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Novels > The Terror - Dan Simmons

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message 1: by Carl (last edited Jun 03, 2013 02:00PM) (new)

Carl I. | 608 comments Just finished this one this morning. Anybody want to talk about it? Talk about the ending, or any part of it? It is such a rich and in-depth book, that I am curious about thoughts on it.

WORDS OF WARNING: THIS THREAD WILL MORE THAN LIKELY CONTAIN SERIOUS SPOILERS!!! I WOULD LIKE TO DISCUSS CERTAIN ELEMENTS OF THE BOOK THAT CAN ONLY BE DISCUSSED AFTER HAVING READ THE BOOK. OBVIOUSLY CERTAIN ASPECTS ARE NOT GOING TO BE SPOILERS, AS IF YOU KNOW ABOUT THE REAL LIFE EVENT, MUCH OF THE ENDING IS KNOWN TO YOU.


message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

I read this a few months ago. I loved it. What questions/opinions did you have in mind?
I was, and am still, disappointed in the end. Not enough to ruin the book in any way. But I wish it had ended differently.
(view spoiler)


message 3: by Char (new)

Char  | 13437 comments Mod
I loved it! I don't remember too many specifics at this point, though.
I do know one of the major networks is looking to make a movie or mini series of it.


message 4: by Carl (new)

Carl I. | 608 comments Traci, I read where some people commented on how the last six chapters with Crozier almost seemed like a tacked on ending that the publisher requested. I almost have to agree. A lot of the book up until then, especially the ending for Hickey, seemed like a classic Simmons end.


message 5: by Janette (new)

Janette Fleming (janfleming) | 0 comments I absolutely loved this book, can't believe it has taken me this long to get round to reading it! Have recommended it to all my reading friends and everyone has had the same reaction to it. After having read it I got hold of the audio book and that is really worth the listen!


message 6: by Rob (new)

Rob Twinem (runner56) | 197 comments This is a book I really want to read and quite often pick up in book shops but never purchase...I think I will either love or hate, it looks like a long slow burner and having read the posts here...I am now tempted to buy :)


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

I just bought The Terror today. Can't wait to read it!!


message 8: by S.D. (new)

S.D. Perry (sdp668) | 11 comments I thought the mythology was really neat, and I liked the ending. I particularly loved the Masque of the Red Death incident.


message 9: by Michael (new)

Michael (mikedecshop) | 1479 comments Just downloaded the audio version will start as soon as I am finished NOS4A2


message 10: by Carl (new)

Carl I. | 608 comments S.D. wrote: "I thought the mythology was really neat, and I liked the ending. I particularly loved the Masque of the Red Death incident."

My only problem with the Red Death sequence was that it seemed more than a little impossible. We have spent the whole book reading about the brutal elements of the environment, and it just seems that the whole lot of the celebrators would have been ravaged by frost bite in no time, and that the meal would have been pointless, as it would have frozen instantly. The whole party took place on the ice after all, not on a ship.


message 11: by Ryan (new)

Ryan Willox | 92 comments I could get over that sequence. I thought it was well done and it never really occured to me that it didn't 'fit' until you guys mentioned it. I think it's late enough into the story that suspension of disbelief is either working or not at that point. I enjoyed it, thought it was really well done and well worth the commitment. I'd read AMC might be thinking of adapting it, which I think could be amazing. I really like the marrying of a real life incident with his own mythology.


message 12: by [deleted user] (new)

I kept wondering throughout the later part of the book how much food poisoning was affecting the points of view of the story. The real men were known to have suffered poisoning. And some of the side effects are hallucinations.


message 13: by Carl (new)

Carl I. | 608 comments I've seen others comment on that, the whole "what is real" thing. I will say that if some of it was hallucination then Simmons was cheating us. That would have really only worked if the story was written in the first person. Granted, the book kind of weaved a bit of the first person into it.

