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A Winter Haunting (Seasons of Horror #3)

3.54 of 5 stars 3.54  ·  rating details  ·  3,208 ratings  ·  232 reviews
A once-respected college professor and novelist, Dale Stewart has sabotaged his career and his marriage -- and now darkness is closing in on him. In the last hours of Halloween he has returned to the dying town of Elm Haven, his boyhood home, where he hopes to find peace in isolation. But moving into a long-deserted farmhouse on the far outskirts of town -- the one-time re ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published December 31st 2002 by HarperTorch (first published 2002)
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Community Reviews

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oh my god thank you dan simmons!


oh, dan simmons, i wish you had dedicated the terror to me instead of this one. spooky month is not going as well as i had hoped...

this is fine. it is a very straightforward, classic-feeling horror novel,like an early stephen king or something, and i still think simmons is a good writer, but this one just didn't thrill me the way the terror did.

it is at once a psychological horror novel and a t
This was a really pleasant surprise. As I was not extremely impressed with Summer of Night, I didn't exactly rush to read A Winter's Haunting, which was said to be a sequel.

I wish I didn't, as it's not a direct sequel, only uses certain events and characters from the first novel. It's an excellent tale in its own right: Dale Stewart, one of the characters from SON, returns to the town where he grew up. After a failed marriage and a sucicide attempt, he decides to finish writing his novel. He fee
Warning...this review may contain minor spoilers for those who have not read Summer of Night. Minor really, nothing that the 2011 edition of Summer of Night's intro doesn't contain, but still...reader beware.
Also, one really should not be reading this book before Summer of Night. Also, pretty much any genre fan should read Summer of Night. This novel is not a must read for everyone, but any fan of Summer of Night would enjoy it, if only just to revisit the beloved characters of the first book. A
Eric Liddle
Loved it. Was actually compelled to write my first review of a book ever when I closed it earlier today. Is it "Summer of Night"? Nope. I thoroughly enjoyed that book as well, but for different reasons. The prequel was nostalgic, adventurous, and scarier with a wide-eyed innocence. In this one, Simmons strips off any sentimentality (from this story or "Summer"). Duane, the narrator now actually "shakes his head" at the wistfulness of the first story--which is interesting given what we find out o ...more
Rich Stoehr
I think that Stephen King tried to do this in "It," and I think he and Peter Straub tried it again in "Black House." Whether this is true or not, neither book succeeds in the way that "A Winter Haunting" succeeds. Here, Simmons gives us what we so rarely see in horror fiction - the psychological and emotional aftermath of a horrific experience.

Simmons also takes the standard genre elements and turns them on their collective head, all the while telling a good story that keeps you reading. "A Wint
It turns out that this book is the sequel to a book, Summer of Night, that I've never read. It doesn't seem to matter much; I understood and liked it anyway.

It's a ghost story and a story about a man who has become self-destructive; an easy and entertaining read. It doesn't have the ambition of many Simmons novels, but it does have a few red herrings to keep you guessing about what is going on, as the past literally comes back to haunt the protagonist when he returns to his home-town and spends
I did not read the first book but this was a very creepy book all by itself. Dale Stewart is a college professor whose marriage is almost non-existent and has lost his job. He thinks that returning to his home town to discover where his lost memories from the summer of his eleventh year, maybe just the thing he needs to help him get things straight in his head. Upon his return on Halloween night to Elm Haven he feels that things aren't quite right but he can't put his finger on what. Soon he enc ...more
Well, I decided to read Dan Simmons "A Winter Haunting" because I'm a big Stephen King fan, and I want to branch out into other horror authors. I don't think Dan Simmons is what I'm looking for, though. My big problem with the book is that his writing style is so self-conscious and affected. Like the way he always calls the character Clare: "Clare Hart (Clare Two Hearts)" as if we don't remember 5 pages ago when he wrote that she had changed her name from Clare Two Hearts to Clare Hart. Even in ...more
Maybe more of a 2-star "it was ok", but I can't bear to give Dan Simmons anything less than a 3.
It started out gang-busters -- unusual narrative perspective, spooky, portentous backstory. Then we meet Clare Two Hearts, and I'm pissed as hell to be spending time on her. And Duane's voice keeps shouldering in on the narrative -- clever in the beginning, disruptive by the middle. I get that device, in the end it makes a kind of sense, but Clare can go hang. If she's a red herring, too many words a
My advice: Read Summer of Night first.
(Note- This isn't a proper review, just a word about reading order.)

I've heard A Winter Haunting described several ways: as a direct sequel to Summer of Night, as a loose sequel, and as a stand-alone novel whose characters overlap with SoN and Children of the Night. Since I particularly love haunted house tales and AWH was the only one available for Kindle*, I was tempted to skip SoN and read this one first. I'm so glad I didn't.

I finished SoN a few days ago
Scott Rhee
"A Winter Haunting" is Dan Simmon's chilling sequel to "Summer of Night". Dale Stewart, the 10-year-old protagonist of the "Summer of Night", is now a middle-aged divorcee and a failed writer. A former college professor, he lost his job after a torrid affair with a student (also the reason for his broken marriage). When that affair fails, Dale falls into a spiral of depression and suicidal thoughts. Not really knowing why, Dale decides to pack up everything he owns and drives to his old hometown ...more
Nov 12, 2009 Nick rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: gothic
Reading this book brings to an end a month-long (which has turned into two weeks over a month) attempt to catch up on some Gothics, both rereads and contemporary. As such, I feel rather nostalgic about the book, and I am probably prone to rate it higher than I normally would. "A Winter Haunting" is a sequel to Simmons's "Summer of Night" but it's forty years later and therefore not the story of little boys any more, and hence not a rambling trip down a nostalgic memeory lane to when times were s ...more
Dec 16, 2013 Angie rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: horror, paranormal, ghosts
Recommended to Angie by: it was the sequel to another book
This is the sequel to Summer of Night,but out of all the kids it only has Dale in it , although Duane is in the book as well, as a sort of voice in his head.

Even though i feel it isn't as good as the first it still deserves 5stars. Dale is staying at Duane s olds farm house and soon starts to see people from 40 years ago. It's a very creepy book and at one point it looked like it was following the horror film route of big dinner, too much booze, it's dark out, so it's a good idea to open up the
Spooky. A story about a man who goes back to his hometown to write a book about a summer long ago in his boyhood and rents a farmhouse. The farmhouse makes noises, there is a pack of demonic black dogs, the computer send him strange messages, no cell phone reception, and more. Some of the events that happen were a little predictable, but overall this is a page turner and fun.

This is my third book that I've read by Dan Simmons and each one has been so different. I think he's moving up there as on
Steven Belanger
Very effectively creepy. Reminds me a lot of an Aidan Quinn/Kate Beckinsale movie, HAUNTED, and John Gielgud, in which everyone's a ghost, and everything's haunted, and that the beautiful mansion he saw was actually a decrepit wreck of a former mansion. Both this book and that movie have an almost sex scene, too. No, check that--Quinn and Beckinsale have a scene, maybe the first nude scene with a "ghost" ever on film. And the dead talk to each other, and there's animosity...Well, anyway, both ar ...more
Vince Darcangelo

This review originally appeared in the BOULDER WEEKLY

A good story
Dan Simmons weaves words into worlds

by Vince Darcangelo
- - - - - - - - - - - -

Technology has enabled artists to express themselves and materialize their artistic visions in ways that would have seemed like fanciful science fiction just a few years ago. Take big-budget motion pictures, for instance. But strip away the hi-resolution, computer-enhanced dressing, and the core of great art remain
Another terrific Simmons novel. I do have one problematic question though...if one hasn't read Summer of Night, will it be interesting? The main draw, aside from my being a Simmons fanatic, is the character investment from the prior novel. Even with this being a stand alone book, the power of it's working as a sequel is undeniable.

The length isn't very long, and the pacing is pure Simmons. That is to say, slow and methodical with excellent character moments. He loves to pressure his characters w
This is a great little horror novel. I call it "little" because it's short by Dan Simmons standards. One reason for that is that it's a sequel of sorts to Summer of Night, so the job of describing the town and characters has already been taken care of. But this book doesn't really continue that story so much has make references to it, and the cast of characters in this book is actually pretty small. It's the kind of plot that you'd find in a Stephen King book, where an author whose life has fall ...more
Wow. I rarely write reviews but I felt the need to review this one. Dan Simmons is one of my favorite authors. I was first introduced to his writing with Hyperion and The Fall of Hyperion. Both books were outstanding and while I read and enjoyed Endymion and the Rise of Endymion they just didn't have the magic that the first two in the series had. But now I'm getting off the subject of the review.

I first read Summer of Night which was a very entertaining book. It reminded me of the movie The San
This book is a sequel to Dan Simmons' excellent horror novel Summer of Night, which I read years ago and, to be honest, don't remember much of it. I do remember it being very good, very scary, original, and well-written. So when I saw this in the library, I snatched it up.

