Devil Said Bang: Sandman Slim finds it's lonely at the top

By Cory Doctorow

Devil Said Bang is the latest Sandman Slim novel, and Richard Kadrey continues to knock them way the hell out of the park. As with previous volume (the first three were Sandman Slim, Kill the Dead, and Aloha From Hell), Devil is the harder-than-hard-boiled story of James Stark, a distant descendant of Wild Bill Hickok and a wild magic talent whose LA coven conspired against him, sending him to Hell. There he was turned into a gladiator and assassin, killing hellions in the pit and murdering Lucifer's generals in their beds until he escaped to earth, bent on revenge.

Devil is the latest installment in what is, at core, a superhero story (albeit one with a lot of gore and Satanism) and after three books, Kadrey has arrived at that point where the superhero's successful adventures have left him with so many powerful artefacts and so much authority and so many dead enemies that he's essentially become a God. Devil is a story about the ways in which it can be pretty terrible at the top, as Stark tries to come to grips with his own power -- power he's always reviled in others -- while continuing to slaughter, bad-mouth, and humiliate his enemies, be they demons, angels, monsters, ghosts or humans.

Filled with perverted sex, awesome one-liners, gore, murder, and a necronomiconical sense of the daemonic, Devil shows that these are the books that Kadrey was born to write. One of the original cyberpunks, Kadrey has always been the grittiest of the gritty lot, the chipped switchblade in a box full of fractal-edged nanofabricated scalpels. Compared to Kadrey, other supernatural horror writers feel like they've been drinking the thrice-brewed tea of HP Lovecraft, while Kadrey has been performing blood sacrifices in abandoned LA parking garages. Read these books, and be delighted.

Devil Said Bang

Published 6:17 am Tue, Aug 28, 2012

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About the Author

I write books. My latest are: a YA graphic novel called In Real Life (with Jen Wang); a nonfiction book about the arts and the Internet called Information Doesn't Want to Be Free: Laws for the Internet Age (with introductions by Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer) and a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.

12 Responses to “Devil Said Bang: Sandman Slim finds it's lonely at the top”

  1. Sarah Jones says:

    The Kadrey books are riveting and so much fun. I recommend them all the time – great pic Cory!

  2. Adam Goetz says:

    i wonder what other colors of god he will meet in this one?!

  3. ocker3 says:

    I’ve reserved a copy of the first book at my local library, I’m continually surprised by the breadth of their collection

  4. Halloween_Jack says:

    I wish that Aloha from Hell would come out in paperback already. I loved the first two books, and these are books that should be read in paperback in a bar–neither hardback nor Kindle (on whatever device) is suitable for this purpose. 

  5. mark says:

    Unfortunately the Kindle edition of the book is broken, with missing and repeated chapters. 

    • Egypt Urnash says:

      I noticed the repeated chapters at the end but I didn’t clock to the missing ones. I just figured I was out of it because it’s been so damn hot here lately. Wonder if there will be any kind of note in my email when they get the fixed version up.

      I guess that’s one of the downside of not having actual “chapters” with numbers and a table of contents. Makes that kind of mistake more ambiguous.

    • Ben Engelsberg says:

      Boy am I glad to hear that there are missing chapters… I thought that Kadrey had taken a dive into the surreal.  The book seemed to really fall apart.

    • Michael Wright says:

      The Kobo version is also broken.

    • shamowfski says:

       Best place for updates on this is Kadrey’s twitter:

      Amazon didn’t have a clue, and the chat person said they wouldn’t be notified when it was fixed.  If you were paying attention, you’d see that it would redownload when it was updated.  Richard’s twitter says ibook should be fixed, amazon tomorrow hopefully.

  6. Nancy Lebovitz says:

    I don’t like really gritty fiction. I think of Kadrey as writing something like noir, except that it’s much too cheerful.

  7. John T. says:

    Too bad about all the supernatural crapola. Gritty L.A. is interesting enough without it.

  8. Adam Goetz says:

    finished this last night and i really like the first half of the book. aloha from hell though i enjoyed a lot more than this one. 

    they really lost me on the whole dreamer thing…i get it…i dont buy it…if anyone can explain it to me i’m all ears.

    Also Hardback is a great purchase and i did a good majority of my reading at the bar. simply remove the dust jacket and it’s ready to roll around in all the moist bar-top madness.

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