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A Choir of Ill Children by Tom Piccirilli
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A Choir of Ill Children (2003)

by Tom Piccirilli

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261365,813 (3.93)11
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All finished. Enjoyed it, but can't really recommend it to anyone except for those seeking a doctoral thesis on metaphors and similes. Quite a fine bit of writing, but horror? Not so much. I found the narrator to be quite jovial in the midst of madness, nary a flicker of fear or dread to be found within these pages. Weird and somewhat disturbing imagery and circumstances, yes. Scary, no. It was a very mentally stimulating read, almost a bit too rich. Even though it was a short book, the thickness of the brew was best enjoyed in small portions. I rate "the writing" four stars (Even though it was a bit too unrelentingly show-offy, we all enjoy a mind-blowing guitar solo, but after a while knock it off and play a few chords, you know?), but the story itself barely rated two stars, thus an average rating of three for the book overall. Interesting cast of characters, promising set-up, but ultimately all these intriguing things end up becoming little more than a static backdrop for an unending display of virtuosic wordsmithy that, while impressive, inevitably numbs one's senses. Tell me a story that gets my heart pounding, makes me feverishly turn the pages. The narrator of the story was just a bit too clever and blase for his own good, and a good story could have compensated for it, but it just wasn't there. Still, I remain in awe of Tom Piccirilli's command of the English language, and will likely return to his writings again at some point in the future, if only to boost my own IQ a few points from time to time. There were quite a few cryptic passages and recurring themes that probably were chock-full of sybolism and life-changing meaning, but to someone of my limited capacity for enlightment and penchant for cracking open a horror novel solely for the purpose of having a good time, these brain-teasers and conundrums struck me as "full of sound and fury, yet signifying nothing." Clearly a lot of work and love went into this book, and it shows on every page.s ( )
  Evans-Light | Sep 30, 2013 |
One of the important books of our time. A horrifying, lyrical, mind-bending Southern Gothic that both Faulkner and Poe would surely have loved. Certainly the best horror tale of recent years. ( )
  BookBindingBobby | Mar 29, 2010 |
This is a very strange novel that at first seemed confusing and was difficult to get into. Although confusing isn't the correct term. I just wasn't sure where the plot was heading or how the characters fit. But I was lulled by the author's style of writing and decided to let the story take me where it would. And it took me for a memorable ride. A very strange and unique ride filled with conjoined triplets, a coven of witches, child killers, ghosts, snake eaters, drug addled film students, private investigators, a leg eating bull gator and more. I'm not sure you would consider this fun reading, but I sure as heck enjoyed it. ( )
  timdt | Apr 8, 2009 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tom Piccirilliprimary authorall editionscalculated
CanigliaCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Michelle, who gives me a reason
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We move in spasms.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553587196, Mass Market Paperback)

This lyrical tale of evil, loss, and redemption is a stunning addition to the Southern gothic tradition of Flannery O’Connor and Harry Crews.

A Choir of Ill Children is the startling story of Kingdom Come, a decaying, swamp backwater that draws the lost, ill-fated, and damned.

Since his mother’s disappearance and his father’s suicide, Thomas has cared for his three brothers—conjoined triplets with separate bodies but one shared brain—and the town’s only industry, the Mill.

Because of his family’s prominence, Thomas is feared and respected by the superstitious swamp folk. Granny witches cast hexes while Thomas’s childhood sweetheart drifts through his life like a vengeful ghost and his best friend, a reverend suffering from the power of tongues, is overcome with this curse as he tries to warn of impending menace. All Thomas learns is that “the carnival is coming.”

Torn by responsibility and rage, Thomas must face his tormented past as well as the mysterious forces surging toward the town he loves and despises.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:48 -0400)

The startling story of Kingdom Come, a decaying, swamp backwater that draws the lost, ill-fated, and damned. Since his mother's disappearance and his father's suicide, Thomas has cared for his three brothers--conjoined triplets with separate bodies but one shared brain--and the town's only industry, the Mill. Because of his family's prominence, Thomas is feared and respected by the superstitious swamp folk. Granny witches cast hexes while Thomas's childhood sweetheart drifts through his life like a vengeful ghost. His best friend, a reverend suffering from the power of tongues, is overcome with this curse as he tries to warn of impending menace. All Thomas learns is that "the carnival is coming". Torn by responsibility and rage, Thomas must face his tormented past as well as the mysterious forces surging toward the town he loves and despises.… (more)

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