Simmons has written other fine horror novels, like Carrion Comfort and Children of the Night, but then he went into science fiction and I lost interest in him. I'm glad he's returned to the horror genre.

This book picks up with
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
A once-respected college professor and novelist, Dale Stewart has sabotaged his career and his marriage -- and now darkness is closing in on him. In the last hours of Halloween he has returned to the dying town of Elm Haven, his boyhood home, where he hopes to find peace in isolation. But moving into a long-deserted farmhouse on the far outskirts of town -- the one-time residence of a strange and brilliant friend who lost his young life in a grisly "accident" back in the terrible summer of 1960 ...more
I really enjoyed Simmons' Summer of Night, to which this is a sequel. And I enjoyed this as well -- it shouldn't be taken as a companion piece, exactly, because this is a much smaller, less ambitious, and more melancholy book than the first, which ended up being a rousing and exciting horror/adventure.

Dale, one of the survivors of the events in the first book, has returned to his hometown as an adult, divorced, disgraced (by an affair with a student) and depressed, to write the Great American No
Chris Wolak
This is a solid horror story. Part psychological, part supernatural. It's my first Dan Simmons novel and I'm told it isn't his best, but I enjoyed it. Got creeped out at times. Liked all the literary references. Kept me guessing and worrying about what was going to happen next. Made me happy I don't live alone. Even after finishing it I find myself thinking about its twists and turns.

A Winter Haunting is the second horror novel in a row that I've read that goes beyond just tipping its hat to He
Engaging, but it didn't do the one thing a horror novel should do. It didn't scare me. The fact that I've seen many of the plot devices before - a man with a past, a haunted house (of course), questionable sanity (elicited early in the novel by a scene of the MC in his psychiatrist's office), psychotropic drugs that make everyone around the MC question his version of events - probably didn't help any more than the rather tired is-it-or-isn't-it-real feel the novel had. Simmons manages to make it ...more
Jess Cattanach
I was overdue for a nice horror novel, so I plucked this one off my shelf where it's been sitting, unread, for about four years.

It was nothing that stood out too much, but I did enjoy it. The premise was an interesting one but I felt like I could have been a lot more scared reading it than I actually was (not very). The scenes with Clare bored me, and whenever I got to one I mysteriously decided that it was time to go start studying again rather than keep reading, because it would probably be mo
Ted Cross
I have really enjoyed some of Simmons' novels in the past, but this one was just okay. He doesn't have the same magic that Stephen King has with the supernatural/horror. I also just don't really like stories about people losing their minds.
This is such a happy discovery for me. I picked this up from a bargain stack in a bookstore, intrigued by the synopsis on the dust jacket.[return][return]With a contemporary setting and real characters, the story is fast-paced and engaging. I easily got into the story and enjoyed it right through to the end. It was a bit spooky reading it alone at night, but that's exactly the thrill of it![return][return]It's my first Dan Simmons book, and I'm pleased to say that I enjoyed the book so much that ...more
Kevin Groosalugg
This is the second thing I've read by Dan Simmons and I love them both. He is a very talented writer, descriptive, ironic, good use of foreshadowing... This is the story of a man who has lost everything, so he decides to return to the town where he grew up 40 years ago and write a story about the summer of 1960, and the death of his 11 year old friend. He isn't prepared for what he finds there. It's a simple ghost story, but so well written it stands out above the rest. This is actually the segu ...more
Sep 01, 2011 Puja rated it 1 of 5 stars
Shelves: horror
Someone actually compared The Summer of Night and its sequel A Winter haunting to Stephen King's It based on the fact that they shared a similar storyline of a group of kids in a small town fighting an ancient evil, growing up and doing their own thing but with a repressed remembrance of their fight embedded in their psyche and finally coming together again to put the evil to rest.

I must say that the comparison is way off the mark! It rules and these books do not in any way come near to the feel
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Spoiler question... 1 18 Nov 04, 2013 10:24AM  
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Dan Simmons was born in Peoria, Illinois, in 1948, and grew up in various cities and small towns in the Midwest, including Brimfield, Illinois, which was the source of his fictional "Elm Haven" in 1991's SUMMER OF NIGHT and 2002's A WINTER HAUNTING. Dan received a B.A. in English from Wabash College in 1970, winning a national Phi Beta Kappa Award during his senior year for excellence in fiction, ...more
More about Dan Simmons...
Hyperion (Hyperion Cantos, #1) The Fall of Hyperion (Hyperion Cantos, #2) The Rise of Endymion (Hyperion Cantos, #4) Endymion (Hyperion Cantos, #3) Ilium (Ilium, #1)

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