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Publisher's Summary

Blood will curdle in Calcutta. In the most crime-ridden city, nightmares become real and evil is defined by frightening occurrences. When an American family finds themselves encircled by the terrors of this land, lurid events befall them and life takes on a new meaning - death. Winner of the World Fantasy Award, Song of Kali will chill the blood and frighten even the most jaded of horror fans.

©1985 Dan Simmons (P)2014 Audible Inc.

What listeners say about Song of Kali

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Read in two close sessions

This was an intriguing story which kept me glued until the end. Will read more of this author.

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Slow to start but got good

The narrator was so good I genuinely thought there were at least 2 people doing the voices. The story started slow but once it got going it was quite gripping and even heartbreaking

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Descriptive

Not only could I hear the words but I could smell the heavy mingled scents of Calcutta. The twist and turns of filthy streets merging with the world of ancient gods. Loved it 🌸

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  • Jim N
  • 11-11-2014

Excellent, atmospheric horror

Simmons practically makes his setting into a major character in this subtle, unsettling novel set in Calcutta, India. Song of Kali is mysterious and though-provoking and like some of the best horror, a bit ambiguous. Simmons doesn't spell everything out for the reader and that works to the novel's benefit. This book is definitely worth a credit and the reading by Mark Boyett is superb.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Christopher Moss
  • 31-07-2014

Not what I was hoping for

Is there anything you would change about this book?

More gross than scary. If you are looking for a good ghost story, this is not it.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Darwin8u
  • 14-01-2015

All Violence is an Exercise in Power

Horror is not my normal territory. It isn't my alternate either. As far as genre fiction goes I probably reach for a horror novel as often as I reach for a fantasy novel. But this is Dan Simmons we are talking about. After reading Hyperion and The Fall of Hyperion, I was intrigued. How poetic could Simmons make horror? How literate?

I liked the 'Song of Kali'. It was a good story. I'm just not sure I'd count it as great horror. It wasn't that scary. It was definitely more psychological and mental than most. It seemed like a strange mixture of H.P. Lovecraft and Stephen King, all with a big glob of Calcutta madness and poetic mysticism.

Anyway, I liked it. I'll keep reading Simmons when I want a vacation from the classics or an escape into literary genre fiction, but I don't think I will need to steel my nerves with any tonics or leave the lights on to go to sleep after I close the book at night. I might, however, rethink vacation plans to Kolkata and West Bengal. Screw THAT.

31 people found this helpful

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  • M. S. Valdez
  • 01-06-2014

Truly immersive horror!

Excellent listen! Dan Simmons captures the essence and atmosphere of Calcutta expertly. A truly horrific story that seems more truth than fiction. The fate of a particular character seems pre-ordained simply that that character's inclusion into the story which is my only criticism of the plot.
The narrator is absolutely superb going from American Mid-West, American-New York, to Indian accents with ease.
A definite recommended listen.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Kim Venatries
  • 05-03-2014

Dated, but still good fiction

This is an early work of talented author Dan Simmons set for the most part in Calcutta, India. And it is definitely a horror story. The setting and suspense are very entertaining if you can overcome the voice in the back of your mind wondering why you would ever take a seven month old baby on a trip to Calcutta to find a may be dead poet. That voice will also wonder about some of the other choices the main characters make. Choices that I’m pretty sure I would not have made even back in the 80s. But if you can get over those blocks you have a terrifying good listen.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Mike
  • 29-09-2016

Good narration, compelling story

Boyett does a good job narrating this novel. The novel is less horror, and more about the human condition.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Rudolph
  • 07-04-2015

Grim.

One of the grimmest books I've ever read. The narrator did an excellent job with all the accents. I especially enjoyed the one moment of Punjab/cockney English.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 21-05-2014

Creepy but great!

It was much creepier than a lot of Simmon's work, but I personally thought it was excellent. Not for the faint of heart, however.

6 people found this helpful

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  • tls
  • 30-10-2016

Interesting premise ran out of gas before the finish line

Interesting premise and an intriguing first few chapters, but eventually the reader discovers that the author doesn't know what to do with the story, and this is increasingly borne out from the middle of the book to its unsatisfying end.

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  • Michael
  • 10-10-2016

Horror?

The story started out going in the right direction, but ended up going nowhere. There was so much left un-answered. Im a Simmons fan to be sure, however it pains me to write a negative review.

2 people found this helpful

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  • jennifer
  • 17-01-2015

Song of Kali

What a fantastic story I really enjoyed this booked, when it starts you just know that this story is going to be very dark, and indeed it was, this is a very dark story and I must admit I did not expect the out come a little disturbing but well worth a listen.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Manda N
  • 22-01-2019

Simmons first and not his best

A brave journey into a scary Calcutta by the author as his first novel; culturally a stranger and Simmons makes that part of the underlying horror. Fear of the unknown is prominent here; my only reservation is it got somewhat unbelievably crazy and hence only three stars. Worth a listen but his Drood for me currently remains his best although unfortunately not yet available on audible in English.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-06-2021

An extraordinary work.

Dan Simmons books continue to completely astound me. Ravenously digestible drama, exquisite poetry, somehow ancient, as if written in another century. Song of Kali is heartbreaking, both utterly real and surreal, uncomfortable and inspiring. It’s not sci-fi or fantasy in my mind, a human story set against an inhumane world. A book that will stay with me forever I suspect.

1 person found this helpful

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  • jo o.
  • 21-04-2018

Exotic and terrifying.

This is my first book by Simmons but I am now a big fan.

His discrimination of India is just what I remember from travelling and his mix of detective story, thriller and supernatural tail is addictive. Although the supernatural element may not be as much as you expect this is a truly terrifying story.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 23-07-2021

Brilliant brilliant

A brilliant book made my skin crawl. The narrator was the best I have listen to three time will always be favourite

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  • Mr. J. P. Owens
  • 06-07-2021

Not my genre of choice, but Dan Simmons can write

I bought this cheap when it was on sale. Saw Dan Simmons' name and thought I was buying scifi. Turns out it's horror. Not my genre of choice, but Simmons shows he can put a sentence together.

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  • SABRE
  • 14-06-2021

Transported

Close to perfection. The prose and narration of this book transported me to the sticky claustrophobia felt by the story’s main protagonist.
The narrator was perfect, the Indian accents not being US sitcom parody. Although it would have been better to employ actual Indian actors and actresses to voice those characters.

Those getting agitated by the language have missed the setting of this book. It is set primarily in the 70s, where language and cultural sensitivity was lacking. As for the nature of the deity this is myth and mystique inside fiction, not reality. I would ask if they feel the same about the Indiana Jones and Golden Child movies.

As for the picture painted of Calcutta, again it is the personal experience of a fictional character inside a fictional book. Not a travel guide. No culture or country is a utopia and an equally hellish story could be based anywhere in the world. This is a story of human nature in all its darkness.

I’ve listened to the full Hyperion cantos and now a completely different type of fiction from Dan Simmons. I’m hooked!

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  • Reader
  • 11-06-2021

Meh.

I found the story a bit flat and the fake Indian accents difficult to understand at times. I wouldn't listen to it again or recommend it to anyone, but overall it was okay.

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