ISBN-13: 9780765319111
Publisher: Tor Books
Published: September 2007
176 pgs

The year is 1963 in a small Midwestern town setting. Everyone in that town knew about the October Boy (otherwise known as Ol' Hacksaw Face, or Sawtooth Jack). Every year towards Halloween, he will rise from the cornfields and make his way towards town with his tattered jacket full of candies.

The boys in town are ready for this because they have been going through this ritual for years. It goes like this: each year the boys will be locked in their rooms and left without food for five days before their hunt for the October Boy begins so as to escalate their hunting frenzy. These boys will be on the "Run" and whoever win gets to find and kill the October Boy. If he succeeded in killing him, his family will entitle to some fame and he will be given a ride out of town - it is the only way of leaving the small, sleepy unambitious town.

How this ritual comes about will be explained in the story, but I am not going to spoil it for you. So every Halloween, the October Boy will resurrect and with a butcher knife in hand, he will make his way to town and towards the church before a boy gets him. That is the rule and this is how it always played.

However, things will be different this year as Pete McCormick is going to figure out this 'ritual' and its secret it seems the town is keeping all these years. Moreover, he is sick of his alcoholic father and their life. And he is prepared to risk everything for this run, but what most shocking is he will discover the secret of the October Boy and nothing is what it seems it is.

Dark Harvest is the winner of the Bram Stoker Award in 2006 and also listed as Publishers Weekly’s 100 Best Books of 2006. I have to say these honours are well-deserved as Dark Harvest is one of the most extraordinary horror stories I have ever read. The Halloween theme may sound old to some, but the bonus is the author delivered it with a different premise with a twist as one would have to figure out who is the real evil behind this story. The writing is beautiful with a lyrical and poetic prose to it; I know this may sound a little strange but I think it works very well through Norman Partridge's skillful writing. One would also think of the humanity issue on top of all the dark elements, which I think entitles another point for this well-written horror tale. The only down side is I wish this story is a bit longer.

I am glad I picked up this book right after reading Carl's lovely review some time back. What's more, it is hard to turn down a book like this with that attractive, eye-catching cover.

Other blog review:
Stainless Steel Droppings
(Let me know if I have missed yours.)

11 Responses
  1. Amy Says:

    Wow, this one looks good. You've been adding to my wishlist this week, Melody. :)

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Yup, it certainly is a very attractive cover. I am in a mood for spooky, i'll surely look it up. Thanks for the review Melody.

  3. Melody Says:

    Amy - It sure is! I'm glad to hear that the books I read lately are adding to your list, Amy. :)

    Violet - That's great! I hope you'll enjoy it if you get to it.

  4. Sandy Nawrot Says:

    You are right, that cover is marvelous. I am also fascinated with the premise. What would you recommend on the age range? I might read it for my 9 and 10 year old when it gets closer to Halloween...

  5. Alice Says:

    This one sounds good... and I like that cover!

  6. Ladytink_534 Says:

    Love stories like this and this sounds so neat! I'm going to wait and read this around Halloween though.

  7. Iliana Says:

    I was intrigued by this one when you posted the teaser and now it's definitely going on my list. Wonderful review, Melody!

  8. Ana S. Says:

    I want to read this for the next RIP challenge. I'm glad you enjoyed it so much, Melody!

  9. Melody Says:

    Sandy - I'd say this book is suitable from age 12 onwards, but that's only my opinion though.

    Alice - The cover is awesome, isn't it?!

    Jen - This will make a good Halloween read, but I suppose I can't wait, LOL.

    Iliana - Thanks, Iliana! I'm glad to hear you're adding this to your list. :)

    Nymeth - Yes, it's fit for the RIP challenge! Hopefully Carl will host it sooner, hehe.

  10. Mari Says:

    That is one creepy cover. That alone has me wanting to read this book! Sounds good, too. :)

  11. Anonymous Says:

    Yes the cover is grat. This sounds really intereesting and somehow reminds me of an episode of Supernatural when there is a scarecrow that comes to life each year.

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