New Reviews: ‘The Dirty Streets of Heaven’

The Dirty Streets of Heaven by Tad Williams

The first of the Bobby Dollar Books, The Dirty Streets of Heaven, was released in the US on September 4th and in the UK on September 11th.

The first US edition is almost sold out and will be reprinting in just a few days. Be sure to get yours before they’re gone!

Read more about The Dirty Streets of Heaven here.

The Dirty Streets of Heaven by Tad Williams (UK jacket)Pick up a copy from your favorite bookseller or order online:
Barnes & Noble

Also available for the Kindle and Nook, and as an unabridged audiobook from

Here is what readers are saying about Bobby Dollar and The Dirty Streets of Heaven.

Rick Kleffel’s The Agony Column
by Rick Kleffel 09-15-2012

In order to make all this work, Williams has to nail down Bobby’s first-person prose voice, and he does this with an easygoing authority. Bobby Dollar is flip and likable but for an angel, well, to a degree he’s no angel. Williams works this inner conflict but does not overdo it. And while Bobby is frequently very funny, Williams keeps his sense of humor consistent with the story and characters. The result is that Bobby Dollar is great fun to read, no matter what is happening.

Williams makes sure that something is always happening, even when his characters are hanging out at a bar. The plot here is relentless and intense, and happens in two compelling spheres. On the earthly and heavenly planes, Bobby is in peril, as are humanity, Heaven and even Hell. Williams knows his fantasy tropes so well that he can effortlessly deploy them to complicate the mystery. The action scenes are evocative and well-blocked. Williams gives us a good sense of place when he unleashes infernal and eternal powers. But he also plots with his world-building, keeping the exact nature of reality a mystery just as much as the soul-stealing plotline. The two-pronged plotting ensures that there are always lots of reasons to turn the pages.

Read the full review here.

Patrick Rothfuss’s Blog
September 14, 2012

I start to read it on the drive up into the north woods, and I got pulled into the story. So pulled in that I would rather read the book than sleep. So pulled in that I end up reading the book late, late into the night. So pulled in that I ended up sitting in a stairwell for hours and hours, until 4 AM, effectively hiding from my family, because I didn’t want to wake anyone up by having a light on. And also because I didn’t want my dad to wake up, see that I was still reading, and give me that look that says, “You know, we’ve got stuff to do tomorrow. You should really get to sleep.”

Yeah. So it was pretty much like high school all over again.

Patrick Rothfuss on Goodreads

But Dirty Streets of Heaven brings a whole new game to the table. Told from the point of view of an angel. Yes. Hell yes. That’s something cool. That’s something new.

And Williams does a brilliant job of it. You get a backstage pass into the afterlife. The mythos is fresh and original and the story is full of all the things I want, good characters, mystery, action….

And on top of it all, the voice of the main character is great. Tad Williams himself is delightfully a witty, sarcastic, and occasionally sharp-tongued. This is the first of his books where I’ve seen those characteristics peek through to a significant degree, and it’s great.

What I’m getting at is that I really dug this book.

Read the full reviews on Pat’s blog here and his review on Goodreads here.

And Then I Read A Book
by Sarah Watkins, September 13, 2012

It’s chocked full of gloriously crazy characters; the repulsive and breathtaking, the freaky and weird are all vividly described. The action runs at manic-miles-per-hour, pausing for breath only occasionally to fill us in on Bobby’s history or the finer workings of the celestial justice system. Bobby lurches from one potential disaster to another, driven to uncover the truth no matter how disturbing or personally traumatic. It is such a lot of fun to read, and I really liked that although we find out loads about Bobby there is still so much more to be told in subsequent stories.

There we have it. I loved it. I want more Bobby Dollar stories. I want to read this one again. I want to read all the stories by Tad Williams. If you want an action-packed/damaged hero/supernatural/crime extravaganza that incidentally tackles the nature of morality then this is the book for you!

Read the full review here.

