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The Grand Dark

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  1,513 ratings  ·  270 reviews
The Grand Dark is a subversive tale that immerses us in a world where the extremes of bleakness and beauty exist together in dangerous harmony in a city on the edge of civility and chaos.

The Great War is over. The city of Lower Proszawa celebrates the peace with a decadence and carefree spirit as intense as the war’s horrifying despair. But this newfound hedonism—drugs and
ebook, 432 pages
Published June 11th 2019 by Harper Voyager
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  • The Grand Dark by Richard Kadrey
    The Grand Dark

    Release date: Jun 11, 2019
    Enter for a chance to win 1 of 100 Kindle editions of The Grand Dark, Richard Kadrey's standalone subversive tale that immerses us in a world where th ...more

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    Giveaway dates: Sep 01 - Sep 30, 2020

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    Average rating 3.64  · 
    Rating details
     ·  1,513 ratings  ·  270 reviews

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    Mark Lawrence
    So, this is sci-fi set in an alternate Germanic state - the feel of it is "between the wars" as it is literally between wars, and also as much of the vibe feels like the 1930s. The technology is a strange mix of 1930s - telephones are rare, photography is clunky, lighting is primitive - and 2100s - intelligent automata, bioengineered life forms, plasma guns. It's an interesting mix though the many fascinating issues with artificial intelligence and created life are not addressed/explored.

    The sto
    Chelsea Humphrey
    May 09, 2019 marked it as dnf-lost-interest  ·  review of another edition
    Calling this a DNF @ page 97. The cover is gorgeous, and the idea is really clever and intriguing, but I found the pacing to be far too slow, and I see I'm not the only early reviewer to feel this way so far. I think this will be a great book for the right reader, and I hope those looking for a slow burning stand-alone adult fantasy will give The Grand Dark a try for themselves.

    *Many thanks to the publisher for providing my review copy.
    Jan 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
    Shelves: fantasy
    A mix of two of my favorite genres, science fiction and history, The Grand Dark is set in the malevolent chaos between World Wars 1 and 2. In an eastern European city of the future, the citizens try to enjoy life to its fullest after a devastating war. They are decadent and depraved, enjoying drugs and sex, and watching murder plays at the Grand Dark, the best theater in town. The main character is Largo, a bicycle delivery boy in his 20s and his actor girlfriend, Remy, the best performer at The ...more
    Kadrey's The Grand Dark is an expedition into a world of fantasy very different from sword-battling rascals and pirate conquests. Think more Kafka meets Orwell meets Germanic Steampunk. First, of all, the world created in this novel is at once sort of familiar, but in other respects, unique, different, odd. The setting is dreary, coal-fired smoke-filled, war-ruined City of Lower Proszawa following a Great War that left Upper Proszawa a world of desolation, ruin, and plague.

    The place names and w
    ֆɦɛʟʟʏ ȶɦɛ քǟȶʀօռ ֆǟɨռȶ օʄ ƈʊʀʍʊɖɢɛօռʟʏ ƈʀօռɛֆ
    Review also found at:

    Buddy read with the MacHalos starting June 11, 2019.

    Release date: June 11, 2019 by Harper Voyager. Gorgeous cover alert!

    Largo is a bicycle messenger who delivers parcels to people all over the city, whether they are in the slums or live in a wealthy area. His girlfriend, Remy, is a performer in a theater called The Grand Dark. Largo and Remy hang out with artistic people at parties, do drugs, make love, live hard and fast like the yout
    Jul 02, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: science-fiction
    The Grand Dark is the tale of Largo, a bike courier, working in a dirty futuristic city, somewhat reminiscent of Blade Runner. The technology is a steampunk blend of autonomous robots (Maras) and chimeras. The city seems trapped in between past and future wars, with a police and secret police presence to suppress opposition. Largo has a beautiful girlfriend actress named Remi, who is kind of slumming with him, but they seem to enjoy sex and drugs together. Sadly, the characters are dull and the ...more
    Kristen Burns
    3 Stars

    *I received an ecopy of this book via NetGalley & Edelweiss. This has not influenced my review.*

    This was one of those books that had a low thrum of tension throughout the whole thing, that feeling that things were weird and wrong even though you didn’t yet know what. But since I didn’t really know what the plot was working toward, I didn’t have this sense of things building, and the book felt slow for about the first 2/3. The beginning of the book also seemed to be more world-build
    May 02, 2019 added it
    Shelves: discarded-shelf
    The premise sounded so great I wanted to enjoy this book, but I found out I couldn't care less for the characters or how the story moved. The pace of it was off for me, but I can't quite put my finger on "why". I just felt lost inside the story, like I was missing a bit more of world building or situating myself inside the story, but neither it or the characters caught my interest.
    I made it to the 31% point of this book and no plot had appeared yet. There were a bunch of scenes strung together. One of my other problems with the book was the dialog which was so clunky and unrealistic that it felt like it had been poorly translated from another language. Some of the world building was imaginative, but the characters weren’t interesting and the pacing was too slow. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.
    Apr 06, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
    I so wanted to like The Grand Dark, but it didn't work out that way. This is a seriously slow going story, and the pace caused disinterest for me. I read and skimmed some because I could not connect with this story. Unfortunately, this one is a miss. Thanks to NetGalley for an arc in exchange for an honest review.
    Nancy D   Miz-Firefly aka Sparky
    I lusted for The Grand Dark from the moment I laid eyes on that cover. It looked magical; the first sentences promised me war, and it was written by the father of my all-time favorite badass, Sandman Slim. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven.

    Thank you Netgalley for fulfilling my wish. My heart thumped when I received notification of approval. Please don’t hold this review against me.

    How do I… What can I…. Oh just pull off the bandage already.
    The Grand Dark is an extraordinarily well written n
    Elizabeth Tabler
    Jun 09, 2019 rated it it was ok
    Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing a copy of this to me in exchange for my open and honest review.

    First off, I want to say that Richard Kadrey is the man and hands down one of my favorite authors. The Sandman Slim saga is a story that has made me cheer for the dark antihero, the fallible Slim. It is dark and twisted, and in my opinion, one of the perfect urban fantasy series out there. It has it all, which is why I did backflips when I got approved. The Grand Dark was my mos
    Feb 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
    I honestly didn’t expect to like this as much as I did, because the first half of this book really didn’t have a plot. Sure I liked the characters enough, Largo was an interesting main character and Remy was pretty great too, but the book was more about their life of sex and drugs than anything else for a while. Not that I thought that was a bad thing, I was just expecting more things to happen in terms of an actual story with some sort of stakes. But as things started to ramp up it got really i ...more
    T. Frohock
    Jan 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    Just as George RR Martin used the War of the Roses as the historical basis for The Game of Thrones, so does Kadrey use that heady period between the Great War and World War II for his world-building of the fictional city of Proszawa.

    Here is a steampunkish world with mechanical Maras taking over human jobs, and a city in transition from a war-time economy to a peace-time economy. The Great War has left mutilated soldiers, known as Iron Dandies for the masks they wear to cover their mangled faces,
    Elena Linville
    You can find this review and more on my blog.

    Stars: 2 out of 5 (and that's pushing it because at least the language is good)

    I love the Sandman Slim series, so I really, REALLY, wanted to love this book... I was so excited to receive the ARC from Netgalley that I pushed all my other half-read books aside to start this as soon as possible. Unfortunately, my excitement soon turned into bewilderment, then annoyance, then boredom. I finished it only because I was already 75% done and felt like I'd al
    While I did finish The Grand Dark in its entirety, I have to first and foremost agree with all the other reviews out there that say this book is a bit of mess. It felt like Richard Kadrey wanted so badly to fit so many things into this story, that it became tangled. Post-war hedonism, class systems, pervasive drug use, secret government plots, and vivid violence are only a few of the things that are wrapped up in this book. It took me a lot longer than I expected to make it through, because this ...more
    Emily Lind
    Feb 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    It's a very cool thing when one of your favorite authors goes outside of their normal style and then absolutely kills it. That's what has happened with The Grand Dark. Sandman Slim was the first book of Kadrey's that I read and I've gone on to devour all his others novels. The Grand Dark is a different beast for him, but showcases all of his talents when it comes to world-building and creating characters that you root for (and more importantly, care for). The Grand Dark works as a stand-alone no ...more
    Jun 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: 2019
    Find this review at Forever Lost in Literature!

