The Past...Caught behind the lines of Hitler’s Final Solution, Saul Laski is one of the multitudes destined to die in the notorious Chelmno extermination camp. Until he rises to meet his fate and finds himself face-to-face with an evil far older, and far greater, than the Nazis themselves...
The Present...Compelled by the encounter to survive at all costs, so begins a journey that for Saul will span decades and cross continents, plunging into the darkest corners of 20th-century history to reveal a secret society of beings who throughout the ages may exist behind the world’s most horrible and violent events. Killing from a distance, and by darkly manipulative proxy, they are people with the psychic ability to “use” humans: read their minds, subjugate them to their wills, experience through their senses, feed off their emotions, force them to acts of unspeakable aggression. Each year, three of the most powerful of this hidden order meet to discuss their triumphs of induced bloodshed and deliberate destruction. But at this reunion, something will go terribly wrong. Saul’s quest is about to reach its elusive object, drawing hunter and hunted alike into a struggle that will plumb the depths of mankind’s attraction to violence, and determine the future of the world itself.
©2009 Dan Simmons (P)2011 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
“Epic in scale and scope but intimately disturbing, Carrion Comfort spans the ages to rewrite history and tug at the very fabric of reality. A nightmarish chronicle of predator and prey that will shatter your worldview forever. A true classic.” (Guillermo Del Toro)
“[Carrion Comfort is] one of the few major reinventions of the vampire concept, on a par with Jack Finney’s Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend, and Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot.” (David Morrell)
The premise was fascinating with really good character development, but, oh my...it was about 15 hours too long.
The switching to and fro of perspectives allowed for a well-rounded vision into the story.
Mel Foster had a wide range of voices. His "black voice" was unfortunate. It reminded me of stereotypes portrayed in early 20th century film. Laural Merlington's voicing of "Melanie" was very typical of a non-Southern person trying (and failing) to capture an authentic Southern accent. It got better towards the end, but, maybe I just got used to it.
It was a good enough story that it inspired me to finish it to find out what happens.
Look, I didn't hate the book. I have listened to many books as long or longer. I just found myself wanting to bash my head on the steering wheel to make it stop when the main character, Saul, would make a plan. Then change the plan. Then doubt the plan. Then tell the other main character, Natalie, that he doubted the plan. Then argue with Natalie about the plan. Then agree to an amended plan. And then not do the plan in the end because he improvised instead and then acted shocked when things didn't go as planned. In the end, things went as planned. *SPOILER* But, then you find out it didn't go as planned at all.
This is a long book but very much worth the investment of time. You will not regret spending the credit on this book!
I generally enjoy Dan Simmons, and this story was very good--however, as I live in Charleston, SC, one of the settings of the book, I was distracted. It would have been glaring to any Charleston resident--Simmons did not visit the area nor talk to anyone familiar with the area before writing about it. Had he done so, the richness of the story would have so very much more.
the only gripe I have is that the old lady gets her own narrator , who is fabulous and everyone else shares the same narrator who is middling but still a good story and interesting , it feels a bit like simmons wrote a bunch of shorter novels or stories and then mxed the characters together into the larger volume ,and at least its not narrated by john lee.
This is a long, involved story with many characters. It took me a little while to get used to the overlapping stories and I couldn't always remember who was who but despite its length (dare I say the longest audio-book I've every listened to?) it was interested right up until the end. I don't know if I would have liked this book as well had I read a hard copy but the alternating narrators really kept it from becoming monotonous. What keeps this from being a 5-star is there were a few spots that seemed overdone and unnecessary.
This is my first Dan Simmons novel and I plan on reading more.
I wasn't sure what to expect with this book, based on the synopsis given, and I confess, at the beginning I was a little confused about what was going on, but once the story got going, I found it to be mesmerizing and fascinating at the same time. I thought the narrators were quite wonderful, and the historical background of one of the main characters was both gripping and educational at the same time and gave the story an international flavor that was unexpected. I found the book to be a very pleasant surprise.
As noted above, I felt that the character (Sol) brought a historical backdrop into the story that served as a very satisfying foundation of sorts for the entire book. The antagonists, had powers that were described with such believable detail that they were menacing presences up to the very end!
Can't really describe it without giving away too much, but the disastrous conflict in the city of Philadelphia was awesome in execution, and in its dismal outcome.
It is much to long to even consider doing at one sitting. I am primarily an audio book listener for my long commutes to work, but in the case of this book, I found myself listening at other times around the house. Always hard to stop and put it away.
The narration was exceptionally performed but jumping back and forth in time with each character had me replaying a lot. It is a good story, so I did get through it but I'm thinking I might have Rio listen to it again....
interesting story, I thought it would be boring, 38 hours is really a long time. In the end, no, it kept my attention during the entire book. Original story as well. I'll give it a 6 1/2 on 10.
HAVING READ ONLY THE FIRST PARAGRAPH OF THE PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY,I BOUGHT THIS BOOK AS A PIECE OF LITERATURE ON A NAZI EXTERMINATION CAMP. AFTER LISTENING FOR ABOUT AN HOUR I HAD LEARNT THAT IN REALITY THE STORY WAS ABOUT SOME TYPE OF MODERN VAMPIRE OR THE LIKE AND ABOUT THE US FILM INDUSTRY. I REFRAINED FROM SUBJECTING MYSELF TO THE FOLLOWING THIRTYEIGHT HOURS. OF COURSE IT WAS MY FAULT.I SHOULD HAVE TAKEN A CLOSER LOOK BEFORE PUTTING THIS BOOK INTO MY CART.
Carrion Comfort felt like voyeuristic observation of sadism without any real literary payoff. I get what the author was aiming for, but (in my subjective experience) he didn't hit the mark. I couldn't even finish it. I don't mind graphic violence or disturbing imagery - it just didn't feel like it was going anywhere worthwhile in this story. If you're going to exploit the suffering of the Jews during the Holocaust and the rape of women (for example), I feel like you owe the reader some pretty serious rationale as to why those topics are justified. It just felt like Simmons thought that rape and genocide were good examples of bad stuff for bad guys to do.
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