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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Is it safe to look under the bed yet?
Just finished this today & thought it deserved a review straight away. Really, really enjoyed it. From the back cover you could easily think it was a rip-off of Stephen King's It, but just because it is set in an American summer of 1960 & is centered around a group of 11 year old children, the similarity really ends there. There is no jumping to present time and focus...
Published on 29 Sep 2010 by herdy1

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars If I Were You I Wouldn't Bother
I bought this book after finishing "A Winter Haunting" ignoring that books deficiencies because my interest had been piqued by references to the "rendering truck" and the events of the summer of 1960 - events so horrible/traumatic that the protagonist in the "Winter" novel couldn't remember them.
Well, after reading ALL 600+ pages I wish I...
Published 2 months ago by Tracy Aitken


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Is it safe to look under the bed yet?, 29 Sep 2010
This review is from: Summer of Night (Paperback)
Just finished this today & thought it deserved a review straight away. Really, really enjoyed it. From the back cover you could easily think it was a rip-off of Stephen King's It, but just because it is set in an American summer of 1960 & is centered around a group of 11 year old children, the similarity really ends there. There is no jumping to present time and focus on them as adults, it stays in 1960. You can really get a feel for the time through the author's writing, and also the setting of rural Illinois is really brought to life. The story starts with the kids all breaking up for summer holidays, and it all begins so well. But, when a class mate goes missing on the last day of term, and fails to show up days later, it is up to the Bike Patrol to start investigating. By the end of the summer, they will wish they never started. It all leads into a sinister tale of occult goings-on involving a mysterious bell brought over from Europe at the turn of the century and hidden in the school, and these children have to learn to quickly become adults as they are left alone in a world where none of their parents would ever believe them...
But, no need to worry, as these kids might only be 11 years old but they sure can kick ass and chew bubble-gum. Seriously, we could do with them on the streets over here to take out all the hoodies hanging around mugging and stabbing people. They wield shot-guns, blow buildings up, and tackle the undead all whilst drinking fizzy pop & reading Scrooge MacDuck comics!
This is another fantastic read from Dan Simmons, and a lot of the characters feature in future novels, so worth reading all of them aswell. 5 stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars If I Were You I Wouldn't Bother, 4 Oct 2014
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This review is from: Summer of Night (Paperback)
I bought this book after finishing "A Winter Haunting" ignoring that books deficiencies because my interest had been piqued by references to the "rendering truck" and the events of the summer of 1960 - events so horrible/traumatic that the protagonist in the "Winter" novel couldn't remember them.
Well, after reading ALL 600+ pages I wish I could forget the experience as well.
This is a flabby, self-indulgent book. It needs a tighter plot and a better editor. There are reams and reams of pages of Norman Rockwell-esque late 50's early 60's Americana. This would be ok if it were done well and did nt bring the plot to frequent juddering stops and starts. Nor would the novel suffer quite so badly if these pieces of folksy, down home, small town America were in the author's own voice - but they are not.
Simmons is clearly aiming to write his own version of Stephen King's "It" - a novel with multiple discrepancies of it's own. Perhaps it is Simmons' homage?. King has given the author a literary equivalent of a sounbite - he is apparently "in awe" of Simmon's work. This is either flattery at work or clear evidence of softening of the brain.
Mr Simmons is not a bad writer or even a poor one but this is NOT HIS BOOK. The plot is his, the words are his but the SPIRIT of the work belong to King and because of this his novel fails. Worse - it bores.
Mr Simmons has written a fairly hefty amount and I think has won awards for his science fiction. On the evidence of this novel he should stick to that.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simmons at his best, 13 Dec 2011
This review is from: Summer of Night (Paperback)
I loved this book. I am a Dan Simmons fan, and have read most of his novels. His ability to switch between genres yet maintain his trademark page-turning suspense is remarkable, and this book is no different. I am not American, and had some reservations as to whether I would respond to a novel set in 1960's Mid West USA and characterised by children. But I shouldn't have been. Simmonds creates a depth of background and character that is delightful, and the 'horror' aspect of the book is sufficient to maintain interest and to make it easy to suspend belief.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Truly Creepy Experience, 30 July 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Summer of Night (Paperback)
Dan Simmons is at it again - 'Summer of Night' is a great piece of horror fiction. It concerns a group of school-boys living in a small American town in the 1960's. During the summer vacation they uncover mystery & horror, an embark upon an adventure to rid the town of the evil that pervades it.
