Jeremiah Genest's Reviews > Butcher Bird

Butcher Bird by Richard Kadrey
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Sep 27, 2007

it was ok
Read in September, 2007

There are basically two versions of hell and more importantly Lucifer existent in modern fantasy, and pretty much the western imagination, Dante’s and Milton’s. Oh sure there are a few other versions out there, like Blake’s, but frankly they don’t have the staying power of those two models.

Butcher Bird is Milton all the way. Milton as imagined in the hazy postmodern pagan relativistic world we exist in. Its Gaiman’s Lucifer and the Lucifer we’ve seen in so many other fantasy novels. Frankly I was less than impressed. Though to be honest the Hell was geographically related to Dante, somewhat.

Kadrey is also, in the Cory Doctorow tradition, so sure he’s cool and that his subcultures are cool that he rather looses sight of the actual storyline. And his author stand in, the main character, gets annoying as a result of that.

All that said, I did find the world interesting and well written about. He successfully does some different thinks with the magic shadow-world school of contemporary fantasy that was refreshing. I’ll read the sequel.
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02/08 marked as: read

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Ashley I appreciate reading an intelligent review of a novel, sometimes more so when the reviewer didn't enjoy the work. I loved this novel, as I have all of Kadrey's work I have read, but I see the valid points you make. It's refreshing to see someone able to say "it had its problems, but was altogether enjoyable". Thank you.


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