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Publisher's Summary

A once-respected college professor and novelist, Dale Stewart has sabotaged his career and his marriage - and now darkness is closing in on him. In the last hours of Halloween, he has returned to the dying town of Elm Haven, his boyhood home, where he hopes to find peace in isolation. But moving into a long-deserted farmhouse on the far outskirts of town - the one-time residence of a strange and brilliant friend who lost his young life in a grisly "accident" back in the terrible summer of 1960 - is only the latest in his long succession of recent mistakes. Because Dale is not alone here. He has been followed to this house of shadows by private demons who are now twisting his reality into horrifying new forms. And a thick, blanketing early snow is starting to fall.

©2009 Dan Simmons (P)2015 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about A Winter Haunting

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Exceptionally Well Done


“Winter Haunting” is the sequel to “Summer of Night” by Dan Simmons. Summer of Night was a coming of age horror story involving a group young boys living in a small rural town who live through a horrific series of supernatural events during one summer of their lives. It was lengthy and nostalgic, but excellent.

Winter Haunting is the story of Dale, one of the 11 yr. olds from that summer, who comes back home 40 years later to reconcile memories and face his demons.

Winter Haunting is one of the rare sequels that is equals or surpasses the first novel.This second novel is more urgent, more compact, and more suspenseful. This horror novel is eerie and subtly spooky. I couldn’t put it down.

The narration by Bronson Pinchot was unique and outstanding. As Dale's character begins doubting his sanity and starts to mentally deteriorate, Pinchot’s voice also deteriorates and reflects the stress and overwhelming confusion Dale is experiencing.

I can’t believe I missed this novel when it came out, but am so glad I eventually found it. This is one great listen.

55 people found this helpful

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Been waiting for this audiobook for YEARS

What made the experience of listening to A Winter Haunting the most enjoyable?

This great ghost story finally making it to audio form. Dan Simmons' best.

What was one of the most memorable moments of A Winter Haunting?

They all be spoilers

Have you listened to any of Bronson Pinchot’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Yes - excellent as always

35 people found this helpful

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Sequel to "Summer of Night"

This is a terrific story. It brings us back to some of the characters from "Summer of Night" forty years on.

Elm Haven is a great place for a haunting, but don't go there for your vacation anytime soon!

10 people found this helpful

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Not as good as the first, but a solid 4

Where does A Winter Haunting rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It's not a bad book, but it doesn't really stand out. Pieces of Summer Night come back to me at various times, but I doubt that will happen with this one. This book didn't make much of an impression.

What does Bronson Pinchot bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Bronson does a very good job as a narrator. The only issues I had were the points where the story was taken over by another, more rambling, character. Bronson does a good job at conveying a rambling, verbose type of talker, but it can be distracting (reminded me of Fae in the Grimnoir Chronicles if you've listened to that).

Any additional comments?

It's a decent book. It certainly had the makings of a good ghost story and it did it well. Unfortunately the author didn't really capitalize on what he built, so while the journey was fun, the destination (the last 20% of the book), was rather mundane.

Still worth a credit.

9 people found this helpful

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Are you placing your trust in someone real?

Any additional comments?

This turned out to be an interesting if slightly spooky and incredibly creepy tale! And I had some inkling of what was going on but was surprised to depth of it. And I definitely had one of those 'holy sh*t' moments that just sneak up on you.

The last hour of this story truly takes this ghost story and plunges it into an action packed ghost story that had me literally at the edge of my seat crazy with anxiety. And man, there was a point I really felt bad for Dale and his mental state.

I didn't read or listen to the first book to this story but honestly I didn't feel as though I missed out on much.

In this you do get some creepy brow lifting vibes and the story is very well written and with creepy interest slowly builds to that point where you're screaming, 'What in the world is going on?'

Well worth my money!

28 people found this helpful

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Excellent

Great suspenseful story, with stellar narration by Bronson Pinchot. Live a ghost story? Read this.

7 people found this helpful

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Recording edits need work

Throughout the reading you can tell when there is an edit, the sound quality and cadence change. It's a great story, but it trips you up when the recording changes happen.

4 people found this helpful

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Great, slow burn of a horror novel

I did not listen to the first book, but plan to once summer comes around again. I think that this book stands alone just fine though. Good story and excellent narration.

4 people found this helpful

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Great follow-up to Summer of Night!

This book was provided to me free of charge in exchange for my honest opinion.

As Dale tries to lose himself after his breakup with Claire, he also takes a walk down memory lane. Things with Dwayne were not exactly as he remembered. The mystery of the upstairs as well as the entity leaving cryptic messages for him on his computer were intriguing and kept me guessing as to who or what was haunting him. The ending has twist that I was not expecting, but made sense of everything that Dale had been experiencing.

The narration was smooth and quite superb! Great job to both Dan Simmons and Bronson Pinchot!!

4 people found this helpful

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Loved catching up with Dale

Any additional comments?

