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Posted September 5, 2012
When I started this book, I was reminded strongly of the Dresden
When I started this book, I was reminded strongly of the Dresden Files; first person narrative, supernatural slant, etc. However, Tad Williams has always been known to turn a genre on its ear, whether it is epic fantasy, fairy tales, or urban fantasy. The Dirty Streets of Heaven is a story with a few predictable elements, more than a few harrowing chases, and lots of twists.
I never judge a Tad Williams series based on the first book alone. You never get the full, grand picture of things until later on. Then you wonder what you missed in the beginning and want to read it again (and again). I like this first offering in the Bobby Dollar series. The book stands on its own, but promises so much more. I can't wait to find out what lurks inside Tad's devious mind.
7 out of 7 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 4, 2012
Bobby Dollar is the angel Doloriel. He works as an advocate for
Bobby Dollar is the angel Doloriel. He works as an advocate for the recently deceased argueing their cases for getting their souls to heaven. Bobby Dollar is a grumpy angel full of doubts on everything. Things start to get bad for him whe a soul does not appear for his judgement.
This is the setup for a story that reminded me most of the hard-boiled detective novels by Dashiell Hammet and Raymond Chandler as well as Good Omens the hilarious collaoration on the apocalypse by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.
Many reviews already pointed out that this is much faster and much darker than (and much much shorter) than "usual" Tad Williams story and they are right. But altough Williams takes a new direction storywise he holds to his salient talents: convincing world building (not being familiar with the Bay-area I only found out that San Judas where the scene is set is fictional when I looked it up on the map), convincing character development (which hopefully delves a bit deeper in the following volumes) and his brilliant sense for analogies and metaphors. Here's one that also shows why this is certainly an adult and no crossover story: "Meanwhile she was also doing her best to drive her knee up through my groin and into my chest, introducing my balls to my heart, a meeting that should never take place."
What I really liked was that the book has so many layers: beneath the detecive novel with all the chases, fights and funny dialogues it en passant raises major philosophical issues which can make you put the book down for a while to ponder ... or not as you won't want to stop reading ...
I highly recommend this book to those who like the classic noir detective novel as well as fantasy and scifi readers. Oh and those who enjoy the beauty of language should not miss it: hardly any author these days is a wordsmith like Williams - able to trigger casades of associations with just a one witty line. Can't wait for "Happy hour in hell" ... gimme more Tad!
4 out of 4 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 4, 2012
A Fabulously Entertaining Book!
THE DIRTY STREETS OF HEAVEN is a fabulously entertaining book. To delve into specifics too much is a little awkward in a review, as I wouldn’t want to spoil the fun of discovery for those who haven’t read it yet. The first-person narrative of earthbound angel Bobby Dollar is written in a style that brings the hard-boiled detective fiction of Raymond Chandler to mind, but this is not just a copy or homage; it’s Williams’ own inimitable voice as a writer and his carefully crafted storytelling that make the work so enjoyable. For one thing, the book is FUN. Though at heart the story is a dramatic one, the hero’s wry and self-deprecating way of looking at the world, even while being chased by the demons of Hell, keeps the reader smiling and turning the pages to see what will happen next--and how it will be creatively described.
The book is written in a straightforward manner that makes it easy to dive into. There are no appendices or character lists at the end, and none are needed. Anyone can pick up this book and enjoy it, whether or not they know anything about it beforehand.
Whatever the forces of the universe are throwing at him, Bobby Dollar clearly loves hanging around in Williams’ fictionalized California Bay Area, and readers will too.
3 out of 3 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 January 9, 2014
You know you're reading a good book when you have to constantly
You know you're reading a good book when you have to constantly stop to share lines with a friend. Bobby Dollar is just that quotable. The world(s) of life and afterlife Williams has created for this series are infinitely entertaining and exciting. Definitely pick this one up. Lots of fun.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 18, 2013
Tad Williams in full form
First off, thank you Tad Williams for not assuming all sci-fi and fantasy readers shop in the Teen section.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
If you liked going into Williams' takes on other "worlds" ie, faerie and virtual,you're going to like the trip into the judeo-christian after life.
Posted January 29, 2013
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