Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Sandman Slim (Sandman Slim, #1)” as Want to Read:
Sandman Slim (Sandman Slim, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Sandman Slim (Sandman Slim #1)

3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  26,041 Ratings  ·  2,375 Reviews
Supernatural fantasy has a new antihero in Sandman Slim, star of this gripping, gritty new series by Richard Kadrey.

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
Hardcover, 388 pages
Published July 21st 2009 by Harper Voyager
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Sandman Slim, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Dec 29, 2012 Patrick rated it it was amazing
How could I have gone years without hearing about this book?

Simply said, I enjoyed it to a ridiculous degree. I picked it up mostly because of the blurbs on the back, authors I trust not to lie to me said glowing things. I was only 30 pages in when I called the local bookstore to order the other books in the series.

I like Kadrey's writing. It doesn't feel like he's trying desperately to impress me. It doesn't feel like he's trying to mimic the big powers in Urban Fantasy Butcher, Harris, Briggs
Will Byrnes
Jul 08, 2009 Will Byrnes rated it really liked it
Having recently exited Hell, Stark is rather peeved at those who had sent him there for eleven years, and is eager for revenge. He has a fondness for stealing cars and making mayhem. Los Angeles comes in for some laugh-out-loud funny noir treatment.

Richard Kadrey - from his site

Richard Kadrey has created a world not unlike Kim Harrison’s Inderland, a blended world in which the magical and non-magical co-exist. I love Kadrey’s dark sense of humor, which reminds me very much of the Hell Boy seri
WOWZA!! Rarely have I encountered a main character so loaded with ANGSTY RAGENESS and OMNIDIRECTIONAL BADITUDE as James Stark (aka Sandman Slim). I mean this guy is full of ARRRRRRRRRRGGGGHHHH!...and it works...mostly.

Now let me say at the outset that I don’t read a ton of Keith Urban Fantasy. I enjoy The Dresden Files on a casual, non-rabid, basis and despite wanting to bitch-slap the main character for his all too often bouts of annoying. I really liked The Devil You Know and plan on reading
Aug 25, 2009 Kemper rated it liked it
Shelves: horror, magic
Ever read a book and find yourself thinking, "This is pretty good, but it could have been face-melting awesome."? This is one of those books for me. I really liked it, but found myself picking some serious nits while reading it.

Stark was a magician (a real magician, not a sawing-a-woman-in-half kind) who was madly in love with his girlfriend Alice when he was betrayed by another magician named Mason and some others. Mason managed to send Stark to hell, but as a living person, not a dead soul.

May 02, 2011 Carol. rated it liked it
Recommended to Carol. by: Kristen
After the second read-through, I've come to the conclusion that Sandman Slim is Jason Statham starring in a Simon R. Green Nightside story. Pulpy urban fantasy on steroids, it's perfect for an adrenalin read, but I recommend a pass if you are in the mood for deep thinking or don't feel up for violence.

Jason-cough- I mean, Stark--has made it out of Hell and is looking for revenge. Eleven years ago, six fellow members of a magic circle sent him to Hell, and his mission is to kill them all. Landing
Mike (the Paladin)
Jul 23, 2010 Mike (the Paladin) rated it did not like it
I guess I'm just getting old, but I'm so tired. I started 3 (4 if you count Tooth Fairy which I gave all of 2 stars) Urban Fantasies I took off my books completely as a waste of time and I didn't even bother to rate or review it...another I stopped reading and gave 1 star as another in a long line of anti-hero clones this one, and it's the same. I don't mind antiheroes, if their good antiheroes. This is another mouthy guy with attitude that I can't find even remotely bel ...more
Wil Wheaton
Apr 18, 2011 Wil Wheaton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dark-fantasy, noir, horror
It's not just good ... it's [author=Charlie Huston] good.
Dec 30, 2009 Felicia rated it really liked it
Men, you want hard-boiled urban fantasy? Here's a treat! Fans of Charlie Huston will get into this "just-escaped-from-hell" anti-hero.
If our personalities are derived from the characters and novels we tend to enjoy (in my case both reading and writing), then I’d make a strong candidate for Shithead of the Year. Hell, I don’t even need a running mate. I suppose I could leave it at that, and just walk away, probably leaving more than a few of you scratching your heads. But I might as well expound upon my point, because once you start shoveling shit you might as well keep going.

