So July is sweltering. My thermometer has taken an Alaskan cruise to cool off. I'm trapped in New Jersey, but I have books and air conditioning. So what better read for the season than one of the best horror novels written: Summer of Night by Dan Simmons.
A group of Midwestern kids in the 1960s (don't fret, the historical aspect doesn't make this a "dated" or "corny" read) find their summer hijacked by weird occurrences that surround their school. Yes, a haunted, damned school, every kid's nightmare. Be warned: Simmons writes long; the novel is 600+ pages, but once you get into the thick of this scary adventure, you will turn pages fast.
The boys (and girl) are real characters rather than the cardboard cut-outs you get in many horror novels. You'll be on edge, worried whether or not they all survive.
And if you enjoy Lovecraft's work, Summer of Night has bonus themes, with a terrible eldritch artifact, the Borgia Bell, in the school tower, and monstrous worms of all sizes. Forget Stephen King's It, this book is a far better exploration of young boys (and girl) encountering an unthinkable menace and rising to the occasion (well, except for the fatalities).
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