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The Dirty Streets of Heaven (Bobby Dollar #1)

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  5,301 ratings  ·  811 reviews
Bobby Dollar is an angel -- a real one. He knows a lot about sin, and not just in his professional capacity as an advocate for souls caught between Heaven and Hell. Bobby's wrestling with a few deadly sins of his own -- pride, anger, even lust.
But his problems aren't all his fault. Bobby can't entirely trust his heavenly superiors, and he's not too sure about any of his fe
...more
Hardcover, 406 pages
Published September 2012 by DAW Penguin (first published January 1st 2012)
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Best Urban Fantasy SERIES
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Patrick
Back in 1996, I was in the middle of a creative crisis. I'd been working on The Name of the Wind for a couple of years, and I was consumed with doubt.

The problem? My book was long and complicated. "Am I wasting my time?" I thought, "Does anyone even publish long, complex fantasy series these days?"

Then I picked up Tad Williams' Dragonbone Chair. Apparently people *were* still publishing long, complicated fantasy trilogies.

This knowledge relaxed me, and I kept on writing.

I kept reading Tad Wil
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Felicia
So I own all of Tad Williams' work in hardback, except for the book about the cats because I refuse to read books with dogs or cats as protagonists because EVERY TIME ONE OF THEM GETS KILLED AND I CRY. Ahem.

Anyway, having loved his more fantasy-based stuff, I was a bit hesitant to read this foray into an urban fantasy/noire world starring angels and demons. But OMG it is SO GOOD you guys. I couldn't sleep after I finished reading it because I was so sad about the characters' stories ending. Bobb
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Experiment BL626
CAUTION: Long Review

The Dirty Streets of Heaven was unoriginal and underwhelming. It was another urban fantasy about angels and demons, meaning I didn't expect the series to break new ground. Nonetheless, the countless flaws in the book underlined how much originality the urban fantasy lacked.

The World Building

+++ the twist

TDSH put a twist on the eternal war between Heaven and Hell. Violent confrontations are prohibited, instead angels and demons fight for human souls in a supernatural court of
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Eric Means
I was distinctly underwhelmed, to be honest. I loved The Dragonbone Chair and the rest of Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn and have read and reread it over the years. The City of Golden Shadow and the rest of the Otherland series was likewise extensive, inventive, and well-developed.

DSOH, in comparison, feels as if Tad Williams dashed off a (relatively) short story with little to no editing in order to meet a contractual deadline or something. Some of the prose is just flat out bad (my least favorite l
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Michael
Bobby Dollar is an angel, his role here on earth is to advocate for the souls caught between heaven and hell. As a result of this, Bobby knows about sin, in fact, he wrestles with a few himself; pride, lust and anger. Whether it’s pride or just instinct, Dollar can’t trust his superiors or his fellow earth bound angels so when souls start disappearing, things are bound to get bad; end of the world bad.

Like the Dresden Files, The Dirty Streets of Heaven blends urban fantasy with hard-boiled crime
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Mark
For those used to Tad’s more traditional Fantasy (such as Memory, Shadow and Thorn and the Shadowmarch series) this one is different. So different in that, had the name not been on the front, I wouldn’t have said they were the same writer.

This is being widely seen as Tad’s take on Urban Fantasy: you know, moody male with issues, living a tough life, with ‘problems’, usually of the supernatural type.

Not his usual, then: but it is good.

First thoughts are that Bobby Dollar, Tad’s protagonist, fit
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Allison
More like 2.5 stars, but the last part dragged it up to 3. I'm halfway curious to see what happens, but don't know if I care enough to read the sequel.
Jason
4.5 Stars


Dirty Streets of Heaven, the first book in the Bobby Dollar series by Tad Williams is a real surprise. Tad Williams has always been one of my very favorite authors, from The Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn series, to the Otherland Series, to all his other top notch fantasy reads. Williams is a gifted fantasy storyteller that has a huge following. In this book he departs from his genre for the first time and delves into the streets of Urban Fantasy. Thankfully, this is not another vampire or w
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David Sven
Its Control vs Chaos. Sam and Dean Winchester vs Leviathan. Ok, maybe it doesn’t feature Maxwell Smart or two unemployed monster hunters – but the humour definitely falls somewhere between, and the makers of Supernatural could easily made this into a side episode with an Angel’s POV. C’mon – angels vs demons. Heaven vs Hell. God’s gone awol? Yep, Supernatural. Except a very annoying version of the TV show (which I watch religiously – yuk yuk yuk!)

I don’t know what it is. Maybe urban paranormal f
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Pedro António
(2.5 stars rounded up to 3)

I'll start by saying this is my first novel by Tad Williams. The Dirty Streets of Heaven (TDSOH for short)is this month's book for the Sword and Laser bookclub and having heard good things about the author I decided to give it a shot.

Spoilers will be kept at a minimum as the review is aimed at those who have yet to read the book and want the opinion of someone who's new to Williams' work.

