Sandman Slim

Sandman Slim  - Richard Kadrey Brainycat's 5 Bs (1-5, 5 highest):
boobs: 2
blood: 5
bombs: 5
bondage: 1
blasphemy: 5

I effin' love this book series. I could not put this book down. Sandman Slim is a fantastic antihero, and I put him into the same pantheon of awesomeness as Takeshi Kovacs. He's that troubled, conflicted, smarmy, quick-witted and lethal. This book is genuinely laugh-out-loud funny all the way through, both the cynical observations of human nature and the banter between the characters is classic. Kadrey did a superior job of blending the occult into the mundane Los Angeles, and does a good job of making sure the focus of the story doesn't get disappeared into extraneous details about one or the other.

Unfortunately, I don't have a very deep or broad understanding of the history of the noir genre, but I know enough to know that Kadrey has paid homage where homage is due and added his own punk rock sensibilities into the mix. A fantastic combination of the classic revenge story mixed with the Sam Spade-ish "kickin' a** and taking names" while trying to figure out exactly who's manipulating who while he tries to find the truth of his situation. This does not read like a mystery, though, as much as it reads as a thriller.

The pace of the book is impeccable, and I think with the right direction and judicious screenwriting it would translate well to the screen. It takes place in moden LA, and since Hollywood is really good at making movies about LA, it shouldn't be too hard to pull off. On one hand, the book never really challenged me like Great Literature, but on the other hand it never takes itself that seriously. It's just a rollicking good thriller infused with punk rock, Enochian biblical occultism and offhand references to pop culture. The first person narrative actually works well for a visual, expository experience - but the narrative doesn't get bogged down in unnecessary detail.

I wholeheartedly recommend this book to fans of the occultish antihero type.