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Hardcover A Choir of Ill Children a Choir of Ill Children Book

ISBN: 1892389584

ISBN13: 9781892389589

A Choir of Ill Children a Choir of Ill Children

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Format: Hardcover

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Book Overview

A Choir of Ill Children tells the story Kingdom Come - a decaying, lust-filled swampy backwater of a southern town. Piccirilli's lyrical, atmospheric tale of murder and redemption is a startling, breakout novel in the southern gothic tradition pioneered by the likes of William Faulkner and Flannery O'Connor Since his mother's mysterious death, and his father's suicide, Thomas has been force to take care of his three brothers, Jonah, Cole, and Sebastian...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

"We are a family. This is blood."

As one reads A Choir Of Ill Children (peruses might be a better word, for like Thomas, the reader is always drawn back to the past) one comes to understand that horror, and the horrible, are two different things. As such this book uses the horrible to achieve its goals. Three brothers joined at the head, fates or furies as the case might be. A serial dog kicker haunts the night. A one-legged child-killer lurks, his victim a harbinger of change. And swamp witches sacrifice themselves piece by piece to stave of karma. These images are horrible, and horribly funny at the same time. Picirilli's storytelling rides roughshod over the reader as Thomas faces a past that lives with him in an old mansion in Kingdom Come. It follows him about as he visits the stations of his own personal cross - a bar, his factory, an altar in the swamp, an empty church. The shift from external quest to the internal seeking that is its cognate is subtle. Is Thomas intent on standing still or moving on? Will there be an end, or a new beginning? I think that these may be the real questions. Everything, sleeping and awake, seems full of signs and portents. Piccirilli intentionally overloads the textual messages, but underlying the almost symphonic interplay of key phrases and themes is a Thomas whose sense of belonging is what gets him through his challenges. He is a family looking for a way to happen, and if he can just find the right key he can put everything back together his way. There are some stunning moments in this book when Piccirilli displays his poetic abilities in his sensitivity to language and its movement. The last paragraph of the book is one of those strangely perfect pieces of prose that will haunt you, but there are many others. This is horror in the service of literature, intended to take the reader somewhere and managing to do exactly that. Pay attention - "Our illusions have muscle and meaning."

Fascinating and beautiful

This book was nothing like what I was expecting, but it was beautiful, lyrical, and fascinating. The narrator radiates themes of loneliness, belonging, family, love and desire. His family history and past hurts have rendered him amoral, while capable of deep, hurtful love. Nothing is what it seems as he struggles to understand how he came to be where he is - a journey that started three generations ago and into which he has only recently stepped. This book asks, Are monsters born or made? It's an amazing read, making you think throughout. It leaves you to find your own answers on such weighty issues. Nothing about this book is black and white, or easy, but the journey is well worth it. It'll change the way you think. Highly recommended.

Reading, in spasms

Thomas is the descendant of the founders of Kingdom Come, a backwoods and backwater swamp town. He owns and runs the town mill, the major source of the income, thus making him the town's wealthiest inhabitant. But Thomas has other responsibilities as well. Many other responsibilities. One of the simpler of which includes looking out for his brothers, conjoined triplets who share a frontal lobe and speak in the vein of a choir of ill children. In addition, within these pages one can find a coven of highly superstitious granny witches, a young girl who may not be all that she appears to be, a preacher's son named Drub who speaks in tongues while running naked throughout the town, a private eye with more on his mind than the cases he's been hired for, and a whole plethora of other vibrant though inherently flawed characters that definitely keep the story interesting. Furthermore, the carnival is coming, and with it comes a sense of impending doom. Throughout the course of this book, Thomas learns that both the town and his family have several dark secrets that are interwoven into a colorful yet mysterious medley. This creepy medley culminates into a well thought-out finale wrought with both mysticism and intrigue as Thomas slowly peels away the layers of his very being to discover his roots. Tom Piccirilli has created an amazing tale, divulged via excellent prose in true Southern Gothic fashion, that will keep one's curiosity bubbling and brewing while pondering what will come next. This is more than just a mere horror novel. This is outstanding literature. A Choir of Ill Children is the type of book one will want to read again and again, as there is more to be extracted from it's pages with each reading. Pick this one up, you won't regret it!

Poetic and literate dark fantasy

Tom Piccirilli's A Choir Of Ill Children rates high at the top of my "favorite books of the year" list. The strange story, bizarre characters, and intense atmosphere all cook up into a weird southern gumbo. Piccirilli's narrative style is powerful, poetic, dark, and so vital that you can feel the novel's blood, bone, and muscle on every page. This is a rare book that transcends the genre envelope and enters a whole new arena. Highly recommended.


This is really one of the best book's I've read. This is not so much horror as it is southern gothic and it is great. Tom Piccirilli weaves a twised tale of swamps, in-breading, granny-witches, and the town of Kingdom Come. Our hero? is Thomas and he with his three brothers (joined at the head) take us on a great ride through deaths, storms, love, and mutilation. This is a MUST READ. The limited edition also has a chap book that adds a chapter to the story, worth it if you can find it (limited to 100 signed copies). Tom Piccirilli is a great story teller and I hope he gives us more about Potts county and Kingdom Come.
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