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Song of Kali by Dan Simmons
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Song of Kali (1985)

by Dan Simmons

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1,263336,257 (3.51)35
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Showing 1-5 of 32 (next | show all)
A good friend claims Dan Simmons as one of his absolute favorite authors. It's been a long time since I read anything by Simmons (i.e. Hyperion back in 1989 or 1990 when it first came out, because my Elder Brother highly recommended it. I can't remember the story, or my reaction, to be honest, but I gave birth in May of 1989, so memory lapses are excusable.) Anyhow, husband had this book at his bedside after reading it (he, too wanted to try out Simmons because of the same friend.)

This may not have been the book for me to read. I'm really not a fan of horror, and this had strong elements of that genre. I can say that the writing was good, but almost from the very beginning, I was waiting for a certain thing to happen, that I knew would happen. My discomfort with that plot element colored my whole view of the book. And when the thing happened, there were some additional elements that made me even more uncomfortable.

I may give Simmons a try again, but will have to carefully vet what I pick up.

tags: 2016-read, don-t-want-to-rate, made-me-look-something-up, made-me-uncomfortable, not-to-my-taste, places-i-have-been, read, read-on-recommendation, uncomfortable-reading-but-good, not-my-usual-read
1 vote bookczuk | Jul 26, 2016 |
An incredibly subtle horror story; a journalist goes to Calcutta to track down a missing poet laureate, together with his Indian wife and their daughter.
Confusion and culture shock blend into a sense of overwhelming threat, as the interactions with the underworld and Kali worshippers increases.
There are scenes which are so vividly painted you feel you are living through them, the airport scene where (partial spoiler) they are reunited with their kidnapped daughter is truly haunting.
And at the end, you are never quite sure how much supernatural, and how much human manipulation was going on through the events; I read it as a parable on man's inhumanity to man more than anything "horror" in tone. ( )
  jkdavies | Jun 14, 2016 |
A very good book, great story teller!
But, as i have been living in India and been in Calcutta, and though I find it a city difficult to stay in, I have to say that these =sleeping dead= are people, with an history, an extended family life, a biography, feelings also as much of any Us citizen, and for sure even if conditions of living are =tough= they deserve life and understanding!
Anyway liked this book a lot. ( )
  Gerardlionel | Apr 2, 2016 |
The indian poet M. Das, long thought to be dead, has mysteriously reappeared, and Robert Luczak is commissioned to write an article on him and to negotiate for the new poem that Das has written. so Luczak, his Indian wife and their baby daughter are soon engulfed in the foul, teeming, crime-ridden city of Calcutta, confronting the appalling possibility that M. Das really has come back from the dead to proclaim a new and horrific age and to sing the savage song of Kali, the Hindu goddess of destruction.
  bostonwendym | Mar 3, 2016 |
undecided about how I feel about this book. perfectly ambivalent. ( )
1 vote lyrrael | Oct 17, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 32 (next | show all)
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Dedication
"For HARLAN ELLISON,

who has heard the song,

And for KAREN and JANE,

who are my other voices"
First words
Some places are too evil to be allowed to exist.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 031286583X, Paperback)

"O terrible wife of Siva / Your tongue is drinking the blood, / O dark Mother! O unclad Mother." It is remarkable that prior to writing this first novel, Dan Simmons had spent only two and a half days in Calcutta, a city "too wicked to be suffered," his narrator says. Fortunately back in print after several years during which it was hard to obtain, this rich, bizarre novel practically reeks with atmosphere. The story concerns an American poet who travels with his Indian wife and their baby to Calcutta to pick up an epic poem cycle about the goddess Kali. The Bengali poet who wrote the poem cycle has disappeared under mysterious circumstances.

Horror critic Edward Bryant calls Song of Kali "an exactingly constructed, brutal, and uncompromising study of the degree to which an evil place may permeate and steep all that makes us human" and writes that it embodies "the stance of a psychologically violent novel about a violent society as a defensible and indisputably moral work of art." Song of Kali won a World Fantasy Award. --Fiona Webster

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:06 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Robert Luczak, sent to Calcutta to interview the mysterious poet, M. Das, who has been missing for ten years, discovers that the missing man is mixed up in the death-worshiping cult of of Kali

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