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Dark Harvest Paperback – Bargain Price, September 4, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Released in a signed limited edition as part of Cemetery Dance's 2006 Halloween line, "Dark Harvest" has been chosen by Publisher's Weekly as one of the year's best. How rare is it that a small press book gets this kind of recognition? Read it, and you'll find out why.
Partridge has created sympathetic characters that could very well be people you know. The story centers around a small town with secrets that has a Halloween ritual every year where the teenage boys are locked in their rooms without food for five days and unleashed in the town on Halloween night with the mission to find and kill the October Boy. The person who kills him will be given a free ride out of the city and his parents will be rewarded by the town. Every year this plays out, every year another winner. As the secrets of the town and the origin of the October Boy are revealed, it is appearant that nothing in this place is what it seems. A young boy and girl figure this out, and do what they can to escape.
The book is short, but Partridge tells you everything you need to know.Read more ›
As the reader, you get the impression from the book description that you're going to be set for a rather typical good vs. evil, boy vs. monster plot scenario. But what Partridge delivers is so much more and so much different than your average horror novel. This is the tale of the scarecrow creature known as the October Boy. Upon his resurrection each Halloween, the small town's teenage boys compete for the honor of being the first one to destroy old Sawtooth Jack. Because if a boy is crowned the winner of the "Run", it's his ticket out of town. In fact, it's the only way anyone ever escapes the cornfields and the never ending nothingness of this particular midwest 'burg. Pete McCormick is 16 years old, and he is determined to be this year's winner of the Run. He wants out of town, and the only way to get his wish is to stop the October Boy from making it to the town square church before midnight.
However, Partridge's trick along the way is a clever story twist to keep the reader guessing about who the victims really are and who the monsters really are. What is the history behind this macabre tradition that has the farm folk running rabid every Halloween night? Partridge does a wonderful job of setting you up for one type of story, then stopping you in your tracks, and finally putting his own unique spin on the plot flow to really keep you guessing. His pacing and prose are both switch-blade sharp and will take you for a ride like few other authors can.
When I read DARK HARVEST, it reminded me of another novel by Joe R.Read more ›
A Midwestern town. You know its name. You were born there.
It's Halloween, 1963 . . . and getting on towards dark.
Partridge follows these moody opening lines with a Bradburyesque description of the unnamed town (delivered by an omniscient narrator), evoking the likes of Sherwood Anderson and Thornton Wilder even as he veers off into edgier territory by introducing the Pumpkin Boy, a.k.a. Sawtooth Jack, a.k.a. Hacksaw Face. The Pumpkin Boy is a pumpkin-headed effigy (shades of Sleepy Hollow!) who stands guard over the town's crops; on Halloween, he comes to life to run a gauntlet of the town's young men, all out to destroy him. The gauntlet is an annual ritual, the result of an ancient pact between the town and a greater power, still honored even though most don't recall its original purpose. So far, the Pumpkin Boy has never successfully reached his goal, a church in the middle of town; he has always been stopped (read destroyed) by one of the town's young men, who win a one-way ticket out of the remote hamlet. The majority of the action is seen through the eyes of the Pumpkin Boy, and Pete McCormick, a young man desperate in his desire to escape the town's environs. Their adventures on this particular Halloween night reveal the horror beneath the calm, respectable façade of the unnamed town, uncovering secrets that threaten to destroy it.
It seems significant that Partridge set the novel in October 1963, only weeks before America was shocked by the assassination of John F.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Disappointment is the emotion I'm feeling as I start this review. I had this book on my "absolutely have to read" list for quite a few years now, so when I was able to... Read morePublished 1 month ago by coachtim
Recommended for those looking to pass some hours in an October day this is great popcorn fiction for the season. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Anonymous Rogue
Really enjoyable Halloween read. Wonderful atmosphere and a unique and chilling story. I was totally invested all the way through. Big thumbs up for me.Published 4 months ago by Mark Gunnells
Really fun Halloween story. Interesting premise that doesn't get old. The characters are fairly well sketched out, but there are a few that get a little two-dimensional or tropey. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Justin Hawn
Without a doubt, Partridge captures the best Halloween fiction ever put on paper.
I re-read it once a year and have a loaner copy to give others. Read more
Good old fashioned fun. I would have appreciated more backstory on how the town came to be this way and why some were so invested in the ritual, but it didn't detract from the... Read morePublished 8 months ago by kathy
Great spin on the whole lottery story concept. Well placed easy to read little yarn that will keep you entertained throughoutPublished 9 months ago by Benjamin m. Stanislawski