Bobby Dollar is an angel - a real one. He knows a lot about sin, and not just in his professional capacity as an advocate for souls caught between Heaven and Hell. Bobby’s wrestling with a few deadly sins of his own - pride, anger, even lust.
But his problems aren’t all his fault. Bobby can’t entirely trust his heavenly superiors, and he’s not too sure about any of his fellow earthbound angels either, especially the new kid that Heaven has dropped into their midst, a trainee angel who asks too many questions. And he sure as hell doesn’t trust the achingly gorgeous Countess of Cold Hands, a mysterious she-demon who seems to be the only one willing to tell him the truth.
When the souls of the recently departed start disappearing, catching both Heaven and Hell by surprise, things get bad very quickly for Bobby D. End-of-the-world bad. Beast of Revelations bad. Caught between the angry forces of Hell, the dangerous strategies of his own side, and a monstrous undead avenger that wants to rip his head off and suck out his soul, Bobby’s going to need all the friends he can get - in Heaven, on Earth, or anywhere else he can find them.
You’ve never met an angel like Bobby Dollar. And you’ve never read anything like The Dirty Streets of Heaven.
Brace yourself - the afterlife is weirder than you ever believed.
©2012 Tad Williams (P)2012 Penguin Audiobooks
Tad Williams takes the reader on a great modern paranormal adventure with some innovative takes on Noir in a Modern context. The main character is well portrayed; as a flawed angel, tasked with advocating for the souls of the dead, Bobby Dollar is both real and supernal.
In Noir fashion, our hero is dropped in the thick of the Cold War between Heaven and Hell when a soul disappears on his watch. What follows is a ride that takes Bobby D through the righteous underbelly of San Judas (Santa Clara), California, angering Angels and Demons alike.
While the mystery is solved by the end of the book, it leaves many questions unanswered and I eagerly anticipate the next volume of the Bobby Dollar series.
Snarky and funny while keeping the tone serious at tense moments of the story.
For fans of Dresden, it's hard not to compare this book to Jim Butcher's work. Which isn't really fair in my opinion. That tepid observation aside, I'll say this: I've started a ton of new series and the vast majority i never make it past book one. I'm looking forward to the next book in this series.
Yes, I'd recommend a book to a friend that likes angels vs. demons stories, mysteries, and is more concerned about having something fun to read, rather then something that would amuse or surprise him.
I guess I answered that on my first response.
Yes. George Newbern does a very good performance. He gives a lot of personallity to Mr.Bobby Dollar, as well as some of the other characters. I mean, you can not only identify the character by the way he reads, but you can also get a feeling on its mood and intentions. Well executed!
You know what? Yes, I would! Although I was a bit disappointed with it as a book, I think it would make a very nice thriller on the big screen.
I was disappointed by the lack of creativity of the story - too many clichês for my taste. It felt like Mr Tad Williams (which is a terrific writer) was being pressed by his publisher to deliver a book faster than he'd like, and his solution was to come up with this fast and easy to read story, but that lacks on much of the depth of his other works.
It's such a fantastic surprise when a book exceeds your every expectation. I didn't just like this book -- I loved it!
First reason: the character of Bobby Dollar, who is a modern take on the classic hard-boiled, pulp-fiction private eye. This guy can go wise-crack for wise-crack with Sam Spade or stand toe-to-toe with Mike Hammer.
Second reason: the imaginative setting. I can't think of any other neo-noir setting that is quite so much fun as this one. The uneasy truce between heaven and hell is the perfect background for a private-eye procedural where all-is-definitely-not-what-it-seems.
Third reason: the performance. George Newbern makes Bobby's wisecracks come alive. His pitch-perfect delivery of the "Prince Sat-on-a-panda" wisecrack had me in stitches.
I've been a fan of Tad Williams's since Tailchaser's Song and I'm very happy to see him return to stand-alone novels. I eagerly await the next installment in the Bobby Dollar series.
I was excited to see that Tad Williams had started a new series. I am a big Williams fan, having enjoyed all of his other books. For those who haven't yet done so, I recommend reading or listening to his Otherland series. I would also recommend any of his fantasy books. The problem with The Dirty Streets of Heaven was that it wasn't near the quality of the other Williams offerings.
