Published by Harper Voyager on September 2nd 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction
Source: Own Copy
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“An addictively satisfying, deeply amusing, dirty-ass masterpiece.”—William Gibson “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.”—Charlaine Harris 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.
The opening chapter of Sandman Slim throws you straight into the story, with the reader having no time to grasp what is occurring.
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.