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Darkness Under the Sun

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3.89  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,040 Ratings  ·  233 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
Dec 06, 2011 Maciek rated it liked it
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
Calvin Dean
Feb 27, 2015 Calvin Dean rated it really liked it
Eleven-year-old Howie apparently likes exploring abandoned buildings. Once inside the old emporium, he climbs to the roof and stumbles upon Alton Blackwood. Howie and Alton share one characteristic: disfigurement, and they become fast friends. Howie doesn't understand why the entirety of a grown man's existence consists of moving from shadow to shadow. Youthful innocence prompts Howie to invite Alton to rent a room at his parents house. Went Howie runs home to prepare sandwiches and grab a few p ...more
wally
Dec 30, 2010 wally rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: koontz, favorites
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 really liked it
Shelves: ebooks
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Chris
Jul 13, 2012 Chris rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, 2012-reads
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
May 03, 2011 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 05, 2012 Gail rated it really liked it
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
Terri
A young boy who has faced many challenges in his life already, meets a strange man in an abandoned building and befriends him, not knowing the horror the man leaves in his wake.

Koontz does a good job conveying the loneliness and innocence of a child in contrast to the evil within the sociopath. The story is both horrifying and sad.
La Toya
May 22, 2013 La Toya rated it really liked it
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
Feb 28, 2013 Tim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Heather
Oct 19, 2015 Heather rated it really liked it
Shelves: dean-koontz
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
Jun 29, 2011 Amanda Tanay rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 20, 2014 Gloria Johnson rated it liked it
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
Sep 10, 2013 D. Wayne Moore rated it it was amazing
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
Vera VB
Apr 16, 2016 Vera VB rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Dit korte boek bevat twee kortverhalen.
Howie Dugley is tien en verminkt als gevolg van een brand, een brand veroorzaakt door zijn vader, opzettelijk. Howie mist twee vingers en de linkerkant van zijn gezicht is verminkt. Daardoor draait hij meestal de rechterkant van zijn gezicht naar mensen, draagt hij een petje en kijk mensen niet aan. Hij wordt gepest door andere kinderen. Op een dag zit hij op het dak van een oud verlaten gebouw en ontmoet daar een grote enge man, Blackwood. Deze man leidt e
...more
Lee Snellman
What can I say? I have read one or two books by Dean Koontz that haven't disappointed me, and somehow I can't seem to give up on my quest of finding one more. The titles of his books are thrilling, and the descriptions promising. Even the stories in themselves are really intriguing. But then there is the BUT.

If Koontz gave up his gender stereotyping, all his books would get at least one more star from me. Sadly, according to Koontz, all girls are beautiful and pretty and absolutely helpless and
...more
Kirsten
Sep 04, 2012 Kirsten rated it really liked it
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.
Steve O'Keefe
Jan 09, 2015 Steve O'Keefe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Originally written October 30, 2010.

Just so you know what your $1.59 (at the time of this writing) is buying, this novella is extremely short. I am a deliberately slow reader and it took me only an hour to complete. However, I was treated to an hour of suspense, horror, and just a hint of the supernatural that Koontz fans, myself included, eat right up. The story is haunting in that it is so simple, the innocence of a tortured youth against a seasoned and intelligent predator. While the ending f
...more
Pamela Scott
May 15, 2014 Pamela Scott rated it really liked it
Shelves: dean-koontz
I thought Darkness under the Sun was great. This is a prequel to What the Night Knows but I don’t feel like I need to read the whole novel to fill any gaps unlike Wilderness and The Moonlit Mind. Darkness under the Sun can stand on its own right. I might just read What the Night Knows out of curiosity – damn you Koontz for giving me more books to add to an ever-growing list! Anyway, where was I? Oh, yes – Darkness under the Sun. I liked the way Koontz builds the story. At first little Howie thin ...more
Dustin Crazy little brown owl
I originally read this as an ebook in 2010 and listened to the audiobook in 2012. I really like this little story; I believe it is much better than the than the novel which it preceded & promoted - What The Night Knows.

Ever since I bought the audiobook on CD in 2012, I have enjoyed listening to the story every year. Alton Turner Blackwood is such a good friend.
Erin Cataldi
Apr 09, 2015 Erin Cataldi rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook, 2015
It's been years since I've read a Dean Koontz book so I thought I would test the waters by reading one of his short stories. "Darkness Under the Sun" sheds light on childhood innocence and naivety and how it can be broken. Eleven year old Howie, a sad, laughed at, scarred little boy encounters the terrifying Mr. Blackwood on one of his afternoon adventures. Howie is at first terrified of the stranger's menacing and horrifying appearance, but soon begins to like the odd man because they seem to h ...more
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...
Danell
Jun 25, 2013 Danell rated it really liked it
Listened to this on audio book, good story and characters. Would like to read the story, I get more wrapped up in the story, reading it myself than listening to it.
Brett McNeill
Nov 28, 2010 Brett McNeill rated it it was ok
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
Jan 02, 2011 Adria rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 26, 2010 Emily rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2010
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
Jan 16, 2012 Amy rated it really liked it
This short story is much better than the novel which it prequels. Read this, skip What the Night Knows.
Shannon Seehase
Aug 31, 2012 Shannon Seehase rated it it was amazing
It's Koontz....enough said!
Chuck
Oct 31, 2014 Chuck rated it really liked it
The Goodreads summary stated that this was a perfect book for Halloween and guess what day it is! In any case, I am not a fan of novellas or even Dean Koontz but read this brief story anyway. I may have to change my mind on both counts. This was an engaging mystery that had elements of Stephen King and kept me glued to the pages. Koontz surprised me with his writing since several times I went back to read a sentence or a paragraph and said, "I wish I could express my feelings as well". In any ca ...more
TC
Jan 20, 2011 TC rated it liked it
Shelves: short-stories
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
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Koontzland - Dean...: Darkness Under the Sun (Group Read - April 2014) 42 78 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
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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” 6 likes
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