Summer of Night

( 62 )

Overview

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 ...

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Summer of Night

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Overview

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

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Hugo Award-winning novelist Simmons pens an outstandingly eerie horror story about a group of Midwestern boys stalked by an ancient evil. (Mar.)
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.
Publishers Weekly - Audio
In the summer of 1960 an ancient evil is rising, taking lives and spreading terror in the small town of Elm Haven, Ill. Only a small group of boys recognize the peril that’s emanating from Old Central School, and they will face danger as they try to defeat the forces of evil. Dan John Miller’s narration is casual and engaging, and his reading intensifies with the plot, providing listeners with moments of suspense and horror. Miller voices the book’s preteen heroes as if he were one of their own, bringing them to life and giving them voices that are clear, distinct, and individual. Despite the novel’s somewhat over-the-top plot, Miller delivers a performance that will captivate listeners and makes the most of the author’s marvelously rendered characters. A St. Martin’s Griffin paperback. (July)
From the Publisher

Praise for The Summer of Night:

“Simmons writes like a hot-rodding angel, loading his American nightmare with scares, suspense, and a sweet, surprising nostalgia. One of those rare must-read books, I am in awe of Dan Simmons.” --Stephen King

“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.” —Denver Post

“An outstandingly eerie and truly horrifying tale, a page-turner of the first order.” –Dallas Times-Herald

“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.” –Philadelphia Inquirer

“If you like Stephen King’s It and The Body, you will be enthralled by Summer of Night.” –Rocky Mountain News

“Blood-freezing scenarios… the true source of Simmons’ terrifying vision lies in his uncanny ability to tap into that primal dread that every child knows and every adult denies; the monster under the bed, the darkness in the closet, the not-quite-human face at the window… If you are easily frightened, don’t buy this book.” –Los Angeles Daily News

“A superior read in the genre.” –Kirkus Reviews

An outstandingly eerie horror story about a group of Midwestern boys stalked by an ancient evil.” –Publishers Weekly

“Simmons, winner of several prestigious awards for science fiction and horror ranks with the best the genre has to offer... The children are well drawn and affecting in their bravery.” –Library Journal

“Skilled writer par excellence Dan Simmons takes a subject straight from Stephen King land and runs with it… Simmons keeps the tension high.” --Locus

 “One of the best supernatural chillers in years… Summer of Night promises to mark the dawn of a great horror novelist.” –Flint Journal

“Lots of frights in the ‘Night’… The kind of story that has readers locking doors and checking under their own beds even as the characters in the book go through their own nightly ritual.” –Ocala Star-Banner

“For those of us to whom good writing is everything, the name Dan Simmons bears great weight.” –Harlan Ellison

“Simmons is not only good, he’s versatile.” –Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine

“A compelling writer.” –F. Paul Wilson, author of The Keep

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781455883097
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio
  • Publication date: 7/1/2012
  • Format: MP3 on CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Product dimensions: 5.37 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

DAN SIMMONS is a recipient of numerous major international awards, including the Hugo Award, World Fantasy Award, Bram Stoker Award, and the Shirley Jackson Award. He is widely considered to be one of the premier multiple-genre fiction writers in the world. His most recent novels include the New York Times bestsellers The Terror and Drood, as well as Black Hills. He lives along the Front Range in Colorado and has never grown tired of the views.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 62 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(40)

4 Star

(15)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

(0)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 63 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 11, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Dan Simmons, the most under-appreciated novelist alive!!

    This book is incredible! After reading the best of King, Koontz, Barker and others of their stature I had become over-saturated with the horror genre & had moved on to other types of novels (sci-fi in particular). After devouring Simmons' Hyperion series (one of the best sci-fi series I have ever read) I came across "Summer of Night". This book single-handedly rejuvenated my interest in (well written) horror. I carried this novel around with me everywhere I went for the 4-5 days it took me to read it. There are passages in this book that I will never forget! Simmons has the gift of taking the most ordinary things and scaring the absolute hell out of you with them! His verbal lyricism is beyond compare and he creates the most unbelievably vivid word pictures that at times you feel as if you're actually in the story with the characters! And unlike some horror authors Simmons pulls no punches - he willingly does whatever it takes to leave you breathless with fear. If you love great horror - READ THIS BOOK NOW!!

