Song of Kali and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

Vous voulez voir cette page en français ? Cliquez ici.

Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Start reading Song of Kali on your Kindle in under a minute.

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

Song of Kali [Hardcover]

Dan Simmons
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)

Available from these sellers.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition CDN $7.99  
Hardcover --  
Hardcover, 1985 --  
Paperback CDN $14.37  
Mass Market Paperback --  
Join Amazon Student in Canada

Book Description

Robert Luczak travels to Calcutta to interview Das, a noted Indian poet who has mysteriously reappeared years after he was thought dead. Das is reputed to have been brought back to life in a bloody ceremony of human sacrifice and Robert becomes caught up in the dark design of ancient forces.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed

Product Details

Product Description

From Amazon

"O terrible wife of Siva / Your tongue is drinking the blood, / O dark Mother! O unclad Mother." It is remarkable that prior to writing this first novel, Dan Simmons had spent only two and a half days in Calcutta, a city "too wicked to be suffered," his narrator says. Fortunately back in print after several years during which it was hard to obtain, this rich, bizarre novel practically reeks with atmosphere. The story concerns an American poet who travels with his Indian wife and their baby to Calcutta to pick up an epic poem cycle about the goddess Kali. The Bengali poet who wrote the poem cycle has disappeared under mysterious circumstances.

Horror critic Edward Bryant calls Song of Kali "an exactingly constructed, brutal, and uncompromising study of the degree to which an evil place may permeate and steep all that makes us human" and writes that it embodies "the stance of a psychologically violent novel about a violent society as a defensible and indisputably moral work of art." Song of Kali won a World Fantasy Award. --Fiona Webster --This text refers to the Paperback edition.


"The best novel in the genre I can remember. Dan Simmons is brilliant!" --Dean R. Koontz

"Song of Kali is as harrowing and ghoulish as anyone could wish. Simmons makes the stuff of nightmares very real indeed." --Locus

"Dan Simmons understands terror and what it does to readers. Where Stephen King flinches, Simmons doesn't." --Edward Byrant, Mile High Futures

