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~Download Kindle ☤ A Choir of Ill Children ♺ An Alternative Cover For This ISBN Can Be Found HereThis Lyrical Tale Of Evil, Loss, And Redemption Is A Stunning Addition To The Southern Gothic Tradition Of Flannery O Connor And Harry CrewsA Choir Of Ill Children Is The Startling Story Of Kingdom Come, A Decaying, Swamp Backwater That Draws The Lost, Ill Fated, And Damned Since His Mother S Disappearance And His Father S Suicide, Thomas Has Cared For His Three Brothers Conjoined Triplets With Separate Bodies But One Shared Brain And The Town S Only Industry, The MillBecause Of His Family S Prominence, Thomas Is Feared And Respected By The Superstitious Swamp Folk Granny Witches Cast Hexes While Thomas S Childhood Sweetheart Drifts Through His Life Like A Vengeful Ghost And His Best Friend, A Reverend Suffering From The Power Of Tongues, Is Overcome With This Curse As He Tries To Warn Of Impending Menace All Thomas Learns Is That The Carnival Is Coming Torn By Responsibility And Rage, Thomas Must Face His Tormented Past As Well As The Mysterious Forces Surging Toward The Town He Loves And Despises Oy.So it s October, and that s when you re supposed to read horror fiction, right And I always feel like I should be reading horror, should be unearthing the good stuff, because I like horror movies and in theory the genre appeals to me, but in practice I have never really come across a horror novel that has served my particular literary needs Unless you count Shirley Jackson, which I guess I don t, because the only genre she belongs to is the genre of the fucking sublime.But I sometimes give it a go this time of year My 2011 attempt began with the 70s voodoo curse thingy All Heads Turn When the Hunt Goes By which my fingers almost just typed as All Hands on the Bad One, a Sleater Kinney album that would be a better use of your time than reading that John Farris book It wasn t really actively bad, just pretty dumb and unsatisfying, so I didn t don t have much to say about it Undeterred, I moved on to what turned out to be a much worse piece of shit, namely this book 0 for 2 Piece of shit is unfair, I guess It s fairly ambitious, certainly not hackwork, but it is a spectacular failure I was intrigued by the Southern Gothic comparisons, the weird title, the conjoined twins hook, even the text of the first page But Piccirilli simply does not have the prose skill to support this kind of book, a plotless mood piece about a bizarre backwater swamp town where everyone is various shades of fucked up violent sex crazed insane scarred depraved etc There are a bunch of different plot threads involving the protagonist s affairs with different crazies, but there is absolutely no narrative engine to the book, no tension, no stakes and the mood being cultivated is totally ersatz and transparent and ineffective, and Piccirilli just isn t capable of style at the level he reaches for, so there is really no reason to turn the pages at any time, no matter how much fucked up shit happens ultimately not even that much the creepy conjoined triplets with a single brain don t even do anything, they re just in the background for the first few chapters and then pretty much disappear It s all just a pretentious mess, and certainly nothing remotely close to scary though I d have settled for readable As for the publisher and reviewers who dropped Queen Flannery O Connor s name in conjunction with this book, I hope they have trouble sleeping at night.Horror and I will one day have a blissful union, but it didn t happen this time. Well, there s plenty of weird stuff here.Conjoined triplets, a conjure woman s daughter traded into being their concubine, a naked minister, an oversexed, lusty librarian and a college student who wants to use them all in a porno film Yeah This is not your typical book club selection, though I d love to see the old gals discussing this one over their wine and cheesecake.Like a visit to the carnival freak show or one of those TV documentaries about obese infants and 300 pound tumors, the whole shebang seems to exist to SHOCK than anything else.But, Piccirilli sure does turn a pretty phrase now and againno tar paper shack that collects heat in the summer and pours it over you like scalding water. I liked that And his referring to the horny librarian as havingmolten loinsThat s pretty evocative And then there s this They, like most men, are men of myth and mediocrity They carry with them the fables of their commonplace grandfathers and the blood of warriors and drunks Over the years they ve had to scrape their broken fathers off the back porch and put cold compresses on their mothers busted noses They ve awoken in unmopped kitchen corners beneath the scowls of wives who ve been failed early by life This is their heritage and legacy. This one is probably not for MOST people It s punchy and mean, smelly and sweaty There s not a single likeable character in the book, if that matters to you There IS plenty of sex and violence and a bloodbath or two Bad things happen to pretty much everybody Children cry Dogs get kicked