Sandman Slim (Sandman Slim Series #1)

( 266 )

Overview

Supernatural fantasy has a new antihero

Life sucks and then you die. Or, if you're James Stark, you spend eleven years in Hell as a hitman before finally escaping, only to land back in the hell-on-earth that is Los Angeles.

Now Stark's back, and ready for revenge. And absolution, and maybe even love. But when his first stop saddles him with an abusive talking head, Stark discovers that the road to absolution ...

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Sandman Slim (Sandman Slim Series #1)

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Overview

Supernatural fantasy has a new antihero

Life sucks and then you die. Or, if you're James Stark, you spend eleven years in Hell as a hitman before finally escaping, only to land back in the hell-on-earth that is Los Angeles.

Now Stark's back, and ready for revenge. And absolution, and maybe even love. But when his first stop saddles him with an abusive talking head, Stark discovers that the road to absolution and revenge is much longer than you'd expect, and both Heaven and Hell have their own ideas for his future.

Resurrection sucks. Saving the world is worse.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

James Stark's great rep got him sent to hell. When his fame as a teenage magician attracted the attention of demons, they snatched him up and dispatched him to the inferno, where he spent the next 11 years as a sideshow freak entertaining Satan's minions. Now released and hell-bent for revenge, Stark loses no time seeking out the dark magic cabal that nearly destroyed him; but he soon discovers that in the war between heaven and hell, he is not the only one with big plans? Buyer's choice; now in mass-market paperback. (Hand-selling tip: Sandman Slim elicited raves from fellow cult figure William Gibson: "A wild, weird, nail-biting supernatural thriller?in the bestselling tradition of Chris Moore, Kim Harrison, and Warren Ellis? This man is mad, in the best way.")

Publishers Weekly

Kadrey (Butcher Bird) provides biting humor, an over-the-top antihero and a rich stew of metaphoric language in this testosterone- and adrenaline-charged noir thriller. James Stark spent 11 years killing monsters in Lucifer's arena for the entertainment of fallen angels, but now he's back in seedy, magic-riddled L.A., trying to avenge his girlfriend's murder and hunt down Mason Faim, the black magician responsible for getting him sent "downtown." He meets with some initial success, beheading second-rate magician Kasabian (whose head becomes Stark's smart-mouthed sidekick), but he can't find Faim. Instead he encounters Homeland Security agents, a near-psychotic angel and some odd nonhuman, nonangelic beings called the kissi. Darkly atmospheric settings, such as a posh gentlemen's club where angels are tortured in an attempt to bring about Armageddon, bring this violent fantasy into sharp, compelling focus. (Aug.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Children's Literature - Michele C. Hughes
James Stark is perpetually nineteen and for the past eleven years he has been tortured by legions of demons in Hell. In possession of a magic key, he has escaped from Hell to return to the sordid underbelly of Los Angeles, where pornographic videos, tattoos, skinheads, and women who dress like little girls reign. Stark seeks revenge on the circle of friends whose incantations condemned him to a literal living hell and killed his girlfriend. Unbeknownst to Stark, his indestructibility in the face of dismemberment, broken bones, and other tortures has made him a legend in the Sub Rosa, or magic circle. One by one, he hunts down those who betrayed him, only to find that the ringleader is destroying them before he can get the answers he seeks. With a dear old alchemist friend and a new love interest on his side, Stark discovers his enemies' complex plan to unleash a magnitude of evil the world has never known. Stark is snarky, gritty, and cocky—and apparently above moral law as he sacrifices countless civilians on his quest for revenge. At times the reader does not know what the rules are—can you live in Hell, escape, and then visit if you have a magic key surgically implanted in your chest? Why can you not see into heaven as you can see into Hell? Is God actually an ineffective deity whose motives are questionable and whose minions are angry? The story turns the world upside down to make a profane comic book type of hero come out on top. Graphic and grotesque violence, sexual situations, and explicit adult language make this book better suited to more mature readers. Reviewer: Michele C. Hughes
Miami Herald
“Sarcastic, irreverent and ridiculously enjoyable riff on the Urban Fantasy genre. … a lot like a mosh pit -- rough, exuberant, unpredictable -- and a heck of a lot of fun.”
Booklist
“Paced like greased lightning (watch out for friction burns on your turning finger), blend the movie-ish delights of tough guy noir and such smart-mouthgore-fests as “Reanimator” and “Army of Darkness”, seasoned by soupcons of Gaimanian romanticism and Koontzian sentiment.”
Charlaine Harris
“If Simon R. Green wrote an episode of Dog the Bounty Hunter, it would read much like Sandman Slim – violent, vivid, non-stop action of the supernatural kind. I couldn’t put it down.”
Kim Harrison
“Nicotine and octane in equal parts might come close to the high-energy buzz from Richard Kadrey’s Sandman Slim. Crisp world building, recognizable and fully-realized characters, and a refreshingly unique storytelling style make for an absorbing read.Sandman Slim is my kind of hero.”
Cory Doctorow
“The most hard-boiled piece of supernatural fiction I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. … all confident and energetic and fresh and angry. I loved this book and all its screwed-up people.”
William Gibson
“The best B movie I’ve read in at least twenty years. An addictively satisfying, deeply amusing, dirty-ass masterpiece, Sandman Slim swerves hell-bent through our culture’s impacted gridlock of genres…it’s like watching Sergio Leone and Clive Barker co-direct from a script by Jim Thompson and S. Clay Wilson.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061714351
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 7/31/2012
  • Series: Sandman Slim Series , #1
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 225,114
  • Product dimensions: 5.18 (w) x 6.94 (h) x 1.02 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard Kadrey

