Requesting Help With A Dean Koontz Book List (with brief reviews)

by Josh Hanagarne on May 13, 2011

 

Dean Koontz

Dean Koontz and his awesome mustache. That's right.

This post is a work in progress. If you have read any of the books I have listed down below (but not reviewed), and you would like to contribute a one-paragraph review, please do it in the comments and I’ll keep adding to the post. I’ll keep adding to it anyways–I haven’t got through all the books I’ve read yet, but this post is taking more time than I thought. This man writes a lot of books.

Someone at work asked me how many books Dean Koontz had written. I thought I was in the ballpark, but when I actually started looking up his publishing history, I was confounded. I knew he wrote a lot, but I didn’t know quite how much.

This Dean Koontz book list is my attempt to pay tribute to a writer who has given me a lot of great memories.  My grandmother introduced me to Dean’s novels as a fifth grader, and I never looked back.

I will admit that I have not read his most recent books–I’d say that I stopped around the time of Odd Thomas, and I don’t think I read anything pre-Demon Seed, but I’d like to provide a Koontz bibliography below, including brief reviews of the books which I have read.

And who knows? I may make it back to the other ones that I have skipped. The site of all these books I haven’t read annoys me a bit–you have to scroll a fair amount of your life away before you get to the first review down below. So maybe I’ll wind up trying to become a Koontz completist.

I am going to do these posts with more authors that I love. I’ve already got one out there for King, Vonnegut, and Mark Twain. If there’s an author you would like me to write one of these list posts for, or that you’d like to write and submit, please let me know. And of course, I’d love help with those as well.

In chronological order (this includes books he wrote under pen names):

Starquest

Fear That Man

The Fall of The Dream Machine

The Dark Symphony

Hell’s Gate

Soft Come The Dragons

Dark of The Woods

Beast Child

Anti-Man

Demon Child

The Crimson Witch

Legacy of Terror

Warlock

Time Thieves

Starblood

The Flesh In The Furnace

A Darkness In My Soul

Chase

Children of The Storm

Dance With The Devil

The Dark of Summer

The Haunted Earth

Demon Seed

A secluded woman whose house is run by an advanced security system gets in trouble when the computer starts getting wild notions about her. Think HAL from 2001. This book came out in the 70s. It’s kind of fun to see technophobia looked like a few decades ago.

Blood Risk

Shattered

This was one of the first Koontz books I read. I still remember (I’m pretty sure) the first line: The van was behind them again. As a young fan of Matheson’s Duel and a lover of road trips, this tale of a man and a boy being pursued cross country by a psycho was gripping.

Hanging On

Surrounded

Strike Deep

After The Last Race

The Wall of Masks

Nightmare Journey

The Long Sleep

Dragonfly

Invasion

Prison of Ice

Night Chills

Like many great super-villains, the bad guy here gets into the water supply of a small town. Anyone infected is now under his control if they him hear utter a certain phrase that unlocks their consciousness for him. Seems like this had some non-subtle commentary on subliminal advertising in it.

The Face of fear

Crazy man chases a couple of women all through an empty skyscraper. Luckily, they know how to climb, having conveniently spent some time on Mt. Everest. To the elevator shafts!

The Voice of The Night

This book seemed impossibly transgressive and terrifying when I read it. Two boys are friends. One of them is crazy and wants to start doing terrible things. The shy boy says no. The crazy boy says yes, with increasing determination. I kept wondering how I’d react if one of my friends had ever wanted to play any of these “games.”

The Funhouse

Madness at the carnival. A woman who thought she’d seen the last of several undesirables from her past has another coming when the carnies come back to town. Includes a couple of Koontz’ silliest love scenes, and that’s saying something.

Whispers

A man with serious mommie-issues gets taken down when he menaces a woman in her home. Then he comes back from the dead…or does he? If you have a cockroach phobia, steer clear of this one. Also, hands-down the worst love scene he has ever written, but it’s pretty funny.

The Mask

The House of Thunder

Phantoms

I read this book in a small camping trailer during a family reunion, out in the woods, which made it a little eerier than it might have been. A woman returns to a small town to find just about everyone dead, with no clear implications of what happened. I enjoyed this one most because it implied that something similar happened to the Roanoke Colony. It seems like Ben Affleck was in the movie.

