Book Review: Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey

About the Book

Sandman Slim has arrived—a wild and weird, edge-of-your-seat supernatural roller-coaster rider that propels author Richard Kadrey to the forefront of the fantasy, thriller, and a host of other literary genres. This spellbinding, utterly remarkable tale of a vengeful magician/hitman’s return from hell is part H.P. Lovecraft, part Christopher Moore, part Jim Butcher, and totally, unabashedly dark, twisted, and hilarious.

— Description from

The Enchanted Alley’s Review

A friend and fellow book lover recommended this book to me after we’d been talking about how jarring present tense narrative can be. Sandman Slim is written in first person, present tense, which I generally can’t stand to read at all. Kadrey does use it well, though. My friend was right. It’s not as obtrusive in the narrative as others.

The story is described as “gritty” and surely is. It’s a great dark book. The world described in the book is our own, but it’s colored by a darkness that probably already exists but is mostly ignored. I found myself more engaged with Stark’s (the main character) interactions with the world after having been in Hell for eleven years than with the actual plot (revenge, murder, etc.). The world changed while he was down below, but in comparison with Kadrey’s description of Hell, one might prefer Hell to L.A. And that’s scary.

The basic plot is one of revenge—Stark is a magician who was sent to Hell by his fellow magicians and has returned to kill them. While in Hell, Stark learned a few tricks and is now a nearly unstoppable killing machine who destroys clothes faster than Stephanie Plum destroys automobiles. The plot dragged in some places, but I feel that might be a reflection of the frustration the main character was feeling of not knowing what to do or where to go next. He flies by the seat of his pants most of the story, and sometimes that made me, as the reader, anxious and uncertain. The story very effectively makes the reader feel the characters’ emotions, but they’re not the best emotions.

Overall, I enjoyed the story, and I’ll definitely read the next one.

4 Lamps


Enchanted Rating: 4

Essential Info:

Title:  Sandman Slim

Author: Richard Kadrey

Publisher: HarperCollins

Length: 405 pages

Release Date: January 26, 2010

Amazon Link: Buy it HERE


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