Title: I Know What You Did Last Summer
Author: Lois Duncan
Publisher: Atom (UK)
Publication Date: March 2011 (UK) | Originally published 1973
Paperback: 211 pages
Source: Review Copy
Reviewed by: Carolyn
RATING: 6/10 – good
BOOK COVER SUMMARY:
Last summer, four terrified friends made a desperate pact to conceal a shocking secret. But now, someone has learned the truth, and the horror is starting again. There is an unknown avenger out there who is stalking them in a deadly game. Will he stop at terror – or is he out for revenge?
This simmer, four friends are going to learn that some secrets just won’t stay buried.
As with many of you, I watched the movie ‘I Know What You Did Last Summer‘ many years ago and didn’t realise it was actually based on a novel. I say based loosely as the film doesn’t really have much to do with the book – whereas the film is much more in the ‘horror’ genre, the book is just a light thriller.
It was originally written in 1973 but I read the newly revised edition published by Atom. I’m not fond of revised books. I much prefer to read the original version, I don’t like the idea of an author going back and changing aspects of the book that made it what is was. In this case ‘I Know What You Did Last Summer‘ was a book rooted in the 70s, but the updates try and change it to current times by modifying certain elements. It didn’t really work for me as the story and characters felt as though they were still very much from a different era and yet they were talking about mobile phones, emails and the internet.
With this aside, ‘I Know What You Did Last Summer‘ is an entertaining read. It does contain a certain amount of tension, although not as much as I would have liked, and I read it fairly quickly. I must admit that I didn’t really like any of the characters, with maybe the exception of Ray. Julie, Helen and Barry all had many unattractive traits which prevented me from finding them likable in any way. Unfortunately the book isn’t as intense as the movie and I did find this a little disappointing as I do like to be scared and given the willies…
It maybe because nowadays we are saturated with high levels of blood, gore and violence (which I have no problem with, being a horror fan) and ‘I Know What You Did Last Summer‘ just seems lame in comparison. I wonder if it created more of a reaction in 1973?
It’s a very short novel too, only 211 pages, so I think it was difficult to get enough character depth and suspense going in such a short space of time. I also saw the twist coming a mile away, as I so often do, and so the ending was predictable and also happened far too quickly. It would have been better if it was drawn out a little longer, especially when the characters were being tormented by the villain, but it was all over in a matter of pages.
Despite all the negatives, ‘I Know What You Did Last Summer‘ is a quick, entertaining bite-sized thriller (I say bite-sized as at only 211 pages it’s a pretty short novel). However, it was disappointing to find that the thrills and chills were mostly kept for the movie and not the book. I also wish I had read the original work and not a revised edition.
You can find out more about this author here:
This book counts towards the following BCC reading challenges: