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Sandman Slim

(Sandman Slim #1)

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  33,745 ratings  ·  2,991 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
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Phillip Bryan The heart of the story is the main character's love for his partner. We hear a lot about how she makes him a better person, and how they came together…moreThe heart of the story is the main character's love for his partner. We hear a lot about how she makes him a better person, and how they came together.(less)

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Average rating 3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  33,745 ratings  ·  2,991 reviews

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Dec 29, 2012 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 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 serie
✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
💥 Feb. 14, 2021: only $2.99 today!!!

“Fuck me. I’m a rock star. And all I really wanted was a burrito.”

And the moral of this reread is: My #1 boyfriend. Worse than the bogeyman and tooth decay. Not a fan of mythological soap operas (a shame, that). The Joseph Stalin of laundry. Loves painting walls with livers and spinal cords. Gives fellow monsters girls booty calls to massacres. Always in for a cigarette, a drink, and a lobotomy. How anyone can resist his undying charm is one of t
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 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.

Aug 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
*** 4.25 ***

"I'm hard on things. Everything ends up broken, ripped apart, modified, stuck together or shot to shit. I'd be naked as Adam and cold as a polar bear if it weren't for duct tape."

A gritty, unapologetic, demonic Pulp Fiction! What a fun read! Not for the tender hearted nor the young, but for all of us who are fans of episodic serial pulp-noir, full of raw prose and very little which indicates the book and the author take themselves too seriously, this is right up our alley.

A young hu
May 02, 2011 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

Ohhh, "Sandman Slim", what a date it was! My first encounter with dear Mr. Stark aka lovely Sandman Slim was when I read the great reviews of Sarah, the Murderous 💜 I was deeply charmed and intrigued, well mostly because my latest date with Daniel Faust wasn’t very gripping for me and I was looking for another great character (with some similar abilities) in the lead to woot, drool and swoon for! And I found him for sure in "Sandman Slim" 💜

Interesting plot with great action, blood, gore and mi
Mike (the Paladin)
Jul 23, 2010 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
Jen/The Tolkien Gal/ジェニファー
Will the real Slim Shady please stand up?

Image result for sandman slim deviant art

Review to come, all I can say is this book really hit me in the right mood.

How are you?
I'm okay. All I need is a cigarette, wine and a lobotomy and I'll be all good.

Yep. Definitely caught me in the right mood - pessimistic, weary with just the right smattering of humour to keep me upright.

Buddy read with Karishma. Thanks so much for introducing me to MacHalos and this fantastic book, Karishma <3.

4.5 stars

His movements are quick and jerky like a broken w
Wil Wheaton
Apr 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, dark-fantasy, noir
It's not just good ... it's [author=Charlie Huston] good. ...more
mark monday
Sep 05, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: secret-histories
mean magician Sandman Slim returns from Hell to smash, slash, burn, beat, maim, and kill. it appears his time spent in the lower depth's gladiator arenas has only served to sharpen his skills rather than to mellow his temper. fortunately, he's not a bad guy and he's exercising his violent capabilities in Los Angeles, where there is plenty of room (and need) for such endeavors. he's an endearing sort - a man on a mission with a heart of gold. well maybe not gold, but certainly high quality silver ...more
Dec 30, 2009 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. ...more
Rick Riordan
Nov 08, 2013 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
Oct 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
So I just read this and now I have a big problem. I just want to go, "squeeeee squeeeee squeeeee" about the book, raving like a lunatic about how much I loved it, about how I had just found my next favorite UF series, but that doesn't actually SAY anything, you know?

But you know UFs. It's ALL about voice. The snark-meter is dinging all the time in this one.

I'm totally enjoying the fish-out-of-water vibe, too, but more than all the rest, it's like we got a grown-up, jaded Hogwarts alumni who had
Paul O'Neill
Apr 24, 2015 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. ...more
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
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
Heidi The Reader
Sandman Slim is a dark, urban fantasy read about a magician who was given to demons by people he considered his friends. Now, James Stark's back for revenge.

Because, what does he have to lose. He's already been to hell.

".. I'm lucky that way. Always have been. Otherwise, I might have crawled back into this world and ended up a charcoal briquette in my first five minutes home. And wouldn't those black-hearted bastards down under have laughed when I ended right back in Hell after slipping so sweet
Scott Sigler
Mar 21, 2016 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
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
Dec 22, 2010 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
Carole (Carole's Random Life)
This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I feel like I have been wanting to read this book forever. I bought the ebook more than eight years ago and added the audiobook to my collection nearly six years ago. I am not really sure why it took me so long to finally get started with the series but I am happy to report that this book is really as good as I had hoped it would be. I am so glad that I finally took the time to give this one a listen.

James Stark was only 19 years old
Benji Glaab
Sep 12, 2013 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
Edward Lorn
Dec 08, 2012 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
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
Mogsy (MMOGC)
Whoa, this was dark. And also fun. It's got that whole "I don't give a fuck" attitude emanating off of it in droves, and you know what? I actually kinda liked that.

I've read more urban fantasy in the recent months than I have in years. I like the genre; I admit it's grown on me. But sometimes, I just need an urban fantasy fix that doesn't involve any messy paranormal romances with werewolves, vampires, or faeries, you know what I mean? Sandman Slim was the perfect break from that, with its grit
Sep 20, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: paranormal
This was an OK UF story. I think I'd have enjoyed it a bit more had my expectations not been so high going into this one. It is a big favourite of my GR's friends so I was expecting it to be something special but the truth was this was a fairly standard and run of the mill UF story. Readable but nothing special. It actually reminded me of Domino Finn's Dark Magic Outlaw books.

The premise was decent enough. At the age of 19 promising young magician, James Stark, runs afoul of envious members of h
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-
Aug 21, 2009 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.
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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

Other books in the series

Sandman Slim (1 - 10 of 12 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)
  • Hollywood Dead (Sandman Slim, #10)
  • Ballistic Kiss (Sandman Slim, #11)

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