Tag: Nickelback

The Dirty Streets of Heaven by Tad Williams

Posted February 23, 2013 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Fantasy / 0 Comments

The Dirty Streets of Heaven by Tad WilliamsTitle: The Dirty Streets of Heaven (Goodreads)
Author: Tad Williams
Series: Bobby Dollar #1
Published: Hodder, 2012
Pages: 416
Genres: Fantasy
My Copy: Personal Copy

Buy: AmazonBook Depository (or visit your local Indie bookstore)

Bobby Dollar is an angel, his role here on earth is to advocate for the souls caught between heaven and hell. As a result of this, Bobby knows about sin, in fact, he wrestles with a few himself; pride, lust and anger. Whether it’s pride or just instinct, Dollar can’t trust his superiors or his fellow earth bound angels so when souls start disappearing, things are bound to get bad; end of the world bad.

Like the Dresden Files, The Dirty Streets of Heaven blends urban fantasy with hard-boiled crime. Bobby Dollar is a great character, but while he isn’t fully hard-boiled he plays the role really well. I don’t think I would want him to be more hard-boiled; as an angel he does need to have a bit of a moral compass and he does have to try to be good, so in this aspect I think Tad Williams got the balance right.

I’ve never been much for fantasy novels, but I really like these urban fantasy novels that take old hard-boiled and noir styles and blend it; I just can’t get enough of them. I believe this is Tad Williams first attempt at this genre but he has done this masterfully; the conflict between heaven and hell with Bobby Dollar and not knowing who to trust makes this novel. I will admit the Angel and Demon warfare aspect of this book is what I enjoyed the most; Williams added some interesting concepts and blended some theology in as well and I think it balanced out nicely.

I wasn’t sure if The Dirty Streets of Heaven was going to turn out anything like Dogma or The Dresden Files, but I think the author took parts of both that he liked and made it his own. It’s dark and gritty, fully of sex and violence but there is also pop culture references and humour with this book. The humour within this book was great; it didn’t over shadow the darkness of the novel and often came unexpectedly.

“You show me what someone listens to; I’ll tell you everything you want to know about his soul. (For instance, a bunch of Nickelback albums would have indicated he never had a soul in the first place.)”

I’m pleased this is the first book in a new series for Tad Williams; currently there are another two in the works and I am excited to be thrown back into this world. The more I discover these Urban Fantasy Noir novels, the more I want to read them; I really should read some more from the Dresden Files while I wait for book two. Does anyone have any recommendations for books like this, because I really enjoyed this book, more than I ever expected.


Fifty Shames of Earl Grey by Andrew Shaffer

Posted September 26, 2012 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Humour / 0 Comments

Fifty Shames of Earl Grey by Andrew ShafferTitle: Fifty Shames of Earl Grey (Goodreads)
Author: Andrew Shaffer
Series: Fifty Shames #1
Published: Da Capo Press, 2012
Pages: 224
Genres: Humour
My Copy: Paperback

Buy: AmazonBook Depository (or visit your local Indie bookstore)

I’ve not read many parodies before but Andrew Shaffer is mildly amusing on twitter so I thought I’d give his book a go. Fifty Shames of Earl Grey is an obvious dig at Fifty Shades of Grey but it also has fun with the Twilight fanfic elements as well; clearly pointing out the similarities of the two books with lines like; “I’m Edward Cullen. I mean, ‘Earl Grey.’ Have a seat?” This novel reminds me of a Leslie Nielsen style parody with the farfetched and over done humour, but that’s what makes it so much fun to read. Earl Grey is a billionaire with fifty secret shames; some of them involve his love of BDSM (Bards, Dragons, Sorcery, and Magick) while others are even worse, like his love of Nickelback.

Obviously this is never going to be high literature with lines like “Moan,” I moan. “Moan, moan, moooooooan.” but is this book supposed to reflect the literary flaws of 50 Shades and Twilight or is this just meant to be a fun read? I’m not going to think too much about it, I went into this book for a fun read and that is how I will review it. I’ve heard people claim that Edward Cullen and Christian Grey are hot but none come close to Earl Grey because “HOLY MOTHER EFFING SPARKLY VAMPIRES IS HE HOT”.

Let’s face it Andrew Shaffer had a lot of fun with this book, from the pseudonym (Fanny Merkin) to the cover and everything in between. It was awkward and unexpected; I had so much fun reading this book. I don’t normally highlight but my kindle version of this book has over thirty different highlighted passages in it. I really enjoyed what Shaffer did with this book; highlights for me included the Spanking scene with the Count from Sesame Street and the Cleo sex quiz (which I really want to read the other 200 pages of). They are making a movie of Fifty Shades, and if they ever decided to make a parody I really hope they consult Andrew Shaffer. This was a fun read and I’m looking forward to Fifty Shames in Space but right now I need a sandwich.

If you don’t believe me check out what Tiffany Reisz, author of the BDSM erotica series, The Original Sinners says about this book; “I’m not telling you to buy Fifty Shames of Earl Grey because I’m banging the author. I’m telling you to buy Fifty Shames of Earl Grey AND I’m banging the author.”

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