I’m celebrating All Hallows Read all month! I absolutely loved this book, but couldn’t possibly recommend it unless the person understood all the problems that come with it. Dan Simmons has an amazing talent to put you there in the moment but desperately needs an editor.
I honestly recommend to read up to where the doctor kills himself and then just stop reading. The captain is murdered, presumed dead, the doctor has been hoarding all the opiates, and he warns that anyone who eats his body is going to be poisoned, the end. But even if you stop there, there’s the whole problematic issue of the fact that it’s textually stated that the only good gay couple are the couple that don’t have sex. The gay couple that do are the ones who turn to cannibalism first, because of course.
But for the first 700 pages (it’s a massive book) this book is a masterpiece of setting and man vs. self, environment and man. They knew at the time that the northwest passage was never going to be a commercial viable route, but they still did it to have done it. It was the last great hurrah of a man whose works have gradually descended into madness. Drood was okay, I guess, but went nowhere and said nothing, Black Hills was an affront and an insult (native american happens to Forrest Gump his way through turn of the 1900 century, from building the Brooklyn bridge to the world’s fair to massive tornado, has a life long goal to do something, does it, realize it’s a dream then gives up on his dream to go die. White man shows up, tells native man that the plague and slaughter of his people were fair considering that native tribes fought and they “killed the megafauna” of the new world, which is debatable to begin with, and the native guy is like cool, sure, that makes sense. That’s, White Guy, for putting things into perspective for me.”. The whole premise is young boy counts coup on Custer during the Last Stand and lives with his ghost the whole rest of his life, but other than writing pornographic letters to his wife, having the Colonel in his head does absolutely nothing plot wise to the plot.
And his latest one isn’t even going to get named. Needless to say, it is the ejaculate of a right-wing chronic masturbatory that uses words instead of semen to smear the page, and believe me, that’s being kind to the idea that national health care can cause the US to collapse.
But enjoy what you can of the Terror now that they found one of the two ships? The last known sighting was of the protagonist and a couple other sailors heading to Great Slave Lake, but what Ross found in the book is as close to historical fact as possible. I loved it enough to buy the next two books of his in hard cover, but returned Black Hills when I finished back to Amazon on principle. I read it in January, but I suggest a nice summer afternoon.
The Terror by Dan Simmons “The men on board HMS Terror have every expectation of triumph. As part of the 1845 Franklin Expedition, the first steam-powered vessels ever to search for the legendary Northwest Passage, they are as scientifically supported an enterprise as has ever set forth. As they enter a second summer in the Arctic Circle without a thaw, though, they are stranded in a nightmarish landscape of encroaching ice and darkness. Endlessly cold, with diminishing rations, 126 men fight to survive with poisonous food, a dwindling supply of coal, and ships buckling in the grip of crushing ice. But their real enemy is far more terrifying. There is something out there in the frigid darkness: an unseen predator stalking their ship, a monstrous terror constantly clawing to get in.When the expedition’s leader, Sir John Franklin, meets a terrible death, Captain Francis Crozier takes command and leads his surviving crewmen on a last, desperate attempt to flee south across the ice. With them travels an Inuit woman who cannot speak and who may be the key to survival, or the harbinger of their deaths. But as another winter approaches, as scurvy and starvation grow more terrible, and as the terror on the ice stalks them southward, Crozier and his men begin to fear that there is no escape.”