Synopses & Reviews
Dale Stewart's life has become a shadow of what it once was. A respected college professor and successful novelist, he sabotaged his career and his marriage with an obsessive love affair that ended badly.
With darkness closing in on him, Dale decides to return to his boyhood home in Illinois. Drawn by a recurring nightmare that has plagued him since his youth -- and a troubling certainty that something is waiting for him there -- he hopes to exorcise his demons.
In the last hours of Halloween, he reaches the outskirts of the dying town of Elm Haven. There, he moves into the abandoned farmhouse that was once the home of his closest boyhood friend, the strange and brilliant Duane McBride, who lost his young life in a grisly "accident" back in the terrible summer of 1960. Hoping to find peace in isolation, he settles in for the long, harsh winter.
But Dale is not alone. Soon after he arrives, cryptic messages begin appearing mysteriously on his computer screen while he struggles to work on his novel. He sees black dogs roaming the grounds. And an old enemy has reemerged, a bully who seems as determined to persecute Dale as he was in childhood.
"I am in awe of Dan Simmons....[He] writes like a hot-rodding angel." Stephen King
"Dan Simmons is brilliant." Dean Koontz
"Sequel at half the length to...Summer of Night....[Simmons] works toward a seriously well-written nonhorror novel, until we grow suspicious that we are into a deceptive tale much like the flicks The Sixth Sense and The Others, with a Jamesian ghost story overlay....Dale (not Dan Simmons, of course) complains about the 'jackal piss' his reviewers squirt on him....A rich read most jackals will take kindly to." Kirkus Reviews
"Though it features its share of palpable things that go bump in the night, this novel is most unsettling in its portrait of personal demons of despair that imperceptibly empower them." Publishers Weekly
"It's good spooky fun that teens will love-but may not want to read when alone, at night..." School Library Journal
"Simmons' writing is tight and delirious, spinning an engrossing spiral of madness and fear, and the titular haunting is a beauty, supported by an exquisite selection of classical references." Booklist
A once-respected college professor and novelist, Dale Stewart has sabotaged his career and his marriage and now darkness is closing in on him. In the last hours of Halloween he has returned to the dying town of Elm Haven, his boyhood home, where he hopes to find peace in isolation. But moving into a long-deserted farmhouse on the far outskirts of town the one-time residence of a strange and brilliant friend who lost his young life in a grisly "accident" back in the terrible summer of 1960 is only the latest in his long succession of recent mistakes. Because Dale is not alone here. He has been followed to this house of shadows by private demons who are now twisting his reality into horrifying new forms. And a thick, blanketing early snow is starting to fall...
About the Author
Dan Simmons is the Hugo Award-winning author of Hyperion and The Fall of Hyperion and their sequels, Endymion and The Rise of Endymion. He has written the critically acclaimed suspense novels Darwin's Blade and The Crook Factory, as well as other highly respected works including Summer of Night, its sequel A Winter Haunting, and Song of Kali, Carrion Comfort, and Worlds Enough & Time. Simmons makes his home in Colorado.