Read The Summer I Died by Ryan C. Thomas Online


So much screaming. When Roger Huntington comes home from college for the summer and is met by his best friend, Tooth, he knows they're going to have a good time. A summer full of beer, comic books, movies, laughs, and maybe even girls. So much pain. The sun is high and the sky is clear as Roger and Tooth set out to shoot beer cans at Bobcat Mountain. Just two friends catchSo much screaming. When Roger Huntington comes home from college for the summer and is met by his best friend, Tooth, he knows they're going to have a good time. A summer full of beer, comic books, movies, laughs, and maybe even girls. So much pain. The sun is high and the sky is clear as Roger and Tooth set out to shoot beer cans at Bobcat Mountain. Just two friends catching up on lost time, two friends thinking about their futures, two friends-- So much blood. --suddenly thrust in the middle of a nightmare. Forced to fight for their life against a sadistic killer. A killer with an arsenal of razor sharp blades and a hungry dog by his side. So much death. If they are to survive, they must decide: are heroes born, or are they made? Or is something more powerful happening to them? And more importantly, how do you survive when all roads lead to death!...

Title : The Summer I Died
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781897217405
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 226 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Summer I Died Reviews

  • Stephen
    2018-09-18 22:36

    That is significantly understating the effect this book had on me. I finished it last weekend having been reduced to a shocked, emotionally shredded child who suddenly didn’t feel comfortable with the world around me. Since that time, I've mostly recovered from the experience though there are aspects of the story that may never completely leave me. In light of the above, I want to be careful in my recommendation of this book to others (there’s a verbal ink blot test below that may help).This book is troubling, depraved, graphic and unrelenting in its brutality, and there are passages and events that WILL affect you, possibly significantly. However, this book is also superbly crafted and deftly told by a writer who has earned my deep respect for creating this dust-jacket wearing nightmare of terror. Before I continue, here is a quick tour of the set up. PLOT SUMMARYRoger and Tooth are best friends. Roger is home from college for the summer and is staying at his parent's with his sister while mom and dad are on vacation. Tooth is Roger's intelligent, thrill-seeking best friend who drinks way too much (a legacy from his alcoholic father) and, at 20 years of age, sees no way out of the dead end life he has carved for himself. One day, Roger and Tooth are target shooting in secluded woods miles outside of town. As they're getting ready to leave, they hear a woman screaming. They decide to investigate…and find the most unimaginable nightmare you can possibly conceive of waiting for them. From there...non-stop horror. THOUGHTSThis story is unfiltered and unwavering a depiction of torture and sadism as you are likely to find. For those that have read American Psycho, there are scenes in this novel that rise to the level of depravity depicted in the most graphic passages from Ellison’s novel. However, what makes this story’s violence so much harder for me to handle is that I truly cared for both Roger and Tooth by the time the horror began. That is a critical difference because, as callous as it may sound, watching a stranger get shot, while traumatic, does not compare emotionally with watching a loved one suffer the same fate. That is the darkest, most painful aspect of this story. We care desperately about the victims and it makes the telling of their fate so much worse. So, is this or is this not torture porn? This is a tough one for me because I am NOT, I repeat NOT, a fan of movies that seem to revel and bask in torture and/or sadism (e.g., the Saw movies, Hostel, etc.). However, I have enjoyed (probably not the most apt term) some movies that are deeply disturbing and have significant violence in them because I thought they were terrifying (and isn’t that why we watch them). An examples of this kind of movie is The Strangers which freaked me out. So back to the question…is this torture porn? Well, if torture porn is defined as a novel where violence and torture are a central component of the plot than The Summer I Died is clearly torture porn. Torture and violence are key ingredients. However, the non-torture, non-violent elements of this are so well done and the prose is so engaging that I have struggle bestowing what I feel is a derogatory label on it.I guess that will have to do as a non –answer. Roger and Tooth are wonderful characters. Their relationship is real and genuine and pitch-perfect. This makes the horror of their ordeal difficult for me to adequately describe because you need that sense of attachment to fully comprehend it. Even more impressive is that the bonds of friendship between the two reaches new levels of strength AFTER the nightmare begins. I’m not going to give away spoilers but there is a point in the story when, as a reader, you are gasping for breath, begging for a pause in the narrative to be able to gather yourself. However, instead of any reprieve, the author devilishly introduces a new element into the story that rips away the last vestiges of sanity and makes you suddenly cognisant that the horror is inexorable and that you are treading territory you've not walked before. Full stop...Now, the above paragraph is a decent Rorschach Test to assist you in deciding whether you want to read this. If the curiosity for what happens outweighs your sense of dread…than enter reckless reader, but remember my warning. Alternatively, if your “squeamish sensor” is going off like a police siren, than you may want to skip this one and save yourself the night terrors that may follow. My final word on the book (again without a spoiler) is the ending. It was PERFECT. I can not adequately express how impressed I was with the author’s ability to find a way to bring a sense of uplift to this unrelentingly brutal tale. The ending was as shocking in beauty as the new element referenced above was in its vileness. For me, it was the ending that raised this book to among the ranks of among the best “horror” experiences of my literary life. While I found much of the last half of the book tough to stomach and did not “enjoy” it, the narrative engaged me to exhaustion and made me feel at a level few books have. When the author gifted me with the end, he made it a profound statement on friendship and the strength of bonds between people that I think makes this worth experiencing. Bravo, Mr. Thomas. Well done, sir. Thus, 5.0 stars and my HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION…but with the caveats above as you must be able to tread the darkest, most depraved corners of the human experience.