Had I not seen his name on the book, I never would have guessed that this book was written by Tad Williams. I would have thought it was a collaboration effort between Jim Butcher (the Dresden Files series) and Richard Kadrey (the Sandman Slim series). Bobby Dollar, it seemed to me, must be closely related to Harry Dresden. Dollar also inherited Dresden's sassy and (oftentimes but not always) endearing sense of humor. Maybe it's because I just got done listening to the (delightful) Dresden series, but I kept finding myself thinking I was listening to another Dresden book.
While the protagonist, earthy angel Bobby Dollar, is far less foul mouthed and depressed than Kadrey's (oftentimes but not always) likable Sandman Slim, he does have the same love/hate relationship with his otherworldly overlords (in Slim's case, the devil, and in Dollar's case, the angels). Dresden and Sandman are both series that took an original idea and ran with it. I hate to say it, but in my mind's eye I kept seeing Tad Williams talking to his editor about what kind of series he should write next. Anyone in the industry couldn't help but notice how successful this whole genre of books (the vampire, zombie, wizard, hellion themed books with a hip, loveable, very capable but self-denigrating anti-hero) has become. I kept wondering, as perhaps Tad Williams did while developing this character, "What would Harry Dresden do - WWHDD'? Where would Harry go? Or, what would a Harry Dresden-type character (who is a well intended, golden-hearted, anti-establishment earthbound angel) do if he had essentially the same personality as Harry Dresden but wasn't a wizard but rather an angel. Well, maybe it didn't happen that way at all. Maybe he didn't talk it over with his publisher at all.
What did Williams do well in this book? I was very impressed with his well considered presentation of the afterlife, and many of the salvation issues involved. His presentation of heaven actually made me excited to experience the afterlife. He deftly and successfully navigated around a lot of thorny theological considerations in a way that should offend few of any faith. In other words, as he does so well, Williams has created a consistent and believable imaginary world. What I found sadly lacking was the story itself and the characters. I expected better characters and character development from Williams. Other than Bobby Dollar and his (evil but virtuous, treacherous but warm-hearted, loyal but untrustworthy devil babe) girlfriend, the Countess of Cold Hands, I found the characters flat and not very likeable. I found the chase scenes and battle scenes with the "spawn of hell, creature, monster character" chasing and fighting with Dollar and his posse agonizingly frequent, predictable and boring. And the monster kept coming and Bobby kept escaping... again and again and again.
There are other shortcomings as well, but I don't want to whip a dead horse.
If I had never read Williams' other books, I wouldn't have expected as much as I did going into this one. Would I recommend it? I don't know. Will I read the next Bobby Dollar book? Probably, because I'm willing to try anything Tad Williams writes. Even when he lays a relative egg, he is a good enough writer that I'm willing to slog through it. At least this time.
I thought that the narrator, Dick Hill, did a yeoman's job. It was a good, but not in any way exceptional Hill performance.
The way he skirted the line between religious sacrilege and religious respect. Williams took an Angel as his main character and managed to make the book not at all about religion.
The Desden Files comes to mind for the tone is not the theme.
Tad Williams has written better. Whether or not fair, in this genre his work unfortunately pales compared to Jim Butcher / The Dresden Files.
something for everyone
He brings every character to stunning life
It had humor,action,developed characters and romance. I will wait for book 2 and hope it comes out in a hurry.
I have enjoyed lots of Audible offerings but only a few have kept me listening so that I did not want to turn on the TV. I just wanted to see how the book proceeding racing toward an unknown finish.
I read it as part of a book club. I wanted to read a Tad Williams book so I thought this was a good place to start. I would recommend a friend to see what other books Williams has written and see if any of them are more interesting.
I sensed something was up, but I didn't make the connection.
He had a good voice. You could tell from the tone of the voice which character it was, which is not always the case with some narrators.
There is a lot of background information and unfinished threads in the story which I think will be picked up in the following books. I will read the next books when they come out.
Right in line with some of the top. Newbern's reading reminded me a lot of James Marster's Dresden Files narration, with both humor and seriousness when needed. A great new addition to the Urban Fantasy genre.
The Countess of Cold Hands, I really liked how the demoness filled the almost classic jaded female companion to Bobby Dollars gumshoe.
Newbern brought a depth to the characters that while present in the book, really popped out in his narration.
While I laughed out loud several times during the book, my most extreme reaction came from the sex scenes which were quite hot.
This series is now on my must read list and I will be checking out more narrations by George Newbern in the future. I was very impressed.
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