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The Wide Game

(Harmony, Indiana #1)

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  173 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
On the advice of his wife, Paul Rice is making plans to attend his 10th year high school reunion. Returning to his boyhood home of Harmony, Indiana, he finds that he is still haunted by memories of that timeamemories of Deidra, his first love, and memories of the Wide Game. It was ten years ago that Paul and his friends watched their day of fun become a race for their live ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published June 23rd 2003
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mark monday

this is The Wide Game: on Senior Ditch Day, seniors at the local Harmony, Indiana high school race each other through a cornfield to a quarry. the rules are simple: put some money in; if you or your group spot anyone during the game then you must trade personal items and then team up; first individual or group to the quarry wins all of the money. simple! it becomes not so simple when an accident forces eight students to slowly travel back together through the cornfield carrying the accident
Oct 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book was absolutely awesome! I can definitely say after reading this book that I'm more afraid of corn fields than ever before. Which really sucks if you live in Indiana! I really feel that Mike West pulled out all the stops with this book, I truly had a hard time putting it down. If I HAD to put the book aside for a few minutes, I was always anxious to get back to see what was going on. It is something I will read more than once and anytime I want to jump start my heart. Hats off to Mike W ...more
Michael West
Jan 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: my-novels
All versions out of print except ISBN Number 978-1-937929-18-3

The Wide Game the way it was meant to be!
There’s something seriously scary about the Wide Game, and nearly everyone who’s played will carry the scars. But they won’t talk about it. And now Paul’s back in Harmony, Indiana, for a school reunion where he just might have to face up to what was. Meanwhile the reader follows his memories of that Wide Game played before graduation, and wonders at the cost.

The Wide Game is classic horror, with teenagers separating in the dark when you know they ought to stay together, with something scary in t
Apr 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Harmony, Indiana is a small town overrun by endless fields of corn, young people languishing in the stereotypical boredom inescapable with small town living, and yes, legends of nightmare coupled with an underlying history of mystery, bloodshed, and horror.
Paul Rice grew up in this town, spent his high school years fraternizing with his circle of friends, aspiring to direct B-grade horror films, and falling in love with classmate Deidra. At a time when graduation is only days away, Paul and Dei
The Wide Game starts off with Paul Rice and his wife arriving at his mother’s house back in his old hometown. This visit isn’t just for family fun, however: it’s also the day of his high school reunion. Feeling nostalgic, his mother pulls out his old high school yearbooks, which trigger horrible memories from his senior year where his class played a game out in the cornfields of Indiana known as “The Wide Game”. This wasn’t any kind of game, though, as many of his fellow students ended up dead.

Mar 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Horror fans
Awesome horror book! Scary, good plot, great characters. 80's trivia galore.

This is my favorite book from Michael West (although all his work is amazing). I grew up in the 80's and he really brings it back to life.

It's so terrifically scary, there are parts I could barely stand to read!!
West makes you feel so close to the characters that there's even a bit of sadness when the 'bad guys' go down.
The plot never skips a beat, the love story is beautiful and realistic, and the manifestations of
Jul 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Harmony, Indiana: This was technically the first book Michael West based in this town besieged by otherworldly influences. I read the three novels out of order, but that did nothing to take away from the plot of any. Each novel is a stand alone, and each will have you eagerly searching out more stories from Harmony. The Wide Game takes place in the 80's, in a cornfield ruled by unseen energies. When these elements decide to play, there isn't anywhere that's safe....

Feb 20, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
Review to follow once posted at MonsterLibrarian. Will re-post blog at that time.
Sep 24, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Picked this book up after seeing it on one of the Goodreads lists and seeing the high reviews.

The first 275 pages focus on character development and interactions between several pairings of characters with little plot development. The characters themselves appeared to be archetypes from the same 80's popular culture that serves as the stories main setting. As in the popular 80's classic movie The Breakfast Club, you have the jock Danny, the Nerd Mick, the misunderstood bad boy Skip, and the popu
Oct 02, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book because it met the criteria for my monthly Book Club - something supernatural. I didn’t want to read vampires or Stephen King. I was actually looking at a Stephen King book on Amazon and this book was in the “other customers who looked at this book bought...”. I looked at this one and got it.

It started out great. People returning to the town of Harmony for a 10 year high school reunion. Then they talked about this high school annual Senior year tradition the Wide Game. Then Fla
For a first novel, The Wide Game displays a notable amount of promise. The writing is particularly strong, as if author Michael West spent a long time honing his craft before submitting his manuscript to publishers. It's also more complicated than it seems at first glance, with some surprisingly deep themes eventually being raised. And though the idea behind the book isn't anything particularly new - a bunch of high school graduates get stalked through a remote location by someone or something t ...more
William Bentrim
Sep 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Once again the small town of Harmony Indiana turns out to be less than harmonious. More demented souls seem to reside in this small, corn fed town than any major metropolis. What is up with all the corn fed fear? A high school tradition of questionable merit melds into a game with bloody consequences.

