Night Country

Night Country

by Stewart O'Nan
3.8 10

Paperback(First Edition)

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Night Country by Stewart O'Nan

A ghost story that begins in everyday tragedy, from a distinctly American master of both forms: a "scary, sad, funny . . . mesmerizing read" (Stephen King)

At Midnight on Halloween in a cloistered New England suburb, a car carrying five teenagers leaves a winding road and slams into a tree, killing three of them. One escapes unharmed, another suffers severe brain damage. A year later, summoned by the memories of those closest to them, the three that died come back on a last chilling mission among the living.

A strange and unsettling ghost story, The Night Country creeps through the leaf-strewn streets and quiet cul-de-sacs of one bedroom community, reaching into the desperately connected yet isolated lives of three people changed forever by the accident: Tim, who survived yet lost everything; Brooks, the cop whose guilty secret has destroyed his life; and Kyle's mom, trying to love the new son the doctors returned to her. As the day wanes and darkness falls, one of them puts a terrible plan into effect, and they find themselves caught in a collision of need and desire, watched over by the knowing ghosts.

Macabre and moving, The Night Country elevates every small town's bad high school crash into myth, finding the deeper human truth beneath a shared and very American tragedy. As in his highly-prized Snow Angels and A Prayer for the Dying, once again Stewart O'Nan gives us an intimate look at people trying to hold on to hope, and the consequences when they fail.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780312424077
Publisher: Picador
Publication date: 10/01/2004
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 429,788
Product dimensions: 8.08(w) x 5.50(h) x 0.63(d)

About the Author

Stewart O’Nan's novels include Last Night at the Lobster, The Night Country, and Prayer for the Dying. His novel Snow Angels was the basis of the 2007 film of the same name. He is also the author of the nonfiction books The Circus Fire and, with Stephen King, the bestselling Faithful. Granta named him one of the Twenty Best Young American Novelists. He lives in Pittsburgh.


Avon, CT

Date of Birth:

February 4, 1961

Place of Birth:

Pittsburgh, PA


B.S., Aerospace Engineering, Boston University, 1983; M.F.A., Cornell University, 1992

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The Night Country 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
loveleighgirl More than 1 year ago
I was expecting a lot more from this book. The reviews were very good which is why I bought it. I was completely confused by who the narrators were and what in the world the plot was! It took me a long while to figure out everyone's names, since most of the characters were ghosts and the narrator (also a ghost) addressed each of them without using their names most of the time. I also didn't like any of the characters at all, so I didn't care what happened to anyone. Boring and complicated. Borrow it from the library. Don't buy it.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This book will stay with me for a long time. Much like 'The Lovely Bones' this is told from the 'dead kid's' perspective and shows how a tragic event impacted the lives of others. The similarities end there--this is a moving and powerful story of survivor's guilt, told with profound insight and some humor. It's not a ghost story, nor is it a mystery, but it's haunting and it will keep you guessing throughout.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Versatile voice performer John Tye brings a moving reading to this spectral tale of an American tragedy. It is, in actuality, a ghost story. It was a Halloween night in a small Connecticut town when a car carrying five teenagers went heads on with a tree. The result? Three were killed, one survived with irreversible brain damage, and another escapes without injury. The crux of the story is the aftermath. Tim, the uninjured survivor, attempts to atone for his good luck one year later, the anniversary of the collision. Kyle, the brain damaged victim, far from the rambunctious teenager he once was, has shattered not only his own life but his mother's as well. The policeman, Officer Brooks, who was the first to come upon the accident, is fearful of what may happen on the first anniversary of the tragedy. And, rightly so, as the three who lost their lives return to confront the living. Mr. O'Nan has crafted a tale which might well tell the story of every small town's greatest fear - only he delivers it with an eerie, rather supernatural twist.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a grim story well told. Particularly if you, like most of us, recall your high school days and the car accident which killed several of your friends. Is there a high school without such an event? Onan brings back the ghosts of the three 'crash kids' on the one-year anniversary of 'that night', which was Halloween. They are conjured up anytime friends or family think of them. You will recall similar nights in high school when you were a passenger in a car full of teenagers out for a night of cruising too fast. It is a wonder that any of us survive. You will think about the characters long after the reading...always the mark of a good writer.