Books Stephen King Recommends discussion

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message 1: by Debra (last edited Jul 10, 2011 07:06PM) (new)

Debra (debra_t) | 2574 comments Mod
Stephen King has oftened commented that Dan Simmons is a great writer, and he has reviewed of few of Simmons' books. I've read several of them, and I'm starting one now. So, I thought I'd start a discussion for Dan Simmons!


message 2: by Debra (last edited Jul 10, 2011 09:07PM) (new)

Debra (debra_t) | 2574 comments Mod
I invite anyone who is up to it to join me in reading Summer of Night.

Stephen King says: "If Summer of the Night isn't the best horror novel of the last five years, it is surely one of the best three - a gorgeous and terrifying story of five boys who come face to face with a monstrous entity during an enchanted Illinois summer thirty years ago. Simmons writes like a hot-rodding angel, loading his American nightmare with scares, suspense, and a sweet, surprising nostalgia. This is one of those rare must-read books, easily surpassing Clive Barker's Books of Blood. I am in awe of Dan Simmons."


message 3: by Kit★ (new)

Kit★ (xkittyxlzt) I've never read anything by Simmons, though I have one or two by him on my wishlist.


message 4: by Debra (new)

Debra (debra_t) | 2574 comments Mod
Kit★ wrote: "I've never read anything by Simmons, though I have one or two by him on my wishlist."

Which ones?


message 6: by Lonnie (new)

Lonnie Kit★ wrote: "Carrion Comfort and Drood."

I gave Carrion Comfort 3 Stars. Here's my review:





A goodreads giveaway that I was hesitant to start because of it’s size.

Long story short… not this time. My usual criteria rating on goodreads is did it flow well and did I care what happened next. Carrion Comfort does not make this an easy rating. At times I was engrossed, excited on the edge of me seat flicking pages so fast I was concerned I would tear them out of the book. At other times I noticed I had read 5 pages in 3 days. With all the 5’s I gave sections and all the 1’s I gave other sections I feel that 3 stars for the overall book is well earned.

Two to three hundred pages could easily be trimmed from this novel and kept my interest up. Some of those sections could be in the sections that take place in WWII Poland/Germany but only a slight trim there. This section is important to the story in my opinion. Another area would be some of the Israel sections. These seemed to drag on. Cut another couple of hundred words from the action sequences and Carrion Comfort becomes a much more manageable read.

I also need to agree with others that stated the ‘vampire’ category does not seem accurate. Although the author uses the term ‘mind-vampire’ and ‘feeding’ I never saw where there were any benefits of feeding as with typical vampire feedings.

Overall, very good book that was a little too long otherwise it would have received a solid 5.


message 7: by Debra (new)

Debra (debra_t) | 2574 comments Mod
Lonnie wrote: "Kit★ wrote: "Carrion Comfort and Drood."

I gave Carrion Comfort 3 Stars. Here's my review:


Good, thoughtful review, Lonnie!


A goodreads giveaway that I was hesitant to start because of it’s size...."



message 8: by Almeta, co-moderator (last edited Jul 13, 2011 09:27PM) (new)

Almeta (menfrommarrs) | 1093 comments Mod
Kit★ wrote: "Carrion Comfort and Drood."

It is my opinion that Drood is only interesting to those who have already read The Mystery of Edwin Drood by Charles Dickens and some of Wilkie Collins. (Wilkie becomes a main character in Drood.)


message 9: by Kit★ (new)

Kit★ (xkittyxlzt) Hmm, never read any of those. I also have The Terror on my list forgot to add. Almost got a copy of it at Goodwill the other day, but it was a rather beat-up trade PB and they had $4 marked on it, and I only had $10 to spend, so I ended up getting 2 by another SK-recommended author, John Irving.


message 10: by Debra (new)

Debra (debra_t) | 2574 comments Mod
Ok, I finished Summer of Night and gave it 2 stars.

Stephen King's book blurb says: "If Summer of the Night isn't the best horror novel of the last five years, it is surely one of the best three - a gorgeous and terrifying story of five boys who come face to face with a monstrous entity during an enchanted Illinois summer thirty years ago. Simmons writes like a hot-rodding angel, loading his American nightmare with scares, suspense, and a sweet, surprising nostalgia. This is one of those rare must-read books, easily surpassing Clive Barker's Books of Blood. I am in awe of Dan Simmons."

This book was written in 1991. I have to believe there were many better horror novels around that time, including Stephen King's! I just can't agree with sai King on this one. It wasn't awful, but it certainly wasn't great. I hate to disagree with King cause he's the MAN, but geesh... maybe he was paid A LOT for this blurb? Shaking head in wonder.

I can't agree with anyone who has reviewed this book and compared to Stephen King's IT and found this one superior. WHAT? No way, Jose! IT was in all ways superior to Summer of the Night. I think Mr. Simmons was trying to create his own version of IT, but fell short. Now, don't get me wrong; I think Dan Simmons is a great writer and his recent stuff rocks. But this one... well...

Ok, let's talk about continuity and repeated text galore! For example he mention's that Dale's basement has flooded 4 times in 4.5 years; several chapters later he says that the basement has flooded 2 times in 4 years. He also mentions that the same basement has no windows two different times. Another time he mentions that Lawrence usually wanted to hold his older brother's hand while falling asleep, but most of the time Dale told him no. He mentions the same thing almost verbatim later in the book. Simmons does this several times... I guess it's nice he wants to remind us of something he told us earlier in the book, but it really annoyed me.

Also, there is one boy in the group that sets out to fight the evil in their town that has never actually witnessed a supernatural event. All the other characters have seen stuff and experienced stuff that scares the bejesus out of them, but not Kevin? Why does he even believe his buddies when they share their experiences? He character is very under-developed so you have no idea why he buys into participating in life-threatening plans, when he has no first-hand experience of what has been going on.

