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The Dirty Streets of Heaven (Bobby Dollar) [Hardcover]

Tad Williams
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
RRP: 18.99
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Book Description

13 Sep 2012 Bobby Dollar


Sure, he takes the occasional trip to Heaven, but his job as an advocate - arguing the fate of the recently deceased - keeps him pretty busy on Earth, and he's more than happy to spend the rest of his time propping up the bar with his fellow immortals.

Until the day a soul goes missing, presumed stolen by 'the other side'.

A new chapter in the war between heaven and hell is about to open. And Bobby is right in the middle of it, with only a desirable but deadly demon to aid him.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (13 Sep 2012)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 1444738550
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444738551
  • Product Dimensions: 0.3 x 18.6 x 24.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 79,809 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Former singer, shoe-seller and radio show host, Tad Williams is now a full-time writer. His Memory, Sorrow and Thorn series established him as one of the most internationally popular fantasy authors of recent years.

Product Description


'Dollar is every bit as morally ambiguous a first-person narrator as anything found in Chandler or Hammett, and his quest for the truth uncovers lies and deception, in heaven and hell, that propel the headlong plot towards a fascination conclusion' (Guardian)

'Tad Williams' ... famous four-book trilogy was one of the things that inspired me to write my own seven-book trilogy. [ I ] said, "My god, they can do something with this form," and it's Tad doing it.' (George R. R. Martin)

'When I heard that Tad Williams was writing an urban fantasy novel, I got all tingly. Now I've read it, and it's even better than I'd dared to hope. It's snarky, fast-paced, and above all, original. You should be tingly, too.' (Patrick Rothfuss)

'Tad Williams is a huge inspiration for me. He's one of the main reasons I started writing fantasy... Tad Williams' work is an essential part of any science fiction and fantasy library. I look forward to each new book he writes.' (Christopher Paolini)

This is urban fantasy at its best. (

Williams has managed to create something really special wtih The Dirty Streets of Heaven that manages to breathe new life into the urban fantasy genre while at the same time retaining the magic of his earlier novels, an incredible start to a promising series. (

'A very promising start to an exciting new series from one of our greatest modern F/SF authors.' (Geek Syndicate)

Book Description

THE DIRTY STREETS OF HEAVEN is the first in a new set of fantasy-fuelled thrillers from the masterly Tad Williams, international bestselling author of The Dragonbone Chair.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The hard boiled dick with a twist 26 July 2012
By R. A. Caton TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a gripping read. Bobby Dollar isn't your average gumshoe with a penchant for a pretty face...and his world isn't the sleazy world of Chandler, Hammett, or McBain..... he is American, but you can't have everything, heh heh.
Our Mr D is in fact Doloriel, an angel advocate and once-upon-a-time soldier of Heaven... the equivalent of Heavens Commandos, no less.
His task is to greet the newly deceased and defend them at their Judgement against his opposite number from...the Other Place. Which exists and isn't the place you want to be sentenced to because there is NO appeal. And the Other Side play dirtier than the Mob.
What happens to our guy - and he has no idea even what *has* happened - drops him into direct conflict with some very high ranking Enemies indeed - and they have ways of Enforcement....
I'm not going to tell you more. Suffice it to say that I couldn't put this thing down until I'd cleared the mysteries, heard the explanations, and seen the final twists (oh yes, there's more than one!).
The next volumes in the series should be Happy Hour In Hell (due 2013) and Sleeping Late On Judgement Day (due 2014) - that's not for sure, this was a proof copy and there's always scope for change, but I WANT to see them, I WANT to read them. Bobby Dollar is an engaging guy, for an angel.

For those of you who have a fixed view of the afterlife, by the way, if you can accept the idea of a badass hard livin' angel whose main function is to argue the case for delegated Divine mercy you won't be presented with anything blasphemous here. Within the story and the universe Tad Williams has created things hang together logically without making comment adverse or otherwise on spiritual beliefs in our world.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
By M. K. Burton VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Bobby Dollar - or the Angel Doloriel - helps guide souls to Heaven once they've passed on. It's his job as an advocate to battle the minions of Hell in a courtroom for each soul's afterlife, fighting to save as many souls as possible, even when they have to spend some time in Purgatory first. But when a soul disappears, right underneath his nose, without ever having appeared to himself or Hell's advocate, and then keeps happening, normality is uprooted and both sides are in crisis. Dollar feels compelled to investigate, but as he gets closer to the truth, he finds himself accused of theft, chased by an ancient monster, and madly in lust with Hell's most attractive demon.

Compared to Tad Williams' epic fantasies, this book is a speedy, exciting read, a cross between a thriller and a detective novel with a whole lot of fantasy mixed in. The concepts behind the novel are actually quite epic in themselves; we get a full description of his version of Heaven and Hell, and Bobby frequently tries to describe what Heaven's like (since he is an angel). He might be in an improvised courtroom, but he does in fact help determine the eternal fate of people, which is not a small-town job in the slightest.