The prologue is full of action, which led me to believe it was setting the tone fo
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Shandra
Initial thoughts: Well...this book started out soooooo strong for me!!! I was totally entranced and sucked in. But then...well, it went seriously downhill. It took me forever to finish this because I just didn't have the desire to pick it back up. Review to come at some point.
Jacob Proffitt
It's always risky when a talented author enters a new genre. Even if the motives are pure and they aren't riding the latest craze looking for bonus cash, it can fail as the author steps outside of their well-known norm. I'm happy to say that didn't happen with The Dirty Streets of Heaven by Tad Williams.

This book functions as much as a detective noir book as it does Urban Fantasy, really. Bobby Dollar, angel advocate for the dead, finds himself in over his head when he shows up to an adjudicatio
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Melissa Proffitt
I have a hard time reviewing this because I read it as an audiobook, a format I don't usually use, and it turns out to be a very different experience from a printed book. It's a good hardboiled detective novel masquerading as urban fantasy, a term I use loosely just because it's about angels and demons and set in a sort of run-down city. Bobby Dollar (Doloriel? Dolariel? This is the problem with audiobooks; you never know how to spell stuff) is an angelic advocate--I liked this part very much. P ...more
Eric
Nov 12, 2012 Eric rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of urban fantasy
Shelves: urban-fantasy
Despite growing up reading all the fantasy novels I could get my hands on, and Memory, Sorrow and Thorn being a very well respected and popular fantasy trilogy from that time, I had never read any Tad Williams before this book -- which I will have to remedy in the near future, at the expense of my ever lengthening to-read shelf.

This book, and the forthcoming series, is not the sword-and-sorcery type of novel that Williams cut his teeth writing, but a modern, urban fantasy. But where most urban f
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Margit
I enjoyed the book tremendously. It is a little more earthy than Williams' more recent books, including colorful expletives to highlight moments of tension and a couple of adult scenes to establish the power and significance of a relationship.

In simplest terms, the book is an urban fantasy about angels and demons who advocate, each for their own side, for the souls of the dead, and what happens when a soul disappears and a demon advocate is killed and an angel advocate becomes curious about thos
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Jenny (Reading Envy)
Nov 22, 2012 Jenny (Reading Envy) marked it as abandoned
Shelves: sword-and-laser
Just couldn't get into it, but still want to read Tad Williams, maybe I'll try his sci-fi. I blame my upbringing, but I just can't get excited about angels.
Kym McNabney
I hesitated in whether or not I should write a review for THE DIRTY STREETS OF HEAVEN by TAD WILLIAMS, after reading only a mere six pages. Typically I give a book, what I would consider a fair chance before stopping, by reading the first seventy or so pages. By page seventy there isn’t much hope for things to turn around. An author’s voice or writing style isn’t going to change at that point. Either you like it or you don’t. Like they say, writing is subjective.

I admit I’m a visual person, and
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Amber
I've never heard angels swear so much. Then again I've never talked to an angel. They started off nice until the last quarter of the book. From page one I was laughing at Mr. Dollar and his thoughts. I thought the writing was well done - until a little after halfway through. It was odd I went from LOVING this book (10 stars) to "I can't wait until it's done" (1 star) super quickly.

I'm not sure if it was because I realized I wasn't going to learn anything about anyone in the book that wasn't nam
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Rob
Executive summary: This book is alright, but nothing special. Certainly didn't live up to hype. I gave it 3 stars, but really it was 2.5 for me. I could have easily gone with a 2.

Full Review
This is the first book by Tad Williams I've read, so I can't compare it to any of his previous works.

The best I can do is compare it to Jim Butcher's Dresden Files or Thomas E. Sniegoski's Remy Chandler books.

The former being one most people who read Urban fantasy should be familiar with. The latter being a
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terpkristin
I'm not going to give the book a rating, since I didn't finish. I got through the first 9 chapters (96 pages) and decided that I was done. It's a shame, I've heard such great things about Tad Williams and it was a Sword and Laser pick...

I had the book in audio and in Kindle forms. I tried at first to listen to the audio, but the narrator (George Newbern) wasn't doing it for me. The narration reminded me a bit of Wil Wheaton in that it was somewhat slow...it might have gone better if I had gone t
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Milo (Bane of Kings)
The Review: http://thefoundingfields.com/2013/08/....