I also think that some of the hallucination proved to be real eventually. Obviously the giant critter playing Silence like a whistle as witnessed by Irving would have been easily seen as a hallucination, but later Silence does the same thing to Corzier. There were a few other things that at first I thought also could be hallucination, but eventually something else would happen to let the reader know that this stuff was happening. I think the reason we feel it might be hallucination is: 1. Wacky stuff happening 2. The knowledge that these people are withering away and we all know that will lead to a wacky state of mind 3. Simmons does an amazing job of creating such an isolated feel within a desolate world, that we can't help but feel very much out of it during the read. I have yet to read another book that has been so successful at pulling me out of the world I actually reside in, and dropping me right in the middle of the story. It has been a very odd feeling reading this book, and I am seriously going to miss it.


message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

I took the narratives as truth too. And I think the end showed that it was truth. If Simmons had meant for it to be hallucinations I think he would have told the reader in some way. Like you, if the book ended up being one big hallucination I was going to feel cheated. But it did come to mind.


message 15: by [deleted user] (new)

This was a book I honestly missed when I was done too.

Favorite character? Mine was Dr. Goodsir.
(view spoiler)


message 16: by Barb (new)

Barb (barbtrek) | 43 comments I loved The Terror! Simmons did such an amazing job setting the scene. It was a slow read, but I think that worked to make the reader feel more a part of the story. As the characters are trapped in the ice for a long time and we are reading about it for a long time!


message 17: by Carl (new)

Carl I. | 608 comments Yes, I loved Goodsir. I found the picture online of the real person, and it made me like him that much more. It is a fairly sombre looking picture, but one that really fits the person we read about.

I loved Crozier also. He came across as a strict, but ultimately fair, person.

I also really liked Blanky and Irving.


message 18: by Carl (new)

Carl I. | 608 comments Oh, and somebody on another thread posted a link to a Google search for pictures of the Franklin expedition and it really brings the reality of these people home. Here they are:

https://www.google.com/search?q=frank...


message 19: by Carl (new)

Carl I. | 608 comments Barb wrote: "I loved The Terror! Simmons did such an amazing job setting the scene. It was a slow read, but I think that worked to make the reader feel more a part of the story. As the characters are trapped..."

I agree. I have seen some complaints about the length, but I think the length was what it was to help submerge us in the environment.

I'm reading a bunch of stuff on the real expedition. Simmons did some amazing research and twisting of the events to fit his desired tale. Heck, there are even reports of Crozier being seen as late as 1858!


message 20: by [deleted user] (new)

I did a search when I was reading it but I haven't seen some of these. And I didn't find Goodsir. My mom is interested in explorers and I already knew of this expedition. She has a big interest in Everest especially and the mystery of Mallory. We're both looking forward to The Abominable: A Novel.


message 22: by Shawn (new)

Shawn Deal | 24 comments Dan Simmons has long been one of my favorite writers. The terror is one of his best. And the first of his historical horror novels. The research is amazing. Black Hills and Drood are his other two with Abominable on its way. His other best works have to be the Hyperion duology, and the Endymion duology.


message 23: by Greg (new)

Greg | 14 comments Shawn wrote: "Dan Simmons has long been one of my favorite writers. The terror is one of his best. And the first of his historical horror novels. The research is amazing. Black Hills and Drood are his other ..."

THE CROOK FACTORY, chronicling Ernest Hemingway's true life spy ring in 1942 Cuba, hunting German U-boats and all, is also a very good!


message 24: by Carl (last edited Jun 04, 2013 07:17PM) (new)

Carl I. | 608 comments I'm trying to do a little research on my own. I know that the body of John Irving was actually found, excavated, and moved back to England where he was given a proper burial. I am trying to find out if anywhere it is mentioned as to what exactly was found when they exhumed him. Basically, what was the state of the body and was there any sign of murder?

I am also a little shocked to see that amongst the things found from the actual ship, there was actually a Hickey on board. I am curious as to what made Simmons decide he was going to be his badguy. Obviously much time has passed, and chances of family being pissed by his portrayal is almost impossible. One does have to wonder, however, why exactly Simmons chose this route, and if he actually might feel a tinge of guilt in taking somebody who died on this expedition and turning them into possibly his most vile creation next to Melanie from Carrion Comfort.


message 25: by [deleted user] (new)

That it was based on true events was one of the things I found so fascinating about the book. Of course I knew it was mostly fiction. But I have always loved books like this. That blend fiction and history together. I love history. But that would be a good question for an author who has written for characters who are based on real life people. When does it cross that line of artistic vision and become disrespect or even slander? I do think, if an author needs a villain and there isn't one, they should create their own character. This issue was part of my problem with the end. I felt that Simmons changed Crozier so much in the last chapters that he was no longer a character based on a real person but completely Simmons' creation. And I thought that his fate should have been dealt with more respect.


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