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Publisher's Summary

When he was 19, James Stark was considered to be one of the greatest natural magicians, a reputation that got him demon-snatched and sent downtown - to Hell - where he survived as a gladiator, a sideshow freak entertaining Satan's fallen angels.

That was 11 years ago. Now, the hitman who goes only by Stark has escaped and is back in L.A. Armed with a fortune-telling coin, a black bone knife, and an infernal key, Stark is determined to destroy the magic circle - led by the conniving and powerful Mason Faim - that stole his life.

Though nearly everything has changed, one constant remains: his friend Vidocq, a 200-year-old Frenchman who has been keeping vigil for the young magician's return. But when Stark's first stop saddles him with an abusive talking head that belongs to the first of the circle, a sleazy video store owner named Kasabian, Stark discovers that the road to absolution and revenge is much longer than he counted on, and both Heaven and Hell have their own ideas for his future.

©2009 Richard Kadrey (P)2009 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

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jack bauer + spawn = sandman slim

Any additional comments?

i rarely listen to audio-books more than once, but i've listened to sandman slim twice, and i've enjoyed it both times. the story is fast-paced, and i was swept away by it, totally engrossed from the very opening.

i must say the narrator's voice perfectly matches the main character's demeanor. stark aka sandman slim is a gritty, dark, anti-hero, and he's unapologetic about what he believes he's been forced to become.

stark was sent "downtown" by his jealous colleague's lust for power. as an oddity in hell, stark was tortured and forced to fight in the arena, where the deadly battles forged his skills and abilities. stark becomes known as the monster who kills monsters.

the author, richard kadrey, builds a believable world filled
with angels, fallen angels, kishi, mortals, and magic. through kadrey's different characters we see a world where the lines between good and evil are hard to distinguish. sometimes, to do some good, you gotta do a little evil.

kadrey's story is full of interesting characters with different motivations. mason, stark's nemesis who sent him downtown. vidoc, a 200 year old french alchemist. candy, a jade, who's a recovering killer and bloodsucker. jospeph, a kishi, who leads a neo-nazi gang. alita, an angel in charge of the golden vigil, and many more.

overall, a great thrill ride with excellent narration and an unpredictable ending. as a fan of the show, 24, and the comic, spawn, i think of sandman slim as a mix of jack bauer and spawn. not a bad combination as long as he's on your side.

NOTE: in my reviews, i usually mention more about the plot, but this time i didn't. trust me, you'll enjoy it more, discovering it for yourself.

41 of 45 people found this review helpful

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  • Hallie
  • PIKESVILLE, MD, United States
  • 04-24-12

Loved it!

Comedy meets action in the Sandman Slim series. I absolutely loved these books, and the narrator was perfect as Sandman Slim. I would compare these to the Monster Hunter International books by Larry Correia.

30 of 33 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Enjoyable Dark Tale...

But probably not for everyone. I personally enjoy a good yarn with some blood and guts and well placed vernacular of the foul sort. Makes me feel like I am not alone in my world view of "things that really %^$# me off". A different sort of story and the reader did an excellent job as well.

17 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Awesome - great narration, great story

If you love film noir and you love fantasy/horror, you'll love this book. The cherry on top is that that narration is awesome. Highly recommended.

14 of 16 people found this review helpful

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Stark (Sandman Slim) is just back from Hell, where he has been kicking Demon Butt. This takes place in THE LAND OF CHEESEBURGERS AND COWBOYS. The wise cracks and hard core action is non-stop. The humor is dry, witty and often vulgar. Stark has been away from Earth for eleven years. A lot of things have changed, for instance no smoking in bars. For Stark, who CAN'T SMOKE IN THE SHOWER, BELIEVE ME, HE HAS TRIED, wonders why COFFEE DOES NOT COME IN A CIGARETTE FLAVOR. Stark has not been treated well by his so called friends, and he is out for revenge. Matter of fact they have made him feel DUMPED LIKE THE PROM DATE THAT DIDN'T GIVE OUT.

You may not have a problem with all the bad language, but still might have a problem with the disrespect for your religion. God is viewed as a deity who makes mistakes, with humans being the biggest ones. The Virgin Mary, Pope and Jesus are also made fun of. DID I HURT YOUR FEELINGS AGAIN? SORRY WHEN THIS OVER, I'LL SEND FLOWERS TO YOUR INNER CHILD.

