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December Park by Ronald Malfi
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December Park

by Ronald Malfi

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Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This was a kind of cross between Stephen King's The Body and Ray Bradbury's Dandelion Wine. A group of boys dealing with the disappearance of young people from their town. It felt almost old fashioned and the boys read younger than they were meant to be e.g. in the first scene they are drinking and one had borrowed a car but for the rest of the story they are riding their bikes.

It wasn't perfect and I didn't like the ending but it was a good read. ( )
  calm | Apr 13, 2018 |
My second Malfi.

The more I read Malfi, the more I want to read him. He's about to become my discovery of the year. He's able to surpass genre limitations/expectations, he never takes an easy way out and his dark fiction is exceptionally well written.

The transaction between reader and text that creates what I like to call the "horrific effect" is complex and to a certain extent subjective. Although the horrifying event may be quite overt, a death, a ghost, a monster, a killer, it is not the event itself but the style and atmosphere sourrounding it that creates horror. It's the atmosphere that suggests a greater awe and fear, wider and deeper than the event itself. This is what makes a Dark Fiction novel stand out from the crowd as far as I'm concerned.

You can read the rest of this review on my blog. ( )
  antao | Dec 10, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
A great coming of age story reminiscent of Stephen King.

In a small town children disappear - only one body is found. Five boys, on the verge of adulthood, decide to investigate the disappearances on their own.

A lovely story, with a very intriguing plotline and a great description of boys turning into men. The five friends come to realise that childhood doesn't last forever, and that the games they play may be more serious than they thought. Still, they stick together to get to the bottom of the mysterious disappearances, even when this may lead them into danger. I very much enjoyed the descriptions of the five boys, their troubles and their friendship. Also, the relationship between the main character, Angelo, and his father and grandparents is worked out very well.
I found the story a bit dragging in the middle part, when the kidnapper seems to take a break and the plot slows down a bit, but other than that, it was a real page turner.
The novel works up to a real climax and ends with a bang, with a real surprise at the end. ( )
  Britt84 | Jul 12, 2016 |
Summary:

In the quiet suburb of Harting Farms, the weekly crime blotter usually consists of graffiti or the occasional bout of mailbox baseball. But in the fall of 1993, children begin vanishing and one is found dead. Newspapers call him the Piper because he has come to take the children away. But there are darker names for him, too . . .
Vowing to stop the Piper’s reign of terror, five boys take up the search. Their teenage pledge turns into a journey of self-discovery . . . and a journey into the darkness of their own hometown. On the twilit streets of Harting Farms, everyone is a suspect. And any of the boys might be the Piper’s next victim.

My Thoughts:

I have only recently discovered this author when I read [The Floating Staircase a delightfully creepy ghost story. I had my library begin to search for anything else he had written and December Park was the happy result. It is told from the view point of five, 15 year old boys in 1993-94 as their small town is terrorize by a figure the newspapers are calling "The Piper". The book is a bit long...but never boring. It contains some of the best parts of Stephen King's The Body and Robert McCammon's Boy's Life. The plot was immediately engrossing, the characters and their dialogue effortlessly realistic, and at times quite funny. It was one of the few books that I can truly say I was sorry to see end. ( )
  Carol420 | May 31, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This is a hard book for me to review; I was under the impression it was a horror. It most certainly is not. As I read I came to think it was a thriller, but it hardly is that either. It defies my definition of any genre and yet I liked the book, very much. More than anything it is a coming of age story, five boys on the cusp of manhood in the early 1990s, set against the backdrop of their town being gripped by fear from a rash of disappearing young teens. The boys become obsessed with finding out who is responsible. The papers have nicknamed the perpetrator "The Piper" and while no bodies are found it's assumed there is a serial killer on the loose. So, the boys spend the summer finding a couple of clues, hanging out in the park which has been deemed a "no go" area by the authorities and travelling all over town on their bikes exploring old abandoned places they haven't visited since they were kids, or ever. The story is more about the boys, this last summer together (though they don't know it), getting to know them, their camaraderie. They are the only friends each other has, mostly, they are not toughs but they smoke and don't do well at school, not really belonging to any clique other than each other. I really enjoyed the story in a "Stand By Me" kind of way, the creepy background gives it some suspense and there are a few intense moments but nothing really ever happens until the final pages for a book with over 600 pages. The ending is a rush, a twist, a surprise, and wrapped up somewhat too neatly with some questions never answered. So not a wholly satisfying ending, and yet in the grand scheme, I felt the boys' relationship was the main theme and that did end satisfyingly and bittersweet. If I'd known from the outset I was reading a coming of age story, and hadn't been expecting horror or thriller, I'd have rated the book higher. ( )
  ElizaJane | May 24, 2016 |
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"In the quiet suburb of Harting Farms, the weedkly crime blotter usually consists of graffiti or the occasional bout of mailbox baseball. But in the fall of 1993, children begin vanishing and one is found dead. Newspapers call him the Piper because he has come to take the children away. But there are darker names for him, too... Vowing to stop the Piper's reign of terror, five boys take up the search. Their teenage pledge turns into a journey of self-discovery...and a journey into the darkness of their own hometown. On the twilit streets of Harting Farms, everyone is a suspect. And any one of the boys might be the Piper's next victim."--… (more)

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Medallion Press

4 editions of this book were published by Medallion Press.

Editions: 1605425915, 1605425907, 1605425893, 1605425885

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