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9
3.7 out of 5 stars
A Winter Haunting
Format: Mass Market PaperbackChange
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on 17 September 2004
Dan Simmons is a good author who has produced excellent novels in several genres ( SF, Horror , Spy/Thriller).
A Winter Haunting is nominally horror, but more in the Henry James model than James Herbert.
The basic premise is not new. A writer/lecturer (Dale) with emotional problems decides to get away from it all and returns to a deserted farm in his old home-town.
Something bad happened to him and his friends way back when they were 11 and his friend (Duane) was killed in a mysterious accident.
Dan Simmons plays with the conventions of the haunted house novel/film and while there are plenty of strange and spooky goings on, the central question is ,"is Dale crazy, or is he being haunted (or perhaps both)?".
While the book is a quasi-follow-on to "Summer of Night" but it isn't necessary to have read that first (by any stretch) and I personally preferred Winter Haunting (of the two).
All in all it is not quite up with Dan Simmons best works, but none the less it is a good read and I would happily recommend it.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 19 February 2003
I have to admit I never heard of Dan Simmons before I bought this book. The cover attracted me, the first line (my usual final decider on unknown authors) hooked me. So, I went into this book without any preconception of how it should be ...
What I liked about the book was the style (the first three pages rank amongst the best first three pages I ever read, alongside "Needful Things", "Black House", "Tale of Two Cities" and "Bleak House") and the different viewpoints, wish were confusing allright. But, hey, this guy is losing the plot big time, so shouldn't we partake of his confusion?
Apart from that, I was speculating about the real "scariness" in the book - for me the demented skinheads would be far more terrifying than any of the supernatural characters popping up. You see, Dan had me thinking ... not a bad thing about any novel, especially a "HORROR" genre branded one.
I wholeheartedly recommend the book and will read more Simmons ... with equallt clean slates, that is: without preconceived idea on what exactly to expect.
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on 12 February 2011
Although it's very well written and the story is consistent all along the book, there's something I've felt wrong with it. Maybe it has remembered me some parts of Stephen King's 'IT' and that has lessen the originality I thought I'd find in it.
It's worth reading if you like suspense books, but don't expect it to be the suspense book of your life.
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on 20 January 2014
Picked this up after having read Summer of Nights a couple of times. It slow going getting through the first half / three quarters of the book but it picks up in the end and gathers a form of momentum. Its Okay - but you do not get a book as good as Summer of Nights...
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 11 October 2002
If you buy this book in order to "visit" some of the original characters in Summer of Night, you will be extremely disappointed. Most of the original characters are not involved in this sequel and, even worse, some of the characters I was most fond of are developed in undesirable and disturbing ways.
This book was also disappointing as a stand-alone story since the plot is somewhat confused and nothing is really resolved for the main character. Also, the confusing changes and merging of point(s) of view are very confusing and distracting.
I am a big fan of Dan Simmons and have read all of his published stories, so I can say with some authority that this is not one of his most notable efforts.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Having read and enjoyed Simmons far weightier tome "The Terror" I picked up "A Winter Haunting" expecting something equally worthy. I can honestly say though, that it was one of the most hobbled together, directionless and boring books I have ever read. After a promsing opening it descends into a confused, laughable mess that has put me off Simmons for a long time. After the superbly written "Terror" I was excited at the prospect of reading the back catalogue of Simmons but if this trash is indicative then I won't be bothering.
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on 31 January 2015
Bought for my husband - he loved it
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on 6 March 2015
Great sequel very scary
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 25 August 2003
From the first page I was hooked. Dan Simmons writes a wonderful tale of fiction, and this one has a bite. It is a tense spooky read, keeps you guessing until the end, and it's the kind of book you don't want to put down.
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