Customer Reviews


29 Reviews
5 star:
 (13)
4 star:
 (7)
3 star:
 (3)
2 star:
 (4)
1 star:
 (2)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly haunting story
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...
Published on 15 Jan 2004 by mhaar6

versus
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars has some moments but drags for the most part
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...
Published on 23 Feb 2011 by PianoNut


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly haunting story, 15 Jan 2004
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unlikely hero meets tormentor from the past, 27 Oct 2004
By 
B. Jonsson "Literate Warlock" (falun, dalarna sweden) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Carrion Comfort (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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars has some moments but drags for the most part, 23 Feb 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Carrion Comfort (Paperback)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and inventive horror epic!, 3 May 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Carrion Comfort (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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Too much Comfort, not enough Carrion for me, 28 May 2014
This review is from: Carrion Comfort (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. the horror and suspense when it arrived was not really all that horrific and to be honest for the size of the book these were few and far between. However, the characterisation was really well written and I found it easy to empathise with all the main characters, but at nearly 1000 pages I just found the main story dragged on a little too much. If Simmons could have shaved off 2-300 pages I am sure the book would have flown by, as it was I often found myself reading it at 50 page intervals without a real desire to turn the page. At times it seemed a struggle to continue. The other reason I failed to give 5 stars is that being a non chess player I found the drawn out descriptions of the moves in the game a little too much. I agree the game is instrumental for the story to fully work but pages and pages covering the game (even with a few helpful diagrams) proved too much.

All in all not a bad read but unfortunately as an introduction to the author it hasn't filled me with the desire to seek out more of his works. I have given the book 4 stars as I can see why it would appeal to some readers and it certainly does have it's merits. It just wasn't for me.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deeply dark adventure and a quest to expose 'The Ability' - excellent novel., 21 April 2014
By 
JK "Julie K." (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Carrion Comfort (Kindle Edition)
Originally published in hardback in 1989 Carrion Comfort remains one of the better sci-fi/horror novels of the era and, in my own opinion, probably the best novel by this author.

The plot is chilling and features a group of psychic vampires enjoying nothing more than creeping around inside the brains of the human population. They possess something called 'The Ability' and once inside the grey matter these mutated Nosferatu seek to control and manipulate usually with murderous results.

So; who are these mutants and what do they seek to acieve?. Those are two of many questions asked by Dr. Saul Laski, psychiatrist, who happens upon one of them in a concentration camp during World War 2. Despite his many dreadful experiences in the camp it's Saul's experience of the sadistic mutant that haunts him and begins a lifelong quest to rediscover the devil in human form.

The novel is long and moves between differing times frames in a fluid, believable way. Simmons builds many plots and subplots ranging from seemingly random murders through to conspiracies at the uppermost levels of certain political groups. His small band of villains are slowly revealed to be something altogether more deadly than sadistic psychics or mundane vampires and 'The Ability' is something to be truly feared.

This is dark and serious stuff and requires concentration but it's so well plotted and entertaining I'm happy to recommend. If you read and enjoyed The Passage by Justin Cronin you're in for a treat!.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Carrion Comfort, 19 April 2014
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Carrion Comfort (Hardcover)
A good read. Interesting idea. Dan Simmons excels in gripping action sequences and this book was no exception. Some of the human i.e. non-horror characters were a bit cliched but there was a good variety. My main criticism is the book was a bit long-winded and unwieldy in parts, especially in the middle Germantown section, not all of which contributed greatly to the development of the plot. Dan writes on a big scale. Sometimes his work could benefit from a bit more ruthless editing. But this was an early work. Still, the plot picked up towards the end and certainly worth the effort involved. So overall I think it deserves 5* or perhaps 4.5* if that was available.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy it if you love horror, 3 Nov 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Carrion Comfort (Kindle Edition)
One of the best horror novels. BUY IT !!!! It doesn' t get much better than this. Plus it was only 50 pence.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You won't be able to put it down, 24 Jun 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Carrion Comfort (Paperback)
One of the best thrillers I have ever read. As dark as they come. One of those books that you simply cannot walk away from once you have started.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Who's On Your Mind?, 29 Jun 2012
By 
John M. Ford "johnDC" (near DC, MD USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Carrion Comfort (Kindle Edition)
Dan Simmons' novel is science fiction because some of its characters have an unusual ability to invade, control, and destroy other people's minds. It is horror because of how most of them use this power. Readers will anticipate some of these manipulations, recognize others as understandable extensions of everyday evils, and certainly be horrified by new evils from the author's able imagination.

Simmons' "mind vampires" hide in our society, controlling financial transactions, government policy, and media events from behind the scenes. Some play games to see how many people they can force to kill each other. Some aspire to more expansive versions of these games involving armies or entire countries. They have their feuds and disagreements with each other, too. Some are friendly; some are fatal.

In this story a group of the mind vampires is hunted by an unusual trio of ordinary human beings. Bobby Joe Gentry is a South Carolina sheriff trying to solve a series of seemingly random murders. Natalie Preston is looking for an explanation for her father's murder--and for his killer. Saul Laski is a psychiatrist, expert on violent behavior, and a WWII concentration camp survivor. Having encountered mind vampires operating in the Third Reich, only Saul begins the hunt with a clear idea of what the three are pursuing.

The story is good. Both the strengths and limitations of the mind vampires' "Ability" are addressed plausibly. Some interesting differences emerge in how the Ability is used to serve different, but equally selfish goals. The existence of "neutrals" who are unaffected by the Ability is a necessary plot device. But it is used with restraint, allowing the main struggle to occur between the mind vampires and ordinary, determined human beings.

One key criticism: the story is too long. There is a plodding feel to it with lots of travel, restaurant, and hotel scenes that do not seem to advance the plot. Fortunately, a short story version is available that contains most of the interesting ideas and plot twists as the full novel. It can be found in Gardner Dozois' The Year's Best Science Fiction: First Annual Collection. I strongly recommend reading it instead.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Carrion Comfort
Carrion Comfort by Dan Simmons (Paperback - 1 July 2010)
7.19
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews