Carrion Comfort
Goodreads ratings
3.9 / 5

"Carrion Comfort" Summary

By Dan Simmons

horror | 884 pages | Published in NaN

THE PAST... Caught behind the lines of Hitler’s Final Solution, Saul Laski is one of the multitudes destined to die in the notorious Chelmno extermination camp. Until he rises to meet his fate and finds himself face to face with an evil far older, and far greater, than the Nazi’s themselves...THE PRESENT... Compelled by the encounter to survive at all costs, so begins a journey that for Saul will span decades and cross continents, plunging into the darkest corners of 20th century history to reveal a secret society of beings who may often exist behind the world's most horrible and violent events. Killing from a distance, and by darkly manipulative proxy, they are people with the psychic ability to 'use' humans: read their minds, subjugate them to their wills, experience through their senses, feed off their emotions, force them to acts of unspeakable aggression. Each year, three of the most powerful of this hidden order meet to discuss their ongoing campaign of induced bloodshed and deliberate destruction. But this reunion, something will go terribly wrong. Saul’s quest is about to reach its elusive object, drawing hunter and hunted alike into a struggle that will plumb the depths of mankind’s attraction to violence, and determine the future of the world itself...


Estimated read time: 5 min read

One Sentence Summary

A deadly game of psychic manipulation unfolds as a group of powerful individuals use their mind-controlling abilities to wreak havoc and control the world.


In "Carrion Comfort" by Dan Simmons, readers are taken on a thrilling journey into the dark depths of the human mind. This gripping novel explores the concept of psychic vampires who have the power to control others through mental manipulation. Set against the backdrop of various historical events, the story delves into themes of power, manipulation, and the struggle for control. With its intricate plot, complex characters, and thought-provoking themes, "Carrion Comfort" is a must-read for fans of psychological thrillers and supernatural fiction.

Brief Synopsis

The plot of "Carrion Comfort" unfolds in different locations and time periods, spanning from World War II to the present day. The story primarily takes place in the United States, with key events occurring in California, New York, and Louisiana.

The novel introduces us to a group of individuals known as "the mind vampires." These psychic predators possess the ability to control the minds of others and feed off their emotions and actions. They can manipulate their victims from a distance, making them do their bidding and even commit heinous acts.

The main characters in the story include:

Melanie FullerA young woman who discovers her ability to manipulate others' minds
Willi WyldeA Holocaust survivor seeking revenge against his former captors
Saul LaskiA Holocaust scholar investigating the existence of psychic vampires
Nina GreyA woman with a mysterious connection to the mind vampires
Melanie's VictimsVarious individuals who fall prey to the mind vampires' manipulations

Summary of Different Story Points over Chapters

Chapter 1: Prologue

The prologue sets the stage for the novel by introducing the concept of psychic vampires. The reader is given a glimpse into the mind of a mind vampire as they manipulate and control their victims.

Chapter 2: The Game

Melanie Fuller, a young woman with the power to manipulate minds, discovers her abilities when she inadvertently controls her high school teacher. She begins to experiment with her powers, both out of curiosity and a desire for control.

Chapter 3: The Survivors

Willi Wylde, a Holocaust survivor, seeks revenge on the Nazi officers who tormented him during World War II. With the help of his fellow survivors, he tracks down and eliminates those responsible for his suffering.

Chapter 4: The Scholar

Saul Laski, a Holocaust scholar, becomes obsessed with the idea of psychic vampires after stumbling upon evidence of their existence. He embarks on a journey to uncover the truth behind these creatures and their connection to Nazi Germany.

Chapter 5: The Connection

Nina Grey, a woman with a mysterious past, finds herself drawn into the world of the mind vampires. She discovers a connection between her own abilities and their manipulative powers, leading her to question her own identity.

Chapter 6: The Battle

Melanie, Willi, Saul, and Nina come together to confront the mind vampires and put an end to their reign of terror. They face numerous challenges and betrayals along the way, testing their resolve and forcing them to confront their own inner demons.

Main Events

  1. Melanie discovers her mind manipulation abilities and begins to experiment with her powers.
  2. Willi seeks revenge on the Nazi officers who tormented him during the Holocaust.
  3. Saul uncovers evidence of psychic vampires and becomes obsessed with their existence.
  4. Nina discovers her connection to the mind vampires and questions her own identity.
  5. Melanie, Willi, Saul, and Nina unite to confront and battle the mind vampires.

Themes and Insights

Power and Control

"Carrion Comfort" explores the theme of power and control, as the mind vampires exert their dominance over others. The novel raises questions about the nature of power and the lengths people will go to in order to obtain and maintain control.

Manipulation and Influence

The concept of psychic manipulation lies at the heart of the story. The mind vampires use their abilities to manipulate and control individuals, forcing them to do their bidding. This raises questions about the influence others can have over our thoughts and actions.

Morality and Ethics

The novel delves into moral and ethical dilemmas as characters are forced to confront the consequences of their actions. It prompts readers to consider the boundaries of morality and the choices individuals make when faced with difficult situations.

Identity and Self-Discovery

The characters in "Carrion Comfort" undergo journeys of self-discovery as they grapple with their own identities and the powers they possess. The exploration of identity raises questions about the nature of self and the impact of external influences on one's sense of self.

Reader's Takeaway

"Carrion Comfort" is a thrilling and thought-provoking novel that combines elements of psychological suspense, supernatural fiction, and historical events. It challenges readers to question the nature of power, the influence of others, and the choices we make in the face of adversity. With its intricate plot, well-developed characters, and complex themes, this book is sure to captivate and engage readers from start to finish.


Dan Simmons' "Carrion Comfort" is a gripping and atmospheric novel that explores the dark side of human nature. Through its intricate plot, well-crafted characters, and thought-provoking themes, the book delves into the concepts of power, manipulation, and the struggle for control. With its blend of psychological suspense and supernatural elements, "Carrion Comfort" is a must-read for fans of thrilling and intellectually stimulating fiction.

Carrion Comfort FAQ

  1. What is the genre of 'Carrion Comfort'?

    Carrion Comfort is a horror thriller novel.

  2. Who is the author of 'Carrion Comfort'?

    The author of 'Carrion Comfort' is Dan Simmons.

  3. When was 'Carrion Comfort' published?

    'Carrion Comfort' was first published in 1989.

  4. What is the main premise of 'Carrion Comfort'?

    'Carrion Comfort' explores the existence of a group of powerful individuals with mind control abilities.

  5. What are some other notable works by Dan Simmons?

    Some other notable works by Dan Simmons include 'Hyperion', 'The Terror', and 'Drood'.

  6. Is 'Carrion Comfort' a standalone novel or part of a series?

    'Carrion Comfort' is a standalone novel.

  7. What are the major themes in 'Carrion Comfort'?

    Some major themes in 'Carrion Comfort' include power, manipulation, and the nature of evil.

  8. Are there any film or TV adaptations of 'Carrion Comfort'?

    As of now, there are no film or TV adaptations of 'Carrion Comfort'.

  9. What is the page count of 'Carrion Comfort'?

    'Carrion Comfort' has a page count of approximately 800 pages.

  10. Is 'Carrion Comfort' suitable for younger readers?

    Due to its horror and adult themes, 'Carrion Comfort' is recommended for mature readers.