Darkfall

Starts with a classic locked door mystery, ends with a tough cop and his partner racing through the streets pursued by weird little beasties with silver fires for eyes. I won’t tell you where they came from. This was one of the earliest Koontz novels I read and it freaked me out. I still consider it one of his most effective thrillers.

Twilight Eyes

Another carnival story, but this time it’s about a guy who can see the “goblins” that are inside of everyone. These nasty little creatures have a plan for humanity. It is not a good one. Another very early Koontz read for me, and one I have vivid memories of. This is one I’d like to read again. It strikes me as having been very different from the rest of his work. I could be wrong.

The Door To December

A mother tries to reconstruct what happened to her daughter, kidnapped by her father year earlier. When she is found she’s catatonic. This book talked a lot about paradoxes. I specifically remember a paragraph asking you to picture a cat eating every bit of itself, even its last tooth.

Oh, and an invisible beast is chasing them.

Strangers

I was living in Spring Creek, Nevada when I read this book. It blew my mind that one of the many, many characters was actually set in Elko, just over the hill. In fact, the book winds down in a canyon that was about a 20 minute drive from our house.

The setup for Strangers is great. A group of people each receive a package in the mail. The pictures show them each in an identical situation. Fans of Lost or any of the other rash or seemingly-unconnected-strangers-who-are-actually-super-duper-connected will probably enjoy unraveling the pieces.

One of Koontz’ largest books, and still one I quite enjoy. It also has a crazy military man that reminded me a lot of a character from McCammon’s Swan Song.

Watchers

The best Dean Koontz novel, and the first I read. A hiking widower finds a super-intelligent dog. The dog (Einstein) is being pursued by a beast that was created by the same people who engineered the dog. They share a telepathic link, so the monster chases them no matter where they go. Throw in a lovely woman, an unhinged lunatic pursuing them for other reasons, and some government intrigue, and you’ve got a fun, often frightening book.

Lightning

Oddkins

Midnight

The Bad Place

Shadowfires

Cold Fire

Hideaway

Dragon Tears

Mr. Murder

Winter Moon

Dark Rivers of The Heart

Icebound

Strange Highways

Intensity

Tick Tock

The Eyes of Darkness

Santa’s Twin

Demon’s Seed revised

Sole Survivor

Fear Nothing

False Memory

Seize The Night

From The Corner of His Eye

The Paper Doorway

One Door Away From Heaven

By The Light Of The Moon

Every Day’s A Holiday

The Face

Odd Thomas

Life Is Good

The taking

Robot Santa

Life Expectancy

Life is Good

Velocity

Frankenstein Book 1

Frankenstein Book 2

Forever Odd

The Husband

Brother Odd

The Good Guy

The Darkest Evening Of The Year

Odd Hours

In Odd We Trust

Bliss To You

Your Heart Belongs To Me

I, Trixie, Who Is Dog

Relentless

Frankenstein, Book 3

Frankenstein, Prodigal Son Graphic Novel

Breathless

A Big Little Life

Frankenstein: Lost Souls

Odd Is On Our Side

Trixie and Jink

Darkness Under The Sun

What The Night Knows

Frankenstein: The Dead Town

Nevermore (This is a comic)

Fear Nothing Volume One


There you have it. The Dean Koontz books list work in progress.

Josh

{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

Patrick Tracy May 13, 2011 at 10:48 am

I’ve read at least 17 Koontz books, but I find that I don’t have a good enough recollection of most of them to write a review. I respect Koontz and think he generally does a great job with the antagonist element in his books. His protags often read like they’re written for a repertory theater company, as there always seems to be The Lonely Man, The Lonely Lady and the Dog or Kid.

Along with Watchers, my favorites are Dark Rivers of the Heart and Intensity.

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james matthew brunson May 13, 2011 at 1:03 pm

I’ve only read 13 Koontz, but he is one of my favorite authors. I am currently on a mission to be a Koontz completest, however I got derailed by A Song of Ice and Fire series. Night Chills is the oldest one I’ve read and Breathless is the most recent. If I’m ever in a reading rut I pick up a Koontz, because I feel that he’s always solid. My favorite is probably Watchers and least favorite Phantoms. But even my least favorite I still enjoyed.

