Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Dirty Streets of Heaven-Tad Williams

The Dirty Streets of Heaven

Tad Williams

Daw, Sep 4 2012, $25.95

ISBN: 9780756407681

Though ostensibly Bobby Dollar is an angel, he understands sin first hand from his travails on that wicked oasis planet earth as he has tasted most if not all of the seven deadly sins. Bobby is a defense attorney advocating for the placement of souls as Heaven and Hell debate the merits and demerits of a lesser being in judgment. He trusts neither side as Heaven works in mysterious ways with hidden agendas and hell is like a dog catcher. A newcomer sent from Heaven makes Bobby feel as if the rookie is from internal affairs with his unrelenting questions. In fact the only person he believes tells him the truth is the Countess of Cold Hands and he is unsure whether lust is filtering her responses.

However, recently things have gone terribly wrong when souls vanish prior to their judgment. Hell lies and Heaven obfuscates as the advocate tries to learn the truth. At the same time a monstrous Babylonian demonic avenger stalks Bobby with plans to dine in his soul.

This is a wonderful fantasy in which heaven and hell are not good and bad but filled with gray matter. Bobby is terrific as he recognizes that both sides in the eternal war are collectors with Hell more open with their BHAG than Heaven is. With an exciting investigation and an end of days feel to the storyline, The Dirty Streets of Heaven is a serious version of Albert Brooks’ Defending Your Life but with the Rip Torn advocate telling the tale of life in the afterlife bureaucratic judicial system at a time when all hell (or heaven) breaks out.

Harriet Klausner

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