Darkness Under the Sun
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Darkness Under the Sun

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3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  2,167 ratings  ·  187 reviews
The chilling account of a pivotal encounter between innocence and ultimate malice, 'Darkness Under the Sun' is the perfect read for Halloween — or for any haunted night — and reveals a secret, fateful turning point in the career of Alton Turner Blackwood, the killer at the dark heart of 'What the Night Knows', the forthcoming novel by #1 New York Times bestselling author D...more
ebook, 60 pages
Published October 25th 2010 by Bantam (first published January 1st 2010)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Maciek
I was looking for something different to read last night, and found this novella. It's a prequel to Dean Koontz's What the Night Knows which I've read earlier this year, and didn't think much of. So, I approached this novella with little expectations, and maybe it was a good thing.

Darkness Under The Sun is about an eleven year old boy named Howie, who sees a strange man as he's eyeing an empty estate. Despite being scared, he talks to the man and the two form a friendship. And then the bad stuff...more
wally
this kid meets this older man on the rooftop of a building. the man, mr. blackwood, is reminiscent of a character in twilight eyes, also by koontz, in that he is disfigured, a misfit, as is the boy, howie. they become friends.

the story has a certain flavor for the first...pages?...naw, i read this on an amazon kindle that my wife gave me for christmas, the first i've read on this kindle...but for the first 10-20 pages, the story has a flavor...say vanilla and it goes down smooth...anyone who ha...more
Matt
Jan 01, 2011 Matt rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: ebooks
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Chris
This novella nestles nicely into the overall story of the novel "What the Night Knows" and I think enhances the story---giving it an even more emotional punch. I am aware that it was written to be a preface to the novel, but I felt it was more of an epilogue. Having read the novel first, I was able to appreciate this story of the genesis of the killer since I know where his madness eventually took him. Also, as the action in the novella both precedes and follows the action in the novel, it would...more
Elizabeth
I thoroughly enjoyed this novella. I usually enjoy Koontz' novels, so I was interested to see how satisfying this novella would be.
The story is told almost entirely from the perspective of a ten year old boy named Howie Dugley. Early on in the story, Howie meets a strange man on the rooftop of a building. Howie immediately feels a kinship to this man because he, like Howie, has physical deformities. I don't want to give too much away, so I'll just say the rest of the story unfolds with the read...more
Gail
Read by Steven Weber, I listened to this story on my iPod. This one is creepy scarry and made more so because the situation is entirely possible. It is set in 1989, and is about an 11yr old boy who goes to a secluded place by himself to watch people. The boy is scarred by burns and the other kids tease and bully him, so he preferrs to be alone. He meets a deformed and scarred homeless man in an abandoned building and decides this man is his friend. The rest is left to your imagination unless you...more
La Toya
Ok I'm a bug scaredy cat and this was a fine read. The ending was a bit anti-climactic but I'm okay with that since I cant handle all the scary stuff.
Tim
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Heather
After bagging Dean Koontz in my last review, I now go ahead and give him 4 stars! This was an excellent novella, essentially a prequel (though also a stand-alone story) to What the Night Knows.

It's a wonderfully creepy little book, detailing Alton Blackwood (the villian in the WTNK)'s encounter with a young boy, which led to his decision to move from killing single individuals to entire families. I don't think Koontz was entirely successful in conveying how exactly this encounter led to Blackwo...more
Amanda Tanay
After not reading for a while, I chose this novella that I had purchased for my Kindle some time ago because I love Koontz and figured the length would be perfect for getting back into reading every night. It only took me two nights because once I would start reading I didn't put it down until I truly needed sleep.

Koontz does a great job of moving the story along with vivid description and a major creep factor. His dialogue between the two main characters in this novella is beyond perfect. He ea...more
Gloria Johnson
I needed a very short book and chose this one. The characters are well-drawn and the setting is interesting. The problem for me is that it was TOO short, which did not provide enough space for real character and plot development.
D. Wayne Moore
This is indeed another terrifyingly enjoyable story from the master of the unexpected. As usual, I was hooked on it from beginning to end. In it, a bullied young boy, disfigured by fire, finally meets a friend and patron in the form of an equally scared, but kindly, old man. But, as you might've guessed with Koontz, things are not always as they first appear. So, while you're waiting for the hammer to drop, Koontz weaves an intricately crafted tale of horror and mystery that culminates with an u...more
Kirsten
Really fast read, I finished it inbetween my phone calls at work within like 2 hours. However, it was a great quick short read. I know it's not that close to Halloween yet, but Halloween is my favorite holiday, this book put me in more of an excited mood for Halloween. It really is a perfect fall/Halloween quick read. Normally, I'd write a review. But there are so many other reviews that explain it...lol. I just wanted to give my input that it was a great read.
Literary Ames {Against GR Censorship}
My first taste of Koontz and I can't say I liked it. The excerpt from the killer's journal at the beginning and the closing paragraph were the best things about this story. It was slow and it wasn't nearly as horrific or as creepy as I thought it would be. The ending sucked and it just dragged...on...and on...and...on...
Brett McNeill
I can't remember if I had ever read a Dean Koontz before and picked this up on special at Amazon. It was well written, but very creepy (especially the first half).
Adria
Great short story by Dean Koontz, one of my favorite authors! Can't wait to read the full novel that that is is a prequel to!
Emily
I liked this, good lead off for his next book, What the Night Knows, which I will be reading for sure after this tidbit!
Amy
This short story is much better than the novel which it prequels. Read this, skip What the Night Knows.
Shannon Seehase
It's Koontz....enough said!
TC
I haven't read any of Koontz's work for a very long time, so when I noticed this short story available as an e-book exclusive it seemed like a good way to reacquaint myself. Apparently this novella recounts a pivotal moment in the life of a character in recent release What the Night Knows, an interesting tie up.

