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)
So Many Books, So Little Time...
The author's use of imagery and also the narrators really got into telling the story.
They bring the characters to life. Hearing them read this novel sets you in the midst of the story.
Melanie Fuller. She's elegant and classy yet evil and corrupt to the core.
Great novel to "take you away" for a while.
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.
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.
My previous experience with Dan Simmons was his remarkable "The Terror", which stands head and shoulders above anything else I read last year. CARRION COMFORT is a much earlier work, more than 20 years ago, and both the writing and the story reflect badly on the 1980s. The story is fine - nothing totally weird in the realm of horror fiction - good versus evil, absolute power corrupting absolutely, etc., etc., and the storytelling is mundane and acceptable. The characters are many and fleshed out well by the two (male and female) readers, making a 40 hour long audiobook fairly easy to follow. There is a great deal of dated racism in the book, making for some very squirmy moments for me, and I don't believe it would find a publisher today without some heavy rewrites. The non-white characters are very cardboard, very thinly balanced between "Whatchoo Talkin' Bout Willis?" and "Gonna Cut Me Some Whitey Bro". The young black woman who is a sort of love interest is typical of lame-ass females in most of these types of novels - if we start discussing sexism in horror fiction we'll never be finished! Anyway, there is no excuse for this book being so amazingly LONG, because the language isn't particularly florid or memorable, and the actions scenes are many, but could well have been edited down to a few. I don't mind devoting 40 hours to an audiobook, but I know that once I reach the end (on Pt 4 of 5 now) I'll forget this one as soon as I begin another.
I have read and listen to a great number of Dan Simmons novels. I consider the Hyperion Saga one of the greatest literary works that I have ever had the pleasure of reading. But I have never quit a book halfway through because I simply felt dirty after listening to it. Many of us have listened to and read great fiction and great horror, and I do not consider myself squeamish by any means, but there are several chapters but I do not believe hold any narrative significance other than the writer expressing his most horrific fantasies and seeing if he could put it on paper. Theyy do not appear to add to the narrative in any meaningful way, they exist for a very cheap shock value alone. I really can't believe anyone would thoroughly enjoy this book unless they held sociopathic tendencies.
Great performance by the narrators, and overall a good story.
Took awhile for me to get into and there were a several times that I wish the writer could have moved the story along at a faster pace.
I'm not sure I'd recommend it to the horror novel lover, as much as I would to someone who likes a drama with supernatural elements.
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