Summer of Night Hardcover – Jan 1991
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From Publishers Weekly
Hugo Award-winning novelist Simmons pens an outstandingly eerie horror story about a group of Midwestern boys stalked by an ancient evil.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
A monstrous, timeless entity is devouring children. Adults either refuse to understand what is happening, or are themselves agents for the monster. A group of young boys, in uneasy partnership with an outcast girl, realize they must kill the creature before it devours them all. Simmons ( The Fall of Hyperion, LJ 3/15/90), winner of several prestigious awards for science fiction and horror (most recently a Hugo Award for Hyperion , Doubleday, 1989) ranks with the best the genre has to offer. In outline, this novel resembles Stephen King's It ( LJ 8/86). The children are well drawn and affecting in their bravery. This book should be in most horror fiction collections. BOMC alternate.
- Marylaine Block, St. Ambrose Univ. Lib., Davenport, Ia.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
Unfortunately the rest of the novel didn't live up to my expectations. The storyline started to feel a little too obvious and the "bad guys" were very undefined, even at the end of the book. They felt more like rough sketches of characters rather than fleshed-out people. I don't want to go into too much detail for fear of spoilers, but let's just say that my reaction once I'd finished it was something along the lines of "huh, okay."
That said, I found that the kids themselves were very well developed and fun to read about. I did find that Simmons borrowed quite a lot from Stephen King's "It" and even "Christine" when it came to the children - and their nemeses - but at the same time I cared about what happened to them. I just wish that it had all been more frightening, because when I read a horror story I want to be scared.
The story takes place during the summer of 1963 in a small Illinois town, and revolves around a group of 12-year-old kids. The town's central locale is dominated by a school that also serves as a place of evil. The group of kids realize that an evil force is trying to kill them that is somehow related to this mysterious school. They get into several adventures thoughout the summer while trying to solve the disappearance of a local school-mate. Dan Simmons does an excellent job of describing everyday life for 12-year-old kids during a hot Illinois summer, and SUMMER OF NIGHT is full of suspenseful encounters with several adults who may or may not be evil killers.
SUMMER OF NIGHT is a true coming-of-age horror novel in the same category as Stephen King's IT, Richard Laymon's THE TRAVELING VAMPIRE SHOW, Robert McCammon's BOY'S LIFE, and Dean Koontz's VOICES OF THE NIGHT. If you're looking for very scary horror involving teenagers in about 700 pages then this is the book for you. Trust me, once you start this you will not put it down.
First off, this book is great for the sci-fi aliens taking over the world fan - which I'm not. I thought the book was going to be more horror, but it should actually be a sci-fi book than anything else.
As for scare factor, this book has some really good scary scenes where you skip lines because the action is so great and you want to see what happens, but it also has parts that are suppose to be scary, and you know they are suppose to be, but it is so far beyond reality that you just have to laugh or roll your eyes.
But I believe that is what this whole book is based on, how something so far from the norm of 1960 life in a small town could happen and the effect it has on the society (the older peoples many "reasons" and logic for the goings on are perfect).
Overall, if you have a weekend or week that is going to be pretty dull, grab this book and its sequel A Winters Haunting that I am currently reading also.
Most recent customer reviews
I am a fan of Dan Simmons and enjoyed every book of his so far, except for this one.
The story line just didn't make much sense, the supernatural events that took place were a... Read more
I agree with many of my fellow reviewers that this work appears inspired by Stephen King (specifically The Body and It). Read morePublished on Aug. 25 2011 by Jeffrey Swystun
I will admit that the book had some decent suspense until about the halfway mark, and a couple of real hair raising situations, but I knew I was in trouble when those holes in the... Read morePublished on July 4 2004 by Clinton D. Davis
This book of Simmons comes highly touted as one the greats in the horror genre. However, the only scary parts are found in midway through the 600 page novel. Read morePublished on June 28 2004
Dan Simmons "Summer Night" was incredible. The suspense is tangible. It actually had me looking under the table for things that come out only at night, even though I... Read morePublished on June 13 2004 by ptiche
I have just about every King, Koontz, Saul, Rice, Lumley, McCammon, and Barker book ever written. Ive also written a story or two of my own. Read morePublished on June 9 2004 by Amazon Customer
Summer of night is a great book. I read it about 10 years ago. The main reason I read it is because the author is from the same small town as I. Read morePublished on May 20 2004 by Mitch stokes
If you were a child growing up in the 1960's this novel will certainly evoke strong memories of childhood summers filled with an innocence and freedom that has long since... Read morePublished on May 7 2004 by J. Fercho