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Gustavo May 14, 2011 at 1:28 pm

WOW! What a great way to make a living.

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Samantha July 7, 2011 at 9:04 pm

I just read “Life Expectency” and it was amazing! It was about 5 bad dates in a mans life he will experience. Each different yet ultimatly related to one another. I love Koontz’s way in which he tells the story. There’s humor and deep family bonds. Amazing book! Great read!

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Josh Hanagarne July 8, 2011 at 9:17 am

Thanks Samantha.

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Kathy July 16, 2011 at 1:40 pm

Just stumbled on this looking for a good list of Koontz books before a library trip. I’ve read at least 20 but your reviews were really helpful in remembering which ones. Unless I pick the book up and start reading the back I cannot remember it from the title. Thanks! I remember “The Bad Place” being on of the weirdest stories ever but I liked it alot. My favorite so far has to be “From the Corner of His Eye,” just liked the characters goodness to each other to overcome evil. What a sucker. :)

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Richard Newcomer July 24, 2011 at 10:03 am

I cannot find a cronalogical list of Dean Koontz novels .Please advise how or where I can get this done

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Josh Hanagarne July 24, 2011 at 2:23 pm

You mean besides the list in the post?

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jOJO October 30, 2011 at 3:37 pm

My first read was also Watchers and I was hooked from then on. Have read most all of his up to the ODD series and have them sitting here to start when we go on vacation and then will move on to his Frankenstein series. I still love going back and re reading some of my favs such as Watchers, Phantoms, Lightening, Strangers, Whispers and Shattered. Glad to see a list here ..see a few I missed along the way :-)

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Rebecca Schugg December 12, 2011 at 8:49 am

That was my first too omg can’t pick up another author yet!!

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jOJO October 30, 2011 at 3:51 pm

I cannot remember where I found the following but hope it may help

Dean Koontz has published many books and stories, including fiction, nonfiction and children’s books.
Many of these writings Koontz published under the names K.R. Dwyer, Aaron Wolfe, David Axton, Brian Coffey,
Leigh Nichols, Owen West, Richard Paige, Deanna Dwyer, Leonard Chris and David Axton.
Many were re released under his Dean Koontz name in later years.

Here is a list of Dean Koontz’ books and writings from his pseudonyms by year.

Writings 1965 – 1999:

1965 – “The Kittens”, short fiction
1965 – “This Fence”, short fiction
1965-1967 – The Reflector, poetry collection
1966 – “Some Disputed Barricade”, short fiction
1966 – “A Miracle is Anything”, short fiction
1966 – “Ibsen’s Dream”, essay
1966 – “Of Childhood”, essay
1967 – “To Behold the Sun”, short fiction
1967 – “Love 2005″, short fiction
1967 – “Soft Come the Dragons”, short fiction
1968 – “The Psychedelic Children”, short fiction
1968 – “The Twelfth Bed”, short fiction
1968 – “Dreambird”, short fiction
1968 – Star Quest
1969 – Fear That Man
1969 – The Fall of the Dream Machine
1969 – “Muse”, short fiction
1969 – “The Face in His Belly: Part One”, short fiction
1969 – “Dragon In the Land”, short fiction
1969 – “The Face in His Belly: Part Two”, short fiction
1969 – “Where the Beast Runs”, short fiction
1969 – “Killerbot”, short fiction
1969 – “Temple of Sorrow”, short fiction
1969 – “In the Shield”, short fiction
1970 – Hung (as Leonard Chris)
1970 – Hell’s Gate
1970 – Dark Symphony
1970 – Dark of the Woods
1970 – Beastchild
1970 – Anti-Man
1970 – The Underground Lifestyles Handbook (with Gerda Koontz), nonfiction
1970 – The Pig Society (with Gerda Koontz), nonfiction
1970 – Soft Come the Dragons, short story collection
1970 – “Unseen Warriors”, short fiction
1970 – “Shambolain”, short fiction
1970 – “The Crimson Witch”, short fiction
1970 – “Beastchild”, short fiction
1970 – “Emanations”, short fiction
1970 – “The Mystery of His Flesh”, short fiction
1970 – “The Good Ship Lookoutworld”, short fiction
1970 – “Nightmare Gang”, short fiction
1970 – “A Third Hand”, short fiction
1971 – Legacy of Terror (as Deanna Dwyer)
1971 – The Crimson Witch
1971 – “Bruno”, short fiction
1972 – Warlock!
1972 – Time Thieves
1972 – Starblood
1972 – Demon Child (as Deanna Dwyer)
1972 – A Darkness in My Soul
1972 – The Dark of Summer (as Deanna Dwyer)
1972 – Children of the Storm (as Deanna Dwyer)
1972 – The Flesh in the Furnace
1972 – Chase (as K. R. Dwyer)
1972 – Writing Popular Fiction, nonfiction
1972 – “A Mouse in the Walls of the Global Village”, short fiction
1972 – “Ollie’s Hands”, short fiction
1972 – “Altarboy”, short fiction
1972 – “Cosmic Sin”, short fiction
1972 – “The Terrible Weapon”
1973 – Shattered (as K. R. Dwyer)
1973 – Demon Seed
1973 – A Werewolf Among Us
1973 – The Haunted Earth
1973 – Hanging On
1973 – Dance with the Devil (as Deanna Dwyer)
1973 – Blood Risk (as Brian Coffey)
1973 – “The Undercity”, short fiction
1973 – “Terra Phobia”, short fiction
1973 – “Wake Up To Thunder”, short fiction
1973 – “The Sinless Child”, short fiction
1973 – “Grayworld”, short fiction
1974 – Surrounded (as Brian Coffey)
1974 – After the Last Race
1974 – “Night of the Storm”, short fiction
1974 – “We Three”, short fiction
1975 – Wall of Masks (as Brian Coffey)
1975 – Nightmare Journey
1975 – The Long Sleep (as John Hill)
1975 – Dragonfly (as K. R. Dwyer)
1975 – Invasion (as Aaron Wolfe), reissued as Winter Moon in 1994
1976 – Prison of Ice (as David Axton), reissued as Icebound in 1995
1976 – Night Chills
1977 – The Vision
1977 – The Face of Fear (as Brian Coffey)
1979 – The Key to Midnight (as Leigh Nichols)
1979 – CHiPs episode 306: Counterfeit (as Brian Coffey), screenplay
1980 – Whispers
1980 – The Voice of the Night (as Brian Coffey)
1980 – The Funhouse (as Owen West)
1981 – The Mask (as Owen West)
1981 – The Eyes of Darkness (as Leigh Nichols)
1981 – How To Write Best-Selling Fiction, nonfiction
1982 – The House of Thunder (as Leigh Nichols)
1983 – Phantoms
1984 – Darkfall
1985 – Twilight Eyes, reissued with extension in 1987
1985 – The Door to December (as Richard Paige)
1986 – Strangers
1986 – “The Black Pumpkin”, short fiction
1986 – “The Monitors of Providence”, short fiction
1986 – “Snatcher”, short fiction
1986 – “Weird World”, short fiction
1986 – “Down in the Darkness”, short fiction
1987 – Watchers
1987 – Shadow Fires (as Leigh Nichols)
1987 – “Graveyard Highway”, short fiction
1987 – “Twilight of the Dawn”, short fiction
1987 – “Miss Atilla the Hun”, short fiction
1987 – “Hardshell”, short fiction
1987 – “The Interrogation”, short fiction
1988 – The Servants of Twilight (as Leigh Nichols)
1988 – Lightning
1988 – Oddkins: A Fable for All Ages, a children’s book
1989 – Midnight
1989 – “Trapped”, short fiction
1990 – The Bad Place
1991 – Cold Fire
1992 – Hideaway
1993 – Mr. Murder
1993 – Dragon Tears
1994 – Winter Moon
1994 – Dark Rivers of the Heart
1994 – Strange Highways, short story collection
1995 – Icebound
1995 – Strange Highways
1996 – Intensity
1996 – Ticktock
1996 – Santa’s Twin, a children’s book
1997 – Demon Seed (revised)
1997 – Sole Survivor
1998 – Fear Nothing
1998 – Seize the Night
1998 – Phantoms, screenplay
1998 – “Pinkie”, short fiction
1999 – False Memory
1999 – “Black River”, short fiction

from 2000 on:

2000 – From the Corner of His Eye
2001 – One Door Away from Heaven
2001 – The Paper Doorway : Funny Verse and Nothing Worse, a children’s book
2001 – “Qual Con”, short fiction
2002 – By the Light of the Moon
2003 – The Face
2003 – Odd Thomas
2003 – Every Day’s a Holiday : Amusing Rhymes for Happy Times, a children’s book
2003 – The Book Of Counted Sorrows, poetry collection
2004 – The Taking
2004 – Life Expectancy
2004 – Robot Santa: The Further Adventures of Santa’s Twin, a children’s book
2004 – Life is Good! Lessons in Joyful Living (with Trixie Koontz), nonfiction
2005 – Prodigal Son (with Kevin J. Anderson), Book One in the Dean Koontz’s Frankenstein series
2005 – Velocity
2005 – City of Night (with Ed Gorman), Book Two in the Dean Koontz’s Frankenstein series
2005 – Forever Odd
2005 – Christmas Is Good!: Trixie Treats And Holiday Wisdom (with Trixie Koontz), nonfiction
2005 – Dean Koontz’s Frankenstein, screenplay
2006 – The Husband
2006 – Brother Odd
2007 – The Good Guy
2007 – The Darkest Evening of the Year
2008 – Odd Hours
2008 – In Odd We Trust–graphic novel
2008 -Bliss to You: Trixie’s Guide to a Happy Life with Trixie Koontz
2008 – Your Heart Belongs to Me
2009 – A Big Little Life: A Memoir of a Joyful Dog
2009 – Nevermore
2009 – I, Trixie, Who is Dog–NON FICTION
2010 – Darkness Under the Sun (Novella): A Tale of Suspense
2010 – Odd is On Our Side–graphic novel
2011 – Frankenstein: Lost Souls

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Josh Hanagarne October 30, 2011 at 5:11 pm

Now that is a comment! Thank you.

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Gwendolyn December 30, 2011 at 1:57 pm

a long time ago, I read a Dean Koontz book – it was about a killer who lived on the outskirts of town, underground on an old carnival site. he had a huge cage of sorts and once he had tormented and killed the victim, he used their skin to decorate his “home”. I own 28 books, I like to re-read them, but I hated this black-story and gave the book away, NOW I wish to know the title of it. Do you know which book it was ? thanks for making this list, I see a few stories I missed !! Happy New Year; Gwendolyn

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Cheryl.A.H - England February 1, 2012 at 2:52 pm

I have been collecting Koontz books for many years. Along with 9 out of print books, 8 1st edition and 3 signed i now own 140 of his amazing novels. My favourite being Lightning. I have also got a signed copy of the original Book of counted sorrows. Love this site.

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Josh Hanagarne February 1, 2012 at 4:41 pm

Hi Cheryl. Have you had any of them signed in person? If not, where do you buy them from? I’ve gone through a few signed-book collection phases, but I don’t have any of Mr. K.

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Cheryl.A.H - England February 2, 2012 at 5:34 am

Hey Josh, I have not been lucky enough to ever meet him. I usually hunt them from rare books websites. I found a new one just yesterday and have ordered “Beastchild” and ” A darkness in my soul”. 1970 and 1972 1st editions. As soon as i recieve them and check the condition etc. I will let you know the website address.

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valerie February 3, 2012 at 11:26 pm

I have to agree with those that think Watchers is his best so far. I picked up one of his books at the library one day about a year ago . I got to the end before I figured out it was part of a series. I lost the information and it wasn’t until the other day that out of the blue the name Christopher Snow came to me. He was an albino and the main character of the series. Does anyone know the series I am talking about and do you know the titles of the books? I’d love to finish the series.

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Josh Hanagarne February 4, 2012 at 9:10 am

Valerie, i think that is Called the Moonlight Bay Trilogy.

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LUKE February 25, 2012 at 5:33 pm

I AM LOOKING FOR A BOOK WHERE ONE BROTHER CAN TELEPORT AT WILL, HE IS CHASING THE OTHER BROTHER WHO CAN ALSO TELEPORT BUT CAN NOT CONTROL IT WELL, THEY HAVE SISTERS WHO CONTROLS CATS AT WILL. AS THE BOOK ENDS THE 2 BROTHERS GRAB ONTO EACH OTHER AND TELEPORT VERY FAST, THEY MELD INTO EACH OTHER AND DIE, I THOUGHT KOONTZ WROTE IT BUT I CAN NOT FIND IT. CAN ANYONE PLEASE HELP ME FIND THANK YOU LUKE

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David March 13, 2012 at 12:00 am

You’re thinking of “The Bad Place”.

