Jan 6, 2011

Richard Kadrey: Butcher Bird


Spyder Lee is a happy man who lives in San Francisco and owns a tattoo shop. One night an angry demon tries to bite his head off before he's saved by a stranger. The demon infected Spyder with something awful - the truth. He can suddenly see the world as it really is: full of angels and demons and monsters and monster-hunters. A world full of black magic and mysteries. These are the Dominions, parallel worlds full of wonder, beauty and horror. The Black Clerks, infinitely old and infinitely powerful beings whose job it is to keep the Dominions in balance, seem to have new interests and a whole new agenda. Dropped into the middle of a conflict between the Black Clerks and other forces he doesn't fully understand, Spyder finds himself looking for a magic book with the blind swordswoman who saved him. Their journey will take them from deserts to lush palaces, to underground caverns, to the heart of Hell itself.

This book, that you can also find by the name "Blind Shrike", is really great dark fantasy. My favourite Kadrey's book so far and the first I've really liked a lot. With a writing firmly rooted in Judeo-Christian theology of angels and devils but a vision of these absolutely transversal with Lucifer described as a kind, loyal and charming character. The prose is visceral and the characters realistic people you feel you can care about. You'll find here a lot of heaven, hell, and different spheres of existence highly imaginative and very well developed and a couple of very interesting and innovative cosmogonies. All sorts of weird supernatural denizens, maybe a little too "smartass" at times, interpersed with normal living and weapon wielding maniacs and manically evil bad things.

Pretty entertaining stuff, all along. And this one has a lyric quality and a "heart" that I found Sand Slim missed. And it's full of clever ideas and original ones. And witty dialogues and touching characters. Yes, I think I've liked this one. And don't forget you can read it for free so...

You can download Richard Kadrey’s novel Butcher Bird:
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  1. Okay, when I was starting to eat my fill of this Kadrey guy, you find this little gem, entertaining and original ...and also free!

    I especially like the bit near the beginning when he discovers that his lifelong friend Lulu is ... different, say (in order not to provide surprise-spoiling details)

    The hero who doesn't know he is the hero in the book, the character who ignores his starring role in the story, maybe a commonplace topic but very well developed here.

    Friendship & love, courage & loyalty, good feeling even in Lucifer struggle for the ideal of building a better Heaven.

    The next one?

  2. See? The guy looks so gross and then he gets all carried away about the same ideals that made him drop a tear when he was a 8 years old reading Enid Blyton's The Famous Five. Men, Ron. They are like children.

    I've liked this one, too. Funny. Perhaps to quick at the end, an outcome a bit hasty for my taste.

  3. Yes, yes, like a child. Come here if you dare, blondie, and you'll see how innocent and harmlessly childish I am...

  4. Barking dog...

  5. Not that I'm not delighted that you use this space for your personal disputes, guys, I'm as nosy as the most, but perhaps but maybe you can limit yourselves to LITERARY discussions, given the subject-matter of the blog :-)))))

  6. Me pregunto por qué me pareció haber leído la sinopsis rematerializada de las obras de Howard Phillys Lovecraft cómo El Necronomicón, Los sueños de la bruja, las ratas en las paredes o La llamada del Ctuhluh

  7. Hola Heinrich. En realidad no me recuerda a Lovecraft, quizás porque Lovecraft (y Poe) me han hecho pasar bastante miedo (quizás era muy cría cuando los leí la primera vez y luego se me ha quedado una especie de reflejo condicionado de Pavlov que hace que cuando los releo, me den escalofríos) y sin embargo esta novela es una aventura muy maja y bastante original pero no da miedo. Lovecraft era un maestro en rebuscar en las raíces de lo que aterroriza al ser humano, en meter el dedico ahí donde duele, aunque luego creo que lo plasma con desigual fortuna en unos y otros escritos, desde la genialidad hasta alguno que me resulta algo sosarra.

    (Yes, Maki, I'll translate it for you but you can always copy-paste the text in Google Translate and pry on your own :))))

    (He's kind of nosy, you know :-)))))

  8. Generalmente éstos escritores "modernos" aplican demasiado el viejo (pero absurdamente cierto) Axioma de los romanos: Renovarse o Morir, y morir para nosotros los escritores es que nuestros libros no se vendan, y lo que ahora le preocupa más a los escritores actuales es que sus libros se vendan cómo vacunas de penicilina en la edad media; así que los escritores modernos escriben (yo no) cosas que atraigan la atención de la gente con temas vanales cómo psicópatas degenerados y amores grugales sin final feliz dentro de un mundo sórdido en el que el esfuerzo vale poco.


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