Bobby Dollar has a problem or four of epic proportions.
Problem one: his best friend Sam has given him an angel's feather that also happens to be evidence of an unholy pact between Bobby's employers and those who dwell in the infernal depths.
Problem two: Eligor, Grand Duke of Hell, wants to get his claws on the feather at all costs, but particularly at all cost to Bobby.
Problem three: Bobby has fallen in love with Casimira, Countess of Cold Hands, who just happens to be Eligor's girlfriend.
Problem four: Eligor, aware of Problem three, has whisked Casimira off to the Bottomless Pit itself, telling Bobby he will never see her again unless he hands over the feather.
But Bobby, long-time veteran of the endless war between above and below, is not the type of guy who finds Hell intimidating. All he has to do is toss on a demon's body, sneak through the infernal gates, solve the mystery of the angel's feather, and rescue the girl. Saving the day should just be a matter of an eon or two of anguish, mutilation and horror. If only it were that easy.
©2013 Tad Williams (P)2013 Hodder & Stoughton
"Readers who enjoy Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere, Kate Griffin's A Madness of Angels, Jim Butcher's Dresden Files will most likely be as entertained as I was... Highly recommended." (SFF World)
Tad Williams YES, Tim Flavin NO!
I liked, nay, really liked the first book. The performance of the second killed it for me. Why they changed to Tim Flavin is beyond me. I wonder if Tad Williams has any input as to who reads his books?At this stage, I will not be purchasing the third book until/if they change the narrator.
Simply put, can the narrator. Hold off on release until Joe May was able to record.
It has a follow up book, and it is needed, to further the story, particularly with the way it was left.
I am trying not to be too harsh, after all it is a job for this guy, same as anyone else. And I doubt anyone would like some random Joe beating on his work performance. But in saying that, this performance brought the entire work down. It pulls you out of the story that Tad Williams has crafted. I had to grit my teeth and continue on with it. At times I felt like throwing the "book" across the room, if only it wasn't my iPhone I was holding.
"Great follow up....but?"
This is a great read, if you are a fan of Bobby Dollar, an angel with attitude, and his continuing exploits to dodge the good the bad and the darn right ugly in pursuit of little Miss Cold Hands, then like me you will love this book. Tad Williams takes us to New places and depths actually and literally. Full of twists and turns, some you can see coming and some that catch you by the throat. The story follows on from The Dirty Streets of Heaven almost without a pause, but could be read as a stand alone I think but obviously to get the best experience book 1 should be read first. It is well paced, comic in places and leaves you wondering how in Hell (pun intended) will he survive the Machiavellian Shenanigans of above and below.
If you have listened to The Dirty Street of Heaven, I'm sure you will have formed images of the characters in you minds eye, due to the great voice acting of Joe May e.g. Cassi is petite sexy savvy and a bit scary. Tim Flavin's Cassi is well... a Man and a 6 foot bearded brute with rippling muscles and definitely not sexy, and don't even get me started on the poor Solihull sisters who are supposed to be from Birmingham England not India or poor Fatback who I really could not understand what he was saying.
So as you might of guessed switching Voice actors in mid series sometimes does not work and leaves a confusion of characters where you are constantly trying reconcile who is who and distracts from the plot somewhat.
So in summery the book is great, the narration may be good if read in isolation, but as a follow on, leaves me with "cold hands" - oh lord am I never going to get that image out of my head.
"Wise cracking in Hell...whats not to like?"
Bobby's back, seriously pissed and looking for a way in... to hell that is.
The second instalment of Bobby Dollar's adventures continues straight on from where it left off, with Bobby wanting to get Cassi back and willing to go to extreme lengths to do so.
Most of this book is spent with Bobby working his way through Hell trying to get to Cassi and hell is .. well hellish, not so many laughs in this book as the first and what there is just seems to fall on its face most of the time, but this could be because, and here is my only issue with this audio book, the narrator has changed!
Joe May, who read the first book, is Bobby.
Now I listen to a lot of audio books and know that sometimes a the voice has to change mid series, it's just in this case Joe was so good and Tim, in comparison, in my opinion is not.
To be honest I found the story hard going because this, which is a real shame as it is a fantastic there and back again hell book, tad's descriptions of Hell and its inmates are lavish and disturbing.
In all a fantastic book well worth a listen, shame about the narrator change.
"Torture for the listener?"
I really enjoyed the first in this series (The dirty Streets of Heaven), and therefore downloaded this book, the second in a trilogy, with high expectations. The concept itself is reasonably original - a kind of contemporary Orpheus without the lute but with a lot of nasty habits. (How the hero can be an angel when he has every vice known to man, including lust, dishonesty, violence, anger, jealousy, the need to murder everyone he meets...but never mind.)
Alas! I have a couple of quite major quibbles with it about the performance as well as the actual book: firstly, the first book, read by Joe May, was quite well-read, with reasonably accurate non-American accents. Where they weren't accurate they were at least comprehensible. Tim Flavin really struggles with anything non-American - his 'standard' British accent comes and goes like a figure in the mist. However, his attempt at a West Midlands accent for the Solihull Sisters (how nice to have the West Mids mentioned!) is just appalling - wavering between Irish, Mummerset, and - er - Yorkshire? and is actually incomprehensible. At the very least it should sound like the ghosts of two middle aged women, but it sounds - if anything - like a prop forward who's kept his gum shield in.
But my major problem is the really tiresome obsession with nastiness. Yes I know it's a (sort of) horror, but there are pages and pages and PAGES of increasing torture, sado-masochism, disembowelment, flaying, mutilation, male rape etc etc. To be honest, it wasn't shocking because everything became utterly predictable - it actually got very tedious after a while. I lost interest completely at one point and tried fast forwarding to a point where our hero wasnt having his eyes removed through his anus (actually I dont think that happened, but it could have done. You get the drift) Really disappointed. But I will have to listen to the third book, simply to find out if the hero gets his just deserts and gets sacked.
"The disappointing one."
The time wasn't wasted, one neded the continuity but it was something of a comedwon fron the first novel.
I already did. Despite the fall off of this novel I enjoyed the Series.
His characterisations were loose and not kept together. Particularly his characterisation of the Solihull Sisters. Awful.
There is one, much better than this.
It seemed a shame that this isn't as well written or performed than the other two in the series.
"An enjoyable follow up, let down by poor narration"
Picking up from Dirty Streets of Heaven, this is another fun slice of fantasy from Tad Williams, with a vibrantly realised vision of living and working in Hell.
Unfortunately the narrator does a poor job with many of the characters - the Solihull sisters appearance, whilst brief, is of particular note as their accents vacillate back and forth between Birmingham and Delhi. The voice of Dollar himself is fine, which prevents this version from becoming unlistenable - recommended, but check out the sample first!
I would recommend this as an e-book however the reading on the audio isnt great certainly not as good as the Reader of the first Bobby Dollar book.
"Tad Williams at His Best"
The descriptions of what hell is like and how long eternity there would be like are both graphic and amusing.
The development of Bobby Dollars character and his irreverent relationship with his bosses in heaven.
No but it was very well read although I did prefer the narration of the first book in the series The Dirty Streets of Heaven.
Tad Williams is one of the best fantasy authors out there and with this urban series he has outdone himself.
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