As an angel, Bobby is naturally somewhat tougher than a normal human, even though he wears a human body; he can still be killed, but usually angels reincarnate in new bodies. He's done it before, but it's never a guarantee, which means he is relatively careful and does try not to get too badly beaten up in the pursuit of answers. It's really common in practically all urban fantasy novels for the main character to not sleep and suffer severe injuries that would probably kill another character, so this little caveat is very handy.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Detective novel, seamlessly moved to heaven 25 Aug 2012
By Michael Sutherland VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Bobby Dollar is an angel. He's an advocate; an angel sent to the recently deceased and argue for the side of light when they are judged. But something has gone wrong - there are dead bodies without souls and something is hunting Bobby, something big and extremely ugly.

This is a great book. Having read many of Tad Williams' other books (Otherland, Memory, Sorrow & Thorn, War of the Flowers) it's funny to see him switch to the thriller / detective genre so effortlessly. And this is exactly what this is - it's a detective story, set in heaven and earth with a scattering of demons.

All the elements are there - an angel with a grumpy attitude and a murky past, a rookie who asks too many questions, a beautiful dame (who just happens to be a hell-spawned demon), a wealth of bad guys, bureaucracy in the 'office' and a load of secret contacts and complications.

For those of you familiar with Tad Williams' work, I'll reassure you that this is one of his more concise works - it's well-paced (even more so that War of the Flowers) and moves along very nicely without getting bogged down in the details.

My only real complaint is that it's not mind-blowing. It's a good solid book, very enjoyable and readable. But it didn't have me absolutely hooked, compelled to read on - but those books are few and far between, I think.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A return to form for Tad Williams 20 Aug 2012
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Bobby Dollar is an angel who serves as an advocate for the recently deceased. Whenever someone dies, their soul is fought over by Heaven and Hell, with advocates from both sides competing for it. Dollar's latest case is complicated when the soul in question vanishes, and even the infernal legions of Hell seem at a loss as to what's going on. As Dollar investigates, he uncovers ancient conspiracies, political infighting even amongst the ranks of the angels of Heaven and that he himself has been targeted by every supernatural gang in California. He just doesn't know why.

The Dirty Streets of Heaven is the opening novel in the Bobby Dollar series by Tad Williams. Williams is best known for his shelf-destroying epic fantasies and the extremely slow pace of his novels. His recent Shadowmarch series suffered from a glacially ponderous structure that sometimes threatened to spill over into outright boredom. However, Williams's move into urban fantasy has been like a shot of pure storytelling adrenalin. The Dirty Streets of Heaven moves like a whippet with its tail on fire.

The book outlines its ground rules early on: Heaven and Hell are real, but their forces have been in a state of uneasy peace (or a Cold War) for millions of years. Complex rules govern their interactions. The relationship between the two sides shifts by location; Muslims, Jews and those of other faiths experience different results to those of nominally Christian denominations. Also, being an atheist is no help either. Spirits in Heaven have their memories wiped of their mortal lives, allowing them to start over, whilst those in Hell are damned by their previous actions and forced to recall them vividly.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it
Published 1 day ago by jen
5.0 out of 5 stars Great concept, good execution
Thoroughly worth reading. I loved Bobby Dollar and the story is strong in the kind of Dresden Files, pile-on-the-bad way. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Mary L
3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting idea, but not gripping
Tad Williams' latest series kicks off with this story about an angelic lawyer on earth, arguing against hell's representative to get souls into the right afterlife. Read more
Published 4 months ago by J. R. Johnson-Rollings
3.0 out of 5 stars Why did God make me so restless?
I tend to avoid reading urban fantasies with angels in them -- partly because they're usually "Twilightish" romances, and partly because it seems disrespectful to write... Read more
Published 6 months ago by E. A Solinas
3.0 out of 5 stars The Dirty Streets of Heaven Tad Williams
"Its Strange and wierd concepts" said the wife, who actually read this book. "Off the Wall" was another comment so I guess it was not what she was expecting. Read more
Published 9 months ago by redchops
2.0 out of 5 stars Long and dull
The book was long and not much seemed to happen for a lot of it, so I found it a bit of a struggle to get to the end. Read more
Published 9 months ago by ChrisDB
4.0 out of 5 stars Title
Good twist and turn. Few odd sequences but on the whole a good yarn. Nice twist as you would expect from an accomplished author
Published 9 months ago by Oldgit
4.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Escape from Reality
I love it when an author hits the reader with something not only a little different but something that's ground breaking in its own right. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog
2.0 out of 5 stars OK but doesn't really work
and it's too long.

The central idea (angels and demons fighting it out on earth) doesn't work for me and the story lacks urgency struggling to finish it.
Published 10 months ago by adamsson
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent start to a series
The likable, self-deprecating and rebellious angel who is the main character is pitchforked into a mysterious series of events which have him scrambling to keep up, but his... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Amazon Customer
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