The dead speak in dreams, then dreams become real BUT, if you re looking for something to shake you out of your complacency, your safe little reading zone, this might possibly do the trick.Just don t say I didn t warn you. I m sure that your reading list is plenty long, but this book needs to be moved to the top of the pile This book is not for the faint of heart, for it is quite challenging Think William Faulkner mixed with Flannery O Connor and you ll get a pretty good picture at Piccirilli s writing style The language of the novel is both horrifying and beautiful, and if you can keep from reading the same passages over and over, because of how he constructed and mixed seemingly disconnected words and images, I applaud you Though only a bit over 200 pages, relish this novel in small doses, for it may be the best example of Southern Gothic literature today Simply put this novel will knock you down, help you back up, and knock you down again because it can With all that being said, the novel is far from perfect There are many what the fuck moments that are mated with the grotesque Ultimately, this book evokes a feeling, an environmental response HIGHLY RECOMMENDED Well, I ve never read anything quite like this After the first chapter I asked myself WTF did you just read pardon my language This novel was disturbing, challenging and most engaging I admired the format as it made it almost impossible to quit reading which I was never inclined to do I really liked it and will proceed with Mr Piccirilli. Tom Piccirilli has written this novel in nearly a poetic, lyrical style The gothic setting of the Southern town of Kingdom Come is the perfect backdrop for this tale of madness, evil, conjure women, and secrets galore.If you re looking for an easy read, this is not the book for you However, those that like a mental challenge while reading will probably appreciate this strange tale where age old mysteries, and the fantastic collide Recommended. This book is definitely not for the faint of heart or one who shys away from horror There are a lot of elements for a great book, but in my opinion the story doesn t really go anywhere, the first half was a trial, the second half got better but there was a lot left unresolved and it left me saying, ugh and scratching my head Maybe I should have started my Piccirilli journey with The Night Class, or The Dead Letters as they were both Bram Stoker Award winners Begin my attempt at a plot summary A Choir of Ill Children is set in a small southern town called Kingdom Come It is a disgusting swamp backwater that seems to attract the worst of the worst form of life around Violent bikers, nymphs, prostitutes, old granny witches, and drug addicts constitute the bulk of its charming population With special characters such as conjoined psychic triplets, hipster documentarians, a geek not the type of geek your thinking , and the Holy Order of the Flying Wallendas The novel s central character and narrator, Thomas, is one of the richest men in town due to an inheritance he earned when his parents passed on He lives in a large mansion with his freakish 3 brothers, the conjoined psychic triplets I mentioned earlier, who have three bodies but share a single brain One day with the arrival in town of a strange young mute girl who seems abandoned Thomas hires a private detective to uncover the mysteries behind her arrival AND the identity of an infamous dog kicker who is pissing off the locals and leaving behind some wicked shoe prints on said dogs Along with the uncovering of those mysteries, Thomas discovers that there is way going on in Kingdom Come and it s murky swamp then he had ever thought End my attempt at a plot summary Trying to write a plot summary for this novel was rough and hurt my brain Piccirilli is literally all over the map with this novel There s little to no narrative or plot structure Instead of focusing on creating a story, Piccirilli seems content in just throwing together hallucinatory scenes about the everyday lives of the town s populace and odd memories, or should I say nightmares, that his mother and father had Even at a mere 225 pages, reading this felt like a chore Piccirilli s writing style is one that I found very difficult to absorb, not to mention trying to keep up with all the characters There s so many that I would often find myself forgetting where I d first read of this character and Piccirilli never makes any attempt to refresh the reader s memory once a minor character who hasn t appeared for dozens pages suddenly makes an appearance It took me almost half the book to nail down who was who, something that should never happen in a novel.It s too bad because Piccirilli really is a fantastic writer in the technical sense His prose can be beautiful and poetic I was impressed with the uniqueness of the town and of some of the characters he created in this book Moreover, his ability to make us feel like a part of the southern swamp setting is impressive But for a novel especially horror to be entertaining it needs than creative writing, and it definitely needs a coherent plot, and in this I believe he