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4.0 out of 5 stars
49
4.0 out of 5 stars
Carrion Comfort
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on 23 May 2015
Quite a unique take on the vampire premise, which focuses on mind control rather than bloodsucking.
An intriguing cast of characters, the hero's are complex and human enough to get behind and the villains of the piece are despicable and downright terrifying.

I look forward to reading more from Dan Simmons.
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on 18 July 2017
One of the best psychologically and physically scary novels I've ever read. Up there with The Stand. This is one of those books that stays with you long after reading because it is graphic, entertaining as hell, and so richly populated that you can't help revisiting the world of this story in your mind. Top stuff!
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on 12 October 2017
Wow what a disappointment this book was. What started off as an exciting plot slowly descended into very boring and muddled.
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on 26 May 2017
Found the beginning a bit slow, authors introduction and prologue but they were actually important, so stick with it. Totally engrossed the whole way through
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on 21 June 2017
Really great concept, keeps you interested a proper horror.
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on 18 November 2014
this is a glorious story with character. a simple but terrifying idea written in grand visions. wonderful for anyone who enjoys crafted horror.
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on 27 October 2004
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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on 4 June 2016
This book comes with the blessing of the pope of horror himself, Stephen King, who called it 'one of the 3 best horror novels in the 20th century'. In line with such (well-intentioned) pomposity this book is well over 700 pages. In the introduction the writer said that he had an early editor who wanted to slash it's size, many times while skipping pages I found myself sympathising with this abandoned editor.

The book is well-written with some very convincing passages that describe the telepathic abilities of a special breed of vampires. The general conspiracy theory theme gives the book an additional injection of creepiness (these vampires are responsible for most of the mischief in the world). Some of the characters are interesting and appealing.

However the plot meanders mercilessly and so much time is spent on a neurological explanation of the special abilities of the vampire that it all becomes tedious. I certainly would try to read a shorter book by the author, but unlike Stephen King and Justin Cronin in his soon-to-be-completed vampire trilogy, the epic narrative simply does not come off here.. As for vampire conspiracies, try 'Blade' and 'Daybreakers' where at least the presentation is brisk and includes some levity. And for the most fun in reading about vampires try 'Interview with a Vampire' both film and book version - now that lady can write and also tell a story!
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TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 21 April 2014
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!.
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on 11 November 2014
It took me a long time to read this book but it was well worth it. I've only read 2 other of Simmons books but I will definitely read more after this one. I think as some other reviewers have noted that it is a tad overlong but Simmons is amazing at set pieces and has a great ability for really stretching the tension in a scene to bursting point.
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