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)
"Compellers, but maybe not vampires..."
A man and two women meet up congratulating themselves on their game prowess, one boasts at actually having killed John Lennon and JFK, compelling strangers to do their dirty work. An Auschwitz survivor is struggling to find the Nazi commander who compelled him in a sick sacrificial game of human chess during WW2.
Various individuals, having lost loved ones or been effected by the crazy trio, band together to stop them once and for all. A long, but brilliant listen.
"Long, long, log... but good!"
I really like Dan Simmons, even though I think he's got a serious problem with editing his books. Still, I think he's a good enough writer to get away with it, and he does it again in Carrion Comfort.
This is a sad, painful portrayal of power and corruption, and what it does to common people. Now blend in agroup of absolutely psychotic, sick minds and you have the makings of an excellent thriller.
If you enjoy long tales and not-so-happy endings, this book is for you.
If you've read Simmons before and didn't enjoy it, this is definitely not for you.
I, myself, loved it!
"I could feel my life force being drained."
I'm deeply relieved to be finished with 'Carrion Comfort'. Not because I found it hard to handle or oppressively creepy, or because it got under my skin, all things which I'm sure Dan Simmons was aiming for, rather because it's frustratingly poor.
Whilst the concept is intriguing and the author releases much of its wicked potential, the words themselves limp out like wounded animals. Barely a passage went by without a sigh, shake of the head or roll of the eyes as another description or piece of characterisation clunked and died before me. It also displays a distastefully leering attitude to women and sex at various points.
Recommended, however, if you're a fan of lines which go 'This was the most [adjective] [noun] that [character name] had ever [verb]'. There are hundreds of them. Everything is 'the most' this or 'impossibly' that. Still, i've learned as i've progressed. Observe: This is the most frustrating, long-winded book I have ever read. It's unnecessarily long and, at times, impossibly annoying.
Usually, i will listen to an audiobook of this length within 2 weeks. 6 weeks later i still haven't finished. I can't really say why but i think thats because i keep falling asleep. Make of that what you will but i won't be buying anything by Dan Simmons again.
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