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Summer of Night

Summer of Night

Scritto da Dan Simmons

Narrato da Dan John Miller


Summer of Night

Scritto da Dan Simmons

Narrato da Dan John Miller

valutazioni:
4.5/5 (95 valutazioni)
Lunghezza:
22 ore
Pubblicato:
Jul 5, 2011
ISBN:
9781455810444
Formato:
Audiolibro

Descrizione

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.…

"It stands with the best of King and Straub in the traditional modern horror genre." -Seattle Post-Intelligencer

"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

Pubblicato:
Jul 5, 2011
ISBN:
9781455810444
Formato:
Audiolibro

Informazioni sull'autore

Dan Simmons is the Hugo Award-winning author of Hyperion and The Fall of Hyperion, and their sequels, Endymion and The Rise of Endymion. He has written the critically acclaimed suspense novels Darwin's Blade and The Crook Factory, as well as other highly respected works, including Summer of Night and its sequel A Winter Haunting, Song of Kali, Carrion Comfort, and Worlds Enough & Time. Simmons makes his home in Colorado.


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4.3
95 valutazioni / 34 Recensioni
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Recensioni dei lettori

  • (5/5)
    Shit was dope, worth the read. It's like Stephen kings it.
  • (4/5)
    Overall I liked this book, but it could have used some editing
  • (4/5)
    It was a good. A bit long but characters are well developed.
  • (3/5)
    I rip off of It written before It was insanely popular. Still enjoyed it.
  • (4/5)
    Lengthy but dont stop, it is a solid story with great narration. Not enough gore, otherwise 5 stars but full of suspense and tragedy. Love the characters, so well developed. It did move along at a pretty go pace, I wouldn't say it dragged at all, the author kept the spirit of horror going. Definitely worth the time.
  • (2/5)
    This book started out strong. I enjoyed how well the author was able to develop the characters and the scenes so that they truly came alive. And the plot was intriguing as well, at first.

    And then it went off the tracks as, unfortunately, the vast majority of books (and movies) of this genre do. It was just too “over the top”, to the point that it actually became tiresome. In fact, the last half of the book ended up borrowing so many disparate cliches that it felt as randomly architected as the school building it describes in the beginning.

    I would love to read more books in the horror genre that don’t rely on shock and spectacle, choosing instead to leverage suspense and mystery to create a truly “creepy” response. I’m losing faith that such writing even exists anymore.
  • (5/5)
    I really enjoyed this book. Dan simmons is a wonderful writer.
  • (4/5)
    Dan Simmons is a good writer. I don't say that lightly. In Summer of Night, he photographs the years of my childhood, when children except for one's own, were mostly unsupervised and often invisible, unless they interfered with grownup business.

    One of my favorite themes in this book is the idea that, in the course of our daily lives, while we can recognize irritation and obstacles, we can be blind to plain old evil.

    It's well-written, it's a blast from the past, and it's engagingly narrated (I wonder how they do those voices? )

  • (5/5)

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

    Very good. I almost stopped listening to this due to an occurrence that really annoyed me. But I kept and I’m glad I did. There is a sequel. Set in the future when the boys are grown.

