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Carrion Comfort Paperback – 1 Jul 2010

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Product details

  • Paperback: 784 pages
  • Publisher: Quercus; Revised 20th anniversary ed edition (1 July 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849162212
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849162210
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 4.6 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 40,054 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dan Simmons was born in Peoria, Illinois, in 1948, and grew up in various cities and small towns in the Midwest, including Brimfield, Illinois, which was the source of his fictional "Elm Haven" in 1991's SUMMER OF NIGHT and 2002's A WINTER HAUNTING. Dan received a B.A. in English from Wabash College in 1970, winning a national Phi Beta Kappa Award during his senior year for excellence in fiction, journalism and art.

Dan received his Masters in Education from Washington University in St. Louis in 1971. He then worked in elementary education for 18 years -- 2 years in Missouri, 2 years in Buffalo, New York -- one year as a specially trained BOCES "resource teacher" and another as a sixth-grade teacher -- and 14 years in Colorado.

His last four years in teaching were spent creating, coordinating, and teaching in APEX, an extensive gifted/talented program serving 19 elementary schools and some 15,000 potential students. During his years of teaching, he won awards from the Colorado Education Association and was a finalist for the Colorado Teacher of the Year. He also worked as a national language-arts consultant, sharing his own "Writing Well" curriculum which he had created for his own classroom. Eleven and twelve-year-old students in Simmons' regular 6th-grade class averaged junior-year in high school writing ability according to annual standardized and holistic writing assessments. Whenever someone says "writing can't be taught," Dan begs to differ and has the track record to prove it. Since becoming a full-time writer, Dan likes to visit college writing classes, has taught in New Hampshire's Odyssey writing program for adults, and is considering hosting his own Windwalker Writers' Workshop.

Dan's first published story appeared on Feb. 15, 1982, the day his daughter, Jane Kathryn, was born. He's always attributed that coincidence to "helping in keeping things in perspective when it comes to the relative importance of writing and life."

Dan has been a full-time writer since 1987 and lives along the Front Range of Colorado -- in the same town where he taught for 14 years -- with his wife, Karen. He sometimes writes at Windwalker -- their mountain property and cabin at 8,400 feet of altitude at the base of the Continental Divide, just south of Rocky Mountain National Park. An 8-ft.-tall sculpture of the Shrike -- a thorned and frightening character from the four Hyperion/Endymion novels -- was sculpted by an ex-student and friend, Clee Richeson, and the sculpture now stands guard near the isolated cabin.

Dan is one of the few novelists whose work spans the genres of fantasy, science fiction, horror, suspense, historical fiction, noir crime fiction, and mainstream literary fiction . His books are published in 27 foreign counties as well as the U.S. and Canada.

Many of Dan's books and stories have been optioned for film, including SONG OF KALI, DROOD, THE CROOK FACTORY, and others. Some, such as the four HYPERION novels and single Hyperion-universe novella "Orphans of the Helix", and CARRION COMFORT have been purchased (the Hyperion books by Warner Brothers and Graham King Films, CARRION COMFORT by European filmmaker Casta Gavras's company) and are in pre-production. Director Scott Derrickson ("The Day the Earth Stood Stood Still") has been announced as the director for the Hyperion movie and Casta Gavras's son has been put at the helm of the French production of Carrion Comfort. Current discussions for other possible options include THE TERROR. Dan's hardboiled Joe Kurtz novels are currently being looked as the basis for a possible cable TV series.

In 1995, Dan's alma mater, Wabash College, awarded him an honorary doctorate for his contributions in education and writing.

Product Description


'Carrion Comfort is one of the three greatest horror novels of the 20th century. Simple as that' Stephen King.

'A nightmarish chronicle of predator and prey that will shatter your world view forever. A true classic' Guillermo del Toro.