  • Kelly (and the Book Boar)
    2018-08-26 19:34

    Find all of my reviews at: IF YOU HAVE A WEAK STOMACH, RUN AWAY FROM THIS REVIEW AND NEVER LOOK BACK!If you’re like me and your idea of a great date movie is something like this . . . over something like this . . . Okay, that’s kind of a lie. There’s always room in my bed life for some more Ryan Gosling. For the most part, though, I’m down for a slasher movie over a “chick flick” any day of the week. If you can’t ever seem to meet your annual quota of gore either, The Summer I Died is probably the book for you. "I would wake up soon. I knew I would because this stuff only happened in dreams."The story begins like so many other horror stories. Two friends reunite for the summer after one has gone away for his first year of college. They have planned out a couple of months of (fairly tame) debauchery, beginning with a little road trip to the sticks where they can shoot some beer cans. Y’all know what happens when you go to the boonies, right????followed by . . . Well, yeah. Sometimes that happens too. This time, however?When the boys hear a woman screaming, their conscience won’t let them ignore it. Instead, they find themselves walking directly into harm’s way . . .The remainder of the story is . . . well, it’s enough to induce a complete and total barf-o-rama . . . If you’re a fan of the Saw and Wrong Turn franchises, The Summer I Died is almost sure to be a winner (and it's soon to be a major motion picture if you'd rather watch all of the various ways of dismembering humans).I’m kind of at a loss as to what to rate this one. If I’m judging strictly on how many times I got asked “WTF are you reading that has you making those faces constantly????” this would get a 5. However, the plot is pretty much along the lines of the typical horror movie where the shock and awe factors far outweigh any character/plot development, which brings the rating down. Buuuuuuut, since I’m intrigued enough to see where the second book in the series plans on going I’m settling on 3 Stars. I don’t generally give a rip about book #2 – especially when #1 works so well as a stand-alone.

  • Dan Schwent
    2018-09-12 01:35

    When Roger and Tooth are out shooting at tin cans in the mountains, they hear a woman screaming. When they go to investigate, they wind up in a hell on earth. Will either of them survive the ordeal?The Summer I Died is the story of two friends who wind up captured by a psychopath in the woods and tortured. It reminded me of The Girl Next Door in that it's a bleak, powerful book.It's a pretty brutal book and horrifying because it isn't that far out of the realm of possibility. The Skinny Man kept inflicted more and more tortures on Tooth while Roger watched helplessly.The Summer I Died is a pretty powerful book but I can't say I actually enjoyed it. "Survived it" sounds more accurate. I did like the ending way more than The Girl Next Door however, and I never once contemplated not finishing it. I guess I'm going to slap the traditional safety rating of 3 on it. I won't be reading the sequel, however.

  • Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
    2018-08-29 20:36

    Holy crud. Not for the squeamish at a train wreck just can't look away.October is my month for horror books and this one fit that bill with bells on.