I listened to this right after a Harry Dresden Novel. This has a lot in common with that, he even as his own version of Bob. This is gorier, nasty and funnier, if you like that sort of humor and a lot of people will not, so beware. THE TRICK IS NOT TO REMEMBER, THE TRICK IS TO LEARN. There are some intellectual messages hidden in the gory vulgar details. Unlike everyone else who like to lecture in their novels, Kadry knows how to entertain. Yet, some people will get so wrapped up in the vulgarity that they will miss the genius of Richard. SO SIMPLE FUNGUS COULD GET IT.

I believe fans of Clive Barker and J.A. Konrath will love this. This may sound like it is nothing but a bunch of one liners, but all sentences are well planned out and fit the story and the characters. Most novels kind of go flat in the middle, with a attention getter in the beginning and a grand finale. This book is entertaining from start to finish. NICE OUTFIT, DID YOU GET THAT AT ONE GARAGE SALE OR MORE THEN ONE?

The narrator is a perfect fit for this novel.


20 of 24 people found this review helpful

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The Anti-Dresden

You need to read this book. Especially if you are a fan of the Dresden File series. This book starts a wonderful series that is a Ying to the Yang. The Dresden Files is methodically, almost seeming like each chapter ends with a commerical break. Sandman Slim goes and goes and goes without hardly enough time to catch your breath before the next thing happens.

The voice actors also need to be compared with this two series. MacLeod Andrews IS Stark. James Marsters IS Harry Dresden. Just imagine going to a bar only to find that Stark is sitting at the bar itself with Harry at one of the tables.Stark would be the guy who you would want to kick his ass but would kick yours instead. Harry would be the guy who you might buy a drink after a game of darts or pool.

The comparison is needed here as both characters have amazing depth. The two book series complement each other in a great way. BUY THIS BOOK!

15 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

SOLID modern magic novel, great sense of humour.

Great, great, great.
Book: What an enjoyable, easy, solid book with a fresh point of view. It doesn't take itself too seriously, either, which is great. I love the old-school punk with a crappy attitude being the protagonist. He's a true, consistent character.
Narrator: MacLeod Andrews was the perfect - PERFECT! - choice for this. I'm often neither impressed nor disappointed with narrators, but his character acting (without overdoing it) really brought it to life. Couldn't imagine anyone else reading it.
Overall: SO worth the credits. Can't wait for the next book. This is much more my style than the Dresden books, but does justice to the "modern magic" genre well.

15 of 18 people found this review helpful

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Listened to it twice

This is a very gritty hardboiled book withnasty characters. The Protagonist is a real Bad Boy.

Listen to the preview first and if you like it you'll like the rest of the book.

The author just has a way of putting things that was a crackup.

I liked it so much I'm listening to it twice.

14 of 17 people found this review helpful

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  • Andrew
  • Northridge, CA, United States
  • 12-22-10

A fun, bloody, gruesome romp

I stumbled upon this novel by accident, and I'm truly glad that I did. This was a brilliant story that was made even greater by Macleod Andrew's awesome reading. Kadrey has basically back-handed most fantasy novels written within the last 20 years. He is able to mix virtually every element of fantasy without it seeming tacted on or sluggish, and has created a brand new sort of tragic ficitional icon that struggles with himself and his own shortcomings as a person, as he does beasts, devils, and pompous angels (LoL). The interesting thing about this novel is that it totally points its finger and makes fun of the old "good vs. evil" theme. Stark, the story's protagonist, who is about one insult and apple fritter away from being deemed a "villain", is by far one of the most interesting anti-heroes I've come across. To me he is on par with timeless comic characters such as Spawn or John Constantine of the Hellblazer series. Mix this with the always tragically interesting LA scene, and Kadrey has constructed a winning piece of fiction. Truly a great novel, and one I'll probably listen to over and over again with each installment. Cannot wait for the next ones.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

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Wrong voice

I've loved every Sandman Slim book, and figured the audiobook would keep me good company on a road trip. Unfortunately, the whiny performance removed every bit of charm the book had. Suddenly James Stark isn't a badass survivor of Hell, but an emo child.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful