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Summer of Night [Hardcover]

Dan Simmons
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (98 customer reviews)

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Book Description

January 1991
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
--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Product Description

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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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Corey Lidster TOP 100 REVIEWER
He's nice enough to contribute blurbs to every Simmons release, though, so good for him. It's easier to come to the realization you're a hack when writing crap made you hundreds of millions of dollars. Magnanimity was invented for the rich. Summer of Night spawned the reverie about King because on the surface, it's a lot like a version of 'It' that doesn't suck. It shares the same bucolic, 1950's New England childhood that King favors, and the terrifying, malevolent presence getting bolder as its power grows. After that, however, it's all Simmons. The characterizations are excellent, the plotting is tight, and the moments of horror are actually quite horrifying. Most importantly, it's entirely unpredictable, and a very satisfying read. After finishing the last page, I immediately wished there was more of it. As it turns, there is, as many of Simmons other novels feature characters from Summer of Night.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable but not as scary as I'd hoped Jan. 21 2014
Having recently begun a Dan Simmons kick (thank you, Hyperion), I was very eager to read Summer of Night. I love horror novels in general and had heard good things about this book. At first I found it was delightfully creepy; a brooding, half-abandoned school, mysterious disappearances....I liked it very much.

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.
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4.0 out of 5 stars 3.5 stars is more fitting for a not so scary read June 28 2004
By A Customer
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. Once the story really gets descriptive about what's taking place in this small town, it becomes too unbelievable and unsatisfying. I do agree that the way Simmons writes (elogantly and almost poetically at times) makes this book a good read. However if you're looking for a book to scare the heck out of you look elsewhere. I would recommend Ketchum's older works, SK's Pet Semetary and the Shining, and Laymon's The Woods are Dark.
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5.0 out of 5 stars True terror.... June 14 2004
By ptiche
Format:Mass Market Paperback
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 was sitting at a lunch table at work. I highly recommend the book, it is awesome.
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5.0 out of 5 stars First book that ever scared me! June 9 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
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. This is the first story that ever scared me. Never before have I had to make sure none of my limbs were hanging over the edge of the bed while reading. There is one scene in particular, involving a blown fuse in a flooded basement, that had me completely creeped out.
When I read the jacket cover, I thought "I take it this guy read IT by Stephen King!". The description on the jacket cover is where the comparisons end. Similar ideas, but completely different paths. This is a great book, plain and simple.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Summer of Night May 20 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
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. This book is based on actual characters and town settings, just with the names tweaked a bit. But it was fun as a kid to read the book and go around town looking for the spots he was talking about, trying to reinact the same adventures.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One scary summer in the '60's May 7 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
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 disappeared. If you are of an age to remember when you could leave your house in the morning and disappear for hours without concern, you will love this novel for the wonderful sense of nostalgia it will no doubt bring. The merit for this novel is not purely based on sentiment however; it is one fine horror story that hurtles the reader along at breakneck speed. Full of fine scares and boys we all knew as children, this novel does not disappoint. 4.5 stars.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best book I have ever read April 14 2004
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This stephen king type book has to be one of the the best book I have read. I had never read anything from Dan Simmons before Summer of night but now he has me hooked. 600 pages without a boring page. I never wanted to put this book down.
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