You see, James Stark is a character I’m not supposed
Scott Sigler
Mar 21, 2016 Scott Sigler rated it it was amazing
A kick-ass book.

It's DRESDEN FILES meets DEXTER meets DIRTY HARRY. Foul-mouthed and bad-tempered to the gills.

You can see the DEXTER influence in this concept. Instead of a "serial killer who kills serial killers," you have a "monster that kills monsters." That was one of the few angles of this book that didn't work for me, though, as the main character is human an a "monster" only in spirit.

Kadrey has a gift for PULP FICTION-esque dialogue, rapid-fire and full of creative insults.

This is boo
Paul O'Neill
Apr 24, 2015 Paul O'Neill rated it really liked it
This was a slobber knocker of a book! Entirely original to anything I've read. I thought I'd be getting something similar to the Dresden files but it's not at all (not that being similar to Dresden would be bad!). The battle inside Stark's head reminds me of Spawn. He's a really kick ass character with a vendetta and the armies of Heaven and Hell exist. The magic is really cool. Definitely picking up the next book soon.
Sandman Slim is the story of James Stark. Stark has quite a chip on his shoulder: He was sent to Hell at age 19 and has languished there for 11 years. Stark is out for revenge and wants to kill those responsible for his time “Downtown.”

Told from Stark’s point of view, the narrative voice combines a wicked sense of humor with irreverence, snark, and the need to get even with those who wronged him. Stark is a complex character: He is still grieving the death of his first love Alice. At the same ti
Pippa DaCosta
This is crazy, dirty urban fantasy at its most deliciously brutal.

Stark (don’t call him Jimmy) is back from Hell, and he’s got a one track mind. All he wants is to kill the people who put him Downtown 11 years ago, and killed his girl. Save the world? Hell no. Be a hero? F*ck that. He boosts cars like most people catch busses, smokes like a train, and has a knack for not dying. And he really doesn’t give a shit for anything or anyone—only his revenge.

While he’s getting his revenge, people keep
colleen the convivial curmudgeon
So, this book is a basic "back for revenge" kind of thing. Our protagonist gets sent bodily to hell, somehow manages to survive for 11 years, then gets embedded with a magic key that lets him go anywhere, and comes back for revenge after they kill his girl.

There are some interesting concepts - a bit of a twist that the guy coming back from Hell is still actually alive, some cool weaponry, like the na'at which is a weapon from Hell which is pretty mutatable, some magical stuff, so on and so forth
Aug 21, 2009 Brian rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of the Dresden Files series and similar
Profane, violent, sarcastic, hilarious. Kick-ass anti-hero with a heart of, well, maybe not gold, but perhaps hell-fire burnished silver. This very likely the first book of a series.
3 stars, but could have been so much more.

Okay, so this was a mash-up of urban fantasy, LA-style noir, gothic punk, with angelic/demonic tendencies, along with the potential to be a great story that didn't quite get there.

As a 19-year old young man, James Stark was part of a gang heavily involved in magic -- real magic, the kind that can get you killed and sent to Hell. Which is exactly what happened to Stark. Sent to hell for 11 years, where he was used by his demonic tormentors in a gladiator-
Rick Riordan
Nov 08, 2013 Rick Riordan rated it really liked it
Okay, this is NOT a children’s book, just FYI. This is noir urban fantasy, like Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden series, but even grittier. The main character, James Stark, aka Sandman Slim, is betrayed by a group of powerful magicians and dragged bodily into Hell, where he spends eleven years fighting in the gladiator pits of Lucifer. Somehow he survives, and eventually manages to escape back to Los Angeles. Now he’s looking for the people who betrayed him, but to get revenge, he’ll have to navigate ...more
Barbara (VampAngel)
Dec 12, 2010 Barbara (VampAngel) rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
I'm not sure if I should be giving it 3 or 4 stars. I did enjoy the book a lot, but I have a feeling it is the weakest one in the series, as most first books are.