“One of the best urban fantasy novels that I’ve had the pleasure of reading. Essential reading for urban fantasy fans.” ~Bane of Kings, The Founding Fields


The Dirty Streets of Heaven is a novel that I’ve been looking forward to ever since I first heard about it last year. However, it was a title that I was unable to pick up before the end of the year, because otherwise if I’d have read it would certainly have gone on the Best of… list, and
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Search
I loved the writing and the main character, Bobby Dollar. I haven't read alot of urban fantasy apart from the Dresden books but among the few I did read I found this one most to my liking. Yes, there were some similarities between this and the Dresden books. The humour, protagonist facing extreme odds, near-escapes, bone-weary hero keeps going that sort of stuff.
The concept of Heaven, Hell and the Angels and Demons is pretty well done. However, Bobby Dollar is a very low level player and to mak
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Andrea
A new Tad Williams is always an exciting event. Here he tries his hand at urban fantasy with a hard-boiled flavour.
The fantasy is a battleground between the forces of Heaven and Hell, the urban setting a modern background, and the events typical of an adventure-thriller-mystery narrated in the first person by a hero who is quirky, cynical, witty, tough yet able to be touched by the right woman....as I said, typical of a genre.

So - is it original? Not really.
Is it good? Yes, but not five stars.
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Kylie
I picked this up at the library because I had read his stand alone book The War of the Flowers and absolutely loved it, so thought I would see how this series was before getting into any of his lengthier ones.

Although the book states that which religion it’s set in ‘isn't really clear’ it’s got to be Abrahamic, or maybe even just Judeo-Christian, since there’s one god (known as ‘the highest’), they use the terms associated with angels, heaven and hell in that tradition (Dukes of Hell, archangel
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All Things Urban Fantasy
Sam Spade with a tarnished halo, the dame who walks into Bobby Dollar’s life has a hint of brimstone to go along with her perfume. Though Bobby’s day to day angelic duties are more Law and Order than P. I. work, when a soul turns up missing he is forced to go off the reservation and start investigating things on his own.

It took me a chapter or so to get used to Bobby’s noire point of view, but his turn of a phrase had me laughing out loud almost immediately. I was really hooked once the focus mo
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Julie
I decided to read this because Patrick Rothfuss (*squee*) recommended it on his blog. Although I've been aware of Tad Williams for years, I never got around to reading any of them. Until now. Although I enjoyed this book it was like...to use a metaphor, it was like taking a walk with breathtaking views and scenery, but there's a rock in my shoe the whole way. Something was bothering me about the story, and I finally figured out what it was: This is urban fantasy, and for me, urban fantasy always ...more
Linna Drehmel
I was privileged to be asked to do an advanced review of Tad Williams new book The Dirty Streets of Heaven.

SYNOPSIS:

Bobby Dollar has a secret. Actually he’s got a ton of them. The most important one is that his real name’s Doloriel and he’s an angel. Not an important angel, maybe, but a rough-and-tumble guy who’s always done his part in the long cold war between Heaven and Hell.

But now he’s stepped into the middle of something that’s got both sides very nervous — an unprecedented number of missi
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Kristin  (MyBookishWays Reviews)
You may also read my review here: http://www.mybookishways.com/2013/09/...

Doloriel, aka Bobby Dollar, is an angel, in an earthbound body. He’s also an advocate, which means that when someone dies, he is a soul’s last line of defense in the decision of a lifetime, well, at least the afterlife. Will a soul go to Heaven or Hell? Ultimately, it’s up to the big guns to decide, but Bobby Dollar does his best to make sure the deserving get to spend the afterlife in the beautiful fields of Heaven. When
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Mihir

Review Originally at Bastard Books

ANALYSIS: I was very excited when this book was announced; Tad Williams was going to write about an angel caught between the politics practiced by Heaven and Hell. This was going to be a trilogy, and with Tad forsaking his door-stopper novel length approach, the project simply upped the intrigue factor for me besides its wonderful premise.

The main gist of the story is that angels reside among us; their angelic presence is ensconced in corporeal human shells. T
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Pete Ames
I was torn between 2 or 3 stars for this book. On the one hand this tale of heaven v hell meets legal drama was poorly paced, overly long as its strewn with events of little or irritating consequence and finally drops a major character development that would be on a par with James bond turning round and declaring that he now bangs men.

However, I enjoyed it! Enough that I went off to get the second of the trilogy as soon as I had finished it.

So, 3 stars because its a work of urban fantasy and yo
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Tad Williams has held more jobs than any sane person should admit to—singing in a band, selling shoes, managing a financial institution, throwing newspapers, and designing military manuals, to name just a few. He also hosted a syndicated radio show for ten years, worked in theater and television production, taught both grade-school and college classes, and worked in multimedia for a major computer ...more
More about Tad Williams...

Other Books in the Series

Bobby Dollar (3 books)
  • Happy Hour in Hell (Bobby Dollar #2)
  • Sleeping Late on Judgement Day (Bobby Dollar, #3)
The Dragonbone Chair (Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, #1) Stone of Farewell (Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, #2) To Green Angel Tower (Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, #3) To Green Angel Tower, Part 2 (Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, #3; Part 2) City of Golden Shadow (Otherland, #1)

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“You show me what someone listens to, I’ll tell you everything you want to know about his soul. (For instance, a bunch of Nickelback albums would have indicated he never had a soul in the first place.)” 10 likes
“the road to Heaven is paved with bullshit and busy work.” 9 likes
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