pretty decent, but we soon find out that angels and demons are pretty wimpy all things concerned and neither are particularly good or evil. God is not holy, the devil is not evil and they aren't very powerful either. Everything is kind of mashed together in a nihilistic, bland stew. Some surprises or reversals are interesting, but Kadrey somehow managed to make supernatural beings boring and mundane.
Despite all this, I still generally enjoyed the books. Not sure how, but they might be worth a read if you can put up with the cons.
Background: I typically buy my Kindle books as part of the Kindle Daily Deals and plan them for airplane reading or times when I am away from home and cannot do more exciting or responsible tasks. This means that my standards are not too high and I am looking for books in the beach read category under the fantasy/sci-fi genres. I try to rate fairly on the star scale and personally consider anything 3 stars and up to be fine.
+ Characters. A demon fighting gladiator dropped onto the streets of LA, especially one that suffers from impulse control, make for an interesting novel.
+/- Writing. While including a large amount of internal thoughts and exposition, the writing was a-ok: it didn't impress or hinder the story.
+/- Tone. While i liked the general Noir/Anti-Hero tone that permeated most of the novel, the book sometimes became sidetracked. At these points it felt odd and misplaced.
- Plot Scope = Plot Holes. Numerous instances early in the book where characters know things they shouldn't. Later in the book the plot goes from 'revenge-plot' to a 'world-ending-conspiracy-plot'. The transition wasn't handled great. The 'villain' details and information feel rushed and poorly fleshed out.
Among the things I loved more was to read the thoughts of Sandman Slim about anything, specially about L.A. Los Angeles is a city that I know from movies an it is a kind of magic place so his point of view is fantastic as he seen it as if it was the first time: he is exploring L.A. with us. Without spoiling the story one of the most amazing parts is the trip to the famous Bradbury Building (if you are fan of Blade Runner you know this building) that turns an already spectacular place into something eerie and magical, specially I felt what I felt when I read Jules Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth.
Top reviews from other countries
Sandman Slim is a not particularly original but entertainingly written, pure comic book action from beginning to end. As such, it's not going to be everybody's cup of tea. Don't read if you are looking for romance, fairies or subtlety. Do read if you like sardonic, violent anti-heroes, wanton destruction and supernatural horror reference spotting.
Stark is throw into the cosmic battleground, where there appears to be no good guys (the Angels do not come across as particularly angelic).
The book is written in the first person so we know what is going on in Stark’s head. The narrative tone is full of dark humour, sarcasm and conveys someone who is a bit full of himself; Stark allows his mouth to get him into trouble, as he normally speaks before he thinks. Despite this Stark is a likeable character. While we know Stark is not evil (despite what the Angels say), we see that he has his own crooked moral code – save his friends and seek revenge.
For me there were two flaws in this the book. The first was the use of Alice (Stark’s love interest before he ended up in hell), we never see the type of character she was or what Alice and Stark really shared. Instead she comes across as a device used by Kadrey so that we can sympathise more with Stark and see him as a flawed hero rather than a virtuous villain. The second is where did the name Sandman Slim come from. Even the title character is confused over the name choice and we never receive a sufficient answer.
Despite these flaws, Sandman Slim was a thoroughly enjoyable book, and was from beginning to end a roller-coaster ride.
If I now have your attention come in take a sit let's talk. If like me you have been following the trend of urban fantasy you maybe familiar with other authors and heros or antiheros in the series.
You may like Hellboy or Constantine. You may also be more familiar with books than comics. Ok so how about Harry Dresden, Anita Blake, Mercy Thompson and Nate Temple? If you have read one or more of these types of books then hopefully your still here as this is where it gets good.
Sandman slim isn't like the others, he is in your face he's angry and he isn't crying about his crabby day. Yes as a character he has flaws and makes mistakes but they are within his character not world breaking trying to string the book out.
I've recommended this series several times and no one I got to pick it up hasn't finished it or didn't want to talk about it or recommend it to others.
The book often feel like a discount Hellblazer, Stark is similar to Constantine but lacks the humour of the better Hellblazer stories.
The plot is straight-forward, there are a few twists but the aren't very surprising since there are so many different back-stories etc being introduced that any plot device could be explained away.
It is clearly intended as the start of an open ended series, not a lot of depth or originality but some slightly gritty style, a guilty pleasure rather than anything special.