  • Trudi
    2018-08-29 20:56

    Oh my, I have to sit on this one for a bit before I can write a review because I'm a little conflicted. Let me just say this right now -- intense.****WARNING!!! This book may cause violent seizures, recurring nightmares, and ongoing medical bills for psychological counseling. PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK****It’s been a week, and I finally feel able to write a review for this absolutely terrifying, gripping, grotesque book. Just a few words on what impressed me the most about this short debut. I know I’m gonna run out of meaningful adjectives long before this review is finished, so bear with me if I get a little repetitive. 1. The Summer I Died is so very unrelenting. Once it starts, it just does not let up. It drags you along for the ride, kicking and screaming, and does not let go even though like me, you probably started hollering “Uncle!” way before the ending. It’s been a while since a book made me faint, throw up, cry, and grimace all within the span of a few pages. That is awesome writing. Thomas’s prose is spare and cuttingly to the point. His descriptions are so effective that this book unfolded like a full color movie on a 50-foot screen. There are a few scenes I will never, ever be able to wash from my memory, even with years of counseling. 2. This book could have so easily degenerated into mindless torture porn, but it’s saved from that fate by Roger and Tooth. I just fell in love with these guys, so well-written and believable. Roger, the do-good college bound son and his best friend Tooth, the left behind, good-looking roughneck with father issues. Neither is made of hero material, but when caught up in a living nightmare, each rises to the occasion in his own way. I had a particular soft spot for Tooth – his defiance and gritty determination to escape made me think, if something like this were to ever happen, that’s the guy I want at my side. (view spoiler)[Tooth’s ultimate fate just devastated me, especially the final indignity inflicted upon his battered and abused body. I was so shocked by that castration scene I don’t think I will ever recover. His heartbreaking efforts to self-sacrifice himself at the end to save Roger and his sister just gutted me. (hide spoiler)]3. The other twist in the book that really upped the rating for me is (view spoiler)[ the involvement of Roger’s sister; so shocking, so unexpected. Her torture occurs in another room from Roger and Tooth. Roger must listen to her guttural screams and like him, we are left to only imagine the depravities being inflicted on her body, as opposed to knowing for sure. This makes for a very chilling juxtaposition to the explicit violence inflicted upon Roger and Tooth which is described in excruciating detail and leaves nothing to our imagination. Roger’s torment over the suffering of his sister is also wrenching. His final vision of her is horrifying and I will never forget it. (hide spoiler)]4. The ending: (view spoiler)[ For a book that is so bleak and hopeless, I was surprisingly uplifted by the ending. That bit with Tooth guarding over Roger post-death and the baseball cap was a nice touch.(hide spoiler)]Overall, this is a book I would recommend carefully because it certainly isn’t for everyone. If graphic violence is not your bag – STAY AWAY. If you are the adventurous sort however, and are looking for a tale with heart that’s going to traumatize you to your very core then by all means READ THIS BOOK. Just thinking about it again and writing this review has made me bump it up from four to five stars. It really is a diamond in the rough. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Bill
    2018-09-04 23:59

    Torture porn. The mere mention of it induces cringes. The makers of movies and books that fall under this category are looked upon with disdain, as well as those who willingly shell out their hard-earned money to subject themselves to the viewing and reading of such disgusting material.Am I right? I mean, look at the first couple of Saw movies: horribly violent situations, the will of the victims to endure dreadful agony to somehow survive their captivity. Could you imagine anyone wanting to sit through something like this?Yes. Guilty.I have to admit, as cringe inducing as they were, those first few Saw movies were pretty damn captivating if you're any type of horror aficionado. Despite enduring the screams of agony, you still stick through it because you just have to know how the hell the victims are going to get out of this.And, in the case of The Summer I Died, you also care about the characters. I finished this novella about a week ago, there are still images I can't get out of my head. I wish I could, because one in particular is so nasty that I wish I hadn't read it. But I also can't get the ending out of my head. That's where Thomas really hit it out of the park for me.I usually prefer the type of horror that is a slow burn, one that haunts or gets under your skin for days after. I have long since grown out of the slasher flicks (although I did watch the original Halloween a few months ago and it still creeped me out...they just don't make 'em like that anymore), so the flicks or books that gore you out for shock value only do nothing for me. The Summer I Died is that rare exception.You care about these characters. It's almost impossible to stop reading because you can't bear to leave them in their predicament.The writing is perfectly paced. This is a very well done story. Just a warning though: the violence may be unbearable for many, but I doubt that anyone picking up this book wouldn't go into this without the expectation of some cringe-worthy moments. So, for you

  • Bark
    2018-09-18 21:43

    Roger is home from college on break and plans to kick back with his best bud Tooth, drink some beer, shoot some cans and smoke a little dope. They head out to an unnamed backwoods town in New Hampshire to shoot without being disturbed and end up captives of a madman Roger calls “Skinny Man” and his bloodthirsty dog. Being a NH native myself, and being far too close to a town where a real life horrendous slaughter recently occurred, this setting scared the pee-pee out of me. I could see that run down house in the middle of nowhere (where no one will hear you scream) far too clearly. I will never again venture out into the woods without two big dogs by my side. Why did no one mention this mayhem happens in NH?!This book is hardcore, very much torture-porn and not for the squeamish. It’s bleak, dark and squishy but the worst thing about it is the fact that the characters are written exceptionally well for a book of this sort. They start out as two toss-away goofy guys. Roger is the brighter bulb of the two while Tooth is mostly a laze-about heading nowhere fast but as the story progresses they become so real that you nearly feel their physical and emotional pain and experience their desperation to survive, to fight and to get the hell out of the mess they’ve found themselves in. It’s a tense, stomach churning read filled to the brim with cruelty and unimaginable horror. If you’re up for it, I’d say give it a read. It was impossible to put down, well written and though I won’t ever read it again I will check out whatever this guy decides to write in the future.

