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.
“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)
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.
I have to admit that I'm a total Audible junkie. MUST have book going at all times. I may be the subject of a family intervention someday.
Set in 1960, the plot is reminiscent of two Steven King classics: Stand By Me and It. It also employs the wonderful "Impossible Quest Against Absolute Evil Undertaken by Ill-Equipped Small or Young Heroes" form of storytelling found in a lot of my favorite literature. Nicely done, very creepy and suspenseful. The author takes his time setting the situation up and getting us to like the characters, which is fine with me, and then rockets his cast through a roller coaster ride of horrors that would challenge even Sam and Frodo. Worth a credit for sure.
This book was very long. Its not that it was boring, it just took forever to get through. The narrator did a good job of making different voices, but there was no sense of real urgency in terms of the plot. It really just lumbered along. At times it was good, at times it was boring. Overall, not worth the over 20 hours you have to put into it.
I listen to audiobooks when I drive and when I hike.
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.
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!
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.
scary, fun, and exciting.
Dan John Miller is one of my favorite readers, and this story read by him is no acception.
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.
Willy Wonka of it
I did not read the print version, so I cannot say. I will say that I prefer audio books to reading.
There's a sad scene where one of the little ones goes down.
An excellent reader who conveys emotion and tone very well.
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.
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.
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.)
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!
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