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Publisher's Summary

Drug dealers, hustlers, brothels, dirty politics, corrupt cops... and sorcery. Welcome to Low Town.

In the forgotten back alleys and flophouses that lie in the shadows of Rigus, the finest city of the Thirteen Lands, you will find Low Town. It is an ugly place, and its cham­pion is an ugly man. Disgraced intelligence agent. Forgotten war hero. Independent drug dealer. After a fall from grace five years ago, a man known as the Warden leads a life of crime, addicted to cheap violence and expensive drugs. Every day is a constant hustle to find new customers and protect his turf from low-life competition like Tancred the Harelip and Ling Chi, the enigmatic crime lord of the heathens.

The Warden’s life of drugged iniquity is shaken by his dis­covery of a murdered child down a dead-end street... set­ting him on a collision course with the life he left behind. As a former agent with Black House—the secret police—he knows better than anyone that murder in Low Town is an everyday thing, the kind of crime that doesn’t get investi­gated. To protect his home, he will take part in a dangerous game of deception between underworld bosses and the psy­chotic head of Black House, but the truth is far darker than he imagines. In Low Town, no one can be trusted.

Daniel Polansky has crafted a thrilling novel steeped in noir sensibilities and relentless action, and set in an original world of stunning imagination, leading to a gut-wrenching, unforeseeable conclusion. Low Town is an attention-grabbing debut that will leave listeners riveted... and hun­gry for more.

©2011 Daniel Polansky (P)2011 Random House

Critic Reviews

"For a first-time author, Polansky has managed to craft an assured, roaring, and rollicking hybrid, a cross-genre free-for-all that relishes its tropes while spitting out their bones. And he does it all while spinning one hell of a gripping mystery. Much like its grim, perversely charismatic antihero, Low Town stakes a narrow turf - then completely owns every inch of it." (The A.V. Club, The Onion)

"Festooned with sorcerers and demons in a pre-industrial otherworld setting, Low Town...is a fantasy-crime hybrid with serious noir chops.... Gritty, cryptically funny and relentlessly inventive." (Winnipeg Free Press)

"Low Town is a strong, confident debut that should go down well with readers who enjoy their fantasy on the noir side. It’s a novel you can enjoy for its atmosphere as well as its story, full as it is of well-drawn scenes from the city’s underbelly.... Low Town delivers a fast, entertaining story in less pages than it takes some major epics to get out of the realm of basic exposition. I had a blast with Low Town, and I’m definitely keeping an eye out for whatever Daniel Polansky comes up with next." (Tor.com)

What listeners say about Low Town

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Great Listening Experience

This is one of those books that was made even better as an audiobook. An excellent narrator choice really made for a great listening experience.
The writing of the world and characters also made for a gritty noir detective novel.
I see there's 2 more books in this series, I wish they would release them in audiobook soon!

3 people found this helpful

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Dark Fantasy done well

If you like Joe Abercrombie's writing I think Low Town is a story you will enjoy. Basically, a fallen man given an assignment he cannot refuse. Narration VERY good, so good that I will check the narrators work for more likely stories.

2 people found this helpful

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Impressive debut ??? Fantasy Noir

One part Richard K. Morgan and one part China Mieville. This debut novel starts out strong with Rob Shapiro doing an excellent(!) job of bringing life to the seedy streets of Low town. It starts strong, but doesn???t finish as strong. The world building is riveting enough, but as a detective novel it kind of fizzles out towards the end. Still, I am suitably impressed with this young author and will be watching out for more of his works in the future

2 people found this helpful

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Noir and fantasy walk into a bar...

Would you listen to Low Town again? Why?

I've listened to it twice already. I think you discover something new each time.

Who was your favorite character and why?

It's hard to like anyone in Low Town, but Yancey sticks out as an OK dude.

Which character – as performed by Rob Shapiro – was your favorite?

Warden. Mr. Shapiro captured his voice perfectly.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Oh god. No executive would ever touch this. "So get this, a fantasy drug dealer, who is also a veteran, gets involved with a series of wizard murders by demon. There's some racism, some poverty, and a lot of social commentary, and it ends with murder, murder, murder, and demons." No thanks.

Any additional comments?

It saddens me that Mr. Polansky's publishers will not produce audiobooks of the remainder of the trilogy. This is truly an outstanding work of modern fiction, and it's been buried. That's a crime greater than any Warden ever did.

4 people found this helpful

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Good characters. Solid story. A little predictable

One of those books that you wonder if you would have figured out if it wasn’t an audible. Really liked the protagonist and the support characters. Unfortunately once the mystery was broadcast
halfway through the book the excitement was gone.

1 person found this helpful

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Very good book.

The main character was realistic, the story was fast pace and engaging, the narrator was good and it didn't jump between 5 different POV's. I loved it. It feels like a long time since I listened to something that didn't make me cringe and think "oh my god that's so fucking stupid" every other chapter. The book is pretty dark and definitely not family friendly but again, I loved it. I will definitely be reading more of Daniel Polanski's work.

1 person found this helpful

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Noir in Low Town

I enjoyed the dark, atmospheric perspective and the character's struggle with inner and literal demons.

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great story!

great story with a great narration by Rob! I'm looking forward to reading more by Daniel!

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I really wanted to like this more.

New author for me. There were a couple scenes that held my attention, probably because it had action and humor. Sadly, the rest of the book was boring to me ☹ and I like detective and wartime books 🤷‍♀️ Rob was amazing as always in his narrating.

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Didn’t finish

I noped right on out of this book, written in 2011, right after the narrator describes a group of people as having “mongoloid idiot eyes”. It’s one thing when hateful language is used to tell the reader something specific about the character— but this was just used as part of building the main character’s anti-hero, tough, “man apart” persona. Lots of authors manage to write gritty, noir fantasy without using disgusting, eugenics fueled language.