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CR3 #64: Summer of Night by Dan Simmons

Summer of Night by Dan Simmons desperately wants to be IT by Stephen King. I'm not saying that's necessarily a bad thing, but then again IT is probably one of my very favorite books of all time. However, the influence--to me--was extremely obvious, right down to some of the character descriptions, plot points, and peripheral events. I'm not saying the books are total duplicates--there aren't any clowns, thank goodness--but the similarities are enough that a Stephen King fan may find him or herself suffering a strange deja vu feeling while reading.

The plot consists of a group of boys between eight and thirteen (and later one girl), who notice that things in their small rural town aren't quite right. There are disappearances, some of the adults are acting very strange, and some of the places around town have become downright disturbing. Each boy starts to experience spooky events, and soon they realize they will need to band together to save themselves and their town from a recently awakened ancient evil.

See? Doesn't that plot sound kind of familiar? Not to mention the kid in the cast, the scary basement, a moment with a bloated, floating corpse, and I'm not saying there are creepy alien spider eggs, but...well, there are some similarities.

Please don't think I intend to steer you away from the book though. Despite (or perhaps because of) the close ties to Stephen King, this was a pretty good read. The characters were distinctive and interesting and the plot, while not the most original I've ever seen was still pretty good. On the whole, this was a fun summer read I'd recommend to people who enjoy this sort of book.

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