Richard Kadrey has published seven novels, including Sandman Slim, Kill the Dead, Aloha from Hell, Butcher Bird, and Metrophage, and more than fifty stories. He has been immortalized as an action figure, and his short story "Goodbye Houston Street, Goodbye" was nominated for a British Science Fiction Association Award. A freelance writer and photographer, he lives in San Francisco.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 266 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(115)

4 Star

(96)

3 Star

(40)

2 Star

(9)

1 Star

(6)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 266 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 8, 2010

    Is it Thursday, yet?

    ...that's something a friend of ours shouted out in a movie theater when the movie he was watching just dragged on and on. :)

    Ok, I loved the title and the idea of the story. But I found the writing style to be very immature. The author tries to be pulp-fictiony and "cool" but just comes off cocky and silly. The main character is annoying -- a not nice guy looking for revenge. Oh, so sorry for him. The magical powers and weapons seem thrown in on a whim, without much thought. I don't care about the main character, who is a bit of a brat. The only person I really liked in the novel was the bartender. And I liked the head in the closet, but that was short-lived. I forced my way through the whole thing because it was short and I was determined. Nice try -- maybe future books will be better, but this one was a waste of time. Two stars instead of one because it had its moments.

    6 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 29, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Original Storyline with great characters

    Richard Kadrey writes like Simon Green or Jim Butcher on speed with a bad hangover and a 3 day beard. Sandman is a unique anti-hero. He's still getting used to the idea of being alive. It's well written, surprising, not formulaic and although the story definitely ends, there's plenty of room for the next chapter in Sandman's adventures.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    If Cool Could Kill You Would Get Sandman Slim

    I found strong recommendations for this book from Barnes & Nobles resident paranormal guide. Paul Goat Allen named this his best paranormal title of 2009 and I do concur! The book is fast paced, smooth talking, heaven and hell of a thriller.

    From the first sentence foreword this book is in high gear. A page turner through and through. Part horror. Part mystery. Part comic (sans all the pictures). Sandman Slim is something like Men in Black meets Sin City. Without all the graphics.

    Read this first then check out the follow up, Kill The Dead.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 28, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Great film noir vibe!

    It may have been the cover or it may have been the description of the main character Stark, but while reading this book I felt a little film noir vibe going on. Was a nice touch and gave the story some flavor.

    Stark was a cocky young magician who was betrayed and sent to hell by jealous fellow magicians. After managing to survive eleven long years, first as a sideshow attraction and then as a hitman, he manages to escape and returns to LA with revenge on his mind. After surviving the demons of hell, LA should be a cakewalk.

    He wants revenge not just for sending him to hell, but also for the murder of his girlfriend. With a little help from new friends and old, Stark tracks down his old magician "friends" and gets to work. But no matter how much of a bad guy he believes he is, Stark can't seem to help doing a good deed every now and then. He's one of those heroes who does the right thing for maybe the wrong reasons, but still saves the day.

