In the beginning, there was a thin veil of noir. It burned off quickly and once it was gone, I found myself mentally checking to verify that I wasn't listening to a YA novel.
Part of the problem is the narrators voice, which is high and reedy and a bit irritating. The "hero" (who ultimately, and in a totally nonsensical way, comes to be known as Sandman Slim, but that is another issue...) is supposed to be a big tough guy seasoned by 11 years as a gladiator in hell. Yet he is written with the personality of a 19 year old, his age when he went to hell. It seems as if the author really couldn't decide whether he wanted his dually-named hero to be a teenager or a gritty tough guy. He ends up with a mish-mash of the two that he rationalizes with an assumption that a 19-year old would not mature after 11 years of torture in hell. It's confusing.
My other criticism is for the author's apparent lack of geographical knowledge of Los Angeles. This was really distracting. I can excuse the re-working of certain neighborhoods to suit the grittyness of the story but Beverly Hills is not, and never has been, anywhere near Laurel Canyon. And to travel in any way other than through Sandman Slim's magic doors between Beverly Hills, Laurel Canyon, and Hollywood would take most of the day. One way.
The upshot is an unevenly written book that tries for noir but does not succeed and gets caught somewhere between a comic book and Preston and Childs novel.
My problem with this book is that the main character here has the power to do anything.
The writing is not that bad. Sam Spade + Magic. Its just the author Richard Kadrey has the main character here suffer, only nothing can hurt him, so its silly and you end up not caring about what happens next.
This was not only a great work of fiction but a great theologic parody. I truly enjoy when both good and evil, (God, the devil, demons Angels etc ) get pros bashed for their epic fuck ups! Especially when there is Sandman Slim there to mediate the situation and kick some ass.
I haven't spent a lot of time with this genre but this book has a gritty yet winsome strut.
Stark is a fun character that you want to learn more about. Really all the main characters draw you in.
I throughly enjoyed it. Lots of foul language and violence but this makes the book
I will be downloading the second book.
The narrator was brilliant!!!
Some of the basic ideas are interesting, but the plot and character development is juvenile. The characters are all flat and the plot just jumps from one nonsense event to another.
What a GREAT book! Totally unexpected. It's like Dresden Files meets Spawn with a nice Dogma twist.
The performance was spot on. Cynical, tired, punk narrator scum telling a tale of loss, revenge, and ass-kicking.
What a ride!