Kill the Dead (Sandman Slim, #2)
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Kill the Dead (Sandman Slim #2)

4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  9,480 ratings  ·  593 reviews
James Stark, a.k.a. Sandman Slim, crawled out of Hell, took bloody revenge for his girlfriend's murder, and saved the world along the way. After that, what do you do for an encore? You take a lousy job tracking down monsters for money. It's a depressing gig, but in L.A. things can always get worse.
Hardcover, 434 pages
Published June 21st 2012 by Harper Voyager (first published January 10th 2010)
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Carol. [All cynic, all the time]
I was just complaining about unoriginal urban fantasy when Sandman Slim came along to show me it is possible to do UF right. Kadrey's writing manages to rope me in despite lukewarm genre interest in angel-demon based urban fantasy. The plot sounds unexceptional enough: Richard Stark, the ultimate noir anti-hero, has gone to Hell and back. He's now freelancing for Lucifer, as well as the competition, an arch-angel working with the government. The feds want his input on a murder scene, while Lucif...more
Kemper
I would hate to have to pay Stark’s clothing and laundry bills because this guy can’t go ten minutes without getting his duds ripped to shreds or covered in the gore of various monsters and his own blood.

This series is making me a little nuts. In the first book, Sandman Slim, I thought the first half was a waste of a good idea and that the main character Stark came across as a whining impulsive punk who got regularly beaten like a rented mule rather than the super-tough anti-hero hitman from He...more
Wil Wheaton
I loved Sandman Slim so much, I picked this up the instant I finished it, and did not put it down until I had finished it. (In fact, I read it so quickly, I didn't have a chance to put an entry here and track progress. I devoured it in 3 or 4 days.)

Kill the Dead doesn't exactly pick up where Sandman Slim left off. Instead, it's a while later, and we get to see what Stark's been doing since we last saw him. Richard Kadrey weaves an even more sinister and complex -- but ultimately satisfying -- st...more
Skip
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Kelly Maybedog
First off, you have to read the first book first. This is not a stand alone volume. I read the first one only a couple of months ago and I was unsure on a couple of things.

I liked this one more than the first one. I felt that Stark was more emotional, more three-dimensional, more human. I understood his self-hatred better and why he doesn't want to be on Earth anymore. Still, a near-death scene was unemotional and barren. I wanted even a couple of words to sense that there was deep emotion there...more
Reed
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Tim Hicks
First off, you really should read "Sandman Slim" before this one.

If you loved S.S. you might not like this one. If you thought S.S. was good but limited by the narrowness of Stark's focus, you might like this second one as much as I did.

Look, if you have a problem with zombies and angels and "special powers" go read something else. There's a character who's a severed head; you just have to accept that. This book does all that is required, which is to stick to the stated powers while exploring...more
Charles
It’s hard for me to decide how many stars to give a book like this. That’s because the book is well written, and the author clearly put a lot of effort into it, but it is just completely ‘not’ my cup of tea. I’m sure the author achieved what he hoped to achieve, but I ended up scanning the last hundred pages or so because I just lost interest. Below, I will try to reveal what it was about the book that didn’t hook me. Maybe that will help others decide whether it’s right for them. It looks like...more
Edward Lorn
You know how you can overlook a really good friend's faults? Moreover, how those faults kinda become the things you cherish most about him or her? For me, that's exactly why I love James Stark/Sandman Slim. This character is so broken and disjointed. He's unpredictable, but not in the sense that he's chaotic, but in that I believe Richard Kadrey had no idea (even in book two) who or what he wanted Stark to be. The end of this book is proof that Stark could turn out to be anything (aside from a n...more
Fangs for the Fantasy
Kill the Dead is the second book in the Sandman Slim novels. You can find the review for the first book, Sandman Slim here. As with the first book, Kill the Dead involves Angels and Demons but this time the threat the walking dead, otherwise known as various types of zombies. The problem however is that the reader is not really made aware the the zombies are indeed the "big bad" in this book until Stark suddenly had to deal with them.

Unlike Sandman Slim, Kill the dead, is really quite disorganiz...more
Otherwyrld
In this second novel in the Sandman Slim series, it has been six months since James Stark escaped from Hell to get revenge on the magicians who sent him there. Having achieved this purpose he has since drifted, taking on odd jobs as a supernatural hit-man to pay for the booze, cigarettes and all the clothing he trashes every time he walks out the door. He is both entertained and annoyed by the notoriety he has attracted in the supernatural world that lives in Los Angeles, so when Lucifer comes t...more
Christal
Overall, this was a 3.5 star read for me. I really enjoyed Sandman Slim, but I found Kill the Dead a little bit lacking. The beginning half was really slow for me and just didn't make me want to pick up the book. I give the first part 3 stars. I pressed on and around the 200 page mark, the story picked up and everything started falling into place. I would give the second half of the book 4 stars.