    The Grand Dark is an unpredictable, enthralling read full of thing you won't see coming. After finishing the book, I noticed on Goodreads that there are quite a lot of mixed reviews for this and I find that rather disappointing. There are definitely some areas for improvement in these pages, which I'll discuss later in my review, but there's so much more in the way of exciting ideas and engaging characters that made this extremely enjoyable for me.
    Loring Wirbel
    Aug 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
    Richard Kadrey, author of the Sandman Slim series, has written what is called a standalone novel (though its climax has "sequel" written all over it). It is also intended to be in the style of China Mieville, though its tale of decadence between two great wars seems more a hybrid of 1984 and Cabaret, with hints of Bladerunner, Mad Max, and various Kurt Weill plays added to the mix. The plot displays a few hiccups, but is glorious raunchy fun for the most part.

    Some readers think the first 100 pag
    Jun 20, 2019 marked it as dnf
    Shelves: 1-audible
    I didn't even get past the second chapter, so I don't really feel like I have the right to rate this or even put it on my "read" shelf, but I like to keep track of everything because my memory is terrible. So, note to future self: this wasn't for me.

    I absolutely love Kadrey's Sandman Slim series and also thought The Everything Box was hilarious and entertaining. This book is nothing like those. It was missing the humor and snark that I love from his writing, as well as the adventure and action.
    Caitlyn Warren
    May 17, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
    I tired....I picked this up a few times trying to get through the pacing of this book. As everyone can see the cover is beautiful and the concept is interesting. It's just a very slowly paced book and because of that I just can't really get into it. I liked the articles and entries between the chapters giving history and I'm sure there are people who will love this story. I just couldn't get into it unfortunately.
    Jun 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    This was a good solid read, and I really enjoyed the story. It started off a bit slow, building the characters and showing how grim the world is, but once that was finished the story picked up quick. I would be very interested in reading a sequel.
    Sep 01, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: audiobook

    I usually love Kadrey's work but this story needed more work to be a finished piece. I felt like I was exposed to the hopscotch of cool ideas for a story.
    Rachel Brune
    Oct 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Fantastic dieselpunk read. Started off a little slowly and then I couldn’t stop reading. Definitely Recommend.
    Elizabeth Tabler
    Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing a copy of this to me in exchange for my open and honest review.

    First off, I want to say that Richard Kadrey is the man and hands down one of my favorite authors. The Sandman Slim saga is a story that has made me cheer for the dark antihero, the fallible Slim. It is dark and twisted, and in my opinion, one of the perfect urban fantasy series out there. It has it all, which is why I did backflips when I got approved. The Grand Dark was my mos
    Jul 20, 2019 rated it liked it
    This was very different to his Sandman series. Political sort of cold war type east german vibe. I got eerily similar style to China Mievelle or Peter Higgins Wolfhound Century. I loved the world building. The world Kadrey has created is original. However the plot was way too slow for me. I also found Largo to be too naive and couldn't really connect with him. Overall it was ok but wish it moved at a quicker pace.
    joyce g
    Sep 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    What a dark world author Richard Kadrey crests!
    Jun 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    3.5/5, round up to 4 stars for Goodreads!

    The Great War has ended. In its wake Lower Proszawa has turned to decadence, hedonism, and drugs to squash the underlying feelings of despair. They turn their backs on those who were injured saving their lives in order to avoid eye contact or staring too long at the disfigurement maring their bodies. Each day is a struggle to survive as intelligent automata have taken over many jobs. Those that work or come into money typically spend it unwisely.

    Largo sta
    Jun 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Largo Moorden, a worker, a courier, starts 6am sharp in morning on his bicycle through districts delivering, on the road to more earnings and maybe promotion, after a hard days work, with a dose of morphia in the system, The Theatre of Grand Darkness a destination and entertainment of choice for many denizens of Lower Proszawa.

    Interesting characters intertwined within an ingenious concept and worldbuilding with this new world creation.
    The author successfully invests interest between the reader a
    May 28, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
    I really wanted to like this one but it just wasn't for me. The setting is gorgeous and lush and so completely atmospheric. I like Largo and Branca and Remy and even all the background characters. The bones of this novel are definitely good.
    Sadly, the story is lacking. At 25% in, I'm not even sure what it's about. The pacing is very slow. There's a bit of foreshadowing in regards to what the plot actually is, but getting there has taken so long that I've stopped caring.
    If you're a fan of slow,
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    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

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