    10 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2009

    I LIKE SCARY BOOKS

    I have read and enjoyed Simmons science fiction before and I am so happy that he is writing horror books. This story was original and very scary. I will continue to read his books.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 22, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    This is a reprint of a 1992 horror thriller

    In 1960 in Elm Haven, Illinois, school's out for summer, but five twelve year old boys (Duane, Mike, Dale, Kevin, Lawrence and Jim) are happy to be free though they also know there is nothing to do. When Tubby the fourth grader vanishes, the friends investigate.

    Jim believes Tubby never left the Old Central School. The recently ended school year was the last at the nineteenth century edifice. He climbs a façade and peaks into a window only to see a teacher who died six months ago. Shocked Jim falls breaking his arm.

    Brothers Dale and Lawrence feel something dark hides in their closet. Their scornful mom looks, but the closet is empty. The monster moved under a bed. Dale enters the flooded the cellar finding Tubby's corpse floating there.

    Duane researches old newspapers and finds a story about a Borgia Bell brought from Italy that allegedly had supernatural properties; it was placed in the Old Central School six decades ago. In a cornfield, a truck tries to run over Duane. His Uncle Art was about to provide information to the boys only he dies in a car cash while driving over a 100 MPH. Ghosts and other creatures attack the boys and their ally Cordie; as they conclude only destroying the Old School will save their lives.

    This is a reprint of a 1992 horror thriller in which the kids recognize the danger while the adults snooze through life ignoring the warnings as children being children. The cast is solid as the gang of five and their female peer know the Old Central School hosts strange teachers, staff and activities. Summer of Night is an enjoyable throwback bumps in the night (and day) tale.

    Harriet Klausner

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2003

    Summer nostalgia with a haunting twist.

    This book brings back to memory of my own lazy summer times with friends growing up togeather. The nostalgic way Simmons describes the settings of the boy's (not as in boy's bathroom: hehe read the book and you will understand this little remark) hanging around town and in the country side brings back vivid memories of my own carefree youth. Couldn't wait till summer was there. Waiting forever for that clock to hit 3:30 on the last class of the last day of school. And then Simmons throws in the horror mix. not with blood and guts at first but the way it is done is very scary. Not overdone with gore at all.(dont have anything against gore, I do like a book that tells about someone graphically getting there intestines ripped out) But this book is great. I will definitly be reading the sequel.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2003

    a classic horror story

    as good as it comes. edge of your seat classic you cant put down. Cant wait to read the sequel a winter haunting

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2003

    One of my all time favs

    I read this book back in the late 80's and then a few years later read it again. AND I want to read it again now! It doesn't get any better than this. I't felt like I was right there with those kids in that special scary summer.I was spoiled from that book and still tell everyone that it is one of the best horror novels ever.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2003

    Yup, you should read this one, too!

    After I finished A Winter Haunting, I got Summer of Night. Yes sir, there's some serious ghostal activity going on here. I had read Simmons' Hyperion and was surprised that he also does horror stories just as well. If you have not read the sequel, you should. This makes the charactors in the Winter book more fleshed out- literally. A very good book for reading at night. I highly recommend it.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2012

    Fizzles

    What a shame. This book started out so well. Then it went downhill fast. The writer should have cut this book in half at least. Awful.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 24, 2012

    Chilling. A must read for any horror fans!

    This book is one of the most epic horror stories I have read since King's It. Summer of Night weaves an epic tale of mystery and good old fashioned horror.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2011

    Excellent read

    Love the adventure of the boys back in a time when riding bikes all over town was not dangerous. Enjoyed their adventure as much as the horror portion of the book. Highly recommend it!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2009

    I slept with all the lights on for two days.

