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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

"Polansky hits all the right notes in his intelligent first novel, a blend of dystopian fantasy and hard-boiled crime.... Sharp, noir-tinged dialogue and astute insights into class struggle mark Polansky as a writer with a future." (Publishers Weekly)
"A strong debut novel with a hero who doesn't waste time worrying about the moral implications of cutting someone's throat." (Kirkus)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Eivind
  • New York, New York
  • 08-23-11

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 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Brian
  • Milwaukee, WI, United States
  • 12-18-15

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!

1 of 1 people found this review 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.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • donald
  • MIRA LOMA, CA, United States
  • 11-22-15

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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The road to hell is paved w/good intentions

Pretty good storyline. I hope we learn more about Rhenn. Unsavory characters abound. not sure if this grimdark.

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Engaging

loved it! the pace of the novel is steady, never tiresome. I tend to dislike endings, however, and this was one of those times. The twists were great and the characters genuine. I really enjoyed myself!

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Good blend of detective noir and grim dark

This novel was a good break from the usual fantasy with multiple perspectives. Polansky adds a taste of the modern urban reminiscent of the afro samurai. Polansky also explores the moral code of the professional criminal. I'm eager to listen to more of the series. Audible, It's time to record more Polansky!

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Gritty underbelly of fantasy

If Dashiell Hammett wrote fantasy it would be like this. Some great oneliners by the protagonist. While I could see the end coming it was a satisfying conclusion.