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Summer of Night | [Dan Simmons]

Summer of Night

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.
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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

3.9 (246 )
5 star
 (83)
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
3.9 (210 )
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Story
4.0 (204 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    anne RICHMOND, CA, United States 02-06-12
    anne RICHMOND, CA, United States 02-06-12 Member Since 2011

    Artist, publisher/editor

    HELPFUL VOTES
    48
    ratings
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    73
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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.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    shane eden, VT, United States 11-11-11
    shane eden, VT, United States 11-11-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    105
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    36
    29
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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
  •  
    Kathleen Wing Redlands, CA United States 06-28-14
    Kathleen Wing Redlands, CA United States 06-28-14 Member Since 2008

    I listen to audiobooks when I drive and when I hike.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Started strong, but didn't stay that way"

    The story was good and in the beginning I thought I was going to enjoy it as much as "It" by Stephen King, but there was not enough depth to this story to support the length of it. I think it would have been a much better story if it had been about 2/3 as long.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lori United States 03-08-14
    Lori United States 03-08-14 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    29
    ratings
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    410
    56
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    Story
    "Great story and character development"

    I really enjoyed this book, there is a lot of time spent on character development so when something happens to the character you are invested in that person. I think of this story like stand by me with sci-fi/ horror. It is not very fast paced, but that is due to the character development in the story which adds the richness to the book. An interesting story, a great narrator and a good ending combine to make this book very credit worthy!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    G Matt Seongnam, Korea (South) 03-19-13
    G Matt Seongnam, Korea (South) 03-19-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
    ratings
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    79
    35
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    "Nothing Special"

    This book was not compelling. The narration was good. Perhaps I was unimpressed because I had recently finished the excellent Justin Cronin books 'The Passage' and 'The Twelve'. This book seemed more like a Hardy boys adventure when compared to Cronin's work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel Bowling Green, KY, United States 02-19-13
    Daniel Bowling Green, KY, United States 02-19-13 Member Since 2004

    Daniel

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Stephen King? Sorta"

    Another coming of age book set in the idealistic late 50's and early 60's. It's a watered down version of "It" or an expanded version of "The Body." Take your pick. Worth a credit? Yes.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roadrambler USA 02-03-13
    Roadrambler USA 02-03-13 Listener Since 2000

    "Roadrambler"

    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
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    13
    8
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    "Not for me"
    Would you try another book from Dan Simmons and/or Dan John Miller?

    I would not try one based on my experience with this book.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Dan Simmons again?

    Maybe but not likely


    What aspect of Dan John Miller’s performance would you have changed?

    The performance was fine it was the story I could not live with.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment would not be an exaggeration. I kept thinking...get on with it...and this is not logical or believable.


    Any additional comments?

    I did not finish this book. Well into it I decided my time could be better spent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William Carrollton, TX, United States 01-30-13
    William Carrollton, TX, United States 01-30-13 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    15
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    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.

    0 of 0 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
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    "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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer L Lansing, MI, United States 04-25-12
    Jennifer L Lansing, MI, United States 04-25-12 Member Since 2008

    Audiobooks keep me sane- great actors are much better voices in my head than my own. I prefer sf&f, but occasionally fall back on high lit.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
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    "Definitely not the Hyperian Cantos"
    Would you recommend Summer of Night to your friends? Why or why not?

    Not really. It's like when John Grisham wrote that book about living in the Midwest and didn't have a single lawyer in the cast. It's weird. Sure, it's "horror", but it's cheesy, predictable, and mild at best.


    Any additional comments?

    Don't just download this because it's Dan Simmons.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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