  • Zoeytron
    2018-09-03 23:58

    For every life, there is a purpose. It may not be clear to you, it could hinge on something as simple as a roll of the dice. Know what you are wading into here before you start reading - it is a story of raw, graphic, inexorable torture. Gore is ramped up to maximum overdrive. The depravity of the "Skinny Man' will steal your very breath away and leave you heaving. One reviewer used the word 'unrelenting' to describe the tone of the book, and that is it to a tee. This is for readers with thick skins and strong stomachs.

  • Paul Nelson
    2018-08-25 00:55

    Not for the faint hearted The Summer I Died is certainly the most brutal and ferocious book I’ve read to date, there are some seriously sickening moments amidst a book filled with torture scenes but you know what, you can’t stop reading it’s absolutely riveting.Roger back from college goes out to the mountainous woodland with his friend Tooth to drink some beers and shoot some cans, life is about to take a horrific turn when they go to investigate sounds of a woman screaming. They find a blood drenched young woman trying to escape a maniacal killer with some equally vicious dogs, known only as ‘skinny man’ and the friends soon find themselves chained up in the basement at the mercy of a seriously deranged and sadistic individual.This is a vivid and powerful story, distinctively driven by friendship, yes the violence is extreme and disturbing, just when you think there’s no more possible, you turn the page and start again but you can’t stop reading. Highly recommended, the tension is overwhelming at times and The Summer I Died is apparently being scripted for filming.

  • Carla ☺Did I Say That☺
    2018-09-12 22:30

    5 *I Want My Mommy* Stars!Two words...This book was one of the most gruesome..intense..dark..demented..disturbing..brutal..stories Ive read in awhile!! This is truly..I mean it people..truly not for the faint of hearts!!In other words if this is your first horror book..All I can say is..Mr.Thomas managed to pull off one helluva Hat-Trick...He combined a well told Plot...filled with unspeakable Horror and topped off with some well placed Humor...It gets no better than that!!!The Summer I Died..tells the story of Roger Huntington and his best friend Tooth and the day they decide to head out to a secluded Mountain to do some target practice using beer cans..As they are leaving..they both here a woman screaming..and from there its just one horrifying scenario after another!!!while reading this one...yes even laughter!!!Bravo Mr. have truly amazed me with this one!!

  • Tressa
    2018-09-04 19:59

    OK. Somehow my earlier review praising this glorious novel disappeared, and if this were any other book, I'd just shrug my shoulders and move on. But I won't do that because I want you to read this book. You must read this book. I need you to read this book just so I can take comfort in knowing I'm not the only one to witness such atrocities.Roger and Tooth are best friends. Roger is home from college on a break, and he and Tooth are parked in the woods shooting the breeze when a woman's scream fills the woods. They contemplate leaving and calling the police, but their consciences won't let them do that, so they sneak up to an isolated house just in time to see a panicked woman running out the front door, chased by a man with an axe. Circumstances soon place them inside the house, where they are tied up and at the mercy of Skinny Man, who loves to torture slowly and deliberately. If you're thinking this will be just another generic torture porn book with cardboard characters, you are sadly mistaken. There is more love, friendship, and triumph of the spirit in The Summer I Died than in some of finest literature out there. And if you're a horror nut like me, there's lots of blood and screaming, too.

  • Adam Light
    2018-08-27 22:32

    The summer I died is one HELL of a ferocious, gut-twisting, psycho-thriller. At first, Mr. Thomas lulls you into complacency with a hearty tale of two young lads wiling away a summer day, messing with Roger's sister and basically enjoying life, and living for the day.Roger and Tooth are best friends on a day trip out to the woods to target practice with Tooth's gun, just having a good old time, and then things go south really, really fast. I don't want to give any details about the rest of this brutal tale of human savagery, but I will say I was nailed in place while I read it. I was so unprepared for what happened, just not ready, and though there are descriptions of depravity that defy understanding, I had to continue reading. Read it and you will see what I mean. Just make sure you don't eat first.Mr. Thomas has crafted an epic story that leave you breathless.Highly recommended for anyone who likes their horror relentless and raw. This book is very visual. As I was reading I could envision it on the big screen, and then I found out it is being made into a film.I'll be there!