fails miserably I am baffled by all the praise thrown this novel s way, I don t understand it, but to each his her own Bottom line, the language is poetic, he paints some beautiful scenes and the characters are well developed and very interesting unique however, the story doesn t seem to go anywhere and leaves something to be desired. All finished Enjoyed it, but can t really recommend it to anyone except for those seeking a doctoral thesis on metaphors and similes Quite a fine bit of writing, but horror Not so much I found the narrator to be oddly jovial in the midst of madness, nary a flicker of fear or dread to be found within these pages Weird and somewhat disturbing imagery and circumstances, yes Scary, no.It was a very mentally stimulating read, almost a bit too rich Even though it was a short book, the thickness of the brew was best enjoyed in small portions I rate the writing four stars Even though it was a bit too unrelentingly show offy, we all enjoy a mind blowing guitar solo, but after a while knock it off and play a few chords, you know , but the story itself barely rated two stars, thus an average rating of three for the book overall Interesting cast of characters, promising set up, but ultimately all these intriguing things end up becoming little than a static backdrop for an unending display of virtuosic wordsmithy that, while impressive, inevitably numbs one s senses Tell me a story that gets my heart pounding, makes me feverishly turn the pages The narrator of the story was just a bit too clever and blase for his own good, and a good story could have compensated for it, but it just wasn t there Still, I remain in awe of Tom Piccirilli s command of the English language, and will likely return to his writings again at some point in the future, if only to boost my own IQ a few points from time to time There were quite a few cryptic passages and recurring themes that probably were chock full of symbolism and life changing meaning, but to someone of my limited capacity for enlightment and penchant for cracking open a horror novel solely for the purpose of having a good time, these brain teasers and conundrums struck me as full of sound and fury, yet signifying nothing Clearly a lot of work and love went into this book, and it shows on every page. In the town of Kingdom Come, Thomas cares for his brothers, conjoined triplets, and for the mill, the town s only source of income Who s kicking all the dogs What happened to Thomas family A Choir of Ill Children is a modern Southern Gothic tale, a slice in Thomas bizarre life To be honest, I m not precisely sure what this was supposed to be It reads like a collaboration between Flannery O Connor and Donald Ray Pollock There is a bleakness to the tale and a lot of strange shit happens Some parts feel quite dreamlike and I m not sure which ones actually happened.I m not even sure how to describe the plot Thomas wanders from one encounter to the next and very little ever gets resolved However, the encounters themselves are well written and captivating Someone s kicking all the dogs There is lots of sex and violence, and mystery mute woman who is either eleven years old or twenty There are witches, a preacher that speaks in tongues, and the Holy Order of the Flying Wallendas And much Some things are best experiences for yourself.As I said before, I thought the writing was great and Piccirilli s depictions of the grotesque are very well done There are some scenes that will stick with me for a long time Hell, I enjoyed the shit out of it despite being lost in the swamp a few times as to what was actually happening.Overall, I liked this book and I ll be tracking down of Tom Piccirilli s work I enjoyed it even if I m not sure what the hell actually happened Three out of five stars. This book was something It was one of the weirdest books I ve ever read, but at the same time it was very compelling and interesting I don t know how to start here, but I ll try At it s core this is a southern gothic novel The main character has a brother, or brotherS rather It s three brothers who share one brain Then we have a witch that lives out in the bayou, who gives the MC her daughter as a gift There s two documentary film makers who live with the MC with the idea of doing a movie about the brother Then one of the film makers, the female, falls in love with one of the brothers yes, one of the three conjoined brothers and the brother falls in love with her as well.Then we have the story of the MC s mother and father, which I wont get into here because it s one of the major revelations of the book There s a young girl found in the swamp, the sex starved marm who takes her in, and the private detective who ends up in a sexual relationship with both of them at the same time There s also the nearby monastery, The Order of the Flying Wallendas As I said earlier, I just don t know to review this book to do it justice, but I will say it s good It s really just one weird twist after another If you enjoy your horror on the unusual side, and would like to read a VERY original southern gothic novel, this one is definitely for you.