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)
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.
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!
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
I am a selective Stephen King fan in my younger days and thought this may be similar to some of my favorites. Turns out it was just too creepy. Never made it through the first segment. For those who enjoy the supernatural, this is probably a good read. I just couldn't get on board with this one. Some of the voices used by the narrator were a stretch, but wasn't a problem for me.
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