  • David Church
    2018-08-22 19:36

    This book was brutally epic. What a page turner and the last 20% I was on pins and needles. One of the most disturbing books I have ever read. If a book can disturb or scare me, that is an accomplishment. This book did both. 5 stars!

  • Kaya
    2018-09-11 20:38

    I definitely didn't know what I was in for. Excellent book if you're a fan of the genre, but if your level of tolerance is as low as mine, considering graphic violence, then you better pass. 3/4 are pure horror and pain, that's the whole plot.Roger and Tooth mess around with Roger's sister and enjoy life for the summer. Roger is back from college. They go out to the woods and drink beer, while playing with shooting cans. Everything gets fucked up when they go to investigate sounds of a woman screaming. They think about leaving and calling the police, but instead they sneak up to an isolated house just in time to see a panicked woman running out the front door, chased by a man with an axe. There are some vicious dogs, indulging our psychopath Skinny Man. Roger and Tooth find themselves chained up in the basement with a bleak future. Gore, torture, rape - everything is here. Skinny Man is the most disturbing villain I have ever read about. Not that I've read a lot books simmilar to this one, though. It bugged me that the author never explained the reason behind Skinny Man's madness. He went about his torture and killing in such a brutal and cold manner and he was actually having fun. This is a survival story but with typical premise. Older man, a sociopath lives in the middle of nowhere, alone, with no reception. The author does an extraordinary job at building the tension, fear and describing graphic violence. From the start, you pretty much know what is going to happen, but still you're anxious to know how everything will turn out. The violence is so extreme, sick and disturbing, I couldn't read more than a few chapters a day. Basically, this is a torture porn. The descriptions are so effective I thought I was watching a movie.Roger doesn't have any predispositions in being a hero. He's a typical college boy, shy and a little asocial, who doesn't have a clear idea what to do with his life. While he was captured, I couldn't really find more about him since all he had was fear and panic. I really have a problem with the way Skinny Man was shown. He's a bad guy, no arguing there, but I would've appreciated some background. His only role is to butcher and that was his whole personality. Maybe that was the goal, I don't know.

  • Jason
    2018-09-05 03:31

    5 StarsWow, that was intense and really graphic. I love over the top horror movies and torture movies. This apparently was the first time that I actually read a torture book. A book that really is not for the feint of hear or those that disdain graphic violence.I was so enthralled by the graphic nature of this story that I piqued my wife's interest in picking this one up on her Kindle too. Although she stopped at the 60% mark, my finishing it gave her the boost to push through this incredibly dark and disturbing tale.This is a book one in a series and I will move on to book two. The tale centers on Roger and his best friend known as Tooth. It is a survival story that centers on your typical horror nut job that lives out in the middle of no-mans land in the woods. Thomas does an amazing job at penning the tension, the horror, and the graphic violence. This is a real page turner if you can stomach the bad things that happen.The story and plot line move in a linear direction where the outcome is pretty much laid out for you. Knowing where the story is going does not hurt this book or this story; it actually makes it better and stronger. Seeing where things are going ramps up the tension, the suspense, and the revulsion. I loved how this played out…Thomas gives us a very satisfying ending that can also serve as the start of more to come. I really had fun reading this book and I am surprised at how much I enjoyed the incredibly graphic violence and situations.Highly recommended for those that think that the “Saw” movies are for kids!!!!

  • Greg
    2018-09-01 03:31

    A fun read with lots of gruesome mutilation. Along with some top notch gore there is a well plotted story that might not be the greatest of literature but it keeps up a nice level of suspense and enough surprises to stop the book from slipping into the literary equivalent of a snuff film. If this had been a movie I might have felt some serious nausea at some of the scenes.