This book is straight up Urban Fantasy, not a drop of Paranormal Romance in there. This doesn't bug me at all, as I'm as much of a fan of UF as I am of PNR. I've been reading a lot of PNR lately which mostly consists of female main characters kicking ass, although I quite enjoy that I was pleased to read a book with a male main charact
Kat  Hooper
Jul 05, 2009 Kat Hooper rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

“Trust me on this — Hell is a tough room.”

James Stark is back and it's time for heads to roll (literally). His “friends” managed to get him pulled into Hell and he's spent the last 11 years entertaining Lucifer and Beelzebub in the gladiatorial arena, learning plenty of new skills (including how to speak High Hellion, which sounds a lot like barking), and acquiring a couple of useful magical objects. Now he's crawled out of the abyss and he's ready for rev
Edward Lorn
Dec 08, 2012 Edward Lorn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't normally like urban fantasy, nor do I care much for anything involving Heaven, Hell, or any of the mythical beasts roaming around those lands. The difference here is Richard Kadrey's writing. His prose is faster than a bullet and as vulgar as a sailor pounding the back door out of a two dollar lady of the night. If that last sentence offended you, please stay away from Sandman Slim. The main character's first-person narration is far more blue. If you like crass descriptions and foul-mout ...more
**2.5 stars**

I enjoyed the author's turn of phrase but Stark drove me nuts. No head whatsoever. He thinks coming shooting wildly like a cowboy will solve all his problems and lets everybody and their mother manipulate him to do what they want with him.

Stark crawls out of hell to avenge the man who sent him there and killed his girlfriend. He has no plan whatsoever and pretty much stumbles upon his enemies while stealing cars and doing crazy shit. If there's one thing I don't like in books are st
Benji Glaab
Sep 12, 2013 Benji Glaab rated it it was amazing
After doing an 11 year tour in hell honing his skills at killing and practically having a threesome with pain and suffering, James Stark has returned to a scum infested L.A.

Seeking revenge on ex friends that were at the center of the scheming betrayel that sent Jimmy on a trip "downtown". Sandman slim could live with that, however wrought with guilt for not being able to protect his only love he's intent on tracking down the man responsible for her death, Mason the plots mastermind and talented
Dec 22, 2010 Anne rated it really liked it
Remember that movie The Crow, with Brandon Lee? Ok. Sandman Slim has that same vibe...minus the emo goth-boy hero and scruffy little girl with a skateboard.

James Stark is the pulp fiction style anti-hero of this story, who has literally been to Hell and back.
Eleven years after being betrayed by a group of magicians, whose leader used Stark as the sacrifice to catapult himself to incredible power, he escapes from Hell with a new name and a new reputation. Sandman Slim, the monster who kills mons
Apr 26, 2014 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audible, paranormal
Magicians, demons, angels and more in this supernatural thriller. The boogie man of hell gets a hall pass to seek revenge on earth against the mortals that doomed him and killed the love of his life. Twists and turns keep the story revealing itself as Sandman Slim works his way through many surprises that continuously complicate what he thought would be quick revenge killings.

A bit of sarcasm and humor add to Sandman Slims personality and his inappropriate off color character goes perfect with
Kat Desi
Mar 13, 2015 Kat Desi rated it it was amazing
Shelves: dark-fantasy
I haven't read a good urban fantasy novel in a long while and I'm glad to have randomly picked this book to read. It was a little slow at first, but when things started to build up, it just blows you away. James Stark a/k/a Sandman Slim is everything I like in an urban fantasy hero. He isn't really an average hero that anyone would like. He can be a jack ass. He's selfish. He's sarcastic. Too caught up in his own world. He knows it but he's not sorry for it. The story overall is hard edged and I ...more
Ms. Nikki
The Sandman was the most unintelligent anti-hero ever. Run into danger, get hurt, do it again with more anger. Everyone in the story was an asshole, asshat, or an ass. I wasn't feeling this story. A lot of the characters had the same voice! Even steal-your-soul Lucifer was all hey, can I borrow that. This read also over-dosed on sarcasm.