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

  • (4/5)
    After reading THE TERROR a few years ago, I knew Dam Simmons could write, but I didn’t know how well he could write until I finished SUMMER OF NIGHT, a book that was a Christmas gift which sat on my shelf a few years too long – I was really denying myself a great read. Simmons’ mastery of character, place and time is among the best, and the traits of a true storyteller.At first glance, SUMMER OF NIGHT appears to be nothing more than another nostalgic coming of age horror story set in a small town in 1960; the kind where only the adolescent protagonists catch on to the supernatural evil in their midst and have to fight it on their own. This plot is an old horror trope, same for the small town in America with dark secrets no one will talk about, where and ancient evil has lain dormant until just the right moment to come back to life, but these seeming clichés are so well handled by Simmons, the reader hardly notices. The central characters are a group of boys around the age of 12, some slightly older, others slightly younger, who are best buds in the 6th grade at the Old Central Elementary School in Elm Haven, Illinois. Their home situations are varied and different, so are their temperaments and personalities; one of the great strengths of this book is how much Simmons makes you care about and fear for Duane, Jim, Mike, Kevin, Dale and Lawrence. And their small town world is so well laid out that the reader will come to see it perfectly in their minds: the tree lined streets and the stores on Main, the dirt country roads with cornfields on either side. We can feel the heat and smell the humidity ahead of a thunder storm. One of the essentials of these stories is a well established sense of mood and place and Simmons pulls it off with flying colors.Though it is set in the summer of 1960, Simmons does not turn it into a trip back to AMERICAN GRAFFITI, instead the nostalgia the author evokes is for a time when the most priceless thing a boy could own was a second hand bicycle, followed by a baseball glove. A time when kids had the freedom on summer vacation to walk out the door first thing in the morning and not come back until dinner was on the table and no one thought anything of it. It’s a nostalgia for a time when kids were expected to amuse themselves for hours on end in a time before childhood and adolescence were overwhelmed by a loud, overbearing and ostentatiously sexy popular culture that treated kids like consumers; a time when small towns still thrived, long before automation, outsourcing, globalization and Wal Mart were even on the horizon. It might be the summer of ‘60, but the nomination of JFK is mentioned maybe twice as an event that is happening very far away. On the last day of school, one of the boy’s classmates, Tubby Cook, goes missing in Old Central, the same day that the peal of a long silent bell is heard. Soon our young protagonists begin to suspect that their teachers and principle were involved in the disappearance. As they try to get to the bottom of the mystery, a figure in a World War I uniform is seen lurking on the back roads, faces appear at windows in the night while other figures lurk in the darkness; shadows dart out of closets and hide under beds, things stir inside crawlspaces and basements; holes leading to tunnels under the earth are found, and as they learn more, a huge rendering truck begins to stalk the kids. Though they might be scared as hell, they also have plenty of grit, and knowing that the adults would not believe them, the boys – along with one girl - decide take on the evil in their midst, a battle that ultimately becomes a war – one that claims casualties before the final confrontation. There is a twist about half way through the book, one that will leave many readers picking their jaws up off the floor, while others will be profoundly grief stricken. The fact that so many fans of this book have commented on their emotional reaction to this event is one sign this book has really connected. My favorite scene is when Jim and Dale turn the tables on the town’s punk ass bully and back him down when they are forced to turn to him for help in a particularly desperate moment. The section of the book where the kids attempt to bait the evil rendering truck into a showdown is among the best things I’ve read in a horror novel in a very long time. And among the well drawn supporting characters, none stands out better than Cordie Cook, one tough piece of white trash; only tell her that at your peril.The book is not perfect, one flaw is the villain, whose motivation and objective is never made clear – it’s just an ancient evil that takes possession of those closest to it. But that is a weakness of many, many horror tomes. At least one character, Mink Harper, the town drunk, is brought in at one point to just relate, in great detail, pertinent information from the past to Mike; another trope that many horror writers use. SUMMER OF NIGHT can be described as a slow build, it takes it’s time setting the stage, but it is so well written by Simmons, that I didn’t mind; the chapters are just as long as they need to be, the character POV’s are will established and the sentence structure flows naturally, helped along with a great ear for metaphor and simile. SUMMER OF NIGHT is often compared to Stephen King’s IT, and it is an apt comparison, but for me, SUMMER might just be the better book. It’s much shorter than King’s work and the story stays within the past, my paperback copy comes in just under 500 pages. It has been a few decades since I read IT, and though the book is one of King’s most popular, I remember it as bloated and indulgent in some parts; all of the contemporary story elements could have been edited out, leaving just the story of the kids in Derry, Maine in the 50’s, and it would have been a better book. And Simmons never lets his young heroes go off the rails like King lets his young protagonists do – I’m talking about that certain scene in the sewers, and if you’ve read King’s book, you know what I mean. One thing IT has over SUMMER is villains; nothing can top Pennywise the Clown.One last thing, why hasn’t SUMMER OF NIGHT not been made into a movie? Its cast of young characters would be perfect for Stephen Spielberg; would love to have seen what POLTERGEIST era Tobe Hooper could have done with it. Someone in Hollywood has dropped the ball.
  • (3/5)

    2 persone l'hanno trovata utile

    There is a little too much description of little boy physiques and the hormonal thoughts they have. The plot was good but would have been better without the essence of pedophilia.

    2 persone l'hanno trovata utile

  • (3/5)

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

    I enjoyed the story for the most part. The scary parts are really good, suspenseful and lots of twists in the story. What kills the book for me is all the back story, it was too much and kept taking me out of the story. Then there’s the old character arcs that need to be retired and never written about again. Not all boys growing up in the 40’s are misogynistic. Not all single female school teachers are fat and stupid. Not all single mothers are considered sluts by their school age sons. Not all school age girls are inept, fat, or have speech impediments.

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

  • (3/5)

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

    Interesting plot that keeps you hooked. End wraps up a little too quick and nicely in my opinion. If you are a fan of Stephen King's IT, you will most likely enjoy and see similarities. However, if you are not a fan of young kids constantly cussing and even making sexual comments- you may not want to choose this book. I almost quit listening to audiobook early on due to large amounts of unnecessary cursing and sexual innuendo. All in all, book was ok, even suspenseful at times, but foul language definitely took away from what could have been a better, more suspenseful read.

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

  • (4/5)
    In Dan Simmons’ Summer of Night, an ancient and forgotten evil comes to life in the small town of Elm Haven, Illinois, where a close-knit group of recently graduated sixth graders are among the few to realize it’s happening, and soon understand they are the only ones who can deal with it.

    Though a terrific work of horror, Summer of Night is much more than that. It’s a coming-of-age tale that deftly recalls what it’s like to be eleven-years-old, no longer a kid, but yet not truly adolescent either. It affectionately captures hot, sweaty summer days of riding bikes, playing sandlot baseball, camping out, long days spent in the woods, and a nascent and budding interest in the opposite sex.

    It also quite cleverly captures a time, the year 1960, with black and white background images of Democrats nominating Kennedy, and the first satellites being sent into space; and a place, the dying town of Elm Haven, Illinois, which doesn’t know that it’s dying.

    The source of the horror both stretches credulity and is quite clever. Then again, it doesn’t matter what causes the World War I soldier to come out of his grave and stalk one of the character’s grandmothers. It doesn’t matter how the lamprey creatures can burrow and surface and dive into asphalt as easily as a dolphin in water. And it certainly doesn’t matter what caused the interior of Old Central School to become ensconced in viscous fluids, pulsing eggsacks, and fleshy tentacles. What matters is it has happened and must be dealt with.

    One of the things I find interesting about reading an obviously semi-autobiographical coming-of-age tale is trying to determine exactly which character is the author. In this book, there are many to choose from. There’s altar boy and all-around good guy Mike O’Rourke; earnest Dale Stewart and his younger brother Lawrence. There’s wiseass Jim Harlen, and quietly strong Kevin Grumbacher. And in the background, hovering over them all, is the bookish and brilliant (and doomed) Duane McBride.

    Though it becomes obvious toward the end which character most resembles Simmons, I’m struck upon every re-reading just how fully drawn each of the characters is, and can’t help but think there’s a little bit of Simmons in all of them.

    What strikes me most upon each re-reading of this book is the universality of it. Though I wasn’t born at the time this book takes place, it captures my own perhaps romanticized memories of my youth, hot summer days playing baseball and hanging out with friends, of riding bikes and camping out and playing in the woods. That may be why I re-read this book every few years or so.

    It’s always good to catch up with old friends.
  • (4/5)
    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 middle-childhood. But amid the sundrenched 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 idyllic 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...

    Nostalgic, reminiscence Gothic tale crossed with Stephen King’s IT.

    "Few events in a human being's life--at least a male human being's life--are as free, as exuberant, as infinitely expansive and filled with potential as the first day of summer when one is an eleven-year-old boy"

    I love the way Dan Simmons writes and here he is pitch perfect capturing that uniquely childhood experience of that first day of the holidays with the whole of summer stretching out in front of you filled with anticipation, fun and adventure…maybe a little too much adventure in this case

    Summer of Night boasts a fascinating cast of characters, relationships, conflicts and horrors set in the in the bucolic town of Elm Haven, Illinois in 1960.

    Beautiful writing with characters you care about, the author does a wonderful a job of visualising Gothic midwestern America.

    Clever, frightening, and gripping and highly recommended
  • (5/5)

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

    School is out in the small Ohio town of Elm Haven. This will be the last class of Old Central built in 1876. The atmosphere has always been less than pleasant but now it is perpetrated with evil beyond imagination. The kids of Elm Haven sense this evil and are determined to fight it but the entity has lived too long to give in easily. The advantage is that few adults will believe them if they told. The book is filled with how life was in small town America 45 years ago. It will really bring back memories. You can almost smell the corn growing as you remember lazy summers of your childhood. If you like really good horror stories then this is just your ticket.