"Shock treatments abound!" --The Chattanooga Times, Tennessee

"An absolutely harrowing experience." --F. Paul Wilson
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse and search another edition of this book.
First Sentence
"Don't go, Bobby," said my friend. Read the first page
Explore More
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars There's the germ of a good novel in here... May 22 2004
After havining seen the cover blurbs. I spent about two thirds of this book wondering what the hell I was missing. The overlong setup failed to get me invested in the main character, a self-involved poet, who comes across as rather petulant, dull and disengaged. We spend a short eternity with Luczack's literary mentor, a boring cliche of a cigar-chomping New Yorker with a heart of gold. Luczack's one saving grace is his capable, intellectually curious wife, whom he mostly talks down to and/or places in peril. (There's a ridiculous bit late in the book where he makes a big display of "I'm not leaving you again, kiddo", only to wander off again as soon as she falls asleep.) I would have been grateful for Luczack to get killed off early and the focus shifted to the wife.
In addition, while the horrified-travelogue aspect of the book is effective, we never go any deeper than Luczack's ugly-American revulsion at a society he doesn't understand. Simmons seems content to paint most residents of Calcutta as potential gangsters or murderous fanatics, and leave it at that. The story only gets interesting (far too late in the book) when the Luczack character mercifully shuts up long enough to let some of the Indians tell their own stories. The storyline involving the Kali cult is genuinely, darkly fascinating and I wish Simmons had done more than scratch the surface of it.
The emotional climax could have been wrenching if only I'd been invested in the main character, and unfortunately the novel peters out with him descending into a world of self-pity for several chapters. Some really interesting horror material here, sandwiched into an otherwise boring novel.
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Wow! I just finished reading Dan Simmons' excellent first novel, "Song of Kali," and I must say that I am extremely impressed by this work of fantastic horror and its meaning in the real world the reader is invited to recognize as both insane and wonderful all at the same time.
Yes, there are some flaws in the book, and for that reason you should ignore the hype and superlative praise showered on it. For starters, the narrator is not a particularly likeable character; he admits to having a short fuse and a quick temper that often seem out of proportion to even minor annoyances.
In addition, the author goes on for too long just setting up this tale, and nothing much of consequence actually happens for the first third of the story. Then there is the problem of the loose ends that do not answer the questions raised by a murder which serves as the emotional climax of the novel. My best guess is that Simmons deliberately left some things obscure to reflect the protagonist's own confused and frustrated inability to understand what prompted the killing, but - if such is the case - it still leaves the reader unsatisfied with the unresolved mystery of why certain events happened as they did.
Finally, "Song of Kali" suffers from a lack of editing and/or proofreading (at least in its paperback edition), as shown by the many typos in the manuscript. Ordinarily, this would not matter a great deal, but in a story that concerns itself with wordsmiths in one form or another (i.e., writers, editors, and a literary agent) the errors are glaring and disrupt the flow of the otherwise nicely nuanced text.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars Traveler Beware May 10 2004
As an avid reader of horror, fantasy and science fiction, I like to think that I'm immune to any lasting effects from the frightening images that emerge from those dark places within the minds of our best contemporary authors. Most of the time my reaction is, "Been there ... done that ... NEXT!". But last night I finished reading SONG OF KALI by Dan Simmons. And I fear that the images he conjures will be with me for a very long time to come.
This horrible/delightful/remarkable book works on your psyche on two levels: it attacks your senses by describing, in graphic detail, the mundane, "real world" horrors that exist just beyond the field of awareness for most Westerners living in affluent, post-industrialized "societies"; but worse yet, it open up that dark place so deeply imbedded within our basal ganglia that it can only be assumed to be the most primal and ancient of human nerve centers. It triggers an autonomic recoil from the pure darkness, cold malevolence, and absolute EVIL that surrounds us. We begin, innocently enough on the first level, following our protagonist's journey to solve a mystery ... and then slowly ... methodically ... step by step and with our guard down ... we are led blindly into reeking depths of the primordial abyss. I've never been to Calcutta. But, like many other Americans, I have traveled to a number of other "Third World" settings, both in groups and as a individual. I never cease to be appalled at the the arrogance and materialistic ego-centricity of too many American travelers who fail to respect or even try to fathom other cultures, unfamiliar traditions, and those painful economic realities suffered by much of the REST of the world.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
Want to see more reviews on this item?
Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars This truly an amazing book. I don't read many novels
This truly an amazing book. I don't read many novels. But this was simply a pleasure read and scared the hell out of me. It truly is frightening tale. I'm reading it again.
Published 3 months ago by Jazz Virk
4.0 out of 5 stars If you can't live up to the hype...
It's probably a huge mistake to include inflated words of hype on the cover of a horror book. "SHOCK TREATMENTS ABOUND! Read more
Published on Aug. 21 2003 by Subauthor
4.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable and a quick read...
Another reviewer said that this book was missing something "Simmons" and I totally agree. Song of Kali is a very quick and easy read, and overall it's quite enjoyable. Read more
Published on Aug. 12 2003 by J. Resnick
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterful and Uncompromising Horror/Suspense
SONG OF KALI is a brutal but also subtle and evocative novel of almost overwhelmingly intense horror. Read more
Published on July 20 2003 by cameron-vale
3.0 out of 5 stars Not even half as good as reviews say.
Friends and reviews sold me this book as an intense exercise in shock/weird horror. I am sorry to say this, but this book doesn't live up to any of those standards. Read more
Published on June 21 2003 by A. Tamez Elizondo
3.0 out of 5 stars Well written, good story, but ultimately not very scary
I must say that I truly enjoyed reading this book. Throughout the novel, there is a lot of mystery and encroaching horror. Read more
Published on April 2 2003 by Fry Boy
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this one!
My first Simmons "horror" title after Endymion. This was a fun and creepy read -- enjoyable for the most part. Read more
Published on March 28 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Authentic'
I am from India, never been to Calcutta, heard a lot about it. This is a book written by auther who musta spent a lot of time in India! truely the best horror book. Read more
Published on Feb. 8 2003
2.0 out of 5 stars I expected too much
I had high expectations about this book, somehow driven by the good reviews.
But it didn't took long before I began turning pages thinking "maybe it's now this is gonna warm... Read more
Published on Jan. 30 2003 by VR
1.0 out of 5 stars What horror?
What a go-nowhere do-nothing story of a writer/poet who goes Calcutta, India for Harper's to get a copy of a manuscript and
interview a famous Indian poet, M. Read more
Published on Jan. 23 2003
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Look for similar items by category