Not for me. I'd recommend Chuck Wendig's The Blue Blazes over this anytime. Chuck's anti-hero had heart and the world building was better.
11811 (Eleven)
Sep 13, 2012 11811 (Eleven) rated it really liked it
I really don't like urban fantasy. Or do I? This Kadrey dude is making me reconsider. The sequel is on my list.

Maggie K
Mar 31, 2013 Maggie K rated it really liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
Dang! I started reading this yesterday and ended up not being able to put it down! This is the kind of book I love when I am lopoking for some e scapism....action-packed, with a different angle.
Dark Faerie Tales
Oct 04, 2012 Dark Faerie Tales rated it it was amazing
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: Anti-hero Stark, aka Sandman Slim, escapes Hell and comes back to Earth to exact revenge on the people that sent him there 11 years ago. There is lots of killing, drinking, blasphemy, and magic that is used in the hunt for Mason and his crew; and you cheer Stark on during every minute of it.

Opening Sentence: I wake up on a pile of smoldering garbage and leaves in the old Hollywood Forever cemetery behind the Paramount Studio lot on Melrose,
Heather Blair
Sep 17, 2016 Heather Blair rated it really liked it
"I’ll be the first hitman in history who has to panhandle for bullets."

This book hooked me in from the first couple pages. I love me a bad-ass, smart-mouthed man. James 'Jimmy' "Sandman Slim' Stark is like Joss Whedon in a hitman's body strung-out on crack.

"I’m steel-toed boots in a ballet-slipper world."

Except his world isn't exactly soft. Between Hell(Downtown) and Heaven, there's a Los Angeles full of bad things waiting to happen.

"L.A. is all assholes and angels."

Inter urinas et faeces nasc
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Who's Your Author?: Discussion for Sandman Sim 9 9 Mar 28, 2017 07:35PM 1 1 Mar 02, 2017 03:56AM  
Primo Garcinia Cambogia 1 1 Feb 24, 2017 02:26AM  
The Geek Girls Bo...: October 2015 read! 3 44 Nov 09, 2015 07:04AM  
Lovers of Paranor...: Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey 3 17 Jan 03, 2015 08:43PM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey 1 2 Sep 04, 2014 07:07PM  
  • Circle of Enemies (Twenty Palaces, #3)
  • The Naming of the Beasts (Felix Castor, #5)
  • Already Dead (Joe Pitt, #1)
  • The Midnight Mayor (Matthew Swift, #2)
  • Hard Spell (Occult Crimes Unit Investigation #1)
  • Monster Hunter International (Monster Hunter International, #1)
  • Sixty-One Nails (Courts of the Feyre, #1)
  • Blackout (Cal Leandros, #6)
  • A Devil in the Details (Jesse James Dawson, #1)
  • Mockingbird (Miriam Black, #2)
  • Something from the Nightside (Nightside, #1)
Richard Kadrey is a writer and freelance photographer living in San Francisco, best known for his Sandman Slim novels. His newest novels are The Everything Box, released April 19, 2016 and The Perdition Score (Sandman Slim, #8), released on June 28, 2016.
More about Richard Kadrey...

Other Books in the Series

Sandman Slim (9 books)
  • Kill the Dead (Sandman Slim, #2)
  • Aloha from Hell (Sandman Slim, #3)
  • Devil Said Bang (Sandman Slim, #4)
  • Kill City Blues (Sandman Slim, #5)
  • The Getaway God (Sandman Slim, #6)
  • Killing Pretty (Sandman Slim, #7)
  • The Perdition Score (Sandman Slim, #8)
  • The Kill Society (Sandman Slim, #9)

Share This Book

“Did I hurt your feelings again? Sorry. When this is all over I'll send some flowers to your inner child.” 137 likes
“Try not to sing too many sad songs for yourself. The universe already hates you. Self-pity isn't going to help.” 100 likes
More quotes…