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)
I found this story to be very slow. I like that the supernatural elements were introduced gradually, but it simply took too long to move the plot along. There were also some elements that seemed disjointed and never fully explained. My other problem with it was that the author seemed to have an odd penchant for killing animals. He kills 4 dogs "on screen" and makes countless other references to dead dogs and cats, that seemed to me to not add much, if anything, to the story. Instead he seemed to be using the killing of animals as a tool to solicit a visceral reaction from readers.
I liked the characters. They were fairly well developed, though some more than others. However, overall, I felt the book needs some refinement and condensing to help with pacing.
First and foremost I'd get a different narrator. Dan John Miller is not terrible when doing non-dialog, but his children's voices are just not good. Considering that the protagonists are all children, it was distracting and took away from the book as a whole.
I probably would not; it is too similar to Stephen King's far superior IT to recommend it.
He was incredibly unconvincing when doing children's voices and I distinctly disliked his performance of Duane and Larry.
This coming-of-age horror novel does one VERY inadvisable thing. It invites too many comparisons to Stephen King's IT. Group of pre-pubescent teen friends? Check. Action during summer break in or around 1960, with all the idyllic details and comparative freedom for kids of bygone times? Oh yeah. A few bullies to counterpoint a supernatural evil? Got it. Some insightful examination of the differences each family has, from single parents to alcoholism to religious fervor? Sure. An ancient evil threatening to engulf a small town? Yup.
Simmons is a very good author, perhaps better known for his science fiction, and he is not merely mimicking King. Much of what King does has roots in classic tales and familiar story structures; it is just that King does it so much better than almost anyone else that you'd think authors in the same genre would avoid stories that beg such comparisons. But the handful of really clear differences in the way the stories are told (this one told all in the present, from the points of view of the kids; IT told in a masterful back and forth from the perspective of the kids and the remembrances of the events as adults) is not enough to make this story feel like more than a pale imitation. Still a fun read, but not one to pick up if you've already done IT.
This was very entertaining. I hate to do it but I have to compare this to "It". I have never read(or listened to) any Dan Simmons that I haven't enjoyed fully and this did not disappoint. I hate to do it but I have to compare this to "It", as many others have, I'm sure. A small group of youngsters face off against an ancient evil. Where Stephen Kings story of young heroism is full of time hopping and endless hours of character development, this story is very straight forward, and really only focused on the lives of the main characters. I dont thing this makes Summer of Night a bad story at all though, in fact, I loved it. I just wouldn't have minded 20 more hours.
I hate reading. Thanks audible for allowing me to experience stories without turning a single page or cranking my neck.
If I wasn't on a cross country flight and didn't already have this book fully downloaded I would have given up early on. But I stayed with it until the painful end. The whole story seemed forced. Kind of like a cheap knockoff of Stephen king's IT but without the trilling, mysterious, scary or good parts. The narration was the worst I have encountered in an audiobook. It felt like the narrator rushed through it not taking any time to draw the listener in. And when he changed from each kid's point of view his kid voices were just the worst. Pee wee Herman like. Overall it was pretty bad. Good thing I can get my credit back. Thanks audible!
I loved this book. The narrator is mostly good, BUT he pronounces "stele" as "steely", and it's annoying.
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!
Report Inappropriate Content