Monday, November 3, 2008

Dan Simmons and Song of Kali

So I literally just finished reading Dan Simmons' Song of Kali and it was fantastic. I do own Ilium and Olympus, but I've discovered that I'm just not much of a science-fiction reader. I've tried, but I haven't yet been able to expand into the genre. I'm sure I will eventually, and those books will be waiting for me when that day comes. Until then, I have all of Simmons' mystery and horror to get me through.

My first Simmons experience was with The Terror (winner of the IHG award for best novel this year!) a horror tale wrapped around the actual story of the failed northwest passage expedition of 1845. It's a doorstopper of a book, but well worth the read. I especially liked the combo horror and historical read.

Song of Kali was a recent purchase I made looking for more horror reads for October. The book itself comes with little in the way of a synopsis, but I had come across a mention of it elsewhere (couldn't possibly tell you where at this point) that caused me to give it a little more attention. It was great. I've been on a hunt for more 70s-80s horror and this one falls smack dab in the middle of that category. Published in 1985, the book has been back in print since the early 90s. It won the World Fantasy Award after its release and marked the beginning of a big winning streak for Simmons - his following title, Carrion Comfort won the Stoker after it's release in 1989 and then Hyperion won the Hugo in '89 as well.

You can read more about Simmons' wins here.

In Song of Kali, poet Bobby Luczak is sent to Calcutta in search of a poet who has been missing and presumed dead for eight years. Reports suggest that not only may the man still be alive, but that there are unpublished works to be found as well. Bobby's wife and infant daughter accompany him on his trip, but Calcutta is by no means tops on the list of family destinations in the 1970s. Luczak begins to suspect that the reports may be part of a scam, but the truth is far more disturbing.

Warning to today's horror fans, Song of Kali is slower to start than say, Richard Laymon. Sticking it through is incredibly rewarding, though, and I highly recommend the read. Unsettling at best, this book will stick with you long after you put it down.

Up next for Simmons is Drood, another doorstopper due out in Feb.

1 comment:

Becky LeJeune said...

Ah! What in the heck is wrong with my font formatting? It says everything is the same when I go in to edit and it posts all weird here!