A group of high school students are studied as characters. They are fleshed out so the reader can develop a sense of empathy. Then bad things start to happen.

Michael West surely has a strange turn
Robin Blankenship
Michael West is hands down in my top three Horror writers. Michael West, Richard Matheson and Clive Barker are my top three favorites in no particular order because I just can not decide. Michael West's stories are not only amazingly creepy, scary stories they are also deeply woven intricate plots with well flushed out characters. Michael West is one of the best storytellers I have ever read. The Wide Game from start to finish had me on the edge of my seat. It never lagged, it was never slowed, ...more
Apr 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Ok I did like this book but I wish that kept religion out of it...Paul one of the lead actors complain too got a four our of because I hated the fact that Paul ended up murdering three people and then went to a Catholic father to get his sins my opinion I want to read horror not a chapter about GoD and forgiveness...oh and I don't like animal cruelty..the part where they explained about a kitten in a microwave was not right...I can handle torture and mayhem but I can't hand ...more
Ira Gansler
Nov 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
You will finish this book, put it down, and (had you read this before any of the other Harmony, Indiana titles come out) hope that Michael West is not done with Harmony, Indiana. This book was the perfectly paced horror novel. We are provided with a couple of key characters that we really get to know and follow although we may learn along the way that we don't know some of them as well as we thought we did. A corn field has not been this scary since Stephen King's Children of the Corn. Pick it u ...more
Jul 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow is all I can say about The Wide Game, Michael West delivers a creepy and suspenseful story. All of the characters in the story felt like real people. I also liked the use of Native American mythology in it, each book in the Harmony, Indiana has a different mythology to it but still felt like the same universe that I enjoyed very much. This story had a little bit of a whodunnit and I didn't expect the twist towards the end. I hope there's a 4th book in the Harmony, Indiana series.
Keith Pyeatt
Sep 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: paranormal
I enjoyed reading the novel. The writing was clean and kept me in the story. I loved all the atmosphere of the corn field and the old building. The characters were my favorite part, all well developed and distinct. They grew and changed and kept me guessing but never made me question their actions. I stayed interested throughout, never had the impulse to skim, but didn't get lost because of gimmicks to keep the pace fast without adding anything to the story. Good read.
Michael West
Jul 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
My first novel, and your introduction to the small town of Harmony, Indiana. Available for the first time in hardcover and eBook formats. Enjoy!
Sep 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book freaked me out. Review to follow
Dec 13, 2013 added it
great book
Sheri White
Feb 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
Review to come soon at Xomba Horror.
Jill Franklin
Sep 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Horror is by far my fave genre and has been since childhood. When done well, it's challenging to say the least. It takes a special talent to skillfully bring to life plots and situations that are not suppose to exist. To bend reality, push the limitations without crossing over the line of cheesiness.

It goes without saying that King is the master at this, while it may become repetitious that the this is mentioned if this genre is so much as hinted at.......can you really talk about horror and not
Dave Dzurinko
Aug 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book. A bit slow through the middle but the last 1/3 more than made up for it.
Oct 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book from Michael West. The Wide Game meshes some evil dead and children of the corn vibes together for a great atmosphere (the story is not anything like the above mentioned titles however). West's story is set in the 80's for the most part and has you feeling like your watching an old slasher, but with a way better story. Not to mention he throws quite a few twists in there that I genuinly didn't see coming at all. This is a perfect starting point for his Harmony, Indiana series and I'm ...more
Anton Cancre
As a basic bit of horror slaughter fun, The Wide Game does all that it promises. We’re given teens in peril, fighting and screwing among themselves before becoming the inevitable meat for the beast. Then we get the continued infighting and a whole lot of terror as they begin to realize the full stakes of their situation. Giant crow attacks, murder, temptation and blood, blood, blood. For the most part, the pace is smooth, even if the transition from adult to youth back to adult does slow down th ...more
Crista L Lagace
Aug 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I honestly can't remember the last time I read books that made me feel like they were perfectly written. Perfect characterization, perfectly telling, perfect thrills, and perfect ending. Michael West has a reader for life.
Jan 11, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fast read. Surprised by the amount of sex in the book. Wimpy ending though. Could have been much more sinister.
Aug 18, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book. It read like a campy low budget '80s movie... not that that is a bad thing. :-)
I wish it didn't have the tacked on sex scenes. They added nothing to the story.
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Michael West is the bestselling author of Cinema of Shadows, The Wide Game, Spook House, Skull Full of Kisses, and the critically-acclaimed Legacy of the Gods series. A graduate of Indiana University, with a degree in Telecommunications and Film Theory, West has written a multitude of short stories, articles, and reviews for various on-line and print publications. He lives and works in the Indiana ...more

Other books in the series

Harmony, Indiana (4 books)
  • Cinema of Shadows (Harmony, Indiana, #2)
  • Spook House (Harmony, Indiana, #3)
  • Field of Screams (Harmony, Indiana, #4)