Graeme’s Fantasy Book Review
by Graeme Flory, September 13, 2012

…a new book, from Tad, is a huge deal for me then; especially since he seems to be the kind of guy who keeps things fresh by writing in a slightly different genre each time. This time round we’re looking at urban fantasy with ‘The Dirty Streets of Heaven’; a departure from the high fantasy of the ‘Shadowmarch’ series but a sub-genre that Williams has visited before in ‘The War of the Flowers’. I thoroughly enjoyed that book (you ought to check it out if you haven’t already) so was hoping for more of the same here.

While it wasn’t the same book (and how could it be?), ‘The Dirty Streets of Heaven’ did more than enough to convince me that Tad Williams can pretty much take whatever genre he wants and make it his own. It’s one hell of a read (pun possibly intended) and a book that I think any fan of Urban Fantasy will get a lot out of….

After walking these dirty streets I’m definitely up for walking them a bit more; just need to wait for the next book to arrive…
Nine and a Half out of Ten

Read the full review here.

British Fantasy Society
by Catherine Mann, September 11, 2012

The Dirty Streets of Heaven is a good read and an impressive urban fantasy that is steeped in noir and features various original ideas. The story is well written and the pace shifts nicely between action and investigation, Earth and the afterlife. It introduces a familiar type of character and takes a cynical view at a traditionally black and white situation. The conclusion promises future instalments that should open the concept up and introduce yet more originality and ambiguity. I’ll be awaiting the next book with interest.

Read the full review here.

Bookworm Blues
by BookwormBlues, September 10, 2012

Being so different from the other books I’ve read by Williams, I will admit I was a bit worried that the dialogue and plot would feel a little forced or unnatural. I didn’t need to worry. Yes, The Dirty Streets of Heaven is continents away from most of Williams’ other books, but the plot is tight and the world is vivid and enthralling. Williams’ keeps the witty dialogue flowing. Bobby Dollar is one of the most fun, unique protagonists I’ve had the joy of running across. Williams hits the ball out of the park with The Dirty Streets of Heaven.

Read the full review here.

TOR.COM: Defending Your Life — The Dirty Streets of Heaven by Tad Williams
by Michael M Jones, September 10, 2012

There’s a reason for that: urban fantasy and film noir just seem like such a perfect fit, you know? Bobby Dollar’s a stand-up example of how well it works, as he risks everything for justice, answers, and the cold charms of a dangerous woman.

However, Williams also throws in the fast-paced thriller/conspiracy angle of a good spy thriller, a la Jason Bourne, weaving mysteries and double-crosses, triple agents and plans within plans, into the mix. Finally, there’s the fascinating metaphysical aspect to the concept, as Williams explores the idea of the afterlife being represented by a vast bureaucracy…

It’s suggested that, for all Bobby and his colleagues know, they’re only called angels because it’s what they understand, and maybe other belief systems have other ways of doing things within the same all-encompassing organization. In short, just because the narrator exists within a Christian framework doesn’t mean that it’s the only way things get done. It’s a fascinating compromise, and it works under the circumstances…

Part urban fantasy, part spy thriller, part hard-boiled adventure, The Dirty Streets of Heaven is a worthwhile and entertaining new addition to the genre, and I’m looking forward to seeing where Tad Williams takes us next time. He’s laid the groundwork for a continuing story of epic proportions, and past experience shows that he knows how to properly exploit that sort of thing.

Read the full review here.

Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist
by Patrick, September 09, 2012

Still, with The Dirty Streets of Heaven Tad Williams demonstrated yet again the length and breadth of his talent and imagination. His first urban fantasy offering should satisfy his legions of fans and hopefully bring some new asses into the seats. The author has never written something so fast-paced and accessible. Hence, if you have been meaning to give Tad Williams a go, The Dirty Streets of Heaven might well be the perfect introduction to the author great and disparate body of work.

Read the full review here.

Letters And Leaves
September 5, 2012

In the end, I finished the book in our Viennese friends’ living room, being very rude and ignoring all the people talking around me, a few hours before I had to be at the airport. I wasn’t going to carry around a nearly-finished book (that I had to treat carefully, too), but there was also no way I would leave before I had finished it! Not when I was so close to the end, and there were things blowing up, boat chases, lots of shooting, demons and mysteries finally being cleared up.

Read the full review here.

Video Review
by Heather Powers, September 4, 2012

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