- Mass Market Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: Bantam; Reissue edition (June 1 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0553587196
- ISBN-13: 978-0553587197
- Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 1.8 x 17.8 cm
- Shipping Weight: 68 g
- Average Customer Review: 11 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #310,260 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
A Choir of Ill Children Mass Market Paperback – Jun 1 2004
|New from||Used from|
Customers who bought this item also bought
No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
From Publishers Weekly
In this compelling Southern Gothic, Piccirilli (whose 2002 novel The Night Class has grabbed the Stoker for Best Novel) presents a searing portrait of twisted souls trapped in a wasteland. Thomas, the wealthiest inhabitant of the swamp-infested county of Kingdom Come, a bastion of superstition and ignorance where he's simultaneously reviled and revered, lives with his brothers, conjoined triplets sharing a single brain who act as a sort of Delphic oracle. Thomas also shares a platonic relationship with his wife Maggie: the two were married by his best friend Drub, a black preacher with a penchant for nudity and prophecy. Into this jambalaya intrudes a northern film student (who falls in love with one of the triplets), a sexually precocious young girl from the swamps and a "dog kicker" who terrorizes Kingdom Come. When the local granny witches become agitated and accuse Thomas of neglecting his duties to the land, you can just bet there's plenty of trouble ahead. Piccirilli masterfully increases the tension by playing with stereotypes and manipulating the flaws of his subjects' characters, creating a world where what happens on the outside is a pale reflection of what goes on inside. As such, the novel will appeal both to genre fans and to readers of Flannery O'Connor and even of William Faulkner. James Lee Burke and Harry Crews devotees should also take note.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
“A gothic noir that mates Flannery O’Connor with Stephen King.”—San Francisco Chronicle
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The narrator is heir to a factory and lives in a large, decaying mansion full of dark secrets. The peeling away of the family's mysteries is an overarching storyline which is supplemented by a film noir-ish detective yarn, a farcical mystery, and a supernatural revenge tale. Add in witches, white trash, conjoined triplets, drug addicts, religious cults, ghosts, teen prostitutes, raging storms, hungry alligators, murders, amputations, castrations and lynchings, and an approaching ominous carnival bearing a foretold message from a geek, and A Choir of Ill Children is overloaded in the best possible way.
full review at: http://drewrowsome.blogspot.ca/2015/10/a-choir-of-ill-children.html
The story centers around a young man who has had more than his share of troubles in his life. His father killed himself, his mother disappeared and is still missing, and he is still haunted by horrible dreams and some horrible events of his past. His brothers, conjoined triplets, have powerful minds and thoughts. And everyone in the small town of Kingdom Come is hiding something under the surface. There are just too many dark secrets for this little town.
As the dark forces try to avenge the past, Thomas has to deal with his own ghosts, the ones inhabiting his mind. The fact that everyone arounds him seems to be on his case doesn't help matters either. The novel is at its best when Piccirilli brings us into Thomas's past or when he describes some of Thomas's dreams. Those scenes just feel surreal and disturbing, leaving the reader to feel completely uneasy.
The story meanders without aim for too long. Although you get to know these characters very well, you never actually feel close to any of them. All of this brings us to the heavy finale, where too many things seem to happen all at once. Everything just explodes and, once again, moves aimlessly towards the finish.
That said, A Choir of Ill Children's prose is so powerful, so gripping that you forget about its flaws. Piccirilli has a way of reeling you in and making you want to keep on reading. There is a lot of sadness in these words, the pages are drenched in regret. Superstitions abound, and dark gothic magic comes to play a role in the narrative.
I admired the book for the quality of its prose and for the way in which Piccirilli weaves his narrative so seamlessly. But I think, in the end, I just wanted more out of these characters.
Except for incest it's a place where anything goes. Thomas loves the woman who takes care of someone he once loved, but evil times are ahead for him as he learns why she spends all her time in the swamp. A child killer who Thomas left to die in the swamp returns to take his revenge and he finds the body of the child that the murderer killed with the body of his mother locked away in a trunk in a long forgotten room. His brothers disappear and the father he thought dead is alive though not of sound mind. Unable to solve the town's problems, Thomas quits feeling he is the savior of Kingdom's Come and in doing so finds his own freedom.
The main character in CHOIR OF ILL CHILDREN is the town of Kingdoms Come; a place that represents all the depravities that mankind is known to have accumulated as if Pandora opened the box here. Thomas accepts the inhabitants for who they are even though their customs and morality are outside the mainstream of society. Tom Piccirilli's dark gothic is frightening because it vividly exposes a way of life most people find abhorrent. Fans of Pappy Z. Brite will love this sinister drama.
Want to see more reviews on this item?
Most recent customer reviews