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Carrion Comfort | [Dan Simmons]

Carrion Comfort

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...
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Publisher's Summary

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.

What the Critics Say

“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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (491 )
5 star
 (167)
4 star
 (181)
3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
3.9 (446 )
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Story
4.2 (444 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
 (57)
2 star
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1 star
 (13)
Performance
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  •  
    Amazon Customer MARIETTA, GA, United States 10-29-11
    Amazon Customer MARIETTA, GA, United States 10-29-11 Member Since 2004

    WildWiseWoman

    HELPFUL VOTES
    226
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    "Extremely dated, but not too bad"

    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.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    art Seattle, WA, United States 10-25-11
    art Seattle, WA, United States 10-25-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    42
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    "Not Bad At All"

    I am about a 1/3 of the way through Carrion Comfort and I'm enjoying it quite a bit. It's well read(especially the parts read by Laural Merlington) and interestingly detailed with some excellent character development. WARNING: This book contains descriptions of sexual situations

    4 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Santa Rosa, CA, United States 03-06-14
    Chris Santa Rosa, CA, United States 03-06-14 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "UNcomfortable from start to finish"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Can't recommend this one for anyone. Some books you can't seem to put down - this one I had a hard time picking up. I won't say it was a complete waste of my time because there is a modicum of entertainment value that comes from critiquing poorly written books but I wanted it to be a good book that kept me interested. It wasn't that book.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Dan Simmons again?

    No. Typecast characters (i.e.good ol' boy Southern sheriff, death camp survivor Polish Jew) were one dimensional and predictable. Plot kept going on and on when I wished it would just end (I'm a stickler for finishing a book regardless of how bad it is).


    What didn’t you like about Mel Foster and Laural Merlington ’s performance?

    Listening to approx. 20 hours of a character with Foghorn Leghorn's voice, together with a character sounding like an elderly Scarlett O'Hara, gave me more nightmares than the supposedly sinister storyline.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Incredulity. Couldn't believe anything about the plot, the characters, the dialogue or performance of the narrators.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard Weaverville, NC, United States 04-24-13
    Richard Weaverville, NC, United States 04-24-13 Member Since 2009

    Writer, Reader, Former Bookseller (RIP Borders)

    HELPFUL VOTES
    52
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    "Long.... and not interesting"

    It's not terrible. It's not great. Mostly, it wasn't engaging. I didn't care about the characters-- they lacked depth and believability. The concept had potential, but the scary aspects weren't promoted. More thriller than horror, but even in that, not very effective at suspense. Mostly, it was overwritten and could be twice as good at half its length. Prose was borderline amateur. Quit listening two chapters from the end because the path was obvious and I didn't care if any of the characters lived or died anyway. Disappointed-- I expected more from Simmons. Read like Koontz.... but reeallllyyy long.

    Narration was good.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jay Cook Nashville, TN, United States 04-16-13
    Jay Cook Nashville, TN, United States 04-16-13 Member Since 2004

    Spreadhead and Biblioholic.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Creep-fest!"

    This is a great read about a small group of malevolent friends who use their psychic abilities to control others in an annual contest to see who can create the most spectacular murders. The combination of blue-blood gentility and sociopathic vigor make "Miss Melanie" a great villain.

    The narrators also did a great job, especially the first-person narrative of Melanie.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonathan Spartanburg, SC, United States 03-29-13
    Jonathan Spartanburg, SC, United States 03-29-13 Member Since 2010
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    "Disappointed! Tedious story. Terrible narration."

    I loved the Hyperion series, but couldn't be more disappointed with this one. Long, boring, tedious story with one dimensional characters. The flat characters are made worse by the reader's cartoonish attempts at black and southern accents - he sounds like he's mocking the characters. I kept waiting for the story to get better, but it just got more and more contrived, pointless and repetitive as it proceeded. I felt like the author had an interesting idea, then spent hundreds of pages trying, and failing, to do something with it. Lame. Wish I hadn't spent my money on this turkey.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Angelina 09-25-12
    Angelina 09-25-12 Member Since 2010
    ratings
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    5
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    "Wonderful Listen"
    If you could sum up Carrion Comfort in three words, what would they be?

    I could not put this book down!!! I really liked this story. The plot twist really had me thinking about what was going to happen next.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Forest Hills, NY, United States 02-20-12
    Robert Forest Hills, NY, United States 02-20-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "This guy never fails to disapoint...."
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Right wingers who are not too picky.


    What was most disappointing about Dan Simmons’s story?

    Dan Simmons


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The part when I turned it off and deleted it


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    Read this guy's blog... I have always had a vague sense that his stories were dissatisfying and weak - even though they should have been great based upon the subject matter. This book was no exception. It turns out that Simmons has strange and adolescent right wing political and social ideas. He is not for me. I think even a discriminating Republican would find this guy boring. He is a half baked Tom Clancy with ghosts and ghouls.

    2 of 14 people found this review helpful
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