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)
This story is, I felt, more "The Goonies" than Stephen King's "The Body". Throw in a healthy dose of "Salem's Lot" and a hint of "It" for flavor.
The narrator is talented, but in my opinion not the right fit for this story. His narration lent more of the Goonies feel to the story, less of the expected horror.
Where The Body was much more personal with the young characters, I found these kids to be more superficial, flat and lacking the realistic touch King penned in his work.
Still, a worthwhile listen, and a good dollars per hour value.
I'm a horror, sci-fi fan. My favourites are Lovecraft, Poe, Bierce, Jackson, Levin, and King.
Yes, I've already started a second time. I'm sure I missed nuances and details that will make the second listen a richer experience.
It's rather a combination of several coming of age, horror and adventure tales. I thought of The Goonies, and Stephen King's The Body and It.
I'd never heard any stories read by Dan John Miller, but I enjoyed listening.
Summer of Night; Summer of Terror
I first experienced A Winter Haunting, not knowing it was a sequel. It pales drastically in comparison with this story. Dale Stewart is a pathetic character in A Winter Haunting, but a strong character in Summer of Night. it was annoying that the WWI soldier appears in A Winter Haunting without any explanation. My favorite characters were Cordy Cooke and Duane McBride. I endured A Winter Haunting because of Duane's inclusion. I read that Cordy appears in another book, so I am looking forward to experiencing her again. I hope Dan Simmons remained true to her, as he did not remain true to Dale Stewart.
I absolutely loved this story! It's like King's "Stand by me" meets Netflix's "Stranger Things" with a HUGE added dose of pure horror and terror. Great story with genuine characters you feel you already know (or knew while growing up). I can't believe there hasn't been more movies made from Dan Simmons books, maybe though that's for the best as "the book is always better". Put this book at the TOP of your list to read!
An avid reader who cherishes my time with a good book!
This book was so broad and the story so vivid, I likely would take another listen one day.
This book had those type of nostalgic moments from classics like Stand By Me and Goonies. It is set in the 70's and the author has done a wonderful job recreating the time and tone of that decade in his characters and setting.
This book is quite long and the build up to the climax was really well done and managed so that by the time it all hit, you were fully engaged and ready to enjoy the ride. I think the final chapters of the book clearly did not disappoint. Those things the author had withheld were finally revealed in all their creepy glory and it was epic!
It would have been but it was too long. This book is best savored for all the rich details and wonderful action.
I felt betrayed. The synopsis led me to believe that this was a. Kidnapping type crime story, but it was far from that. I knew it was long, and that would have been great if it had not been full of extreme character and scene descriptions with SLOW (unbelievably slow) plot movement. I made myself complete the book in hopes that I might find something favorable by the end. I did not. I hated the demonic nature of it, which was the thread that tied all of the plot together. I hope to never read a book like this again.
Struggled to finish...got too "over the top" sci-fi for me and I didn't really connect with the young characters.
Looking for the next best horror, ghost, paranormal, apocalyptic book out there. Especially if it has a full cast.
I was tentative about choosing this for my next credit for several reasons. It was longer than I was in the mood for and I had neither read anything by Dan Simmons nor heard anything by Dan John Miller. So this was a total flip of the coin for me. I'm glad I landed on 'heads'.
The fact that this was written over 25 years ago was another reason I decided to give it a try. In an era of self-publishing there are so many awful books with the same tired storyline. The label "bestselling" means almost absolutely nothing to me now. According to Amazon every other book is now by a "bestselling" author or part of a "bestselling" series. This novel was amazingly refreshing and deserves to be more widely recognized.
I was immediately drawn in by the smooth prose and vibrant descriptions. And although the book centers on a group of children it is in no shape or form a YA novel. Simmons' ability to take us into the inner workings of each kids minds in such a way that you feel yourself relating to them is remarkable. They become much more than just a story... suddenly they are your own personal childhood friends. Before I knew it I found myself so emotionally invested that I was listening to it every second I could. Add to that the brilliant narration of Mr. Miller and you have an ideal combo.
I would easily rank this as one of my favorites to date and would have no problem recommending others to listen to it. I wish there were more out there with both a winning story and exceptional narrator.
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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