This is a novel that I really wanted to like. I'm a fan of Dan Simmons, have heard good things about this book, and thought the premise was good. Despite all of those things, I was never able to get into the story. Part of it was that the story was really slow to develop. Another part was that I couldn't relate to the main character Bobby Luczak, a poet who is covering a story on a supposedly dead English poet. I thought Simmons did an effective job of painting Calcutta as the most God-forsaken place in the universe. There were some interesting aspects to the novel, like the backstory of the cults in Calcutta and their relation to the goddess Kali. The author also did an effective job in showing Luczak's unraveling. Still, for the most part the novel didn't work for me and left me unsatisfied.
Carl Alves - author of Two For Eternity