I think Simmons wrote a great follow up to Summer of Night, Pinchot nails the narration, and the story is plenty spooky. However, Simmons kept using the work scabrous to describe things. He did it so often when I heard the word each successive time, I was yanked right out of the story. It was very distracting and lowered my rating of the tale. I should add, though, that I am still willing to use a credit on a book by Simmons- especially if the book focuses on childhood friendships. I've heard some compare Simmons to Stephen King for this reason, and I agree. They both have the ability to describe childhood friendships in a way that transports me back to a time in my own childhood- to a time when I thought summer break was as long as the school year, and I rode my bike with friends all day long every chance I got. Simmons captures the essence of childhood wonderfully, and in A Winter Haunting the absence of close friendships makes Dale's current situation all the more jarring and creepy.

9 people found this helpful

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  • sarahmoose2000
  • 08-07-15

Sequel to "Summer of Night" - Read it First!

As noted above this was the sequel, and I would recommend you read/listen to it first as there are a lot of references to it here.

This book was like discovering an old photo album and re-uniting with friends you hadn't seen since childhood. Reliving the incidents of the kids' summer was great and reminded me of old school holidays when you were pretty much left to yourself all day.

Dale has grown up now and returns to the house of one of his friends to write about that summer. We are re-introduced to background characters who now play pivotal roles in the town and Dale is never quite sure who to trust. Enjoy it, I did!

6 people found this helpful

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  • Alan Myers
  • 05-09-21

Gloomier, darker than the first one

Simmons writes the tale of a follow up to Summer of Night in a different tone. No Stephen King here: it’s the Scandi Noir version. The innocence of childhood has gone, just a gloomy author at the end of several unrewarding avenues in his life, who returns, un-remembering to the same place 42 years later. If SoN was a tale of American confidence at the height of the American century, then this is post industrial America, it’s values and self confidence hollowed our, the town a ghost of its former vibrancy.
Simmons riffs throughout on the story by James that plays out across the pages: is the alter ego demonic, mad and unconscionable or is the “hero” of the story just a loser for having none of these qualities?

As you can gather it’s a much lower tone book than SoN, so if you do read, you know what to expect. Having said that, I enjoyed it immensely, and will give the next one a go.

The performance is strong throughout, matching the mood of the book very well.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Paul
  • 10-22-15

Good low key follow-up to Summer of Night.

Interesting, if not particularly scary story, well paced with an excellent perfomance by Bronson Pinchot.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Lekmo
  • 10-06-21

Gripping story

I found this story truly gripping and literally couldn’t stop listening. Bronson Pinchot had my total attention, his narration was perfect, bringing clarity to each character, he was a pleasure to listen to.

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  • Jack Graham
  • 08-10-21

Tolerable

A rather meandering and disjointed work, not up to the standard of the same author's brilliant later book The Terror. There are some quite spooky passages and a very enjoyable 'background noise' of erudite and literary mysticism. There are one or two startling images. There are also gruellingly tedious sections. A boring car chase that goes on forever. Many apparently unself-aware sections about that parodically quintessential trope of 'serious' literary fiction, a middle-aged professor having an affair with a much younger female student. Yawn. The protagonist is profoundly unlikeable and he comes up against multiple thinly drawn characters who are not much more than clichés, some of which are misogynistic depictions. In line with the author's politics there is much pointless and juvenile sniping at 'political correctness' and some rather embarrassing satire (I guess?) of artsy intellectual lefty types. The author clearly thinks he is landing hits against PC attitudes to Native Americans yet doesn't notice that he is himself actually doing what he's attacking others for doing. Even so, the central mystery is sufficiently unusual and interesting to get you through. The reader does an okay job but doesn't sell the scary bits.

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  • Rose
  • 06-09-20

well plotted more or less, poorly written

Not a bad plot though there are points inthe text where one is tempted to think ‘oh really? are you kidding me’? well, some wounds do bleed a lot but are superficial I suppose but still, what I don’t like about it is that the author seems to think his readers are stupid that is to say, two people in one room and yet he insists on telling us who ‘said’ this and who ‘said’ that as if we need reminded of the fact that if one stops speaking then the other must reply or respond or whatever and that we can’t follow dialogue that closely. There’s way too much of the ‘he said’ ‘she said’ routine that’s common among authors so, as i say, good enough plot mostly, very poorly executed. It’s a shame really since there’s a lot of intelligence within the text which makes you think it ought to have been better written in terms of dialogue and the editor might be to blame. Performance? Well, there are odd sentences which have obviously been re-recorded after the original text was written, the sound quality is different so I can’t give it a full five stars though the narration is actually very good that apart.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-26-20

Weird Sequel

Not Dan Simmons best. Get significantly better in the final chapters. Drags a lot in the middle.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-08-19

Classic Horror novel, a great audio book

loved this audio book, Dan Simmons is one of my favourite authors of all time and doesn't fail to deliver a good ol' Dan style horror. The actor was good too, liked this all round.