Synopses & Reviews
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....
"Kadrey (Butcher Bird) provides biting humor, an over-the-top antihero and a rich stew of metaphoric language in this testosterone- and adrenaline-charged noir thriller. James Stark spent 11 years killing monsters in Lucifer's arena for the entertainment of fallen angels, but now he's back in seedy, magic-riddled L.A., trying to avenge his girlfriend's murder and hunt down Mason Faim, the black magician responsible for getting him sent 'downtown.' He meets with some initial success, beheading second-rate magician Kasabian (whose head becomes Stark's smart-mouthed sidekick), but he can't find Faim. Instead he encounters Homeland Security agents, a near-psychotic angel and some odd nonhuman, nonangelic beings called the kissi. Darkly atmospheric settings, such as a posh gentlemen's club where angels are tortured in an attempt to bring about Armageddon, bring this violent fantasy into sharp, compelling focus." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"The subsequent 300-plus pages, paced like greased lightning...blend the movie-ish delights of tough guy noir and such smart-mouth gore-fests as Reanimator and Army of Darkness, seasoned by soupons of Gaimanian romanticism and Koontzian sentiment. Delish, and sequels are heavily implied." Booklist
"If Simon R. Green wrote an episode of Dog the Bounty Hunter, it would read much like Sandman Slim — violent, vivid, non-stop action of the supernatural kind. I couldn't put it down." Charlaine Harris, bestselling author of the Sookie Stackhouse novels
"The best B movie I've read in at least twenty years. An addictively satisfying, deeply amusing, dirty-ass masterpiece, Sandman Slim swerves hell-bent through our culture's impacted gridlock of genres. It's like watching Sergio Leone and Clive Barker co-direct from a script by Jim Thompson and S. Clay Wilson." William Gibson
"Nicotine and octane in equal parts might come close to the high-energy buzz from Richard Kadrey's Sandman Slim. Crisp world building, recognizable and fully-realized characters, and a refreshingly unique storytelling style make for an absorbing read. Sandman Slim is my kind of hero." Kim Harrison
"The most hard-boiled piece of supernatural fiction I've ever had the pleasure of reading...all confident and energetic and fresh and angry. I loved this book and all its screwed-up people." Cory Doctorow, author of Little Brother
“Sarcastic, irreverent and ridiculously enjoyable riff on the Urban Fantasy genre. … a lot like a mosh pit -- rough, exuberant, unpredictable -- and a heck of a lot of fun.” Miami Herald
“Paced like greased lightning (watch out for friction burns on your turning finger), blend the movie-ish delights of tough guy noir and such smart-mouthgore-fests as “Reanimator” and “Army of Darkness”, seasoned by soupcons of Gaimanian romanticism and Koontzian sentiment.” Booklist
Both Heaven and Hell have their own ideas for the future of magician/hitman James Stark, in this wild, weird, nail-biting supernatural thriller that blends demonic evil and quirky humor, (Publishers Weekly).
Life sucks, then you die. Period.
Unless you're James Stark, a hitman in Hell for eleven years before escaping back up to Hell-on-earth L.A. — looking for revenge, absolution... love, maybe.
But Hell's not through with Stark. Heaven's not either.
“An addictively satisfying, deeply amusing, dirty-ass masterpiece.”
“A sharp-edged urban fantasy, drenched in blood and cynicism, tipping its hat to Sam Peckinpah, Raymond Chandler, and the anti-heroes of Hong Kong cinema….A bravura performance.”
—San Francisco Chronicle
“I couldnt put it down.”
Sandman Slim has arrived—a wild and weird, edge-of-your-seat supernatural roller-coaster rider that propels author Richard Kadrey to the forefront of the fantasy, thriller, and a host of other literary genres. This spellbinding, utterly remarkable tale of a vengeful magician/hitmans return from hell is part H.P. Lovecraft, part Christopher Moore, part Jim Butcher, and totally, unabashedly dark, twisted, and hilarious.
About the Author
Richard Kadrey has published four novels, including Butcher Bird and Metrophage, and more than 50 stories. He has been immortalized as an action figure, and his short story "Goodbye Houston Street, Goodbye" was nominated for a British Science Fiction Association Award. A freelance writer and photographer, he lives in San Francisco.