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( Download E-pub ) ⚢ Dark Harvest õ Winner of the Bram Stoker Award and named one of theBest Novels ofby Publishers Weekly, Dark Harvest by Norman Partridge is a powerhouse thrillride with all the resonance of Shirley Jackson's The LotteryHalloween,They call him the October Boy, or Ol' Hacksaw Face, or Sawtooth Jack Whatever the name, everybody in this small Midwestern town knows who he is How he rises from the cornfields every Halloween, a butcher knife in his hand, and makes his way toward town, where gangs of teenage boys eagerly await their chance to confront the legendary nightmare Both the hunter and the hunted, the October Boy is the prize in an annual rite of life and deathPete McCormick knows that killing the October Boy is his one chance to escape a deadend future in this onehorse town He's willing to risk everything, including his life, to be a winner for once But before the night is over, Pete will look into the sawtoothed face of horrorand discover the terrifying true secret of the October Boy Fall is here, and with it, that greatest of holidays, Halloween There's a chill in the air (metaphorically, if not actually), and the times call for a matching chill in reading material What could be better than a good scary story on a chilly Halloween night?I came to Norm Partridge's Dark Harvest with high hopes: I'm a big fan of his collection The Man With the BarbedWire Fists, so I already knew he could write But even having read him before, I wasn't prepared for how quickly this book sucked me in.I'm normally not a fan of second person narrative; it tends to pull me out of the story But for this one, it works, granting an immediacy and an intimacy necessary for the story's impact.And what an impact This story moves, man, and all you can do is hang on for the ride.It's October, 1963, in Anytown, USA, and the teenage boys 16 and up are getting ready for the Halloween ritual: the Gauntlet, wherein Sawtooth Jack, a pumpkinheaded horror, attempts to make it from the field outside of town where he was born to the church in the middle of the town It's the job of the boys to stop him (permanently), and the one who does gets a oneway ticket out of town We spend most of the book with 2 characters Pete is 16 and running his first gauntlet His family life has collapsed with the death of his mother and his father's descent into unemployment and alcoholism He's had to grow up fast, and he wantsthan this backwards little town can offer He has to win tonight, so he can get out.Bu things are never quite what they seem The other character we get to know is the October Boy, and what we learn about him lifts the lid on the dark undercurrents running beneath this small, placid town.On the one hand, Dark Harvest is a fastmoving Halloween chiller, with action that's fast and furious and genuinely scary But on the other hand, It's also a coming of age story, and the journey of Pete and the October Boy as they discover the truth of the ritual will both chill your blood and touch your heart.Dark Harvest is a marvel, and the perfect treat for your Halloween bag. When I first started reading this creepy book I thought: What the feck am I reading?The things that happen on Halloween night are really bizarre and messed up and I freaking loved it! The October Boy is carved and gotten ready for The Run/The Hunt And while the October Boy is being carved he comes to life It was freaky cool! There is this freaking weird ritual in this town that on Halloween there is a hunt for the October Boy If said boy makes it to the church then he is fine But if they cut him down then the ritual goes on and the family is rich from the killing and the kid that killed the October Boy can leave the townor can he? And girls are not allowed to participate Pete decides on this night that he has had enough He's ready to get out of town Pete runs into a girl that is being beat by two other boys He helps her and off they go into the night They have an idea about the October Boy and they decide to help him I thought that was pretty freaking awesome! The adults in the town are cray beyond! They stand outside all of the shops with guns to keep the kids away from food They want them hungry for the October Boy that is filled with candy Yeah, like I said bizarre! And these townspeople have no problem in shooting kids to keep them away and vice versa, it's anarchy! I just know that for me, this short story was great and it made me evenexcited for October scary book and movie month for me :) And just remember, if you happy to drive through a little town with a pumpkin head scarecrow in the cornfield, it's probably best to put the petal to the medal! Only a few get out alive and I'm sure glad they did because they actually had some sense! MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List OK So This book definitely had potential and as a critical reader, I can readily see that HOWEVER, it wasn't for me I recognize that this would be a hit among many different audiences, it just didn't strike a chord within me This book required a certain amount of suspension of disbelief, which I couldn't quite reach There really wasn't anything terrible about the book or the writing. it just, again, wasn't for me This book was only 169 pages, but it felt like it dragged on and on forever And for that reason, I am rating Dark Harvest two stars On to the next! It was entertained but I was expecting something better NOT REACHED EXPECTATIONS I had huge expectation about this short novel since I had just read a short story by the same author, Norman Partridge, in the anthology Halloween, edited by Paula Guran The short story was titled Three Doors and it was one of the stories that I enjoyed the most That's why I didn't hesitate to engage into this, after that anthology into this novel However, I wasn't able to find the same magic in the writing of this novel that I found in the previous short story I detected some hints here and there, but in the overall reading experience, those small oasis of fresh brilliance were dried up in some much cliché horror elements I don't know if those found hints were that maybe, just maybe, the tale started as a short story but suddenly turned into a little broader novel If so, and it's just my humble guess, maybe the transition between format ruined the potential of becoming a true gem CHARACTERS The story has a fair ammount of chracters but the real four main characters are:Pete McCormick: A teenager with troubles with his dad and with the local authority, and who is convinced that The Run, the annual mysterious event, is his chance to get the means of finally escaping from town and making a life in another place.Kelly Haines: A smart girl who lost her parents and was forced to live in the town which celebrates this, The Run, the annual mysterious event with deadly repercusions She is clever enough to know that The Run isthan everybody think.Jerry Ricks: The town's sheriff and easily the most powerful and fearsome figure of authority in the population He knows what it's behind of the mystery involving The Run and what really is.The October Boy: A creepy paranormal creature with a pumpkin as head, erupting flames from the holes of the eyes and mouth It's the pivotal element of the mysterious event known as The Run but there is something about The October Boy who is unknown to the most of the population FINAL THOUGHTS I don't regret of having read the book and that's something I think, but certainly, after my fulfilling reading experience with the short story Three Doors, with a delightful writing style, that I expectedof this author, having the freedom of lenght of a novel to be able to develop acomplicated and rich story, but keeping the same remarkable and unique style that I found on the mentioned short story.At the end, Dark Harvest contains some good plot twists and it's an entertained work, but it's not so far from any other horror story with a setup of a retired town, secluded from other populations, involving teenagers, some abusive local authority, and a paranormal entity causing fear used as an intrument to keep in control the town.