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Hampton Heights

A novel by

"Marvelous, tender, and unpredictable, Hampton Heights captures the uncanniness and discomfort of early adolescence. There’s a pinch of Ray Bradbury, a soupçon of Stephen King, a dash of fairy tale logic, but Dan Kois makes something entirely his own out of this familiar and always pleasurable territory."—Kelly Link, author of The Book of Love

"Like Stand by Me mixed with Stranger Things and The Twilight Zone,Hampton Heights is a rollicking chronicle of youth set loose among mystery and monsters. Dan Kois deftly conjures a boundless world that's chilling, wondrous, and delightful."—Adam Sternbergh, author of The Eden Test

From the author of the Washington Post notable novel Vintage Contemporaries, something completely unexpected: a hair-raising and rollicking adventure set on one night in 1987, when six paperboys must confront a slew of monsters as well as their own personal demons in a haunted Midwestern neighborhood.

On a cold winter’s evening in 1987, six middle-school paperboys wander an unfamiliar Milwaukee neighborhood, selling newspaper subscriptions, fueled by their manager Kevin’s promises of cash bonuses and dinner at Burger King. But the freaks come out at night in Hampton Heights. Sent out into the neighborhood in pairs, the boys will encounter a host of primordial monsters—and triumph over them.

Sigmone, who is bussed to a white school, is stuck with Joel, a white kid who idolizes Black culture. Mark, who's wrestling with his sexuality, joins his secret crush, Ryan. Nishu and Al are outsiders; one is a second-generation immigrant, the other a poor kid in a rich school. Over the course of one eventful evening, the three pairs will encounter the wild things of Hampton Heights—werewolves, witches with a centuries-old story to tell, and a creepy, ancient monster who feeds on memories. Meanwhile, Kevin is having an adventure of his own, seducing a beautiful woman in the neighborhood’s tavern . . . but who is actually in control?

Funny, thrilling, outrageous, and sneakily beautiful, Dan Kois’s Hampton Heights captures without sentimentality the dreams and fears of teenage boys in a tender horror-comedy about camaraderie, bravery, vulnerability, and the terrifying prospect of growing up.

Genre: Horror

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