The Midnight Games

In the hardscrabble east end of Hamilton Ontario, young Nate Silva has grown up with the reassuring racket of football games from nearby Ivor Wynne Stadium. But now strange noises and music boom from the stadium late at night, and the air throbs with the chanting of excited crowds. When Nate sneaks into one of these “midnight games,” he is thrown headlong into a movement spearheaded by the secret Resurrection Church of the Ancient Gods, who are summoning to Earth the monstrous Great Old Ones who ruled the planet long ago. In this thrilling young adult novel, David Neil Lee captures the “Cthulhu Mythos” of horror author H. P. Lovecraft  (1890-1937), and unleashes it in gritty, post-industrial Hamilton. Pitted against the worshippers of the mind-bending extraterrestrial Yog-Sothoth, Nate finds unexpected allies as he is pursued by savage alien creatures, the murderous Hounds of Tindalos, and the desperate minions of the Great Old Ones.

“With The Midnight Games, David Neil Lee offers us something very interesting indeed: a young adult novel of an adventurous lad in southern Ontario who stumbles on a cult trying to summon the Great Old Ones to Earth in the unused stadium near his home. This is precisely what the world needs: an action-packed Young Adult Cthulhu Mythos novel. You know it’s true.” ― Black Gate Magazine, USA


“Spinning an engrossing young adult novel set in post-industrial Hamilton, David mines his gritty location as the perfect backdrop to Nate's strange and terrifying adventure. Full of ancient books and curses as well as Lovecraftian horror, The Midnight Games is the perfect Canadian Halloween read.” ― Open Book Toronto


“A thrilling young adult novel, set in gritty, post-industrial Hamilton. Author David Neil Lee blends the rich horror of H. P. Lovecraft with the pace of a modern mystery. The Midnight Games will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to school and community library YA Fiction collections for young readers ages 12 to 18.” ― Midwest Book Review, USA.

 “An interesting transplantation of H. P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos to the gritty streets of industrial Hamilton, Ontario. Nate is an engaging protagonist, with recognizable teenage confusion and bravado. The monsters are fun, and the mythos behind them is sketched out enough to make sense … Lee interweaves giant burrowing insects and inter-dimensional squid quite convincingly into the fabric of run-down Hamilton, with its abandoned factories and boarded-up schools ... the action is fast-paced, and the battles with monsters are exciting. The Midnight Games will definitely appeal to fans of Lovecraft and to readers who like their horror to have chitinous legs or tentacles ... a good choice for reluctant readers, particularly boys. Recommended.”

― Kim Aippersbach, CM (CM: Canadian Review of Materials, Manitoba Library Association).

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Commander Zero

Found unconscious on a remote road in the coastal rain forest, Joseph Windebank is badly injured, water-soaked, and near death. After being nursed back to health in a rural community of fishers and loggers, Joey is a changed man. His memory is gone, his wife has disappeared, and, in piecing together the mystery, Joey comes to imagine his world as a shadowy and frightening place where vampires haunt the deep woods and the dead trade their lives on the land for an eerie afterlife in the dark waters of the coastal inlets. Teased, tolerated, and nicknamed “Zero,” he packs prawns at the local fish plant, making a new life for himself. But he hides a growing fear that a huge, dark, and hungry secret is rising from the depths of his past—a secret that he is better off not knowing.

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Chainsaws: A History

“It rips and cuts, it splatters and drips, it makes a horrible racket…” Thus David Lee begins his chronicle of “the most terrifying of all labour-saving devices.” His award-winning history of the chainsaw’s development has been published as a beautifully-designed hardcover with over 200 photographs and illustrations. A Canadian bestseller, it has been gratefully received the world over among readers interested in mechanics, industrial history and the forest industry. 

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The Battle of the Five Spot

Revised and with a new afterword by the author, The Battle of the Five Spot is an engaging look at a milestone in jazz history. In 1959, when the California saxophonist Ornette Coleman brought his quartet to New York’s Five Spot Café, the music spurred a stormy controversy, and a struggle between old and new styles of jazz that has never quite subsided. David Lee explores the debate around Coleman’s innovation in terms of its relationships to social change and issues of power within arts communities, referring to such disparate sources as writer Norman Mailer (a Five Spot regular), composer Leonard Bernstein (who leaped to his feet at the end of one Coleman set and declared that “this is the greatest thing that has ever happened in jazz”) and sociologist Pierre Bourdieu. The latter’s theory of artistic “fields,” in Lee’s accomplished prose, offers unique insights into how and why the soft-spoken Coleman’s exciting new music changed the way jazz was played, listened to and talked about.

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