"CARRION COMFORT is one of the three greatest horror novels of the 20th century. Simple as that." --Stephen King
"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
"CARRION COMFORT is one of the scariest books ever written. Whenever I get the question asked Who's your favorite author? my answer is always Dan Simmons." --James Rollins
"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
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…
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.
I've just finished my third reading of this amazing novel. The first reading was more than twenty years ago. I continue to be in awe of Mr. Simmons' writing style and talent. A fantastic and superb read. It surpasses, in my opinion, the grandeur of Stephen King's "The Stand". But just barely. They are both favorites of mine and I hate to read the last page of each of those novels. Wow. I hope to publish something of my own someday, but reading these books makes me wonder how any author could come close to the imagery I've encountered here. Thanks to Dan Simmons for so many hours of enjoyment.
To say this book needs serious, surgical editing would be an understatement. The potential for the plot to terrify is buried under layer upon layer of needless, useless, peripheral details. The gratuitous racism masquerades for character development. Is the violence meant to shock? Or numb? In any event, it felt endless. It was however an excellent reminder about the power of revising and editing.
Although a decent read, it drags on and on. The author gets lost in details that are not pertinent to the story. Atmosphere is good and solid images are great but move.