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Review of Carrion Comfort

Carrion ComfortCarrion Comfort by Dan Simmons

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I don’t even know where to start with this review.

It is a long book with a lot of characters and back story. This was my first read of a Dan Simmons book and I was afraid that with the size it was just going to be a wordy, boring mess. I was really worried after reading the introduction in the twentieth anniversary edition that I got. While somewhat interesting, the introduction was wordy and seemed somewhat arrogant in parts. It almost seemed to say I am smarter than you and I know it. I thought this might be a clue to how the book was going to go. I am a smart person so the big words and some of the theories didn’t bother me, but I did wonder how it would appear to the average reader.

Character development was amazing in my opinion, I felt that I had a true sense of who each character was and really felt involved with them. Now with that being said, I did find that some of the character relations were a bit far stretched at times, but over all it worked. I will say that my favorite character in the book was Sheriff Gentry, he kind of reminded me of Peter Faulk as Colombo, just a small town idiot cop that was really too smart for his own good. I must also say that I liked Saul’s character a lot as well. His story and his will to survive were amazing.

As far as the ‘evil’ characters in the book, I thought they were brilliant. Kudos to Willi and Melanie for being the most vile, despicable creatures I have ever had the pleasure of reading. I won’t say anymore on that because I don’t want to give anything away.

I would not classify this book as a ‘horror’ as I didn’t find it at all terrifying. I thought the premise was sound and the story was well told. The book was not at all wordy as I feared it would be. I think that if any of the parts were left out, the story would have been incomplete. I don’t think there is anything that could be trimmed.

Now with all that being said, let me tell you what kept this book from getting 5 stars from me. I know it may be a petty thing, but it was the racism in the book. I understand that a lot of the back story required it, and it was a sign of the times when the book was written, but I hated it. I myself am white, however my spouse and my step daughter are African American and I cringed every time the N word appeared in this novel. The references to how they are beneath a white person or not as smart just really pissed me off.

However with that being said, I am grateful for the progress we have made as a society since.

All in all, do I recommend this book? Yes I do. It is worth a read and I place it in my top 10 for the books I have read this year.

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