The story starts with 11 year old Howie hiding on a rooftop, watching people going about their daily business. He clearly feels he doesn't belong and immediately with hints about his phys...more
Bookie | The BookChick
Book Description:
There once was a killer who knew the night, its secrets and rhythms. How to hide within its shadows. When to hunt.

He roamed from town to town, city to city, choosing his prey for their beauty and innocence. His cruelties were infinite, his humanity long since forfeit. But still . . . he had not yet discovered how to make his special mark among monsters, how to come fully alive as Death.

This is the story of how he learned those things, and of what we might do to ensure that he...more
Joanne
This was a good Dean Koontz short read - perfect for bedtime reading!

Howie Dugley has been through a lot in his short life. Suffering from the loss of two fingers and disfiguring scarring after being in a fire, he feels like an outcast and is tired of being picked on by other kids or stared at by adults. He has a secret place he can go, though, to watch people while not being a part of their world - an abandoned 3-story department building. Up on the roof he can watch the "parade," as he thinks...more
Shirley
A good short story, it stands on it's own. However, I don't reccommend reading it until after you've read What the Night Knows. The ending for the short story ties into the ending of the novel and may ruin the novel if you plan to read it. I only gave it a 2 because I didn't believe that Alton Blackwood would have kept his promise. Without that key belief, the ending of the story kind of falls apart.
Vicky
A chilling story, a short thriller that certainly does its job. Koontz builds the suspense, the anticipation. It is indeed the purpose of that novella since, as I understand, it is the source on an evil that is also featured in a separate novel. Konntz gives you just enough to wet your lips with this short story, just enough to have you wanting for more. And he delivers this beautifully. Then he includes the first three chapters of the said novel and, as a reader, now that your appetite is wet,...more
Ryan Zimmerman Carstairs
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Graceann
This novella was included my edition of What the Night Knows, and describes an encounter early in Alton Turner Blackwood's career as a murderer, with a young man who doesn't realize what's about to be unleashed.

Howie is a burn victim, marked for life by harm done to him by one meant to protect him. While hiding from the world and its bullies, he meets Alton Turner Blackwood, and believes that he's met a kindred spirit who will protect him from the mean folks in the world. He learns pretty quickl...more
alysha Hilliker
Not what I expected

Not what I expected

I chose this rating because this book was not at all what I expected. instead of a spine tingling thriller I was left with a story of a boy..... it took me weeks to finish this book and I was a little disapointed
Courtney Hoover
I was honestly a little bored and disapponted as Koontz stories go with this one. I know that it is a novella and not a full-on book like I'm used to of his but even his writing seemed rushed and lacking in this one. The actual storyline did not completely dissapoint, however, despite its briefness and seeming incompleteness. It is still as dark and twisted as we have become to expect of Koontz. My own personal "game" with his books is to refrain from reading the dustjacket or a synopsis ahead o...more
David
Nov 10, 2011 David rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2011
This Summer 2010 novella by Dean Koontz is actually a prequel to his novel that came out the following winter (What the Night Knows). The latter novel refers to the past events of a notorious serial killer. This novella introduces the reader to the same serial killer who, at the beginning, is only held back by timidity, then unleashes his inner monster. On its own, it might work well, but it really works well if you're prepared to follow it with What the Night Knows, which I consider to be Koont...more
Russell Perry
a true Dean Koontz story. The reader is on the edge of anticipation at all times. The characters are so well spun that you are almost inside their heads with them. You are left with both hope and despair, as it should be with horror. Loved it.
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Koontzland - Dean...: Darkness Under the Sun (Group Read - April 2014) 42 72 Mar 23, 2014 07:17PM  
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Acknowledged as "America's most popular suspense novelist" (Rolling Stone) and as one of today's most celebrated and successful writers, Dean Ray Koontz has earned the devotion of millions of readers around the world and the praise of critics everywhere for tales of character, mystery, and adventure that strike to the core of what it means to be human.

Dean R. Koontz has also published under the na...more
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“There's always a parade, Howie. When it's something you can't ever join but only watch, then it's a parade” 5 likes
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