Sunday, December 30, 2007

93. "The Terror" - Dan Simmons

With another glowing recommendation from Stephen King, I was a little hesitant when I picked up this novel as I was exiting the library, arms full. What a smart choice.

Simmons combines the true story of the 1845 British expedition to find the Northwest Passage with a touch of the macabre. The two ships, HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, are icebound for two years. A creature resembling a humanoid-polar bear is slowly killing off the men. They are also running out of food and hope.

It is 800-plus pages of tightly woven plotlines and sensational description based on methodical research. The bibliography at the end of the novel is mind-boggling; Simmons branches beyond the normal scope of the horror writer into a new cross-genre of historical horror.

I loved every page of it.

4.8 out of 5.0 Polar Bear Shots.

5 comments:

Nicola said...

This sounds so good! I keep wanting to read Simmons. Maybe I'll start with this one.

Kristin Dodge said...

Based on his other books, I think this is the only one that is historical horror. Definitely begin here, but, like me, you may not delve further into his past literature list.

Bibliolatrist said...

I do want to read this but the length is a bit intimidating to me. But your stamp of approval is incentive, indeed ;-)

Happy new year to you as well!

Jason said...

I've been going through my old books and it turns out I have a couple Dan Simmons horror books. Apparently, years ago I read Carrion Comfort and Summer of Night. The memories are vague, but he seems to be more of a Thomas Tryon than a King/Koontz/Saul/McCammon clone.

But you're right. Not historical.

Anonymous said...

Just Finished it.
I want to shoot myself.
starts off as great histoical fiction, but turns ridiculous when it starts talking about human flutes, and fairies and !$%!$!% soul speakers, what was this man thinking?