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Summer of Night Audiobook

Summer of Night

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Publisher's Summary

It’s the summer of 1960 and in the small town of Elm Haven, Illinois, five twelve-year-old boys are forging the powerful bonds that a lifetime of change will not break. From sunset bike rides to shaded hiding places in the woods, the boys’ days are marked by all of the secrets and silences of an idyllic childhood. But amid the sun-drenched cornfields, their loyalty will be pitilessly tested. When a long-silent bell peals in the middle of the night, the townsfolk know it marks the end of their carefree days. From the depths of the Old Central School, a hulking fortress tinged with the mahogany scent of coffins, an invisible evil is rising. Strange and horrifying events begin to overtake everyday life, spreading terror through the once-peaceful town. Determined to exorcize this ancient plague, Mike, Duane, Dale, Harlen, and Kevin must wage a war of blood against an arcane abomination who owns the night....

©2011 Dan Simmons (P)2011 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

“Impressive...combines beautiful writing and suspense into a book for which Dan Simmons deserves the bestseller status of King and Koontz.” (The Denver Post)

“One can only wonder what Simmons will do next, now that he’s shown us he can do everything the best writers in horror and science fiction can do.” (The Philadelphia Inquirer)

“It stands with the best of King and Straub in the traditional modern horror genre.” (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (980 )
5 star
 (367)
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 (324)
3 star
 (211)
2 star
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1 star
 (35)
Overall
3.9 (890 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.2 (885 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
 (130)
2 star
 (20)
1 star
 (22)
Performance
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  •  
    D. L. Lederman 02-07-16 Member Since 2016

    leahiniowa

    HELPFUL VOTES
    33
    ratings
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    19
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    "A Strong RIval of Stephen King's Best Work"

    Even though I was 2 years old in 1960 (the year in which Summer of Night is set), I found Simmons evocation of the summer vacations we baby-boomers enjoyed markedly similar to those we experienced in Texas during the 1960's. I think that, as children, we were able to enjoy the simplicity of those years in a way that people of other generations could not. We hung between the past and the future: we still played the games our parents did as children but the Space Age and the Beatles promised us futures filled with amazing, undreamed of lives to come.

    Dan John Miller gives this book it's due. His ability to slip into a variety of characters of different gender, background and age is marvelous. He never gives the sense that this is his first time to see the book, the way some performers do. And when the text describes a character as coughing or laughing while speaking, etc., he does it in a most natural way, which can be difficult for some to do without being awkward.

    Oh, Summer of Night is definitely a horror book. It is scary, scary, scary. But much of what makes it so effective are Simmons' characterizations, his almost poetic descriptions and the ability to twist several elements of horror stories into something completely new. It really can appeal to quite a large number of diverse readers.

    Simmons immerses the reader into the setting of that summer in 1960 Illinois with his almost hypnotic use of prose. I felt that I could almost feel the summer heat, crawling up hot rocks barefoot, splashing into the local swimming hole and riding my bicycle over dusty, unpaved roads. He provides us with the atmosphere of iced lemonade, nights on front porch swings under yellow outdoor lights and the the ever-present song of summer insects such as cicadas and crickets. And, most importantly, the tightly bound friendships that children believe will last forever.

    I want to take one paragraph to touch on the characters in the book. It is so easy to view them as real people that you might discover yourself loving some and hating some, and wishing you could have been there to help them. I am reading a book right now, Children of the Night, in which one of the boys plays a major role. It was delightful to see him as a grown up. I hope we get to see more.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mrsv 12-09-15
    mrsv 12-09-15 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    8
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    "GREAT read!"

    This book had a slow start as the author developed the characters. After that the story unfolded quickly and built to an exciting crescendo. A great read!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William Carrollton, TX, United States 01-30-13
    William Carrollton, TX, United States 01-30-13 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
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    17
    17
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    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Takes you back to your childhood. Good story."
    If you could sum up Summer of Night in three words, what would they be?

    scary, fun, and exciting.


    Have you listened to any of Dan John Miller’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Dan John Miller is one of my favorite readers, and this story read by him is no acception.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    both


    Any additional comments?

    This was really a good book.
    If you grew up in the 50s, 60s this will take you back to your childhood.
    My favorite book like this was Stephen King's, it.
    Summer of Night came close but not quite.
    Nevertheless read this one. You won't be sorry.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marcus SHOEMAKERSVILLE, PA, United States 12-27-12
    Marcus SHOEMAKERSVILLE, PA, United States 12-27-12 Member Since 2010

    Willy Wonka of it

    HELPFUL VOTES
    95
    ratings
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    142
    72
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    8
    3
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    Performance
    Story
    "Very King-esque!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Summer of Night to be better than the print version?

