Gigantic horror potboiler, weighing in at 636 pages and stuffed with boiled lamb, boiled beef, boiled chicken, with plenty of gouged-out eyes, burst brains, and a vat of human blood. Three mind-vampires meet in Charleston, South Carolina, to tote up their annual winnings in The Game and see who's ahead. These very, very old folks are two women, Nina and Melanie, and their friend Willi. Nina is a semiretired big businesswoman who now concerns herself only with her boutiques; Melanie doesn't do much of anything; and Willi, formerly a concentration-camp commandant, is now a Hollywood movie producer. They have the power to cloud men's minds and to Feed on the energies of the dying. In The Game, they kill dozens annually, love to sup on the works of serial killers and other lowlifes. It's 1980 and Nina wants to take credit for the death of John Lennon. Melanie wants to quit The Game. In the ensuing battle among them, each tries to murder the others. Within three chapters, Charleston police are trying to account for a bloodwave of ten deaths, most of them innocents. Nina, meanwhile, is going for the big time and a giant Feeding on mass slaughter. But a Jewish psychiatrist, who as a child had been mind-raped by Willi at Chelmno concentration camp, saw Willi's face in newsreels of Jack Ruby shooting Oswald and is now tracking him (and them) down. Also meanwhile, a secret US group called The Club, well aware of the mind-vampires, has mounted a vast battle against them, using its own mind-vampires to seek them out. And ugly, stunted mind-muncher Tony Harod, a Hollywood agent, who loves to rape stewardesses in the men's room during jet travel, has captured the brain of Shayla Berrington (Brooke Shields), had her strip to the buff by his Jacuzzi and go into orgasm. . . Simmons (1985-86 World Fantasy Award-winner for Song of Kali) never for a paragraph, much less a page—despite a fine-tuned sentence here and there—rises above footslogging. Nonetheless, should sell.
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