  • Not Now...Mommy's Reading
    2018-09-21 00:50

    So I've had 'The Summer I Died' for almost a few months now after seeing it come up quite a bit in several different discussions within the Horror groups. After reading Stephen's amazing review (the pic of the baby is too cute!) I decided to give my romances a break and dive into this novel. Seeing that I usually find the books that others scream are terrifying, horrifying, so awesome to be not so much - I went into this expecting to be mildly disappointed. I had to wait until today to write the review because I was sick with emotions I still can't put a name to after finishing this book.Gore, torture, rape...none of that bothers me in books. I read Edward Lee and yawn! But this...I don't know. It wasn't that it was was, I don't know. I love backwood horror novels and this indeed falls into that category. I suppose what made this novel stand apart from the other ones I read was that in the other novels there was some element present that let me know that I was reading fiction and although anything is possible in the world we now live in - the chances of taking a wrong turn down a dirt road and having to fight off cannibalistic inbred hillbillies is zero to none. This story felt too real. Too real! And Skinny Man was the most disturbing villain I have EVER read about. Maybe because the author never explained the reason behind his madness. And he went about his torture and killing in such a brutal and cold manner - like no feeling whatsoever! (view spoiler)[The scene where he takes the spike and hammer to Tooth's jaw (hide spoiler)] still bothers me immensely and I read it like three times to make sure I was reading it right and my vivid imagination painted such a gruesome and heart-wrenching image that it stayed with me long after I put my Kindle Fire down. (view spoiler)[I really wanted Tooth to survive. I wsih Jamie had never been captured. And the way the author never told what Skinny Man was actually doing to Jamie behind those closed doors? (hide spoiler)] BRILLIANT! My mind was all kinds of messed up trying to figure out what was going on. I usually don't expect a happy ending in my horror novles and have even applauded certain authors for letting the bad guy triumph or staying true to the premise of the novel by killing off everyone (heroes and good guys included) but (view spoiler)[I wanted Tooth to go to California and I wanted Roger to return to college and then join Tooth in California and Jamie and Tooth to have a fling. (hide spoiler)] I WANTED A HAPPY ENDING!!! Maybe after all the real life horror I've been reading about lately this novel was just too real to me. Pretty much like the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre which scared the fright out of me - I could see this happening. To me, a loved one...and yet what disturbs me even more is that knowing what their fate turned out to be I have to ask myself would I have responded to that woman's screams for help? More than likely not after reading this story.

  • Kasia
    2018-09-19 20:36

    This novella truly packs a punch, I didn't know what to expect when I got it other than being intrigued by the premise and it blew my mind, it went above and beyond of what I was expecting. The premise is interesting and one of my favorites, I like those lost in woods and chased by a madman or stuck somewhere with no way out, to me that is very scary and this was freaky enough as an idea but the writing and execution deserve their own credit. Thomas filled my head with crystal clear images right from the start, his skill is very apparent and makes the story flow like a river, I kept wincing and making faces and saying things as I read it and that doesn't happen to often, after fifteen years of reading horror I'd think I got used to it or desensitized myself a bit, not so with this story, it managed to throw me off and surprise me quite a few times.I think one of the best parts of reading an intense story is the surprise factor, so I won't divulge too much of the plot, all I will say is that it revolves around two best friends who pick the wrong day to go shooting some harmless beer cans when curiosity takes hold and changes their lives forever. A scream coming from a nearby house awakens Rogers instincts, his curiosity getting a stronger hold on him than chivalry and nothing will ever be the same from that point on. Blood, guts, gore, hungry dogs, crazies, millions of ways to detach body parts and inflict pain, its all here, but very well written, making it not only scary but very realistic, I actually had a hard time falling asleep as I finished it, the whole tale wrapped itself around my brain and kept poking its claw at me, I was glad to be in my warm bed and not where the characters were, that's for sure! I also loved how detailed the characters of Tooth and Roger were, the beginning of the novel centers around them so well that it makes them seem like real people and then it proceeds to rip them to shreds as hell literally descends above them and opens its sharp mouth to engulf them into land of pain and misery. This was such a blast, I could read Ryan's books till I'm nine hundred years old, so keep em coming!

  • Samantha
    2018-09-01 20:37

    This book really was as nasty as people warned me it was, but i loved it.....Its so much more than just blood and gore. It takes a lot to shock me when it comes to books, ive read a lot of horrors where violence is the main theme and i dont normally flinch. The victims are normally faceless characters i dont care about because they're just there to die bloody and ramp up the shock factor, which is basically fine for the most part but i cared about Roger and Tooth! Every horrendous thing they went through, was made so much worse and had so much more impact because Ryan C. Thomas made them into real people.....I gave a shit!Tooth especially,.....he had so much grit and heart. I wanted to cheer everytime he fought back and refused to give in, but at the same time i was silently willing him to just be quiet in the hope that "skinny man" wouldn't hurt him.This review does have to come with a warning though.....its a good read, but not an easy one. If your easily shocked or particularly sensitive to blood and violence then steer clear. There are some scenes that are particularly harrowing, and once it starts it doesn't really let up, it just keeps coming. It's heart wrenching because as ive already said you care about the main characters so much, and its written with so much depth and feeling. Sometimes you just want to cover your eyes and hide under the covers!

