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False Memory Mass Market Paperback – November 28, 2000

597 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Not a continuation of the Moonlight Bay series (Seize the Night and Fear Nothing) as many fans were expecting, False Memory is nonetheless just as powerful and compulsive as anything Koontz has written before.

Martie Rhodes is a successful young computer games designer with a loving husband, Dusty, and a seemingly normal life. Her best friend, Susan, however, suffers from agoraphobia, or a fear of open spaces, and relies on Martie to take her to weekly therapy sessions. Suddenly and inexplicably, Martie herself begins exhibiting worrying signs of a mental disorder, fearing herself capable of inflicting great harm on her loved ones. At the same time, Dusty's brother Skeet also succumbs to irrational mental behavior and tries to throw himself from a roof. It soon becomes clear that these four characters are involved in something much more than a sinister coincidence.

Koontz's great skill, as he demonstrates so well in this novel, is creating believable characters and thrusting them into seemingly impossible but--for the period of the story--completely plausible situations. The plot is as carefully layered as the most intricate orchestral compositions, and Koontz conducts the proceedings with almost unbearable tension. One of his greatest abilities as a writer, however, is tapping into the dark paranoia of society. As we approach the Millennium, and an age in which we are becoming increasingly desensitized to death and violence, Martie's fear of herself, known as autophobia, seems a terrifying warning that soon the only thing we will have left to fear is ourselves.

Deeper meanings aside, this is easily one of his best thrillers. The prose moves at a breakneck speed, and the denouement will leave you with a pounding heart and chills up and down your spine. Koontz delivers exciting, boundary-breaking fiction better than anyone else in the game, and False Memory (though at times shocking and disturbing) is a perfect example of a master author in top form. --Jonathan Weir, Amazon.co.uk --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Koontz's latest novel should please his longtime fans but probably not newcomers. Martie Rhodes takes her best friend, Susan, to therapy sessions twice a week. Susan suffers from agoraphobia, a fear of crowds, which leaves her afraid to leave her apartment. Getting Susan to therapy is hard enough, but on this particular day it gets even harder. Earlier that morning, Martie looked at herself in the mirror and found she was terrified of her reflection. She has developed autophobia, a fear of self. With the vilest villain Koontz has created, the truth behind their phobias will be more horrible than Susan or Martie can imagine. False Memory could have been trimmed by 200 pages and not lost any impact. Still, the characters are rich, and the main story is compelling. Though it is not great Koontz, good Koontz is still better than most and should be added to general fiction collection.
---Jeff Ayers, Seattle P.L.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 784 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; First Printing edition (November 28, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553580221
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553580228
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.2 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (597 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #849,887 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dean Koontz, the author of many #1 New York Times bestsellers, lives in Southern California with his wife, Gerda, their golden retriever Anna, and the enduring spirit of their golden, Trixie.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

83 of 95 people found the following review helpful By Mark Hammermeister on January 2, 2000
Format: Hardcover
To me, Dean Koontz has always been a writer who is either on again or off again. He has written books that are outstanding in the suspense field (Intensity, Dark Rivers of the Heart), and those that are largely a mess (Sole Survivor, Tick Tock). False Memory falls somewhere in between. This novel of mind control and nefarious conspiracies has several scenes of heart-pounding suspense, but often times it plods along as the author drags out situations through several chapters that would have been much more effective if they had been compacted into a shorter space. For example, one of the main characters, Martie Rhodes is mysteriously afflicted with severe autophobia (the fear of one's self), which results in her irrational fear that she will attempt to murder everyone she loves. Unfortunately the reader has to suffer through chapter after chapter after chapter of Martie running madly through the house trying to dispose of every item that might potentially be turned into a weapon, and it gets really boring really fast. This is not to say that the whole book is bad; in fact it's quite good at times. The novel's villain is viciously evil and very well crafted. The author is especially good at honing his characterizations as well as maintaining that almost undefinable trait that only the best writers have--he makes you want to keep reading. Special note: I found it pretty amusing that one of the characters who appears late in the novel is a narcissistic writer who spends a great deal of time writing phony reviews to make his own book seem better than it is, and phony negative reviews of his most serious competitor's book. I assume Koontz doesn't need to do this, because he really is a terrific writer.
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39 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Jean F. Akin on April 19, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I picked up "False Memory" because it was a Koontz novel, and I have never NOT given this author my full attention since I read "Watchers" many years back. In spite of "Fear Nothing" and "A Bad Place," which were well written but a bit too raw for my senses, Mr. Koontz has not disappointed me. I feel that "False Memory" was just as engaging and intriguing a novel as "Watchers," though very different. The unwitting heroes of the story, Dusty and Martine Rhodes, are extremely likable characters and the reader becomes caught up in their lives because of their goodness, steadiness and faithfulness towards each other and those they love. The antagonist of this book is a surprise I will not give away, although Koontz doesn't make you wait the entire book to find out just what's going on. The dialogue is well done and moves the story beautifully, the characters "stay" in character, and the author shows once again that he is a master story teller. A wonderful read that will definitely keep you coming back for more until that last page is turned!
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48 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on December 28, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Martine "Martie" Rhodes seems to have it all together as she is happily married and a successful video game designer. However, her world begins to collapse. Her brother-in-law jumps off the roof after insisting he has seen and spoken with an angel, who vows the other side is better. Her best friend Susan struggles with a severe case of agoraphobia, leaving Martie to coax her into leaving her home so she can see a psychiatrist. Susan swears that her estranged husband rapes her every night even though her home is locked tight.

The confidant Martie soon begins to fear her own shadow, finding it difficult to even look in a mirror. Already grieving his brother's stunning suicide, Martie's spouse Dustin worries about her sudden descent into a seemingly deep-rooted phobia. He begins to search for common links between his brother, his wife, and their friend, as well as another individual who has sunk into a debilitating fear. Dustin concludes that psychiatrist Dr. Mark Ahriman is deeply involved with the rash of traumatic feelings impacting everyone. Dustin is unaware that his inquiries will trigger a phobia of his own.

FALSE MEMORY is an exciting thriller that is one of Dean Koontz's best novels. The story line centers on personal and societal phobias that the great author makes so frighteningly real that the audience will fear what happens next because it could happen to them. The characters are wonderfully designed so that fans can understand what has occurred. Though a bit wordy at times, Mr. Koontz has written a fabulous tale that will eliminate any fears that his audience might have that the grandmaster of suspense has lost it.

Harriet Klausner
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By V. VanCamp on January 30, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is an incredible novel. Dean Koontz has an astounding imagination, a wonderful attention to detail, a terrific talent for suspense and surprises. He also has a sweetly sensitive side.
This book held my attention captive, and caused me to laugh and cry. Mr. Koontz weaves a tale about mind control, psychology, intense love and a demented character. Read this book only if you are sure you don't have a tendency to become paranoid! The author has a knack for bringing new thoughts into your head!
In this novel, Martie and Dusty are fighting for their very minds and eventually their lives! As they struggle through the fog of their minds and the minimal clues they have acquired, you will feel you are working with them to discover the truth and expose the enemy for the evil that he is. Mr. Koontz also has a beautiful way of developing his characters and making you love them and feel their emotions and fears.
This is a fast paced novel with action, suspense, twists, and psychology that will force you to use your brain to figure out what is going on!
The summary on the back cover intrigued me. When I started reading, it was torture to put the book down! I enjoyed this novel very much and highly recommend it. Don't hesitate - purchase it now!
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