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Posted September 3, 2013
NOBODY EVER TOOK YOU TO HELL LIKE TAD WILLIAMS DOES! The title
NOBODY EVER TOOK YOU TO HELL LIKE TAD WILLIAMS DOES!
The title is misleading: There is a lot of Hell and I am not sure the book ever makes it to Happy Hour.
This is the second installment of Tad Williams' new series about angel Bobby Dollar aka Doloriel, working as a heavenly advocate for the souls of the recently deceased.
The book starts where the first - The Dirty Streets of Heaven - left off: Bobby is trying to sort out the mysteries he is faced with
- while plotting to free his demon lover Caz from Eligor the Horseman Grand Duke of Hell,
- while having to defend his recent actions to his superiors in Heaven,
- while being pursued by a serial killer who died in the 1970s.
The reader gets (re)aquainted with the fictional Bay Area city San Judas, Bobby's buddies (nicknamed the Whole Sick Choir) and Heaven's unfathomable politics.
The novel starts fast paced, weird, exciting and funny, very similar to the first one but it is not nescessary to know it - although I bet that everybody who doesn't will pick it up afterwards.
And then Bobby enters hell.
It is horrible. It is disgusting. It is funny. It is heart-wrenching.
It seems endless. It is Hell.
Apart from the excellent and vivid descriptions of Hell (nobody does world building as convincing as Tad Williams) the characters (established and new) make the novel burst with life and hope as well as torture and despair. For example, Gob the lost child who was born in Hell and hence never had a life on earth. Or Riprash the slave trading demon with a truly astonishing agenda of his own.
Once Bobby is out of Hell things hurry towards the showdown and the admittedly not too surprising final twist & afterwards I was left craving for more. As Caz says "It's never over, Bobby darling. Hell doesn't work that way."
This novel is an emotional tour de force. I had to put it down repeatedly because I needed time to recover and to think.
It's been a long time that I read fiction which left me so emotionally drained as well as intellectually stimulated. It also made me laugh for minutes in the most unexpected moments.
I appreciated the witty concept of a static and bureaucratic Heaven with memory wiped souls who spent their eternity in blissful stupor (as established in Dirty Streets) contrasted with an evolving and chaotic Hell where the damned - fully aware of who they were and are - struggle for survival and change.
One could argue that the part in hell is too long and not important to the plot in all its detail. I do not. Yes, it's 250 pages of Bobby trying to get to and free Caz (and some other stuff). Yes, the book could be shorter and keep its fast pace all through the story.
Then it might just be a damn well written urban fantasy horror thriller keeping true to its genre.
But luckily Williams never cared for genre conventions and this novel contains much more, it has multifold layers.
It is for example a philosophical treatise about the concept of eternal damnation. It is a tragic love story. It is a journey to the soul. It cannot be shorter.
The main engine of the plot is the Bobby Caz love story. I have a soft spot for Romeo and Juliet type tragedies and muchly enjoyed this classic theme taken to the extreme: a love between an angel and a demon. I totally buy Doloriel and Casimira and am again impressed how Williams writes sex scenes without letting them become either pornographic or romantic schmalz.
I was a tad bit disappointed though to see none of the loose ends the reader is left with at the end of Dirty Streets woven in the story. How did Leo die? Who is behind the Third Way? What was Eligor's gain in the deal with a high-up-in-the-food-chain angel in the first place? Does God exist? And what about Lucifer?
These questions are just hinted at throughout the novel. Being the master storyteller that Williams is, he'll wrap them all up satisfyingly and surprisingly in the next book Sleeping Late on Judgment Day which I would rather read tomorrow instead of next year.
I love and admire all of Tad Williams' books - Happy Hour in Hell is one of the best he has written to date.
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 6, 2013
Admittedly I am a biased fan of Tad Williams & his work. I'
Admittedly I am a biased fan of Tad Williams & his work. I've read everything he's written & enjoyed all of it for different reasons. Happy Hour in Hell was sent to me to be reviewed by Tad's lovely wife & I was eager to dive in as soon as it arrived. The story is written as though you were friends with Bobby and he was relating the story to you over a beer. Its a noir, backalley story about an Angel that's a bit different from what you might expect. The adventure takes place mostly in Hell which is wonderfully conceived & the descriptions of Demons and the different level are glorious. The villains are great, the mysteries have me wondering how it will all play out & I can't wait for the third book. Already an avid fan, this book continues to make me think Tad is one of the best writers we have. I am a satisfied reader & I will continue to support him in the coming years.
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 8, 2014
Posted May 30, 2014
Posted March 25, 2014
He does it again!
Detailed characters. Such creativity and description that you can almost feel like your there. The deception and intrigue is outstanding. Best series I've read in a while.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 3, 2013
Posted September 23, 2013
This new book in the Bobby Dollar series is an excellent read. T
This new book in the Bobby Dollar series is an excellent read. The tour through the levels of Hell is charged and compelling,Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
I couldn't put the book down. I would highly recommend this book to anyone, but if they have read the first book
"Dirty Streets of Heaven", then I'm guessing they need no enticing. If you are reading the reviews of this book and have not
read the first, you'll still be okay, though I would suggest buying the first for the sheer enjoyment and for the consistency
and background. Both are great books for story line, for character development, for the ability of the author to create whole worlds
that are cohesive, consistent and fully developed. Thought provoking and entertaining, a fabulous second to the series!
Posted September 13, 2013
Once again I find myself reading and reviewing a book by Tad Wil
Once again I find myself reading and reviewing a book by Tad Williams.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
When an author does a series the great challenge is for him to step it up for each book. I read and loved book one The Dirty Streets of Heaven. Did I love this one as much?
MORE TAD, MORE!! I loved this one more! The whole concept of the series to begin with is intriguing. What if death and the afterlife is really like that? So I say excellent plot on book two. There is lots of action going on. Never a dull moment! I love the vivid descriptions of hell. All the characters are well developed and I love how dedicated Bobby is to the woman he loves. Sweet and heartbreaking. Makes one think: What would I do, how far would I go for the one I love?
Something else that I feel need mentioning is that it is written in the first person. Very few authors can write in the first person and do a good job. Tad did this in fine style!
Usually I give a few paragraphs for you to feast your eyes on. I pick something from the book that grabs my attention and put in my review. But the problem is what I really loved, my favorite quote is a whole chapter. Chapter forty-one called 'the pain report' really got to me. So this time I am not going to post a quote and I am just going to say this...GO GET THE BOOK, Once you have read it then get back to me on chapter forty-one!
Posted September 11, 2013
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Posted January 24, 2014
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Posted January 7, 2014
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