  • Gatorman
    2018-09-12 01:57

    This was a suprisingly enjoyable read. At times it seemed on the verge of becoming nothing more than torture porn but managed to maintain a lot of humanity in the face of much gruesome violence and it played out nicely. Well-written and compelling.

  • Andy
    2018-08-21 19:52

    Wow, I'm glad to be finished with that. 'The Summer I Died' is up there with 'The Girl Next Door' and 'Off Season' as one of the brutal elite. The imagery of the book was so consistently horrifying that I needed to stop reading at least an hour before bed because I didn't want to drift off to sleep thinking about it (I've made that mistake before). Often times, people compare reading a book like this to ripping off a bandaid as quickly as possible, to just get it over with. Maybe it's more like a bout of projectile vomiting, which begins with a period of knowing trepidation before you even begin, and leaves you disgusted and laying on the floor curled in the fetal position. I hear that there is a sequel. How is that even possible? (Shudder)

  • Kimberly
    2018-09-20 20:50

    Absolutely brutal novel! Yes, as other reviews have stated, the torture and gore put you in mind of a SAW movie. However, what makes this novel stand out above so many others is the portrayal of the characters that we are given--particularly in the beginning. We are introduced to Roger and Tooth, life-long friends reuniting during Roger's first summer break from college. We see their families, their relationships, hopes, interests….we are thrust directly into their world. Then one day, their world changes as they come across a woman screaming for help.Enter the horror. After getting to know these people so well, you almost "feel" every slice, cut, and the other brutalities inflicted. The internal conflict Roger is going through, and the instances that push him towards the conclusion of the novel are not only believable, but written so well that you simply couldn't imagine it happening any other way. For the duration of this novel, Ryan Thomas had me firmly rooted in the world he created--one that I couldn't possibly tear myself away from if I tried! I will immediately be picking up the sequel.Ryan C. Thomas is an author that I won't soon be forgetting…Highly recommended!!

  • Dierdra McGill
    2018-08-28 00:45

    This book actually should come with a warning because it is much more graphic then most horror novels and I can see why some people would not want to read this or get nightmares after they do read it.The story caught you up from page one, the author makes you really fall in love with Roger and Tooth and you really care about what happens to them. The torture in this book made me cringe and want to put the book down at times but then again I also could not tear myself away from reading because I wanted to know what would happen next.The end was not what I was hoping for but the little surprise at the end made me happy with the ending.This is a book that will stay with me for a long time and for this being the authors first book, he did a great job at it and can't wait to read more of his books.If you like horror and you can deal with a book being very graphic pick this up, you won't regret it.

  • Kaisersoze
    2018-09-18 03:58

    Unlike most of my reviews, I've deliberately left it a day after finishing The Summer I Died before putting this together. Usually, I strike while the iron is hot, wanting to express my disappointment or frustration, amazement or joy with what I've just read. But The Summer I Died is not that kind of book. Instead, it's one that demands reflection: Both of the writing and of oneself as a reader. The former, because Thomas' short novel is one of the most powerful pieces of horror fiction I've ever read. The latter, because admitting I was blown away by it and thoroughly enjoyed it from start to finish feels akin to admitting I'm a deranged madman.What Thomas has done in this work is create characters that not only feel real, but that the reader comes to genuinely care for. And then he puts them through some of the most unparalleled depravities ever described, without flinching or cutting away from the violence, so the reader is left gasping, desperate for the torture to end - one way or another - unable to believe what is unfolding. The descriptions of what the characters endure are so visceral as to leave an indelible mark on the reader's psyche. And yet, where it serves the story, Thomas displays restraint. In one scene, a character is taken off into another room and only sounds are described. This ends up being the most horrifying scene of all, as the details are left to the reader's imagination to fill in. The end is also note perfect, without providing every answer those craving a neatly tied bow of a conclusion might crave. On top of all this, Thomas writes like a seasoned pro. Written from the first person perspective, The Summer I Died flows effortlessly, even while Thomas provides more than enough detail to orientate the reader and keep him or her in the thick of the action. Apparently this was published some seven years ago, and I am more than a little excited at the prospect of picking up some of Thomas' more recent works to see how he has developed as a writer...Though The Summer I Died is not perfect - some of the main character's introspection becomes tiresome, and his defense mechanism of slipping into a happy fantasy land ends up being overplayed - it remains one of the most memorable novels I've ever read. It should be experienced by all fans of hardcore horror, and deserves its place as a modern classic within the sub-genre.5 Cauterized Wounds for The Summer I Died.

