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August 7, 2013

Book Review - The Dirty Streets of Heaven by Tad Williams

I love me a good fantasy that takes the whole religion thing and kind of turns things on their heads. An imaginative view of just how heaven and hell works can really be fun to read if done well. Sometimes they're satirical (like Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman's wonderful Good Omens), and sometimes it makes a good setting for a more serious (but not *too* serious) story (like Liz Williams' "Inspector Chen" series of fantasy novels, which I may have to include on a future entry, as they're really good).

Tad Williams' latest novel, The Dirty Streets of Heaven is another take on the whole idea, and it's wonderfully written. The sequel comes out in September, and I'm really looking forward to it. The novel's protagonist, Bobby Dollar, is a really fun narrator, even more so because he just seems like a regular guy (other than this being dead thing, of course). There's lots of action, but some good humour too, and the setting is quite interesting.

In Williams' world, when a person dies, there is immediately an accounting. A heavenly advocate shows up (like Bobby) to extol that person's virtue and a demon advocate shows up to talk about the bad things the person did in life. A "judge" also shows up to make the final decision.

One of the problems Bobby is having, as seen in the description below, is that some things aren't going through the right process.

My review is up on Curled Up With a Good Book.

From the review:
"Bobby Dollar's afterlife is turning out to be much more hectic than he ever would have believed. Bobby and his friends are advocates for souls when individuals die, but that's not the main source of all his problems right now. He's dealing with his own sins, including anger and lust, as well as souls disappearing before they can go through the testing process. A couple of demons are after him, he can't necessarily trust his heavenly superiors, and he's not sure about his friends, either. Add to this a new kid that he's supposed to train in the advocacy field, a kid fresh out of the Records department in Heaven, and it's understandable that he's a little on edge. Just what is happening with these souls, and is somebody from Heaven in on it? Is it enough to get Bobby killed (again)?"
It's a wonderful book, with a few slow spots.

It's well worth checking out. So why don't you?

Let me know what you think of the review as well.


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