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john lee February 27, 2012 at 8:39 pm

What is the title of the book continuing the “Twilight Eyes” story
with Slim and Rya?

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Andrea March 23, 2012 at 6:22 pm

I started to read Mr. Koontz books quite by accident. In March of 2010 I bought “Twilight Eyes” and was hooked to date I have read 38 of his books. My favorates I have read twice,Lighting,Wispers,The Corner of His Eyes,Midnight,Watchers, Life Expectancy,The Good Guy and a lot more. At the moment I an caught up in second Chris Snow book(bad monkeys) Seize The Night. This was a happy accident.

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Josh Hanagarne March 24, 2012 at 11:40 am

Glad to hear it.

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barney magee April 20, 2012 at 9:15 am

I have just discovered Dean Kootz – I read ‘The Husband’ and am pleased to see that he has written so many other books as I enjoyed this exciting novel and will undoubtedly read more. A lot like watching a thriller film.
It was a real page turner although I was sad to get to the end ( I read it in just 3 sittings ) where it became a little clichéd. however this was forgiven as I enjoyed the journey of twists and turns that took me there.

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Diane April 22, 2012 at 9:37 am

You, sir, are going to have many, many enjoyable hours ahead of you! Hit your local used book store STAT and fill up all you can on Koontz!

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Sandy April 25, 2012 at 10:03 pm

I have a large collection of Dean Koontz books and a printed list that I refer to when I find one used somewhere to make sure that I dont already have it. A lot of his books seem hard to find, and a lot on the list are not really novels, like his Trixie books. I have a golden retriever and I notice that he really loves that breed and includes them in several stories or just mentions a golden retriever walking by. I absolutley love the Odd Thomas Books, but those are also confusing to collect because some are comic books, and the lists I have seen dont tell what kind of books they are.

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barney magee June 4, 2012 at 2:31 pm

Hi again,
Thanks for the reply but, having read a few more novels,. I am dissapointed. ‘Tick-tock’ and ‘Relentless’ seemed to make no sense at all – more like a schoolboy’s creative fiction essay.
No link to reality ( unlike ‘The husband’ which gave a scenario of unusual/unexpected events ( but believable ) happening to a ‘normal’ person ) – just a wild imaginative plot that defied belief and offered no explanation for anything.
Sorry to be negative but I think I will stop reading these novels and go back to thriller wriers such as Ian Rankin, Shakespeare and even Elmore Leonard. If I want fantasy I will read Phillip Pullman whose Dark Materials trilogy was nonsense but somehow believable nonsense.

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Josh Hanagarne June 4, 2012 at 2:55 pm

Barney, you’d be crazy to read anything but what you love. I’m a huge Elmore Leonard fan. Do you have a favorite of his?

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Heaven Vera September 9, 2012 at 10:54 pm

I’m looking for a book for my dad that he read along time ago, he thinks its by Dean Koontz but he isn’t sure. Its about 2 men who have big scissors and go into peoples houses at night and cut their balloons when they turn black sending then on to the next life… Like i said he’s not sure if he wrote it or not but he’s been trying to find the book for years and asked me to help. I’ve googled it like crazy and can’t find anything. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank You.

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Josh Hanagarne September 10, 2012 at 7:23 am

Heaven, I think that’s Insomnia by Stephen King. It definitely had little bald doctors cutting people’s balloons.

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Heaven Vera September 10, 2012 at 8:51 am

Thank you so much! Thats the book he has been looking for.

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Cheryl October 8, 2012 at 7:07 am

First read was also Watchers, interesting how many people were hooked with that one. Am now on a mission to read all. Two recent reads I absolutely loved. “Breathless” which really gave me something to think on and I thought a beautiful concept of creation too. The other I cannot recall the title, if anyone can help. It is about a girl whose sister returns to her in the form of a labrador to protect her from an evil from her past..

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