Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Carrion Comfort

So I'm a little over 100 pages into Carrion Comfort, and honestly I'm having a hard time getting into it.  It's a horror novel about vampires (for lack of a better word) that control people with their minds and feed off of the deaths of others.  The main character, I guess, is Saul Laski, a Polish Jew who survived the Holocaust.  He first encountered a mind vampire in the Chelmno concentration camp, and he has been theorizing about their existence for years.  He's a psychiatrist now (another book, another psychiatrist character, right?).

But he's not really the main character, at least not yet.  Time has been split between Nina and Herod, both mind vampires, Saul, and Bobby Gentry, the Charleston sheriff investigating the string of murders that start the book off.  Nina and Herod are repugnant (enough so that I don't want to read this while eating) and Saul and Bobby haven't really been fleshed out.  Some passages are horrifying.  Some passages are boring.  Some seem kind of deliberately shocking, which irritates me.  

I don't like to give up on books.  The last book I stopped reading midway through was Snow by Orhan Pamuk.  Snow has all sorts of critical acclaim, but all I could see was a protagonist who kept getting called away from the action by his inspiration to write poetry RIGHT THEN.  It was boring as hell.  

I'm not ready to give up on Carrion Comfort yet, especially because it comes recommended by Parrish, my favorite Borders employee.  Parrish has previously recommended other good books to me, including the incredible The Gone-Away World by Nick Harkaway.  (Do you like sci-fi and adventure even a tiny bit? Yes?  Go buy that book right now.  Go to amazon.  Do it.  Go.  You won't regret it.)  So I'll soldier on, re-reading my favorite vegan cookbook (The Veganomicon) when I need something light and non-disturbing, and see if my opinion changes.

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