Dan Simmons is an outstanding creative and imaginative talent. He has won the Hugo award, the World Fantasy Award, the Locus award (three times) and the Bram Stoker award.
The second novel by World Fantasy Award-winner Simmons ( The Song of Kali ) is a 636-page epic that draws on a variety of genres--horror, science fiction, political thriller, Hollywood roman a clef. It centers around a small number of ``mind vampires'' who can subjugate other people to their wills, read their minds, experience through their senses. The immensely powerful vampires use others, often bloodily, and often in frivolous ``games'' (hunting human prey, chess games with human pieces, and so on). Opposing them are Saul Laski, a psychologist and concentration-camp survivor, who is devoted to tracking down the Nazi vampire von Borchert; Natalie Preston, whose father inadvertently and fatally crossed the path of a pawn of the ancient, dotty vampire Melanie Fuller; Sheriff Bobby Joe Gentry, dragged in while investigating the multiple murders that marked the departure of Melanie Fuller from Charleston; and a host of other normals and vampires whose lives impinge on those of the principals. While he could profitably have trimmed the novel by a third, Simmons has produced, overall, a compelling thriller. (Apr.)
'Carrion Comfort is one of the three greatest horror novels of the
20th century. Simple as that' Stephen King. * Stephen King *
'A nightmarish chronicle of predator and prey that will shatter your world view forever. A true classic' Guillermo del Toro. * Guillermo del Toro *
One sometimes wonders if Simmons is capable of writing succinctly. With The Terror, his long-winded style matched the mood and setting admirably. Carrion Comfort, though, is all action. Set in the 1980s, it pits three unlikely heroes against a secret cabal of humans with an ability to control the minds of others. Its fast pace catapults the reader through the book's first third, but this speed can't be sustained. The story bogs down, ultimately, in a mess of intrigue among the mind-vampires and preparations for the heroes' final showdown. The ending is both an anticlimax and a relief. Verdict Libraries should purchase, as demand will arise from Simmons's fans, but this should have been a 500-page novel at most. Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.