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)
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 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
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.
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).
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.
Incredulity. Couldn't believe anything about the plot, the characters, the dialogue or performance of the narrators.
Writer, Reader, Former Bookseller (RIP Borders)
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.
Spreadhead and Biblioholic.
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.
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.
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.
Right wingers who are not too picky.
The part when I turned it off and deleted it
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.
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