    I did not read the print version, so I cannot say. I will say that I prefer audio books to reading.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Summer of Night?

    There's a sad scene where one of the little ones goes down.


    What does Dan John Miller bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    An excellent reader who conveys emotion and tone very well.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I was a bit sad at the loss of some life, but overall it was a good read/listen. I wish we'd gotten a bit more after things were all said and done.


    Any additional comments?

    A very good standalone story. It was long, but pretty worthwhile. The story could have been shorter, but at one point the mystery got stalled and had to start over. Those parts of the book were harder to get through, but overall it was a good one.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James E. Glenn Noblesville, IN, US 10-17-11
    James E. Glenn Noblesville, IN, US 10-17-11 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent atmosphere and well written!"

    Dan John Miller made this book come to life for me. It is well written and well read. Has hints of Stephen King's Stand by Me and Robert McCammon's Boy's Life with plenty of suspense and horror thrown in. I would highly recommend this book!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Phillip Arlington, TX 01-07-14
    Phillip Arlington, TX 01-07-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    224
    ratings
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    103
    35
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    38
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Where's the editor?"

    The story is actually not bad and could certainly make for a great book. What it needs is a good editor to trim the excess fat. At over 500 pages (or 22 hrs.) the story becomes bloated and rambling at times. With a good editor this could have been 4 or 5 stars. As it stands, I have given it 3 stars, but much of it only deserves 2.

    6 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Trace L. Wogmon 01-24-12 Listener Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Disappointing in the extreme."

    BEWARE of the reviews likening this work to some of Stephen King's. That said, though, it is possible that the audiobook would have been a success if the narrator had had the skills necessary to the task. I dislike trashing a narrator (and Miller would be just fine in other contexts), but the voicings of the kids (around whom the story revolves, after all) are really bad, and Miller reads tense, threatening situations almost as though he's narrating "Wind in the Willows." Pay attention to the Sample and realize that that tone will obtain even when the storyline has turned to the dark, ominous, threatening. The non-fit of tone to content and the sheer fakiness of the the kids' voices were more horrific than the story. (Note, though, that I listened to "only" the first 7 hours. After that I had to give up.) (By the way, I loved the Hyperion series and The Terror.)

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    crystal ST LOUIS, MO, United States 12-04-15
    crystal ST LOUIS, MO, United States 12-04-15 Member Since 2011

    CRYROLFE

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    "OVER LONG"

    Normally I love extra long books, but this one really didn't need to be in my opinion. Lots of drawn out smaller stories that really didn't add anything to the story.
    I also never really connected with any of the characters and didn't have much concern for their welfare.


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    shane 11-11-11
    shane 11-11-11 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    194
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    4
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    "servicable"

    if you are like me you quickly burn through your favorite authors on audible and then have to mine for a nugget , this isnt one but it is flecked , alot of other reviews compare it to stand by me , but that is not right it is closer to IT than SBM and closer to the goonies than Salems lot I like alot about this book except I cannot for the life of me think why Dan simmons spent so much time describing how brilliant the fat kids father was, together the son and father invented everything except the ipod 50 years ago , but it is still worth alisten if you have the credits and hours to burn.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    anne RICHMOND, CA, United States 02-06-12
    anne RICHMOND, CA, United States 02-06-12 Member Since 2011

    Artist, publisher/editor

    HELPFUL VOTES
    79
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    30
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    5
    Overall
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    "More like an after school special"

    First to be fair, I stopped listening half way through the first of the 3 chapter breaks so if what I didn't like somehow changed, I'd be surprised. Regardless of what was going on at any given moment of the plot, Simmons doesn't convey any sense of dread or horror even during the "scary parts". The comparisons to King's Stand By Me or IT are warranted and would have been fine had it not been such at labored attempt at recreating the same vibe as those stories. For example, MUCH too much time dwelling on the details of a baseball game and the neighborhood kids to draw out that sense of camaraderie was really painful. That's when I called it quits. Disappointed. Right now, even though I feel I've drained all my options for horror fiction, I won't be going back to finish this. If the story is good it's still a huge bore because it simply isn't scary. The narration doesn't help but it's not all his fault. There is an art to horror that I'm afraid so many modern writers don't get.

    6 of 10 people found this review helpful

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