This masterfully crafted horror classic, featuring a brand-new introduction by Dan Simmons, will bring you to the edge of your seat, hair standing on end and blood freezing in your veins
It's the summer of 1960 and in the small town of Elm Haven, Illinois, five twelve-year-old boys are forging the powerful bonds that a lifetime of change will not break. From sunset bike rides to shaded hiding places in the woods, the boys' days are marked by all of the secrets and silences of an idyllic middle-childhood. But amid the sundrenched cornfields their loyalty will be pitilessly tested. When a long-silent bell peals in the middle of the night, the townsfolk know it marks the end of their carefree days. From the depths of the Old Central School, a hulking fortress tinged with the mahogany scent of coffins, an invisible evil is rising. Strange and horrifying events begin to overtake everyday life, spreading terror through the once idyllic town. Determined to exorcize this ancient plague, Mike, Duane, Dale, Harlen, and Kevin must wage a war of blood—against an arcane abomination who owns the night...
Hugo Award-winning novelist Simmons's ( Hyperion ) has produced an outstandingly eerie and truly horrifying tale, a page-turner of the first order. A miasma of evil hangs over the bright summer streets of the small town of Elm Haven, Ill., perceptible only to a group of boys who have just finished their last year at Old Central, an oversize, grotesquely ornate grade school built in the previous century. When one of the students disappears on the last day of school, some of the youngsters decide to investigate. A man dressed in World War I uniform begins to follow them, as does the rendering truck, driven by the school custodian Van Syke, a vehicle that stinks from the animal carcasses it carries. When one of the boys uncovers ties among Old Central, children who vanished at the turn of the century and an ancient evil from the Old World, he is killed in a vicious fashion by creatures of the night. The other boys move to defend themselves, knowing they will not be believed by the adults, especially because the horrors appear to be directed by the respected principal of the school. Simmons impeccably evokes a small Midwestern town in 1960, peopling it with appealing--and appaling--characters. His slow and careful introduction of the elements of evil builds credibility and moves to a high-pitched intensity. BOMC alternate.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Brilliant right until the ending.
I do not understand how an author’s book can be so well crafted, keeping you on the edge of your seat with fear; then have a silly, completely non frightening ending.
Just when you think some horrifying evil is going to leap out of the dark Mr. Simmons gives a monster that is as frightening as a bowl of jello. No discussions about what the evil is just a mishmash of bits and pieces that don’t add up.
Classic old school horror
A great story that took me back to my childhood. Well done!
Read this book many, many years ago. I don't have the words to describe it. Suffice it to say, it is one of the very best books I have ever read!
If you like horror, this is one to get. But it goes deeper than that. Book raises the horror genre into the lofty realm of literature that only a few have done in the past. Bradbury did it with "Something Wicked This Way Comes" (which it shares similarities with). Straub did it with "Ghost Story". And McCammon did it with "Swan Song". Of course, there are others, and this is only my opinion, but for me, this book IS that good.