    Read this book in one day, which is unbelievably fast for me. But it was so good that I couldn't wait to see what happened next! It's got dark humor, which I love, and is a little gritty. Be warned that Stark doesn't think much of angels or demons and lets them know it, so if you're easily offended, then this book isn't for you. Would love to see this turned into a series, as I'd like to see Stark again. Gave this book 4 stars as it was well written, fast paced, and darkly humorous.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2012

    Yup. Yup. Yup.

    Laser sharp. Plot moves and explodes like a Roman candle screaming. I think I'm in love.....

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 18, 2011

    Not Amazing, but still a good read

    I enjoyed this book, but I wasn't hooked on it or going crazy about it. I liked the urban fantasy elements of the world, the magic system and the story of Stark stalking his killers. The sexual references to Bondage and S&M were a little annoying at times, but they were something you could get passed and move on; nothing to make someone stop reading.

    The book is written in first person present tense, which is a little weird to me since most novels I read are third person, past tense. It took a while to get used to it. Some flashback scenes are written first person, past tense, but the majority is the other.

    Overall I enjoyed the book; I'd give it 3 1/2 stars if BN allowed it. I did buy the second book. I recommend this book if you enjoy Urban Fantasy, but if you don't really enjoy UF, then I suggest you pass.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 20, 2011

    I loved it.

    This is a ride through LA subculture unlike anything I've ever read. Long story short -- I loved it. Stark is my new literary crush.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 15, 2011

    Recommended

    While this is not my genre, I decided to take a chance reading this book. The main character is sarcastic, angry and not bright when it comes to figuring out what's going on. Sometimes he's over the top. To be honest, most of the characters written have the same personalities, i.e. sharp acid tongues, bitter outlooks on the world and no social interaction other than among themselves. The plot is revenge. Stark has been in hell for over eleven years and is out looking to get even with the people who put him there. For the most part, this book is fast paced but the characters aren't the type you'd feel warm and fuzzy about, or give an 'awww shucks' moment to. Stark is haunted by the death of Alice, his girlfriend killed by Mason's flunky but after eleven years, one would think he'd have closure. All in all, I gave it three stars only because some characters grated the nerves, as in the head in the closet...reminded me too much of the Bob character in the Dresden series.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2013

    Starks like the Underdog, everyone doesn't want to root for and surely doesn't want to win, but he's needed because nobody else will do the job.

    I was a little iffy about starting this series but I'm glad I gave it a chance. Kadrey, injects enough humor into the story to make it not seem like a horror movie gone wrong. I loved it. Stark AkA Sandman Slim has a rough start, middle, and end basically but I expected nothing less from an anti hero who plans for absolutely nothing.
    There was an overload of information, but this being the first book, I understand why Kadrey had to write it this way. In order to help the readers understand what was going on, her had to give us "background music" or a back story if that's a better word. He also had to make us see what was specifically driving Stark to do what he was doing with dog like determination and that reason was Alice.
    I enjoyed this, would definitely read it again. Starks like the Underdog, everyone doesn't want to root for and surely doesn't want to win, but he's needed because nobody else will do the job.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 1, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Talk about Fun...

    What can one say about a monster that has it all, I am jealous.
    Sandman is my lunchtime bud;witty,nasty,killerfunny and goes great
    With any food group. Went right for "Kill The Dead". Thanx Mr. Kadrey, keep emcomin. Regards...immhu

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 9, 2012

    I bought the book because of the great reviews here on B&N,

    I bought the book because of the great reviews here on B&N, because it sounded interesting, and because of the reviews on the book itself.
    It would have been an excellent book, had it not been for the 4-5 chapter "don't know what the hell is going on". It starts off slow, while sandman gets his bearings, gathers information, and re-adapts to life on earth. Then, out of nowhere, he starts chasing after one of his targets because he finally decided to "google" them. His rash, unintelligent, and ignorant behavior should have obliterated him when he was in Hell.
    At the end of the book, Information is also literally "thrown" at the reader just for the sake of adding "depth".

    Honestly, The ideas were interesting, the premise was great, but execution was lacking. I actually recommend NOT reading the book. If you are looking for anti-heroes, there are many books out there that blow this one out of the water.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 21, 2012

    Wow! Great stuff!

