Bob Price's Reviews > Summer of Night

Summer of Night by Dan Simmons
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's review
May 07, 2011

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Read in May, 2011

When I was a child, I hated my elementary school. Hated it. I, along with my friends, all had dreams of seeing our school in flames. But my school had nothing on Old Central, the central location of Dan Simmons work Summer of Night .

This is the one of the best horror books I've read in quite some time, and much better than anything Stephen King has published in the last ten years or so.

In Simmons' world, horror lurks for young people in small town Illinois. When I originally read the description, I just thought Pat Quinn had decided to make a few campaign stops in farm country. But as it turns out, evil is lurking in small towns and has a strong connection to the past.

Simmons' writing is well done and helps you imagine 1960s rural Illinois, a world as foreign to our own as Mars. Twelve year olds know how to shoot guns, play baseball, farm and generally do what their parents want them to. Along with this, however, is a strong supernatural element that seeks to wipe out life as we know it.

My only complaint is that Simmons never gets around to explaining why these things are happening. He hints at a reason, but never explains it.

A word of caution...the book is extremely graphic at times and Simmons does not practice immunity when it comes to harming children. I'm not giving too much away, but I don't think I'll ever look at farm equipment in the same way again.

I highly recommend for people who are looking for better than average fiction for a quick and lively read.

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