Summer of Night by Dan Simmons ★★★☆☆ (spookathon)

Picture courtesy of my mother
Introduction – 10/13/19

Summer of Night is going to be the second book I start in Spookathon 2019. It is a long one, so I hope I don’t get fatigued from it. Although, I wanted to save Stephen King for when I may start to get tired (second to last), and I didn’t want to read Ancestors right after White is for Witching since it is also another experimental book.

This should take ~12hrs; that’s down from 22 hrs at 1.8 speed. I may even go up to 2.0 x since it is such a long book. I really hope I like it. I want a good Halloween scare.

Update – 10/15/19

I’m 18% in with ~9hrs left (on 2x speed). I’m enjoying it, and there are some great creepy moments. I think they might be more effective if I wasn’t listening nearly as fast, but I’m still enjoying it! I’m still learning the characters. It has a nice small town vibe, but it isn’t as dark as IT exactly.

Update – 10/16/19

I am enjoying it. There are moments where I am almost hooked and intrigued. I’ve learned whose who, for the most part, and I am mildly invested. Unfortunately, I still don’t feel the emotional investment I was hoping for here. This is so often compared to IT. The coming of age story is there, and it certainly feels like a cleaner more desirable edit (so far as how it deals with race and sexuality). I still was hoping for more. At this point, I don’t see this getting better than a 3.5, rounding down. It just feels like a lot of fluff. IT is so long, but I cherish every line of it. In this, I feel half the excitement a fraction of the time.

I don’t think it’s fair to compare it to IT. IT is a uniquely exceptional book in my eyes, but I didn’t go into this looking for IT either. If anything, it really brings on that comparison itself..

Finished – 10/17/19

It was okay. This isn’t a bad book. There are few complaints beyond the central one. I just didn’t really connect with the story. There were moments where I was really interested, but too much of that was woven together by slow moments that felt like a slog.

The story has interesting characters. Although, there wasn’t much characterization of the female characters. Simmons avoids the mishaps Stephen King made (to put it mildly), but even with the flaws in IT, it wasn’t male centric. A key part of the story was Beverley’s childhood experience. and I was even surprised a couple times. Here, they feel more like character development for the male characters.

I may be biased with my love for IT, but in all of King’s overly long book, it keeps me interested. It earns its length. That isn’t the case here, and it’s more than half as short. Add on part two of the series, and the combined set get closer to IT if not quite that big. It isn’t exactly the same though. I think it’s a different kind of story. I don’t know if I’ll read it. This story makes me want to say no, but it also makes me want to read it out of a hope that maybe I’ll enjoy. Then, in a way, it makes up for spending so much time on the first one. 3.25/5 stars.

4 thoughts on “Summer of Night by Dan Simmons ★★★☆☆ (spookathon)

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