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Carrion Comfort

3.89  ·  Rating Details  ·  13,136 Ratings  ·  671 Reviews
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 jo
Mass Market Paperback, 884 pages
Published October 1st 1990 by Grand Central Publishing (first published 1989)
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Jan 09, 2013 Marvin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Exhibit C in "Authors Who Doodle"...

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In case you're interested, here's exhibit A and exhibit B.

Carrion Comfort, Dan Simmons second novel, can be faulted for being overly long, needlessly complex and in dire need of a talented editor. Yet after I've said all that, it still remains one of the best horror novels of the second half of the 2oth century. The author has created a tense tale of mind control and the extremes of human corruption and power. While Simmons uses the term "Mind Vampires" for h
Jul 03, 2011 Maciek rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People with time
Recommended to Maciek by: Bondama
Carrion Comfort is a beast of a book. My copy clocks in at 800 pages, and to be fair to mr. Simmons he kept the pace burning throughout the whole text.

There's much to enjoy in Carrion Comfort, and not the least of its good aspects is the premise. In this particular work Simmons tackles on one of the most famous horror creatures - the vampire. What makes it different from almost all other vampire ficton is his approach to the subject.

Carrion Comfort is concerned with mind vampires, people who ca
Mar 08, 2016 Brad rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, fantasy
So I'm changing my final score on this novel from a solid 3 to a generous 4 stars, because the book was JUST THAT UNPREDICTABLE.

That's an odd thing to say as a re-read, no?

There's lots of places where the novel easily deserves a 5 star, just on reflection, alone, and since this came out nearly 30 years ago I'm not going to fuss too much over spoilers.

Do You Like Chess?

Then this novel is for you.

Do you like mind-vampires that look, feel, and act like Donald Trump, Conservative Religious Nutsos,
Sarah Anne
May 03, 2016 Sarah Anne rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: People who like horror and suspense
Five words that I never thought I would say: "Couldn't it have been longer?". Seriously, for someone who dreads a book that passes the 600 page mark, I should have been absolutely dying over this 900 page monster. But...

This is one of those rare horror books that manages to maintain the suspense and horror over the course of the book. Long books often make it difficult for the author to maintain suspense without the story dragging (I'm totally looking at you Stephen King) but I found that Simmon
mark monday
Sep 13, 2011 mark monday rated it liked it
Shelves: horrortime
this is a briskly-paced supernatural thriller about mind control and controlling the world around us. it is also about as one-dimensional as they come, despite the potential of the multi-leveled subject matter and the breadth of the narrative (from World War 2 Germany to present-day Hollywood, and dozens of locales in between). the novel and several of the characters are obsessed with chess, which makes for some intriguing action. although it includes several wonderfully creepy set-pieces, overa ...more
Oct 20, 2012 Kathryn rated it really liked it
Carrion Comfort is a mess of a book. Not only are there evil, mind-controlling vampires, the things they do are just so ripe with evil. It's almost like they give evil a new name.

Carrion Comfort's story is complex, and involves several parties. Not only are these parties involved in a bigger picture, but they also have their own stories and action. There really isn't a main character, but several main characters, and several minor characters. As far as main characters go, Saul was my definite f
4.5 stars. Dan Simmons can write a great book no matter what genre he is writing in. His Hyperion Cantos is on my list of "All Time Favorite" science fiction series and now he has written one of the best Vampire novels ever. Original, scary and brilliant......and LOOOOONG

Winner: Bram Stoker Award for Best Horror Novel (1990)
Winner: Locus Award for Best Horror Novel (1990)
Winner: British Fantasy Award for Best Novel (1990)
Nominee: World Fantasy Award for Best Novel (1990)
Jan 24, 2008 Bill rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: those seeking great writing in epic horror
Shelves: horror, favorites
One glance of the wear on the spine of my copy of Carrion Comfort would be enough to tell this is a must read. In fact, I would upload a picture of it but yet another of my friends is currently reading it. One of my friends read it three times and another wants it back again.
It's a toss-up between this novel and Silence of the Lambs as my favorite novel of all time.
It's huge, over 900 pages, and dates back from Nazi Germany to present day. In a nutshell, it's about a small group of people with t
Aug 17, 2011 Apatt rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Hyperion gets a lot of love but I seldom see any mention of this amazing book. It is very different from Hyperion but that is not unusual for Simmons as he is a very versatile writer. Carrion Comfort is sf/horror of the highest calibre, something Stephen King may write when he is on top form (but with better prose). This book is about people with mind control abilities of different strengths. A lot of riveting plot is generated from this simple premise. I won't go onto any details, I'll just rec ...more
Edward Lorn
Nov 10, 2015 Edward Lorn rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: not many people
I always hesitate to say a book is overlong. I read because I like knowing the deepest thoughts and motivations of the characters who populate my fiction. Books are meant to be longer, more in-depth experiences. There are thousands of studies that have been done on chapter and novel length, but the truth of the matter is: a reader only notices page count when the writing and/or story sucks.

