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Drummer Boy Paperback – April 16, 2010

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (April 16, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451588496
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451588491
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 8.4 x 5.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (102 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,863,424 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Scott Nicholson is the author of 10 novels, including The Red Church, The Skull Ring, Disintegration, and They Hunger. A Writers of the Future grand prize winner and finalist for the Stoker Award, he's also written three story collections and six screenplays. Nicholson works as a journalist and freelance editor in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. His Web site is www.hauntedcomputer.com.

More About the Author

Questions from Readers for Scott Nicholson

Love your work! I recently read the After series. Do you have a guestimate of when Milepost 291 will be available?
Bonanza43 asked Oct 30, 2013
Author Answered

Hey Boinanza, sorry for the delay, I am working on After 3 right now--when it comes out depends on a couple of things but I am hoping by January or February. Thanks for your support!

Scott Nicholson answered Nov 13, 2013

Customer Reviews

Well written, good characters, interesting story.
Working Mama
I have come to regard Scott Nicholson one of the great horror authors out there.
Now I need to decide which Scott Nicholson book I'll read next.
D. Dorow

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Patroo on April 9, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition
I enjoyed this lively novella about the passions of the Civil War, present in both today's living people and the revenants of the past, drawn to a final action during a local battle re-enactment. A mysterious cavern, the back of it blocked by a rockslide, has the strange sounds of snare drums coming from the depths, like those played by young boys at the battles of the Civil War. The drums helped marchers keep rhythm, and were another way to signal commands by their different tattoos. What is this mysterious drummer trying to say?

The boys who first hear the phenomena are the sort that don't really fit in with all the other kids. They rely on each other's company, support and companionship. They are familiar with local history after watching many re-enactments and seeing local collections of relics. There are stories about the local battle, and descendants of the participants still live in the area.

More things begin to happen, including sightings of phantom soldiers around the community. One young man has been affected mentally by a past visit to the Jangle Hole cavern years before. He was only a boy at the time, and was found just outside the opening, gibbering and unable to communicate what had happened. Since then he's been a toddler in an adult body, unable to talk or reason, just existing while his aging parents do everything for him. This child-man is drawn to the cave on the mountain, trying to drum with twigs while struggling to escape his watchful father.

A local developer plans to build homes in the area of the Jangle Hole, but are the spirits going to tolerate this?

The South Shall Rise Again...literally.

I also thought this story was very reminiscent of "The Body" by Stephen King. The boys in both of these stories would have liked each other. They have a lot in common.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Christa Polkinhorn on April 18, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Red Church was the first of Scott Nicholson's novels I ever read. It changed my whole--up to then rather negative--attitude toward the label "horror" or "thriller." But, perhaps, Nicholson is just a much better writer than other authors of the genre. He tells intriguing, mysterious, and suspenseful stories, which are all the more compelling because of their strong and psychologically complex characters, the vivid descriptions, and the sensitive rendering of human emotions.
Drummer Boy is another page turner (or "page clicker", if you have a Kindle reader.) It reminded me a little of The Red Church, not just because some of the characters (Sheriff Littlefield) reappear, but because it depicts the still fragile psyche of adolescent boys, their insecurities, their struggle with love and friendship, and their fear of "not belonging," in a society where you are either "in or "out," "straight" or "gay," "good" or "evil." Interestingly enough, the young boys are more willing and brave enough than the adults to be true to themselves, not matter what the sacrifice.
Having spent my school years abroad for the most part, I am not as intimately familiar with the American Civil War as people who grew up in this country. What came across to me personally from the story was the fact that for many people in the South, the Civil War was never truly resolved. And so, the shadows in the form of ghostly soldiers keep on haunting them. That's true of any war, whether here or abroad. What we're not willing to deal with, will come back to torment us in one form or the other.
There is of course a lot more to the book. Find out for yourself!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Schiariti on November 7, 2011
Format: Paperback
I got this book for several reasons. First of which I've read other Nicholson novels and short stories and really enjoyed them. Secondly, I loved the Red Church and being this was supposed to feature Frank Littlefield (it's called a loose sequel to Church) I was pretty excited to read it.

Thing is, I found it a little slow and there wasn't enough Littlefield in it. The premise is interesting. During the time of the town's annual Civil War Reenactment ghosts of dead Civil War soldiers start coming out of yet another haunt in the area called the Jangling Hole. Several local boys wander into the hole despite the local ghost stories and it changes their lives forever.

As I said, interesting premise but the lack of Littlefield in much of the book left me a little flat. Also, much of the story centers around depressed people complaining about their spouses or parents, etc, etc and I found it honestly didn't add to the story.

Not a 'bad' book by any stretch, but it just didn't grab hold of me like some of Nicholson's previous works.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Lauralynn Elliott on October 30, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Once again, Scott Nicholson has impressed me with his ability to tell a story. This wasn't exactly a sequel to The Red Church, but it did have a repeat character, Sheriff Littlefield. This book didn't spook me as much as The Red Church, but it was still pretty eerie. I'll keep reading Scott Nicholson novels because I love them!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Moses Siregar III on June 16, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
DRUMMER BOY is set in the North Carolina mountains. Its cast includes contemporary teenage boys, their dysfunctional families (mainly fathers obsessed with reenacting the civil war), and an old couple with deep roots in the mountains. All of them try to live their lives around the civil war ghosts haunting their town.

Scott Nicholson does many things brilliantly well, IMO. He engages the senses religiously, immersing you in his tale. His characters, mostly male, are believable with all of their neuroses and sexual oddities, enough so that I laughed out loud dozens of times. His writing is often poetic and remarkable, even while describing simple things. His setting is believable, whether it's about the trailer park where the boys live, or the Appalachian mountains. And there is a theme and message here, which I greatly prefer in a novel; the author is telling a story first and foremost, but he's also saying something in the end.

When I give a book four stars, it means I loved it, but I thought there were some areas where it could've been even better. I thought the beginning of the book was excellent; it built a great deal of mystery around believable characters in situations that made me laugh. I thought the middle dragged a bit, but Nicholson's excellent writing still carried it; once the basic mystery of the story was known, it felt like I was waiting too much for the climax through the middle section.

I thought the end was mixed in that it was great in some respects, but flawed in others; it was exciting and really made me turn the pages, but I found the grand finale less believable than all the rest of his tale, and the final wrap-up felt too short. The mixed ending keeps it from being a five-star book for me.
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