    Being a fan of both the Dresden &Nightside series I loved this. Can't wait for the next one.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey

    "Sandman Slim" is by no means a literary masterpiece and thank the demons below and the angels above that it isn't. It is, however, an extremely dark urban fantasy littered with the dead bodies of angels, demons, humans, magicians, civilians, Kissi, and Hellions, to name just a few. And one Hell of a good read!

    The main character, Jimmy "Sandman Slim" Stark is forced by an evil cadre of magicians into Hell where he lives for eleven years fighting demons, monsters and worse in Lucifer's battle-arena of the macabre. Returning to earth, with the help of a magic amulet, he finds that during his absence the magicians who sent him to the Inferno have also murdered his girlfriend. Bent on revenge and with a little help of his own magic Stark begins an epic search for the men who sent him to Hell and killed the love of his life. Along the way he is befriended by arch-angels, alchemists and monsters and hunted by demons, magicians and police.

    Kadrey definitely knows how to spin a dark tale. His language, while offensive to some, fits the character of the story perfectly. Gritty, dark, angst-ridden and graphic the dialogue and fight scenes are coarse, bloody and down-right mean spirited. And to me that's exactly what made this book spark. How could you not write noir razor-blades about a character this flawed and angry? Besides, if you had to deal with half the bad-asses Stark had to you'd be pissed off too! Beheadings, ritual sacrifice, demon weapons, magic, monsters and gore. just the way I like my back-alley fantasy!

    4 out of 5 stars

    The Alternative
    Southeast Wisconsin

    http://thealternativeone.blogspot.com/

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 8, 2014

    If our personalities are derived from the characters and novels

    If our personalities are derived from the characters and novels we tend to enjoy (in my case both reading and writing), then I’d make a strong candidate for Bastard of the Year. Hell, I don’t even need a running mate. I suppose I could leave it at that, and just walk away, probably leaving more than a few of you scratching your heads. But I might as well expound upon my point, because once you start shoveling crap you might as well keep going.

    You see, James Stark is a character I’m not supposed to like. In fact, he burns jackets, kills people (bad ones), and even manages to piss off a few angels just for fun. He’s the kind of guy you’re better off pretending you don’t know. If he does happen to come around, you barricade your front door, and then you call the fuzz. If the cops can’t keep him at bay, then you leave LA (it’s filled with people more screwed up than Stark anyway), and head somewhere safer like Mexico or Colombia.

    Despite all of that, though, I actually liked the bastard. I rooted for him to rein hell-on-earth and kick the snot out of evil, and ruin a few more coats. I could almost feel his hatred coursing through my veins, and rather than be turned off, I was actually a little turned on. To be fair, it wasn’t all fireflies and sparklers, and I did manage to cringe once or twice, based on yet another terrible path he took. But if I didn’t see at least a fault or two, I’d probably be in more trouble than I already am. So maybe there’s the slimmest of slim chances I’m not completely screwed up.

    In the spirit of Stark smashing a few faces, SANDMAN SLIM smashed together more than one genre, and made it work. The plot and dialogue raced forward (other than enough editing errors that I couldn’t help but notice); all the characters were filled with warm and gooey goodness (smirks); the action made it seem as though I was driving on two-wheels down Wilshire Boulevard (without traffic); and I even discovered another reason to hate a junkie or two (when you read it, you’ll see what I mean).

    Like this novel so aptly proves time and again: What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

    I received this book for free at Left Coast Crime.

    Robert Downs
    Author of Falling Immortality: Casey Holden, Private Investigator

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2014

    It was ok

    I didnt like the plot too much. It was rushed at some part and ended abruptly. Perhaps if it were better planned and organized, then perhaps it would have been better...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2014

    Gritty and awesome

    Who needs a hero when you can have Stark?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2014

    If you loved this book as much as me you'd also love The Iron Dr

    If you loved this book as much as me you'd also love The Iron Druid and The Dresden Files. Still this is a great and unique urban fantasy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2013

    Rain

    Is taken in

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2013

    If you like the TV show supernatural

    If you like the TV Show supernatural then you will love this. It's like that with more adult content.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 266 Customer Reviews

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