- Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: HarperTorch (December 31, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0380817160
- ISBN-13: 978-0380817160
- Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 199 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #198,321 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A Winter Haunting Mass Market Paperback – December 31, 2002
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About the Author
Dan Simmons is the Hugo Award-winning author of Hyperion and The Fall of Hyperion, and their sequels, Endymion and The Rise of Endymion. He has written the critically acclaimed suspense novels Darwin's Blade and The Crook Factory, as well as other highly respected works, including Summer of Night and its sequel A Winter Haunting, Song of Kali, Carrion Comfort, and Worlds Enough & Time. Simmons makes his home in Colorado.
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Top customer reviews
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Dale returns to Elm Haven, Illinois to live at the farmhouse his childhood friend Dwayne called home. The friend who was murdered. The friend whose murder--or that whole fateful summer of 1960 (the plot of _Summer of Night_)--he cannot really recall. And so begins a wonderful tale of mounting dread.
Simmons starts slow, so stick with it, and you will be richly rewarded in mounting fear and dread and delightful storytelling. Simmons' horror is one of mounting tension, of brick stacked on brick stacked on slow brick, until we find we've been walled away to rot entombed. In other words, he starts out pretty slow, and I was tempted to set the book aside. DON'T. The details mount with each wonderfully written description, and the floor begins to give way. When the floor finally drops out from under us, flesh has been crawling for chapters and chapters. I could not put this book down and read it all in one sitting.
I won't need to sleep with the lights on tonight...but I don't think I'll be going up to the second floor of my house anytime soon. Bravo, Dan Simmons.
The themes and subtexts in this book are almost exactly opposite to Summer of Night. Where it was about childhood friendships, conflicts and freedom in 1960, A Winter Haunting follows a few of the original characters and the small Illinois village forty years into the future and into middle-age. Rather than free-wheeling eleven year-olds trying to deal with something too big and strange for them to fully understand, the scale is smaller, focused mostly one of the boys who grew to adulthood haunted, both literally and figuratively by that Summer of 1960. It's compounded his mistakes along the way, to the extent that he's not even sure of their magnitude.
So it's different from the original. If you want another Summer of Night, you'll be disappointed.
On the other hand, if you want a creeping, subtle, Dan Simmons blend of supernatural and psychological thriller, this is for you. You can never quite track where the line between the two is, and you never get bored while he pushes it in one direction or other. I'm a slow, impatient reader and I absolutely tore through this one.
There's a lot of groundwork already done and many folks would snap that up in a heartbeat.
After I read this book I was left feeling... flat. I did not experience the same 'ahhhhhhh that was good' feeling as I did at the end of SUMMER OF NIGHT. What was going on? It's Dan Simmons for goodness sake. But then I started to think through it. And gradually, I started to get it (or rationalize it anyway). This book is written through the eyes of an adult - not a kid. Dale Stewart has grown up. The 'magic' is harder to see. The world is more black and white - the shadows aren't as scary, the closets aren't full of monsters - nothing under the bed. There is still magic (and horror) - it's just faint and you need to stretch to see the fringes of it in the corner of your eye.
I'm not going to spoil a thing. I strongly urge you to read SUMMER OF NIGHT first and then read A WINTER HAUNTING.
In hindsight I would say Dan Simmons is quite clever in how he treats these two (2) novels. He does a wonderful job of aging Dale Stewart in A WINTER HAUNTING just as he wrote Dale as a kid prior. Dale still has some of the fears obviously, some of the memories, some of the visions but he's rationalized (and medicated) them as adults will tend to do. Really a clever read.
Now... how's that prequel coming along?