I find myself questioning whether or not I think a book is going on too long, I ask: Was I ever bored for
Adam Light
I like long books, and Carrion Comfort is very long. Clocking in at 886 pages, it isn't the longest I have read, either. The tiny typeface may have shortened the page count, though. I would love to find out the word count of this book.
I say all this not to criticize the book (as you can see, I rated it 5 stars) but to explain why it took forever to read it.
I almost dropped a star because there is some extraneous material here that could have been excised and the mind-blowing story would not hav
Feb 25, 2013 Alondra rated it it was amazing
5 Stars... clearly, Ja?

I must say; after reading this book, I am completely disheveled in appearance and spent. This book wore me out to say the least. This was a thrill ride of the highest order, and creeped me out the entire time. I don't want to give away anything and provide spoilers; for fear that 'someone' may find this out and complete a mind-game on me.

This book is about mind-control; vampirism that not only takes your life essence, but your very soul. It is about having complete power
Jun 07, 2011 Kane rated it really liked it
Carrion Comfort is a run-away helicopter bolted precariously to a run-away train heading for a narrow cliff that stands above a valley of molten lava. This thing is fast-paced.

I enjoyed the mix of, and choice of, perspectives. They were meaningful. My opinion of at least one character shifted rather dramatically at some point and it was only a function of the chosen perspective, which is nice. I'm a sucker for evil in that indifference-to-human-life kind of way so I was already hooked pretty ear
Dec 28, 2015 Shari rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Imagine having the power to know people's thoughts, weaknesses, and secrets, and at the same time be able to make them do what you want them to do - without limit. Imagine also being used and manipulated physically and mentally - and not be able to do anything about it all.

This is the horror of Carrion Comfort.

An old novel published in 1980, Carrion Comfort is one of Simmons' few horror novels. It is a long and gripping story that offers a different kind of vampirism. Instead of the usual blood
May 06, 2016 Beatriz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Como ya he comentado en otras reseñas, los libros que me gustan, independiente del género literario, son aquellos que envuelven, emocionan, que nos hacen vibrar y estremecernos con sus descripciones. Esos libros que no te puedes quitar de la cabeza y no ves la hora de tener un tiempo para continuar la lectura. Esos libros que, a pesar de su tamaño, quisieras que no terminaran nunca, porque cada vez que lo retomas es un placer culpable. “Los vampiros de la mente” cumple a cabalidad con estas cond ...more
Janie Johnson
Oct 10, 2012 Janie Johnson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dan Simmons has the ability to construct a great novel! This I know for sure after diving into this read. There is so much depth and richness to this tale of evil. One of the things that I loved the most was the mystery/suspense aspect of the book. I am a huge mystery fan, and Simmons certainly sated that need as far as I am concerned. He has written and created the worst evil ever seen when he wrote this novel. I found myself cheering on those who aimed to rid the world of evil. I felt as thoug ...more
Scott Sigler
The first 400 pages really captivated me, then I lost focus in the next 200. This is a wonderful book that may have been a victim of my ADD. After a year without picking it up again, I'm getting this one off my "currently reading" list.
Apr 24, 2011 Kathryn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, monsters
There is no doubt that Simmons is a great storyteller, able to write in a variety of genres, most notably horror, historical, and science fiction, and all with a skill for creating incredibly human characters in realistic situations. His words flow very well and his pacing is to my liking.

My main problem with this book is the length. I'm willing to bet money that most people have said the same. There were too many perspectives, too many attempts to endear the reader to characters who may or may
This was the second novel Dan Simmons wrote, immediately after Song of Kali. It was not his second published novel, however. Read the introduction to this edition to find out why; it makes a good story on its own, except for the really abrupt ending.

Simmons' genre-hopping tendencies start showing up right here - supposedly a horror story, this reads more like his take on a Robert Ludlum thriller - but with psychic, mind-controlling bad guys. It certainly is a page-turner, which is a good thing g
Jan 11, 2009 Tressa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
The print of this large paperback is so small, I imagine that if it were in hardback, I wouldn't be able to pick it up and read it. I think this book, while a good read with some fantastic, scary parts in it, could have used a tad more editing.

I must say that some of the characters are truly monstrous. Tony, the producer, is a vile human being. The arrogant movers and shakers in the secret society couldn't have less empathy for their fellow human beings. But no one, not even Willi IMO, comes cl
Mar 29, 2013 Andy rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013-best-horror
How do you even begin to describe or evaluate an epic like Carrion Comfort? I have been thinking about this review for the last few weeks, and now that I'm finished, I'm at a loss for words. Gotta write it out...

