Welcome to the BURN CENTER!
Hey folks, Jonny Napalm here welcoming you to my charred little corner of the sky. Here I will be sharing views on all the things I love and adore and loathe with the burning passion of a thousand suns. Be aware.. my views tend to the nerdtastic, so... you are warned.
Monday, October 11, 2010
Sandman Slim is one of the latest in the growing recent trend of modern urban fantasies. This one is coming from Richard Kadrey, a gifted writer with a flare for the bleak and a bit dirtier noir style. Mr. Kadrey has said that his influences are very visible in his work, with classic noir, combined with the Crime style of Donald Westlake's pseudonym Richard Stark, then adding in mysticism of the current urban style with the Christian mythos. Kadrey says that his writing tends to ramble and that it doesn't align itself with novels well, which can be seen in his books. There's no clear chapter divisions, which makes for energetic but difficult reading...no places to pause or stop at night, and while it's an interesting style of development it's one that won't work for all readers. For folks who pick up their books and plow through them, it's functional... but not so much for everybody else. The character of James Stark (the protagonist of Kardrey's novel), is fun, harsh, sarcastic, obsessed with movies, and possessed of unusual occult gifts that even he doesn't understand. His backstory is imaginative and weird, also full of potential for creative pitfalls and conflicts down the road that will be fun to explore further in the series development. My primary issue with the story is that Stark's nickname, the one the novel is named for, and the series is titled for comes out of nowhere. It seems the entire city of LA starts calling him "Sandman Slim" at some point and there is no clear reason why or what it ACTUALLY means. In the relative scheme of things it seems really minor, but the feeling it engenders lingers and colors the majority of the later half of the book. That being said, it's a fun read..but not nearly so deep as the Kings and Queens of the Urban Fantasy...then again, he hasn't had the time to get to the same level of development they've got.