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

  • (5/5)

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

    In the vein of Stand By Me and It by Stephen King.Real page turner.Characters with depth.Dan Simmons is a terrific writer,his prose raises his novels above pop fiction to literature.

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

  • (4/5)

    2 persone l'hanno trovata utile

    This started out as what I thought was going to be a boy's-coming-of-age-over-the-summer type of book, sort of like Robert McCammon's BOY'S LIFE. But then not too far into the story, things got freaky. Weird stuff and then more weird stuff. Pretty soon I was wondering what was happening and how was everything going to be explained. Then it got scary, real scary! It no longer resembled what I thought it was and instead turned into a teenagers-against-the-evil-creatures type of book. It is extremely well written with good characterization and a plot that insinuates itself into you without you knowing it. Additionally core characters to the book get injured and killed leaving you not knowing what will happen or to whom. This is the first book in a while that has scared me while reading it. Something to be definitely enjoyed!!

    2 persone l'hanno trovata utile

  • (5/5)

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

    I read the reviews before buying this audiobook, and was surprised by the vast differences in reviewer opinion. For some, the book was too long, and others never wanted it to end. This novel is long, but if you grew up in the 50,s 60;s, or 70;s, you will probably feel a sense of nostalgia. If you grew up before those decades, I would imagine the book would seem wordy and too lengthy.Summer of Night falls somwhere between "It" and "Stand By Me" in the dewey decimal system of your mind, which are both by Stehen King. I loved this novel, and think the writing vividly depicts a coming- of- age story involving several teen boys. They cus, they drink, they go on adventures. They have good parents, they have awful parents, and they rely on each other.There is the issue of childhood death in this story along with the parental grief that follows. That kind of raw emotion has always been difficult for me to take as a reader, but Simmons manages to make it part of the overall horror story instead of an emotional mess.The writing is good, I got lost in the book, and I really liked the characters and the charater development. Dan John Miller was an excellent choie for narration.

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

  • (5/5)

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

    Dan Simmons was well-cemented in place as one of my favorite authors before I read this book - this just raises him that much more in my esteem. The man can write in apparently every genre with the same level of intensity. Summer of Night tells the tale of six boys who have just finished the sixth grade (well, one of them is actually a couple of years behind) at the same time that their school - a more-than-one-hundred-year-old building - is being closed for good. But, as they prepare for an adventurous summer vacation, an ancient evil seeks to complete a transformation that began when the school was built.The story is replete with the stuff of which adolescent nightmares are made ... and symbolic, perhaps? I don't know what Simmons' intent was when he wrote the book, and the introduction that accompanies this edition does not preclude the possibility of this, but there is plenty of reason to wonder if some of the things that happen, and the principals involved, could well stand as symbols of many of the things involved in the passage into "teen-hood." And that just increases my estimation of Dan Simmons' writing.One of the characters in the book is apparently Simmons' representation of himself. The story is set in a small town in Illinois (where Simmons apparently grew up), it takes place in 1960, when Simmons would have been around 12 years old, and the protagonists are - by and large - 12, as well. Enjoy!!!

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

  • (1/5)
    I was going to try to push through, then Scribd informed me I still 12 hours to go in this 22 hour audiobook.

    No. Just no.

    This book is:
    Lots of kids.
    Lots of detail.
    Lots of guns.
    Lots of small town meanness.

    The “scary parts” are:
    Did I just feel a cold wind?
    Did I just get a dark feeling?
    Did the closet door just move?
    What was that noise?

    And road rage.
    And dead dogs. Really hated all the dead dogs.

    I had thought to compare this to Ghost Road Blues, 95% small town mean ending in 5% good malevolent supernatural boo, but dear God I enjoyed GRB better. That alone means it’s less than two stars.
  • (3/5)
    It gets a little weird sometimes, the boys get into some very far fetched situations and handle themselves like trained green berets instead of 13 yro boys, but most of the characters are well drawn (the ‘good guys’ are anyway’ Despite the fact that they fight like mercenaries on occasion. There are some REALLY unexpected plot twists...and some nonsensically vague ‘bad guys’ but all in all I found it entertaining. Also I love long books (especially on here since I only get one free audiobook a month so I hate wasting it on a short one.) I think it was pretty good, but not necessarily enough to recommend using your one audiocredit on it...
  • (4/5)

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

    I'm not a fan of horror novels. I usually find them just plain dumb, but I really enjoyed this story. I found the story interesting and it was frightful and tense where it should be. It starts out a little slow and boring but it picks up. The way he wrote about the kids and their lives made me nostalgic for an era I didn't even live in. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to dig in to a creepy story.