Book Description

An epic novel of terror from award-winning Dan Simmons --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Saul Laski lay among the soon-to-die in a camp of death and thought about life. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By B. Jonsson on 27 Oct. 2004
Format: Paperback
Simmons conjures up a race within-the-race of humans, with tremendous mental powers, who can make any other soul obey their smallest wish. The power keeps them strong and young, far stronger and far younger than they ought to be.
They use their powers differently, a Television preacher to enhance his wealth, a slimy producer to get more sex, but the strongest of them all is of course the most frightening..
An old Gestapo devil, with many lives on his hands, still resides on his private island and has a great future planned for the human race, as he plans to make the world's leaders start the Final War against each other.
Only a few stand against him, one old woman of considerable powers herself(yet not nearly strong enough for the combined evil forces..)A young black woman and an overweight white southern state sheriff make an unusual couple in their hometown and joins the fight,together with an old jewish ex-death camp prisoner.
How does one protect oneself against an enemy who reads your thoughts and may command your will? An enemy that can find you wherever you hide?
The book is a page-turner, in spite of its colossal format(some 900 pages) and I strongly recommend it to anyone who loves horror books or modern fantasy.
Mr Simmons is a writer of great proportion, although far too unknown an translated in my country.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By "mhaar6" on 15 Jan. 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Dan Simmons is famous for his much-heralded SF epic "Hyperion Cantos" (winner of the 1990 Hugo Award for SF), but he has written many other books, horror as well as SF.
"Carrion Comfort" is one of his earlier horror books. It is a chilling story about a group of vampire-like, mutated humans, who do not feed on blood, but on other people's minds. Their so-called Ability enables them to enter a person's mind, take over control and force the victim to do whatever they want him to. Their favourite game is putting their victims up to killing other people.
Dr. Saul Laski, a Jewish psychiatrist, accidentally meets one of these 'mind rapists' during World War II in a concentration camp in Poland. He manages to escape and decides to spend the rest of his life searching for this horrible character. A series of killings in the town of Charleston in 1980 finally puts Laski on to the right track. In collaboration with Natalie Preston, a girl whose father has been murdered by one of these creatures, he follows the bloody trail left by the mind vampires.
This is not just another vampire story. It is an original and disturbing tale about a small group of apparently ordinary people, whose insatiable appetite for violence and their ability to control other people's minds transforms them into monsters. The vivid descriptions of the principal characters and of the 'mind rapes' experienced by the vampires' victims, really send shivers down your spine. In spite of the generally dark and gloomy atmosphere of the book, Simmons occasionally manages to squeeze in some rather funny passages too.
If you're into horror stories and you'd like to read a really good one, try "Carrion Comfort". I'm sure you won't be disappointed.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 3 May 1999
Format: Paperback
Dan Simmons is a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to writing fiction. He is also, I'm happy to report, a genuine master of each. From the mind-blowing SF of his 'Hyperion Cantos' to the small-town nostalgia (and horror) of 'Summer of Night; from the chaos theory mathematics of 'The Hollow Man' to the 'psycho-analysis' of a retired astronaut in 'Phases of Gravity'; from a original modern twist on the vampire myth in 'Children of the Night' to the taut historical thriller of 'The Crook Factory', Dan Simmons has it all.
'Carrion Comfort' is no exception to his genre-breaking nature. Simmons single-handedly redefines the epic horror novel, so long the sole territory of authors such as Stephen King and Dean Koontz.
This is a very gripping tale, and very surpising. Just when you think you have everything sorted in your mind Simmons pulls the rug from under you and sends you well and truly spinning. It is a high recommendation indeed when you can say of a novel that spans nearly to 1,000 pages that you wished it were longer. (Simmons' own 'Hyperion Cantos' sequence of SF novels exceeds 2,400 pages over 4 volumes and the same wish is also true of that tale.)
This is a true horror classic in every sense of the word. I just wish that Dan Simmons got the recognition that he so rightly deserves in terms of worldwide sales.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By PianoNut on 23 Feb. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's just too long. I can handle long. Stephen's King's IT is of similar length and that flew by. But this has crazy amounts of padding that are an effort to get through.As the story progresses it becomes more and more corny with lots of cheesey dialogue.
The bad guys are pretty interesting and have such an ambivalent attitude to murders that I carried on reading just to enjoy their eventual downfall. The last chapter in that respect is a kick in the guts and i felt cheated.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bridgey on 28 May 2014
Format: Paperback
My first book by Simmons, in the past I have been a fan of Stephen King and this was recommended on that basis.

The idea behind the novel is certainly an original one. Walking among us are people with the ability to control others with their mind. By doing this they also sort of feed off our mental energy. The exact number of these is unknown but as the story develops we find that they have had a hand in some of histories greatest events (such as Kennedys assassination). The book starts with Saul Laski a concentration camp prisoner, he is 'mind raped' by a camp commander and forced to act against his will. Over the coming years he continues to attempt to trace the commander to kill him for the intrusion.

Fast forward 30 years of so and we encounter 3 of the 'vampires' in the form of Willi, Melanie and Nina. They meet once a year to discuss the result of a 'completion' they have regarding number of victims and the way in which they were made to act. Meanwhile their fates and that of Laski (together with his new found companions Sheriff Gentry & Natalie) become intertwined as each fights for survival not only from each other but from that of the 'Island Club'. Politics and personal ambitions span the entire novel, accompanied with an extreme lust for power that makes men ruthless.

I won't go into the plot any further than this as there are a great many twists and turns throughout the novel that would be spoiled. Simmons has a knack for pulling the rug from under the reader at just the right time. I don't think that anyone could second guess the next chapter

I was toying with the rating to give this book. For me it was sold as a horror story and one of the creepiest books I was ever likely to read. On that basis I found it a let down.
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