Embraced by giants such as Stephen King and Dean R. Koontz, Dan Simmons's Carrion Comfort was originally published by Warner Books in 1989, and remains a classic of dark fantasy and horror.
"One of the three greatest horror novels of the 20th century. Simple as that." --Stephen King
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 Nazi's 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 may often 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 ongoing campaign of induced bloodshed and deliberate destruction.
But 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…
"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 world view forever. A true classic." --Guillermo del Toro
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.
The book started a little slow and the sheer amount of characters, especially in the beginning was a chore. However once you get further in it gets better and better, with the third book being gloriously thrilling and enthralling. Dan is a great writer. My only caveat was the racism, particularly against blacks. While some of it fit certain characters, the rest seemed gratuitous.
Really enjoyed this story.
Do not buy this book
This book is interesting for the first chapter. After that, it is an abysmal march through mountains of campy prose, idiotic plot devices, and terrible characters. This book will surprise you by lowering the bar with seemingly every sentence. I cannot believe I spent twelve entire dollars just to read Dan Simmons personal fetish diary. This book is a bad joke. Consider yourself warned.