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

  • (4/5)
    Old Central School still stood upright, holding its secrets and silences firmly within. Eighty-four years of chalkdust floated in the rare shafts of sunlight inside while the memories of more than eight decades of varnishings rose from the dark stairs and floors to tinge the trapped air with the mahogany scent of coffins. The walls of Old Central were so thick that they seemed to absorb sounds while the tall windows , their glass warped and distorted by age and gravity, tinted the air with a sepia tiredness. . . .By the spring of 1960, Old Central School had come to resemble some of the ancient teachers who had taught in her: too old to continue but too proud to retire, held stiffly upright by habit and a simple refusal to bend. Barren herself, a fierce old spinster, Old Central borrowed other people's children over the decades." (from the first page of [Summer of Night])It is summer of 1960, and Old Central School has completed its last year as an active shcool. A group of friends, most of them having just completed 6th grade, are ready for summer fun. But it's not going to be an easy summer. Something Evil is afoot. A boy has disappeared. A dead soldier is wandering about. The odorous Rendering Truck roams the streets in search of more than dead animals. There are rumors of a cursed Bell. And something is slithering under the ground. . .I love the writing in this book. I love the warm scenes of ordinary small-town circa 1960s life juxtaposed against vivid descriptions of the dark horror of Evil that is enveloping the town. Simmons takes his time with descriptions that pull the reader back into small-town life the summer of 1960. There are mentions Huntley & Brinkley and the nomination of JFK. There are marvelous passages that bring small town/rural life alive to the reader. Some might say he describes too much -- at 600 pages, this book isn't a quick read. But without being rooted in that solid sense of a real place and time, I'm not sure this story would work nearly as well as it does.There are also things straight out of the author's chilling imagination. This is a horror novel, populated with the undead and other things that go bump (and slither and scratch) in the night. A certain suspension of disbelief is required of the reader -- not only regarding supernatural things, but also about the actions of these kids in fighting that Powerful Evil. But the author taps into an arsenal of natural childhood fears; fear of the dark, of something in the closet or under the bed; a reluctance to go into the basement, the threat of a menacing truck. Indeed, he does so much with the dreaded, odorous "Rendering Truck" that I wonder if a real-life version of such a truck was part of the writer's actual childhood terrors.This is a classic Good vs. Evil tale. Some of it's rather gross, and the ending (as with many horror novels) is a bit much. But I enjoyed it.
  • (4/5)
    Not bad...interesting but fell apart at the end for me (but a lot of books do).
  • (5/5)
    Staring at the clock, watching the minute hand creep towards the end of another school year with summer vacation only moments away, we are introduced to the last group of students attending Old Central School. As the minutes tick by, a fifth-grader walks the hallway down to the boys’ bathroom intent on completing his recent act of vandalism, breaking through one of the walls. He disappears. An eerie scream is heard throughout the school as the final bell rings and the handful of students seem disturbed by the sound are quickly assured by the teachers the noise is due to the age of the building. It’s 1960 in Elm Haven, Illinois, a small community surrounded by cornfields and seeded with a haunted past that has re-awakened, attempting to claim the town. The only obstacle to achieving that goal is the bicycle patrol, consisting of Mike, Dale, Lawrence, Jim, Kevin, and Duane. Dan Simmons has created a wonderful, nostalgic glimpse into a childhood past with the activities of his protagonists. Saturday night free movies at the makeshift drive-in, lazy days of sleeping in, dirt-clod wars, swimming in the nearby water-hole, and pup-tent camping. What would normally be a tale of growing up in small town America, becomes a background to the more sinister plot of an ancient evil resurrected, and using the community leaders to further its influence. Losing the innocence of youth to the realities and sometimes harsher consequences of adult decisions, we watch this group of youngsters grow and cope with the evil that only they seem to be able to see and confront. There are strong resemblances to other coming of age stories set in a horror genre, and Simmons does a nice job of building and fleshing out most of his characters while slowly introducing the monsters under the bed. I didn’t want to put this one down, not because it allowed me to keep the light on during the night, but that I wanted to see just how ingenious the tenacious youths would be in the final showdown. Ah but for the glory days of summer, where one could jump on a bicycle and roam the neighborhoods for hours, with no cares or worries except to be home for dinner.