And why did a key character get killed off early in the book; the most well fleshed-out character of them all? Why take the time to get us so invested in him and then eliminate him?

I did find that Dale's and Mike's characters were well-developed, but didn't really buy Kevin's and Jim's. Lawrence was somewhere in between, but why was he often alone in the brothers' shared room when he was sooooo afraid of is under his bed? No way would he EVER be in that room alone, even in daylight.

An HOW could any of these boys experience periods of "normal" boyish moments like searching for a buried cave, playing hours of baseball, etc. when they all knew they were in grave danger at any time of the day and night? I'd be sticking close to home and worrying myself sick!

Just too many things didn't work for me with this book. It took me longer to read than my usual fast pace, and it wasn't plausible. It did have some creepy parts and the premise was good, but otherwise I just wouldn't recommend this to others.


message 11: by Everly (new)

Everly Anders As I sci-fi writer myself, Dan Simmons work has come up in conversation a lot. I am interested in reading Hyperion. Has anyone read it?

Elle
ellelapraim.com


message 12: by Debra (new)

Debra (debra_t) | 2574 comments Mod
Elle wrote: "As I sci-fi writer myself, Dan Simmons work has come up in conversation a lot. I am interested in reading Hyperion. Has anyone read it?

Elle
ellelapraim.com"


I've heard wonderful things about the Hyperion series of 4 books, and have Hyperion here from the library to read soon. I'll let you know what I think.

I've also read Ilium and Olympos which are a mix of sci-fi, fantasy, apocalytic/dystopia, horror, mythology, and historical fiction; just call them "epic!" I really enjoyed the series. I think, for the most part, Dan Simmons's writing improved as he got older and refined his skills. I've thoroughly enjoyed several of his books.

Debra


message 13: by Debra (new)

Debra (debra_t) | 2574 comments Mod
Allison wrote: "Has anyone read Simmons' Song of Kali? It was disturbing, but I found it beautifully written."

I read it, Allison. I agree with your assessment; both disturbing and beautifully written.


message 14: by Almeta, co-moderator (last edited Jul 26, 2011 02:17PM) (new)

Almeta (menfrommarrs) | 1093 comments Mod
The name "Dan Simmons" strikes terror in me for a completely different reason!!!

I had apparently chosen the wrong book as a first read. I started with Drood, and found it hard to stick with it. It was recommended by Gatorman, a Goodreads member who has never steered me wrong before. When I complained about it to Debra T., she begged me not to discount Dan Simmons just yet.

So I have promised to try again. But I have yet to venture forth.

My terror is in chosing the wrong Dan Simmons book!


message 15: by Debra (new)

Debra (debra_t) | 2574 comments Mod
Almeta wrote: "The name "Dan Simmons" strikes terror in me for a completely different reason!!!

I had apparently chosen the wrong book as a first read. I started with Drood, and found it hard to stick with ..."


So funny! Perhaps we will choose a Dan Simmons group read in the future. I wouldn't mind re-reading some of them again, and there are some I've not read yet. He has a new one out that everyone is raving about: Flashback. Perhaps we could tackle that one.


message 16: by Ann (last edited Jul 31, 2011 05:09PM) (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 466 comments I have read Dan Simmons' Hardcase and Hard as Nails and keep meaning to get to more *like (book two) Hard Freeze, not sure why I skipped it, possibly lack of availability at the library. It has been almost ten years since I first read these, so hard to remember much at all but that I liked them.


message 17: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 466 comments My Hard as Nails review from Dec-2003
Dan Simmons' no holds barred Joe Kurtz series is a hard boiled thriller fan's delight and this latest book is no exception. Joe has a knack for getting on the wrong side of the police, the criminals and some of his aquaintances. Joe also is the kind of guy who will do just about anything he has to for survival. Battered and beaten, tired beyond belief, this book just kept on coming at me full bore. recommend for fans of raw, gritty, hard boiled urban action with a deeper main character than at first glance. 9 of 10. (and the part of the book with a connection to the title is quite something else)


message 18: by Debra (new)

Debra (debra_t) | 2574 comments Mod
I haven't read his Joe Kurtz series. Now I'm interested.


message 19: by Linda (new)

Linda Boyd (boydlinda95gmailcom) | 598 comments Almeta wrote: "The name "Dan Simmons" strikes terror in me for a completely different reason!!!

I had apparently chosen the wrong book as a first read. I started with Drood, and found it hard to stick with ..."


I love Gatorman's suggestions - he does have good ones!!!


message 20: by Almeta, co-moderator (new)

Almeta (menfrommarrs) | 1093 comments Mod
Ann wrote: "My Hard as Nails review from Dec-2003
Dan Simmons' no holds barred Joe Kurtz series is a hard boiled thriller fan's delight and this latest book is no exception. Joe has a knack for ge..."


(Terror factor just decreased.)

Now we're talkin'! Hard-boiled thrillers are more my style.


message 21: by Debra (new)

Debra (debra_t) | 2574 comments Mod
Linda wrote: "Almeta wrote: "The name "Dan Simmons" strikes terror in me for a completely different reason!!!

I had apparently chosen the wrong book as a first read. I started with Drood, and found it hard..."


Yeah, Gatorman rocks!


message 22: by Janice (new)

Janice (jamasc) | 801 comments Almeta wrote: "Kit★ wrote: "Carrion Comfort and Drood."

It is my opinion that Drood is only interesting to those who have already read The Mystery of Edwin Drood by Char..."


I've never read this thread before. I picked up Drood a couple years back and have yet to read it. After reading this comment, I downloaded the freebie Kindle book of The Mystery of Edwin Drood and then the whispersync companion for $2.99. I'll read it before I read Drood.


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