Facebook Tweet Google+

RSS

A Winter Haunting by Dan Simmons

Audible Edition.    Dead Tree Edition.

Finished Mar 2018. Final score: 3 / 5.

A Winter Haunting

Reason for reading:

This book was recommended to me.

Knowledge before reading:

I was told this is a follow-up novel to "Summer of Night", but it stands on its own.

TLDR:

This had a pretty slow ramp-up and a weak ending, but there were still some interesting plot lines.

Dan's Full Review:

Dale Stewart is a winey, self-destructive author and English professor that gives me little reason to care for him, and I wonder if that was intentional. He is 51 years old. His marriage is a wreck (or perhaps ended -don't quite remember), his mistress left him, and he is a suicide risk (1 failed attempt).

He decided to go on sabbatical to Elm Haven, Illinois. He rents the home of his childhood friend (Dwayne) from 40+ years ago that had a strange death at 11 years old. Dale wants to investigate these events as inspiration for his next novel.

There. I just saved you 10 chapters of dull prose. That is my biggest complaint of this book: A very slow ramp-up. We have needless side stories (like going to the store to get toiletries) and glimpses of his trips with his mistress. The book spent a great deal of time in this area and only started to get interesting halfway in.

Portions of Dale's character really annoys me. Maybe I just can't emphasize with the life of a very depressed English professor. I tried, but I could not help getting frustrated when he saw his childhood bully 40 years later and suddenly turned in to a blubbering wimp. OK, so the guy was mean to you 40 years ago. It's time to move on. Another side story: A woman invites herself over and brought two bottles of wine which you both emptied. She is asking him what he is thinking about. He fumbles. Badly. She storms off. Do you really think the goal was to debate classic literature? I am so mad at this wimpy guy.

He is also a horrible father. I'm not sure why the book bothered mentioning his (ex?) wife and kids. Wife nor kids made any appearance except to show that Dale is completely ignoring them. The mistress had many cut-scenes.

Another useless sidebar that I actually found entertaining: troubleshooting the oddly behaved Windows 98 laptop and AOL account. It was tech support from 20 years ago. Amusing. If I ever write fiction, I'll try to avoid explaining modern day tech.

2/3 in to the book, I am now interested. Weird things started to happen. I am no longer sure what is real and what is fake. Neither is Dale. Perhaps he is simply crazy. I'll not spoil the details because this part was actually good.

The book concludes rather blandly. I'm wondering if I am missing something because I never read Summer of Night. This story by itself does not stand strong on its own merit.



About

Dan Nagle is a SW Developer and the founder of NagleCode. His apps have been downloaded hundreds of thousands of times and have been featured all over the internet. He resides in Huntsville, AL.

More Book Reviews

Dec 2018: 5 / 5 : The Martian by Andy Weir
Nov 2018: 4 / 5 : One Giant Leap (Book 2) by Heather Kaczynski
Nov 2018: 5 / 5 : The Firm by John Grisham
Oct 2018: 3 / 5 : The Verdict by Nick Stone
Oct 2018: 4 / 5 : Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss
Oct 2018: 3 / 5 : Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson
Sep 2018: 3 / 5 : Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
Sep 2018: 3 / 5 : Royal Flush (Book 3) by Rhys Bowen
Sep 2018: 3 / 5 : Words of Radiance (Book 2) by Brandon Sanderson
Aug 2018: 3 / 5 : The Way of Kings (Book 1) by Brandon Sanderson
Jul 2018: 4 / 5 : Alien: The Cold Forge by Alex White
Jul 2018: 5 / 5 : NOS4A2 by Joe Hill
Jun 2018: 5 / 5 : Elantris by Brandon Sanderson
Jun 2018: 4 / 5 : Dare Mighty Things (Book 1) by Heather Kaczynski
Jun 2018: 4 / 5 : 14 by Peter Clines
May 2018: 3 / 5 : The Mote in God's Eye by Larry Niven
May 2018: 3 / 5 : Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
Apr 2018: 4 / 5 : A Royal Pain (Book 2) by Rhys Bowen
Apr 2018: 5 / 5 : Space Team (Book 1) by Barry J Hutchison
Apr 2018: 3 / 5 : Silent Child by Sarah A Denzil
Mar 2018: 4 / 5 : Mean Streak by Sandra Brown
Mar 2018: 3 / 5 : A Winter Haunting by Dan Simmons
Mar 2018: 4 / 5 : The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
Mar 2018: 5 / 5 : The Grid by Gretchen Bakke
Mar 2018: 2 / 5 : Dracula by Bram Stoker
Mar 2018: 3 / 5 : Sherlock Holmes: A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle
Feb 2018: 2 / 5 : A Cold Day for Murder by Dana Stabenow
Feb 2018: 5 / 5 : Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Feb 2018: 3 / 5 : The Collapsing Empire (Book 1) by John Scalzi
Feb 2018: 1 / 5 : Infinity Blade: Redemption (Book 2) by Brandon Sanderson
Feb 2018: 2 / 5 : Infinity Blade: Awakening (Book 1) by Brandon Sanderson
Jan 2018: 4 / 5 : Her Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen
Jan 2018: 2 / 5 : The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
Jan 2018: 3 / 5 : Fire and Fury by Michael Wolff
Jan 2018: 2 / 5 : The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
Jan 2018: 3 / 5 : Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World by Jack Weatherford
Dec 2017: 1 / 5 : The X-Files : Cold Cases by Audible
Nov 2017: 3 / 5 : Mistborn: The Hero of Ages (Book 3) by Brandon Sanderson
Nov 2017: 3 / 5 : Mistborn: The Well of Ascension (Book 2) by Brandon Sanderson
Nov 2017: 5 / 5 : Mistborn: The Final Empire (Book 1) by Brandon Sanderson
Oct 2017: 4 / 5 : Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas by John Scalzi
Oct 2017: 5 / 5 : Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson
Sep 2017: 2 / 5 : Where the Hell is Tesla by Rob Dirks
Sep 2017: 5 / 5 : Heartless by Marissa Meyer
Sep 2017: 4 / 5 : 11-22-63: A Novel by Stephen King
Aug 2017: 5 / 5 : The Emperor's Soul by Brandon Sanderson
Aug 2017: 4 / 5 : Lock In: A Novel of the Near Future by John Scalzi
Aug 2017: 5 / 5 : Replay by Ken Grimwood
Aug 2017: 5 / 5 : A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L'Engle
Jul 2017: 3 / 5 : Treason by Orson Scott Card
Jul 2017: 1 / 5 : Stars Above (Book 6) by Marissa Meyer
Jul 2017: 5 / 5 : Winter (Book 5) by Marissa Meyer
Jul 2017: 2 / 5 : Fairest (Book 4) by Marissa Meyer
Jun 2017: 3 / 5 : Cress (Book 3) by Marissa Meyer
Jun 2017: 4 / 5 : Scarlet (Book 2) by Marissa Meyer
Jun 2017: 4 / 5 : Cinder (Book 1) by Marissa Meyer
May 2017: 2 / 5 : Red Seas Under Red Skies (Book 2) by Scott Lynch
May 2017: 3 / 5 : The Lies of Locke Lamora (Book 1) by Scott Lynch
May 2017: 3 / 5 : Crossing the Asymptote by Lysle Shields
Mar 2017: 3 / 5 : It by Stephen King

Copyright © NagleCode 2007 - 2018.