Stark has come back from hell and gotten revenge on those who wronged him, so what does he do now? We...more
Smirking
"Hell is hilarious if you're the one in charge." ~ Lucifer

I first read Richard Kadrey a couple of years ago when I picked up Butcher Bird and loved it. It was snarky. It was dark. And it was a hell of a lot of fun. Now it wasn't that I didn't like the first of the Sandman Slim novels, but I didn’t enjoy it as much as Butcher Bird so it took me a while to pick up Kill the Dead. I will say that a genre that is so saturated with snarky heroines and a bit way too heavy on the romance, Kadrey’s anti-...more
Jason
A blast of a read. It always shocks me when a sequel can outdo the original, and that is exactly what Kadrey has achieved with this one "Kill the Dead". This book is paced like the first, non-stop but is an adrenaline overload. Sandman Slim is one bad mutha and he is as nasty as it comes and is at his best when he is killing something or someone. I love the humor and the one liners through out this novel, a great example is the following.
“Let me make sure I have this straight. The cavalry just...more
Laura
What do you say about a book that stars a nephalim who believes that Lucifer may be his father, and who has a head for a roommate/sidekick? It's like Terry Pratchet met up with Anne Rice and then had a date with Buffy!

Not having read the first Sandman Slim book probably won't matter - the backstory is exposited in drips and drabs, and knowing might not make the plot any easier to follow. That's not a bad thing, mind you. Learning about the different types of zombies (apparently there are four),...more
Gavin
I disliked myself for starting this book after the, frankly, toxic Sandman Slim. About halfway through I started to genuinely hate myself for not being able to put it down.

It's basically the same as it's predecessor, a cast where everybody is competing to be the worst person ever (I actually thought The Devil was the most likeable bit-parter), the author's bizarre sociopathic outlook is proudly espoused by his paper-thin Stabby-Sue self-insert protagonist (and hurrah! An embarrassing wish-fulfil...more
Alan
Jan 21, 2011 Alan rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Angels and devils who like to hang out in seedy bars
Recommended to Alan by: Slim's first outing
Explosive and profane like its predecessor, Kill the Dead is our second first-person glimpse into the absurdly-complicated second life of one James Stark, a wisecracking and dissolute demigod of sorts who was raised on Earth by his human mother, went to Hell and back again like some latter-day Orpheus, and lives again in Los Angeles, California (not so much of a step up as a lateral move, perhaps) where he... runs a video store?

Yeah, among other things, Stark manages a video store named Max Over...more
J.M.
KILL THE DEAD started strong, then went wayward for a good while. About 65-70 percent of the way in, I had the notion this was a 3-star book in my hands, a good read, but not as good as the first Sandman Slim. Then Kadrey threw it into overdrive. He put his foot to the floor, and ramped this sucker up to 4.5 stars; so, I give it a solid 4-star grade. He even toyed with 5 stars by the end (yeah, he shook things up that much), but Stark's inability to say one sentence like a normal person, just al...more
Jocelynn
I don't often feel compelled to write a review for a book. I post ratings of the ones I enjoy and move on. However, Kill the Dead, much like it's predecessor Sandman Slim, was a simply amazing book that I just can't shake off. The writing is superb, the storytelling and plotting were brilliant, the main character Stark is someone who makes your inner demons squeal with delight. When I grow up, I want my writing to be as amazing as Richard Kadrey's Sandman Slim series.
Kaisersoze
Kill The Dead, the second book in Richard Kadrey's SANDMAN SLIM series is pretty much the same as the first: A dialogue heavy urban fantasy that depicts angels, demons, and various other denizens of heaven and hell living among us humans and doing battle within the confines of the greater Los Angeles area. Sandman Slim himself seems to have grown a little since the reader's first introduction to him, but more often than not, plot developments seem to happen to him, rather than because of him, ma...more
Alex
What if they threw a zombie outbreak and nobody cared? Sure, there are people dying in the streets, but they’re just humans. They don’t even know how to do magic? Who gives a damn about them?

That seems to be the concept of Kill the Dead, a book almost wholly lacking in the human element. Every character is above the mass slaughter of the citizens of their surrounds, because they’ve got bigger problems elsewhere: Heaven and Hell are far more important than the concerns of 4 million people in dang...more
Justus
Kill the Dead takes the stupidly ridiculous plot of the first book another notch. Its redeeming grace is the -- for want of a better phrase -- "character development". Though, I suppose I really mean "world development", since Stark's character is only minutely different from beginning to end.

