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Shadows in Summerland

3.40  ·  Rating details ·  55 ratings  ·  10 reviews
Boston, 1859. A nation on the brink of war.

Confidence men prowl the streets for fresh marks. Mediums swindle the newly bereaved. Into this world of illusion and intrigue comes William Mumler, a manipulating mastermind and criminal jeweler. Mumler hopes to make his fortune by photographing spirits for Boston's elite. The key to his venture: a shy girl named Hannah who sees
Paperback, 333 pages
Published May 17th 2016 by ChiZine Publications (first published May 10th 2016)
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Average rating 3.40  · 
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Adrian Young
Jan 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Yeah, I rated my own book. What? WHAT?!
Sep 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
It's been a few years since I read Adrian Van Young's The Man Who Noticed Everything, but upon cracking Shadows in Summerland the thing I was instantly reminded of is that VY builds worlds that are, to put it lightly, densely-constructed as fuck.

My friend Ben Segal told me once that he "doesn't want to be bothered to read a book unless it feels like the author has labored -- labored over every fucking word." I'm not totally sure of what books Ben has and hasn't read, but if I were in a position
Oct 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is the kind of book that you happen on only a few times in your life. It's ostensibly historical fiction, about the 1800's spiritualists movement (yeah, ghosts and seances and all that jazz) with wonderfully developed characters and situations---but that's not what all the fuss is about. The WAY this book is written kept me reading chapter after chapter as the author, with some wild gothic and
Victorian language, propelled me right into the era, the dialogue and narrative slowly becoming as
Ryan Bradford
Feb 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic novel. Read my review over at Electric Literature. ...more
Mar 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is a phenomenal piece of work. Sprawling, cinematic, and fascinating. I love Adrian's gift for language so much - engulfingly Victorian, often devastating prose, but I think it's his characters that got under my skin the most. Most are deeply flawed, many are wronged, but they were all somehow endeared to me and I love that sort of thing.

It's a ghost story and it's a period piece, yeah, and it's also just a gorgeous study of a bunch of people trying to figure shit out. I felt like it
Superstition Review
Sep 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Adrian Van Young creates a vivid and complex narrative in this new gothic tale, Shadows in Summerland, with an introduction that sets the tone for the rest of the novel. Three people stand accused of murder and fraud who are adamant about their innocence.

Shadows in Summerland gives insight into 19th century spiritualism while also providing readers with a mysterious thriller that will keep them on their toes. Through the use of imagery, Van Young maintains a chilling atmosphere throughout his no
Aug 26, 2017 rated it liked it
I really wanted to love this book. From the subject matter to the characters, everything is in van Young's novel to make it a stellar outing, but despite what seems to be a great premise and a well-crafted cast, something's missing in SHADOWS IN SUMMERLAND.
Van Young does do a great job of capturing the era through both dialogue and prose, but that may be a drawback, too. The book reads like a heavy tome, slogging through some passages and requiring some paragraphs to be reread more than once for
Megan Hex
I’m not sure why this book didn’t grab me. I liked the setting, the characters were interesting, and the point-of-view switching enhanced the story. It just didn’t quite engage me for whatever reason!
Dec 14, 2020 rated it did not like it
Jun 02, 2016 rated it did not like it
Stylistically, not my thing.
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Adrian Van Young has taught writing at Boston College, Boston University and Grub Street Writers, a creative writing non- profit. At various points in time, he has also taught writing and literature at the Calhoun School, 826 NYC and the Buckingham, Browne and Nichols School. In fall 2013, he will begin teaching creative writing and composition at Tulane University in New Orleans, LA. He received ...more

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