  • (5/5)
    I really like Dan Simmons, he writes in so many different genres that I find it hard to believe that he does them all so well, but he really does. This is one of Dan's horror novels. One of my favorite types of novels are those that show a group of youngesters, usually pre-teens, set back in the 60s that are plagued by and must fight some sort of evil. Summer of Night compares well with classics like McCammons, Boys Life or Stephen Kings It. Simmons brings to life the times and scenary of the early 60s small midwestern town. These boys must fight a supernatural evil that plagues their town. Simmons is a master of settings and character development in the books of his I have read so far. He definitely succeeded in this novel bringing the characters to life. I recommend this one whole heartedly and look forward to picking up the sequel to this one soon.
  • (5/5)
    The last day of school means quite a few things for the small Illinois town of Elm Haven. For most kids, it's the beginning of a well-deserved summer vacation, free from books, tests, and teachers. For the town, it brings the end of an era as the Old Central school will close its doors for the last time. But for a few twelve-year-old boys, it brings an adventure none of them could have ever imagined.It all begins when Tubby Cooke goes missing on the last day of school. None of the other children sees him leave, though the principal and a few teachers insist that he ran off before the last bell finished echoing through the halls. Duane McBride feels differently. He's always felt that something was odd about the school, and he convinces his friends Mike O'Rourke, Jim Harlen, Dale and Lawrence Stewart, and Kevin Grumbacher, that Tubby didn't run away, and that the answer lies somewhere inside Old Central. While the rest of the gang spies around town, Duane tracks the history of the school and finds disturbing information about its past and a mysterious bell. But the trouble has already started: a ghostly soldier with a melting face tries to get at Mike's grandmother; the town's rendering trunk comes to life and seems Hell bent on running the boys down; the darkness beneath beds or in closets or in the far corners of basements appears almost alive; and long muddy furrows begin to appear throughout the town, emanating from Old Central and heading to each of the boys' houses.Under cover of night, the boys must find a way to stop the darkness that's been set in motion before it consumes them and the town."Summer of Night" is the grand adventure we all wanted to take during summer breaks, biking and exploring with friends, but author Dan Simmons twists it into a nightmare that no one could have imagined. It's part mystery, trying to uncover the dark secrets of Old Central and the bell that hangs hidden in the boarded up belfry, and part horror, not only creating a unique monster that seems to be everywhere at once, but it touches on childhood fears of the dark. Lawrence Stewart has a terrible fear of what might be lurking beneath his bed; his brother Dale never did like the dark space behind the boiler in the basement. Simmons' nightmarish creation uses those fears against the boys with some terrifying results.Imaginative and horrific, just the kind of tale that I enjoy, and once I started, I stayed up into the wee hours of the morning reading, not wanting to put the book down.
  • (5/5)
    Summer of Night follows a group of boys as they finally get out of school for the summer and begin to prepare for the fun-filled days ahead of them, or so they think. Unknown to them, an ancient force is trying to resurrect itself thanks to the help of people in their town who have committed treacherous sins in order to gain power that was promised by this force. When members of their group start to die, the boys expand their friendships in many ways, and do their best to fight off this entity and make sure that it will never again walk the face of the Earth.An absolutely wonderful novel from Dan Simmons. This was the first book of his that I have read and I will definitely look forward to the next one I find. It may start a little slow, but it quickly hastens the pace, and never stops after a certain point. Definitely a must for horror, coming of age, or supernatural readers, as it provides many characteristics of these genres, as well as others in an amazing way. I loved this book.
  • (5/5)
    I'm sold. I'll be reading all the sequels. The best summer reading ever. The best terror. Like Stephen King crossed with Ray Bradbury. And WHY hasn't this been made into a movie? Hollywood is truly dead on its feet. Someone pull the plug and give it to this guy.A delicious summertime tale of spinetingling adventures and terror. CREEPY! and delightful. All at once. How does he do it?! It's the first Dan Simmons book I've ever read, and I'm very pleased so far. The story centers around a group of young boys and the gigantic gothic Old Central school building that looms over their Illinois town. Ghostly and grisly happenings and the magic elements of summer vacation mix together and produce startling results (so far). Perfect summer reading.