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Publisher's Summary

Blood will curdle in Calcutta. In the most crime-ridden city, nightmares become real and evil is defined by frightening occurrences. When an American family finds themselves encircled by the terrors of this land, lurid events befall them and life takes on a new meaning - death. Winner of the World Fantasy Award, Song of Kali will chill the blood and frighten even the most jaded of horror fans.

©1985 Dan Simmons (P)2014 Audible Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Jim N
  • Chicago, IL
  • 11-11-14

Excellent, atmospheric horror

Simmons practically makes his setting into a major character in this subtle, unsettling novel set in Calcutta, India. Song of Kali is mysterious and though-provoking and like some of the best horror, a bit ambiguous. Simmons doesn't spell everything out for the reader and that works to the novel's benefit. This book is definitely worth a credit and the reading by Mark Boyett is superb.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Darwin8u
  • Mesa, AZ, United States
  • 01-14-15

All Violence is an Exercise in Power

Horror is not my normal territory. It isn't my alternate either. As far as genre fiction goes I probably reach for a horror novel as often as I reach for a fantasy novel. But this is Dan Simmons we are talking about. After reading Hyperion and The Fall of Hyperion, I was intrigued. How poetic could Simmons make horror? How literate?

I liked the 'Song of Kali'. It was a good story. I'm just not sure I'd count it as great horror. It wasn't that scary. It was definitely more psychological and mental than most. It seemed like a strange mixture of H.P. Lovecraft and Stephen King, all with a big glob of Calcutta madness and poetic mysticism.

Anyway, I liked it. I'll keep reading Simmons when I want a vacation from the classics or an escape into literary genre fiction, but I don't think I will need to steel my nerves with any tonics or leave the lights on to go to sleep after I close the book at night. I might, however, rethink vacation plans to Kolkata and West Bengal. Screw THAT.

26 of 30 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Not what I was hoping for

Is there anything you would change about this book?

More gross than scary. If you are looking for a good ghost story, this is not it.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Truly immersive horror!

Excellent listen! Dan Simmons captures the essence and atmosphere of Calcutta expertly. A truly horrific story that seems more truth than fiction. The fate of a particular character seems pre-ordained simply that that character's inclusion into the story which is my only criticism of the plot.
The narrator is absolutely superb going from American Mid-West, American-New York, to Indian accents with ease.
A definite recommended listen.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Grim.

One of the grimmest books I've ever read. The narrator did an excellent job with all the accents. I especially enjoyed the one moment of Punjab/cockney English.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Dated, but still good fiction

This is an early work of talented author Dan Simmons set for the most part in Calcutta, India. And it is definitely a horror story. The setting and suspense are very entertaining if you can overcome the voice in the back of your mind wondering why you would ever take a seven month old baby on a trip to Calcutta to find a may be dead poet. That voice will also wonder about some of the other choices the main characters make. Choices that I’m pretty sure I would not have made even back in the 80s. But if you can get over those blocks you have a terrifying good listen.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Creepy but great!

It was much creepier than a lot of Simmon's work, but I personally thought it was excellent. Not for the faint of heart, however.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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unforgettable

top notch all around. excellent narration of a dynamic text. haunting and unsettling, I will be reliving scenes from the streets of Calcutta until Kali takes me.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Hidden Gem

I found this novel accidentally. Like all of Simmons' novels that I've read, it fails to disappoint.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • tls
  • Springfield, KY USA
  • 10-30-16

Interesting premise ran out of gas before the finish line

Interesting premise and an intriguing first few chapters, but eventually the reader discovers that the author doesn't know what to do with the story, and this is increasingly borne out from the middle of the book to its unsatisfying end.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • jennifer
  • 01-17-15

Song of Kali

What a fantastic story I really enjoyed this booked, when it starts you just know that this story is going to be very dark, and indeed it was, this is a very dark story and I must admit I did not expect the out come a little disturbing but well worth a listen.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • jo o.
  • 04-21-18

Exotic and terrifying. <br /><br />

This is my first book by Simmons but I am now a big fan.

His discrimination of India is just what I remember from travelling and his mix of detective story, thriller and supernatural tail is addictive. Although the supernatural element may not be as much as you expect this is a truly terrifying story.