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Summer Of Night Hardcover – February 11, 1991

4.5 out of 5 stars 1,459 ratings

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Hardcover, February 11, 1991

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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Headline (February 11, 1991)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 480 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0747203709
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0747203704
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.54 pounds
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,459 ratings

About the author

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Dan Simmons was born in Peoria, Illinois, in 1948, and grew up in various cities and small towns in the Midwest, including Brimfield, Illinois, which was the source of his fictional "Elm Haven" in 1991's SUMMER OF NIGHT and 2002's A WINTER HAUNTING. Dan received a B.A. in English from Wabash College in 1970, winning a national Phi Beta Kappa Award during his senior year for excellence in fiction, journalism and art.

Dan received his Masters in Education from Washington University in St. Louis in 1971. He then worked in elementary education for 18 years -- 2 years in Missouri, 2 years in Buffalo, New York -- one year as a specially trained BOCES "resource teacher" and another as a sixth-grade teacher -- and 14 years in Colorado.

His last four years in teaching were spent creating, coordinating, and teaching in APEX, an extensive gifted/talented program serving 19 elementary schools and some 15,000 potential students. During his years of teaching, he won awards from the Colorado Education Association and was a finalist for the Colorado Teacher of the Year. He also worked as a national language-arts consultant, sharing his own "Writing Well" curriculum which he had created for his own classroom. Eleven and twelve-year-old students in Simmons' regular 6th-grade class averaged junior-year in high school writing ability according to annual standardized and holistic writing assessments. Whenever someone says "writing can't be taught," Dan begs to differ and has the track record to prove it. Since becoming a full-time writer, Dan likes to visit college writing classes, has taught in New Hampshire's Odyssey writing program for adults, and is considering hosting his own Windwalker Writers' Workshop.

Dan's first published story appeared on Feb. 15, 1982, the day his daughter, Jane Kathryn, was born. He's always attributed that coincidence to "helping in keeping things in perspective when it comes to the relative importance of writing and life."

Dan has been a full-time writer since 1987 and lives along the Front Range of Colorado -- in the same town where he taught for 14 years -- with his wife, Karen. He sometimes writes at Windwalker -- their mountain property and cabin at 8,400 feet of altitude at the base of the Continental Divide, just south of Rocky Mountain National Park. An 8-ft.-tall sculpture of the Shrike -- a thorned and frightening character from the four Hyperion/Endymion novels -- was sculpted by an ex-student and friend, Clee Richeson, and the sculpture now stands guard near the isolated cabin.

Dan is one of the few novelists whose work spans the genres of fantasy, science fiction, horror, suspense, historical fiction, noir crime fiction, and mainstream literary fiction . His books are published in 27 foreign counties as well as the U.S. and Canada.

Many of Dan's books and stories have been optioned for film, including SONG OF KALI, DROOD, THE CROOK FACTORY, and others. Some, such as the four HYPERION novels and single Hyperion-universe novella "Orphans of the Helix", and CARRION COMFORT have been purchased (the Hyperion books by Warner Brothers and Graham King Films, CARRION COMFORT by European filmmaker Casta Gavras's company) and are in pre-production. Director Scott Derrickson ("The Day the Earth Stood Stood Still") has been announced as the director for the Hyperion movie and Casta Gavras's son has been put at the helm of the French production of Carrion Comfort. Current discussions for other possible options include THE TERROR. Dan's hardboiled Joe Kurtz novels are currently being looked as the basis for a possible cable TV series.

In 1995, Dan's alma mater, Wabash College, awarded him an honorary doctorate for his contributions in education and writing.

Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
1,459 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on December 1, 2018
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Stephen King book that Stephen King never wrote
By Don on December 1, 2018
Stephen King is arguably one of the best, most successful writers alive. What's even worse, is he makes it look easy, with truly frightening stories that reflect all our worst fears back at us and sometimes make us see ourselves as we really are. And sometimes, other authors look at that success and how easy he makes it look and decide that they can do that; that they can write a "Stephen King book." Usually, all they manage to accomplish is to highlight just how good King really is, but sometimes they get it right. Peter Straub did it with "Floating Dragon," Robert McCammon does it in "Swan Song," and Joe Hill comes by it honestly (King is his dad), but if you haven't read "Heart-Shaped Box" and not thought "what a great Stephen King story that was," then you weren't paying attention to what you were reading. In "Summer of Night," Hyperion author Dan Simmons takes his swing at a "Stephen King" novel...and knocks it right out of the park.

Now, I'm not really saying that Simmons was consciously trying to ape King when he wrote this book, but in the writing, a story of five eleven year old boys and their seemingly insurmountable battle against an ancient evil, he manages to not only incorporate most of the characters and gimmicks that make King's stories work, but he gets the tone right as well. Because Simmons understands what King understands, that the horror is only a small part of his characters' lives; that in order to be relatable, they must have dreams and hopes that exist beyond the immediacy of the horror of the story itself. Summer of Night is about how glorious summer vacation seems when you're only eleven years old; the eternal sunshine of each day, the limitless distance of each horizon, all remembered in a time when parents could trust their neighbors and not have to know where their children were every second of the day. It's a time that modern kids will never get beyond the pages of a book or the scenes of a movie and Simmons captures it perfectly, with love, tenderness and regret for the times we'll never get back. Sure, there's a monster and evil adults caught in the monster's clutches, clueless parents and two-dimensional bullies, but in the end, it all comes down to the boys and the strength of their friendship and their loyalty to one another. Simmons not only creates a believable haunted house (or school in this case) and a believable haunted town, he creates a believable world in which you readily accept that folks get up and go to work and play in the yard and fall in love and get married, and, oh yeah...fight monsters to protect the fate of all mankind.

This is a truly special book and, I think, one of Simmons' best. There's a sequel, "A Winter Haunting," that's also good, but Simmons writes it without taking the trip through King territory. Summer of Night is a great book for the beach or a cold night in front of the fire. It's one of the best Stephen King books that Stephen King never wrote.
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5.0 out of 5 stars just read it !
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read.
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