Series: Sandman Slim

Audio Review: Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey

Posted June 17, 2013 by Jennifer in Book Review | | 4 Comments

Audio Review: Sandman Slim by Richard KadreySandman Slim by Richard Kadrey
Series: Sandman Slim #1
Narrator: MacLeod Andrews
Published by Brilliance Audio on July 21st 2009
Genres: Fantasy Noir, Urban Fantasy
Format: Audiobook
Length: 10 hrs and 28 mins
Source: Library
Amazon | Goodreads

Life sucks, and then you die. Or, if you?re James Stark, you spend eleven years in Hell as a hitman before finally escaping, only to land back in the hell-on-earth that is Los Angeles. Now Stark's back, and ready for revenge. And absolution, and maybe even love. But when his first stop saddles him with an abusive talking head, Stark discovers that the road to absolution and revenge is much longer than you?d expect, and both Heaven and Hell have their own ideas for his future. Resurrection sucks. Saving the world is worse. Darkly twisted, irreverent, and completely hilarious, Sandman Slim is the breakthrough novel by an acclaimed author.

magic urban

First Thought 
Quentin Tarantino should direct the movie for this book!

Why I Read It
I saw Richard Kadrey on an Urban Fantasy panel at RT and was impressed with him and thought his Sandman Slim world sounded great and something different from what I’ve been reading.

Set up
Sandman Slim gets a lot of comparison to Jim Buthcer’s Harry Dresden series. I’ve not read that series so I can say. But I will compare to something to give you an idea of how I saw it….. The darkest parts of Supernatural and Kill Bill rolled up into a noir type urban fantasy with an anti-hero named Stark, on a revenge mission.

See, Supernatural got your attention didn’t it? Take the angel/demon mythology from the show there you go. Angels are just as big dicks as the demons. They also think humans are just talking monkeys. In Sandman Slim’s world there is only gray, no black and white, no plan good or evil. Everyone is a douche bag on some level.

The “Hero”
James Stark is Sandman Slim but don’t call him anything but Stark or he might shot you. But in his defense he did just spend 11 years in hell after his magical circle screwed him over and sent him there.

Stark is very much an antihero but not the swoon-worthy type, not yet anyway. He’s a real tool. But he’s one of those tools that you find yourself rooting for. Stark is on a bloody and gritty ride and I found myself hoping he would burn the world down along the way.

He is a total bad ass that spews sarcasm with every breath.

“No hospitals”, she says. 
“I know.”
“Where are we going?”
“For ice cream. What’s your favorite flavor?”
“Fuck you.”
“That’s my favorite, too.” – Allegra and Stark
“You’re a cop…”
“U.S. Marshal.” 
“Fine. A cop who can read.”  – Stark and Wells

But the reason he is on his revenge trip is not to avenge himself but that of the murder of his girlfriend. And toward the end of the book there is a real touching scene that shows that even the biggest tools has a heart underneath.

I picked up a copy for free at Avon Red Slipper event at RT. I put it on my shelf with all my other books without thumbing through it. So when I decided to check out the audio from the library I went in cold. After a couple of hours of listening I got to noticing that the narrator never announced the chapter numbers which was old. Then I looked at the book and there is NO CHAPTERS. All of the books are that way. Weird.

Someone on Twitter said they asked Kadrey at RT why he work the books that way, and his response that the main character, Stark, is crazy. Ok so crazy people can’t have chapters. LOL

The Narration 
I’m not a huge fan of male narrators (so far), just because the few I’ve listened to doesn’t do the female voices that well. But with a male main character, I wasn’t that bothered by MacLeod Andrews female narrations (which there was only really two recurring female characters) . I thought that he voice and timing was great for Stark. I don’t know that I would enjoy his voice for other books but he is well suited for the dark and gritty world of Sandman Slim.

Will I Continue The Series?
Yes. While I thought that the writing was a little rough around the edges and that the author was dating himself with some of the pop culture references and I thought it dragged a little toward the end, I still enjoyed Sandman Slim enough to continue the series and read the second book, Kill the Dead.

About MacLeod Andrews

MacLeod Andrews was born and raised in Louisville, KY. He is a Company Member of Rising Phoenix Rep Theater Company, with whom he has performed in a number of productions Off-Broadway, as well as West Coast, New York, and World Premieres. He leads a double-life as an award winning audiobook narrator. Currently resides in Los Angeles.

About Richard Kadrey

Richard Kadrey is a freelance writer living in San Francisco. He is the author of dozens of stories, plus ten novels, including Sandman Slim, Kill the Dead, Aloha from Hell, Devil Said Bang, Kill City Blues, Metrophage and Butcher Bird. His Wired magazine cover story, Carbon Copy, was made into one of the worst movies of 2001. It starred Bridget Fonda. Sorry, Bridget.

He has been immortalized as an action figure. “Kadray [sic]: The Invincible Wizard” was a villain in an episode of the Blackstar animated TV series.

Kadrey created and wrote the Vertigo comics mini-series ACCELERATE, which was illustrated by the Pander Brothers. He plans to do more comic work in the near future.

He has written and spoken about art, culture and technology for Wired, The San Francisco Chronicle, Discovery Online, The Site, SXSW and Wired For Sex on the G4 cable network.

Richard has no qualifications for anything he does.