    This is a wonderful book. The writer was able to give a level of depth to each of the characters. You can usually tell who is going to survive by the amount of time the author invests in them. Dan Simmons gives each of his characters enough time to make us really care about the outcome of each of their story.
    And it is scary. The things that bump in the night and hide in the shadows are here. A great job and a jolly good read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2002

    Where's the six star option?

    This is truly my favorite book ever. I really relived my childhood through this book. The bike gangs, the baseball games, and dirt clod fights. Just kids being kids. Dan Simmons puts the story in your head with crystal clear images and extensive detail. There is no 'filler' pages in this book. Every sentence is a delight. Wish there were more books like this one. The characters are great and diverse, and you feel more like you live in Elm Haven with every page you turn. Please read this book. Effortless and enjoyable reading. The book is fun and exciting, with the good creepy parts.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 9, 2014

    Dan Simmons is an authoor whose books i've wanted to read for ag

    Dan Simmons is an authoor whose books i've wanted to read for ages now but did not because I had heard negative things about him.Things only partly related to his novels and literary style.The specifics are not important-just that I allowed these rumors to prevent from reading his novels.But I took the chance recently and read Summer of Night.
    Summer of Night is one of those novels that cause you grief.You will be late for work,maybe miss work,stay up all night,and basically not get much accomplished untik you have finished the book.It is that good.His style is smooth and he never insults his readers with nonsense filler.His character developemnt rivals Stephen King.And that is a compliment.Perhaps this is why I felt like I was reading a long lost King novel.I haven't read a novel as fun and character driven as Summer of Night since Kings best works.
    Summer of Night is often nail-bitingly suspenseful.Not outright horror-better than that.I cared deeply for each character.I didn't want the story to ever end,half way through I was getting worried theat i was in fact half way through..too clse to the end! I am a fan of Dan Simmons now and plan to read The Terror next.Simply a master story teller and skillful writer.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2013

    Simmons at his Best!!!

    I am a extremely huge Dan Simmons fan and this book does not dissapoint. Great character development and a great plot. Simmons mixes the horror and suspense scenes extremely well. Would recommend to anybody.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2012

    Amazing and Engaging

    This is one of the very best books i have ever read. The characters are so well developed it is as if they are real people. You care about all of the boys. One thing that Dan Simmons does is he actually scared me. I have not been scared by a book since i read Stephen King's short story The Boogeyman over 20 years ago. And the scarey things in this book are the things that scared me as a kid. Excellent. Books this good truly come along once in a blue moon.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2012

    Best of the Best

    I consume horror like air. It takes alot to scare me, but this book terrified me. Yes, it's that good.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 4, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Super scary

    This book is fun. It is super scary and action filled. The Characters are pretty much one demensional and it has the typical happy ending. But never the less, This book is a must read. I promise you that you will find this book scary

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 16, 2010

    Must be read in conjunction with "Winter Haunting"

    A pale imitation of Stephen King's "It", but as per usual Simmons' writing is smooth and is a very "comfortable" read.

    The real value of this book is as lead into the much better "Winter Haunting" by Simmons. However "Winter Haunting" doesn't work unless one first reads this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 5, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Summer of Night by Dan Simmons

    One of the best novels I have ever read (3 times over a period of years). The summer vacation for the boys, the seemingly normal town they live in, all convey normalcy. However, the boys feel an evil in the town, something in the old schoolhouse they can't define, and find some weird, unsettling experiences happening to them. As you read the book, you can feel the evil, just as the boys do. The air is palpable with evil that must be found and eliminated. Dan Simmons puts a lot of surprises in this book and the boys are good boys whose only fault seems to be that they are the only ones aware of this pervasive evil. The reader also feels it too, on almost every page. When the evil is discovered, it will shock you and you won't be able to put the book down until the boys have destroyed one of the worst things you can possibly imagine to inhabit an outwardly normal appearing town. This book originally begins and even makes the reader feel the boys only imagine something wrong, but by the conclusion of the book, you have had the hell scared out of you. I think it is Simmons' best book.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2004

    Awesome!

    This book was awesome! This book was very creepy. Loved every second of it. Cant wait to read a Winter Haunting, the sequel to Summer of Night. Thank you Dan Simmons!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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