The book is extremely well-written, although readers of Stephen King's 'It' may see some similarities. This is a much better book however - it is about half the length of King's epic and much faster-paced.
Simmons' ability to build up the tension remains unbeatable - he is by far more masterful at this than King, Koontz, Herbert, or Hutson. There is a real sense of dread that makes your heart beat that little bit faster.
This is a truly creepy book, with moments of humour, sadness, nostalgia and horror. I cannot recommend this book highly enough! Buy it now!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended - Unputdownable !, 22 Jun 2009
This review is from: Summer of Night (Paperback)
An amazingly well written book that actually makes you care about the characters. Im a big fan of Stephen King and to my mind this Dan Simmons effort is as good if not better than a lot of early King novels. I have loaned this book time and time again to people and they are blown away by it. It is truly terrifying in places, and I don't scare easily. The First World War Soldier, in particular really scared me. Read this book and prepare to get so involved in the pacy, scary story, you'll probably not want to put it down.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply the best!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1, 20 Oct 2005
This review is from: Summer of Night (Paperback)
First time I came across Summer of Night was back in 1999. Since then I've read it three times! There is nothing I can say negative about this book. The characters are beautifully brought to life. Its spine tingling, scary, a good adrenaline rush, zillions of goosebumps! Above all, the chracters and the era based in provide sweet nostalgia, a walk down memory lane, innocent long lazy summers that puts a lump on your throat (especially if you're the creative and the imagnitive one back in the school days that had good friends and suspicious of the things lurking behind the staff room closed doors!!...and always getting up to mischiefs). Felt a pain of loss after the book finished....I'm in total awe of Dan Simmons!!! What can I say , you will love it. Highly highly recommended.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely brilliant read, 14 July 2003
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Doria Yoyo (Clapham Jctn, London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
When I first read the synopsis of this novel I thought to myself not another one of those child horror novels because to my way of thinking you want horror you read Stephen King.....but after having read this novel I must admit it far surpassed my expectations and now I am an avid fan of Mr. Simmons.
It's about a group of kids who save their town from the evil of the borgia bell and all that comes with it. Unputdownable, I found myself reading it right through the early hours of the morning until I finished. It has got a really great plot and everything really comes together in the end of the nove.
Lots of laughs, adventure, terror a definite must for any horror fan.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A "must" for Simmons fans, 15 April 2004
When one of their classmates suddenly disappears into thin air, the lives of a group of twelve-year-old boys in the small town of Elm Haven, Illinois are about to change dramatically.
During the summer holiday, Mike, Dale, Lawrence, Kevin, Jim Harlen and Duane set out investigating Tubby Cooke's mysterious disappearance and are plunged into an adventure they never bargained for.
Sure, the plot of the story has Stephen King written all over it. Still it is a very thrilling, well-written book, although I could not help wondering if the average eleven-year-old boy is as clever and daring as Mike and his friends are. I mean, would you drive your father's four-ton milk truck straight into your old school and shoot at your former principal with your grandma’s squirrel gun, even if he turns out to be an instrument of Evil?
The book's actual strength though is not its plot, but the way the principal characters are portrayed and the vivid descriptions of rural life in a small American town in the 1960's. The book almost reads like a film. You can easily picture yourself riding your bike along with the boys, hiding in one of their secret Camps or playing ball in the park.
Not that many writers share Simmons' rare talent for character portrayal, especially in the field of horror and SF.
If you are curious to know what became of some of the heroes in "Summer of Night" you might like to read "Children of the Night" (Mike O'Rourke) and "A Winter Haunting" (Dale Stewart).
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The hairs on the back of my neck are still standing on end!, 21 Feb 2000
This review is from: Summer of Night (Paperback)
This book is fantastic - I would recommend anyone to read it - particularly if you are an avid reader of horror - including Stephen King and James Herbert.
The characters are extremely real and the whole plot creeps forwards to an ending that will not disappoint!
Not for the faint hearted - DO NOT READ THIS BOOK ON YOUR OWN - call a friend to sit with you afterwards! I have warned you...
PS I am convinced that Dan Simmons is Stephen King!
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5.0 out of 5 stars just read it !, 15 Nov 2014
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This review is from: Summer of Night (Paperback)
Remains one of my favourite books from my teenage years.
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Summer of Night
Summer of Night by Dan Simmons (Paperback - 5 July 2011)
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