The book is far from perfect. At a whopping 884 pages, and packing a list of characters that would make a phone book jealous, it is possible to get lost in Carrion Comfort. Often times, entire groups of characters are introduced in the same scene with only minimal description devoted to
Nov 06, 2015 Simon rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
I've been eyeing this book for years now, having heard it was one of the classics of the genre but was intimidated by it's large page count. Books this size require a large investment of time and that's something I begrudge doing these days being a busy family man who works full time. So the first thing that someone like me wants to know when reading a review of such a long book is was it worth the time? I would say yes it is.

The blurb on the front bills this as an epic tale of terror. That abou
Randolph Carter
Decent mainstream supernatural thriller that has one major flaw, it is way too long. There is about a 400 page novel here dragged out by Simmons to 800 page epic length. The pacing at times is plodding for a thriller. One example, the final chess game is so corny and drags on so long and does nothing to advance the story except eliminate bothersome characters. I kept expecting Austin Powers to jump out.

The idea of "mind vampires" isn't particularly novel, but Simmons may have done it first. I do
Jason P
Mar 20, 2016 Jason P rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, audio-books

I first want to thank my pal Dustin for recommending this novel (brick of a book is more like it) to me - I think it was exactly what he said it would be. Thanks again bub!

Carrion Comfort

This was a complex time traveling, time bending, vamperific, violent sludge of a read; thank god I listened to the audio version. This is a first of Dan Simmons for me and after all is said and done, I think I would pick up more of his stuff. He is VERY well read and it seems like he really goes into detail with
Apr 09, 2014 Stepheny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Carrion Comfort was my first Dan Simmons novel. It was a book that had been referred to me by several people and even Goodreads itself was encouraging me to pick it up. It was just one of those books that continued to turn up everywhere I looked- a sure sign that it was time for me to read it. I listened to this one on audio and I was not disappointed.

Stephen King reportedly stated that this book is one of the three greatest horror novels ever written. I would love to know what his other two a
David Sven
Oct 25, 2012 David Sven rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
The Characters were great. The action was brilliant. The story itself was good. The concept of “mind vampires” who “feed” by taking over other people’s minds and forcing them to violence was brilliant.

So why then was I constantly glancing at the percentage bar at the bottom of the kindle? Because it felt too long. Why? Was it the page count? I like long books. After a little pondering all I can go on is how I felt. This book felt “the same” most of the way through.

The action near the beginning w
Jason Pettus
Aug 05, 2010 Jason Pettus rated it it was ok
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography []. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)

Genre novelist Dan Simmons is one of but many veteran writers out there with stellar reputations but whose work I'm not familiar with at all; so when my neighborhood library recently acquired a 20th-anniversary edition of his groundbreaking 1989 horror novel Carrion Comfort, I snatched it right up, especi
Meh. I have really enjoyed some of Dan Simmons' other books, but this one didn't quite work for me. It is *way* too long, has more characters than is really necessary (I found this really distracting at times), and includes too many action-movie sequences.

The premise is interesting and so are several of the characters, but I had hoped for something that would delve a little deeper into psychology and into the issues he raises early on about violence and humanity. This holds the occasional promi
Mar 28, 2014 Hudson rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
Dan Simmons' Magnum Opus. This is an epic tale that spans several countries and time periods and has multiple heroes and villains. If you have never read this book and you are a fan of horror than I encourage you to read it asap! (Also, try and get a later copy, the one I read had a great intro by Simmons and talked about the motivation for the book and the trials and tribulations of getting it published.) The general premise of the story is that there are human monsters who are able to invade p ...more
Jul 29, 2011 Sarah rated it liked it
Carrion Comfort is dirty, gritty, violent and bone chilling at parts. Its needless length and meandering plot that sometimes dips into being almost completely stagnant, however, balances this nicely. Carrion Comfort could have used a strict editor, which would have helped get rid of many aspects of the plot that just weren’t useful to the reader at all. This would have changed Carrion Comfort from being an entertaining read to a tightly wound, nicely paced, perfectly plotted, bone chilling work ...more
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What is the most complex book you've read? 2 23 Feb 10, 2016 03:24PM  
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Horror Aficionados : Carrion Comfort, April 2013 80 86 May 04, 2013 04:12PM  
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Dan Simmons 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 Master
More about Dan Simmons...

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“He wished he were home in Charleston, listening to the Dave Brubeck Quartet on the stereo and reading Bruce Catton.” 1 likes
“a degree in psychiatry merely qualifies one to begin learning about the intricacies and foibles of the human personality.” 0 likes
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