The standard problems with "modern monsters" are out in full effect in this book. The amount of lobotomized brain-deadedness required to believe that all this shit could exist but be "hidden" is pretty much...more
Crystal
Sandman Slim was a good book. Kill the Dead is an amazing book. Everything that Kadrey did right in Sandman Slim, he's amped it up to amazing proportions in Kill the Dead.

To those that said this book started off slow, I don't know what they were reading but right from the start the book is building up to something. Stark may just be chasing a vampire through LA, but you can feel that this is going to be important and it's going to reverberate throughout the whole story. This book's pacing isn't...more
Gef
I like my urban fantasy with a bit of a mean streak and Kadrey's Sandman Slim series really fits the bill.

James Stark (aka Sandman Slim) is a few months separated from laying his wrath on old enemies after finding his way out of Hell. Now it's his arch-nemesis, Mason, down in the lake of fire, but it turns out that might be exactly where Mason wanted to go because he's looking for a hostile takeover. But this story isn't about Stark going back down to Hell for his showdown with Mason--stay tuned...more
jD
I would have enjoyed this more as a page-turner vs. the audio book. I did not connect with the narrator's voice and pace. This was very important to me since the story was first person. He seemed to kill all the entertainment value of Richard Kadrey's creation. Regardless, Mr. Kadrey has skills that managed to override all my little irks.

Sandman Slim, the hero, is a very dark creature. His brand of handling the bad guys is never merciful or pretty but he gets the job done. Is he an angel or demo...more
Benjamin Newland
I read Richard Kadrey's "Sandman Slim" back in June and loved it. I anticipated the next novel featuring the same main character with such excitement that I pre-ordered it twice. Both copies showed up last week. I read one. Might read the other too, it was so much fun.

I still maintain that Stark, a.k.a. Sandman Slim, is the R rated Harry Dresden. "Kill the Dead" is a first person, present tense, noir detective story with a thoroughly modern feel. If 'gritty' weren't such an overused descriptor o...more
Marc Weidenbaum
Second in Richard Kadrey's ongoing Sandman Slim series about a hardboiled quasi-angel stuck between warring factions from Heaven and Hell. The character's human name is James Stark, after the pseudonym of hardboiled writer Donald Westlake. Westlake's Stark is best known for his Parker series, and it's something of a humorous thread through Kadrey's series that despite being a mass killer, a veteran of Hell's arenas, and an "abomination" of a metaphysical hybrid, Stark is also quite concerned abo...more
Mandy Moody
Kill the Dead is the sequel to Kadrey's Sandman Slim - the story of James Stark narrowly averting the end of the world. Or, at least, the end of L.A.
In Kill the Dead Stark is back. He's working freelance for the Golden Vigil (Homeland Security meets a the Christian Coalition - headed up by one serious b*tch of an angel) and Satan. Some might consider this a conflict of interests...not Stark. He's killing monsters and getting paid for it, no matter where the check comes from (or how many taxes ar...more
Contrarius
These are not perfect books, but there's something about Stark that really makes me like him. I'm obviously very attracted to this kind of tortured hero with serious identity issues. He is built much like another favorite of mine, Cal Leandros. Both are half human, both have spent time in that book's equivalent of Hell, both are very good at killing things, both struggle with the two halves of their nature, both express themselves with lots of cutting sarcasm, and so on. Cal is the emo version o...more
Rich
Jan 07, 2013 Rich rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of supernatural PI's with anger control issues
I liked this book, I didn't like this book, I liked this book. The story was interesting, there was plenty of action, there was a good cast of supporting characters and evil bad guys. Even Lucifer his own bad self showed up, earning our sympathy for having it so rough down in Hell with all his minions trying to topple him. My only grief with this book, and it was the same the first book too, is that the main character is such an A-hole. Sure, he had some rough things happen to him, but I'm just...more
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Goodreads Librari...: multiple editions 2 18 Aug 30, 2012 03:04AM  
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Richard Kadrey is a freelance photographer and writer living in San Francisco. He photographs under the name Kaos Beauty Klinik. His new novel is Sandman Slim (Eos, 2009).
More about Richard Kadrey...
Sandman Slim (Sandman Slim, #1) Aloha from Hell (Sandman Slim, #3) Devil Said Bang (Sandman Slim, #4) Kill City Blues (Sandman Slim, #5) Devil in the Dollhouse (Sandman Slim, #3.5)

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“Memories are bullets. Some whiz by and only spook you. Others tear you open and leave you in pieces.” 460 likes
“It doesn't matter if you and everyone else in the room are thinking it. You don't say the words. Words are weapons. They blast big bloody holes in the world. And words are bricks. Say something out loud and it starts turning solid. Say it loud enough and it becomes a wall you can't get through.” 65 likes
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