  • ☣Lynn☣
    2018-09-05 03:51

    This is the most disturbing and goriest book I have ever read, and I am rating it five stars. I was felt sick to my stomach reading this. I am adding this to my favorites shelf. I have had nightmares about the Skinny Man coming at me with an axe the past two nights.I am buying a printed copy of this even though I have a kindle edition. Ya...I lets just say I'm surprised I loved this as much as I did.FYIWhen I heard this was going to be a movie I screamed. But when I saw that the director wasn't Eli Roth I was disappointed. He makes the goriest movies ever, he would have been the perfect guy to make this movie. :(

  • Heather
    2018-09-15 21:44

    Omg. Absolutely horrifying. BUT STILL as bad as this book is, it still doesn't compare to Hillary: Tail of the Dog. I doubt ANY book EVER will pass that one as most gory and terrifying and still love it. The Summer I Died would probably be the worst if I hadn't already read Hillary. So don't think I'm saying pass this one up. I'm saying if you love Horror read them both. Then lock your doors/windows and turn on your nite light!

  • JaHy☝Hold the Fairy Dust
    2018-09-02 23:57

    .......REVIEW TO COME........I want my Mommy.!!!!!

  • Thomas Strömquist
    2018-08-28 01:30

    A number of years ago, a colleague of mine came into the lab where I was working and went over to a computer. Come here, I want to show you something on YouTube he said. I told him I was busy and could he tell me what it was? It's this weightlifter, right? he said. He makes a snatch, only his thigh-muscle ruptures, you can see it come clean off! Why would I ever want to see that? I asked. He grinned; It looks incredibly painful! he said. I repeated the same question, this time even more rhetorically, and then I went back to work.If you, like me, viewed that offer somewhat incredulously, you should skip this book. If you, on the other hand, would have thrown yourself at the computer, perhaps salivating a little, this should be right up your alley.There are a few reasons why I finished this book (but truth be told I did skim a lot of the second half). First, I rarely quit books, especially a short one, I will likely buckle down and read it through, even though I sometimes probably should not. But I do, especially if I don't have another book at hand. Secondly, it got clear very quickly that I'll never read a book like this one again, so to know what I'm talking about, I did see this one through. One other reason is that the start of the book is quite good, the introduction and presentations of the characters and the witty dialog (sometimes bordering on too-witty-and-clever-and-quick-to-feel-really-true-but-more-like-the-Gilmore-Girls-at-it, granted, but still...) is really enjoyable writing.The rest is pretty much garbage in my opinion; I don't know how many times you can write pain in such a short story, but it's more than I care to count. And the shock-value of the incredibly brutal violence wears very thin very fast. I kept seeing Monty Python doing Sam Peckinpah..There is bruising in this one, no action-movie "flesh wounds", no taking a punch on a clenched jaw. Nope, here teeth flies, blood spurts like geysers, flow in rivers, "erupts" and gushes... All pain that is not unbearable is almost unbearable and the life force is always totally, unbelievably strong in horribly mutilated bodies. Until it isn't anymore, no happy endings in sight.It's obvious the author can write, and I can only think that his work is in some way "pushing the boundaries" or provoking for effect; this may be important in many places and contexts, but I'm having a hard time seeing anything redeeming with this story at all. Enjoyable it's not.

  • Bandit
    2018-09-18 01:45

    My first thought was this is torture porn at its finest, but then I kept thinking about it more. Reminded me of the first Saw movie, so incredibly disturbing yet impossible to disengage from. I read this book in more or less one sitting, because I felt compelled to find out what happens. The great thing about it is that the writer really made us care so that the reader can get really involved with the story and not just sorta go through it in shock and disgust. Underneath the blood and gore and viscera, there is a story about losing one's innocence upon discovering the cruel randomness and unfairness of life. It's definitely not for the squeamish or faint of heart (you gotta have pretty high tolerance for horrific to read this book), but I highly recommend it to all horror fans.

  • Beth
    2018-08-30 00:50

    Wow what to say about this one...I was expecting to be shocked, grossed our or even left stunned. What I wasn't expecting was to be overwhelmed with sadness, I don't often cry while reading a book but this one pulled me through the ringer and as well as all the above grossed out, shocked etc I felt really sad for all the characters involved (well all but one) because I was left with a sense of even at the end those that survived didn't get any kind of justice or recognition for their good deeds and were just cast aside at the end (this isn't a spoiler), or maybe it's just the frame of mind I was in while I read the book.This book is set to shock and it doesn't disappoint, enter if your brave enough.