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Phantoms Mass Market Paperback – February 5, 2002


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley; Reprint edition (February 5, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425181103
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425181102
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 4.2 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (403 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,613 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The lights are on in Snowfield, California, a cozy ski village nestled in the Sierra Madres, but nobody seems to be home. When Dr. Jenny Paige returns to the small town, she finds tables set for dinner, meals being prepared, and music playing in living rooms, but there's no trace of the people who put the water on to boil or set an extra place for company at the dinner table. As she explores the town, Paige finds friends and neighbors felled by a mysterious force--the bodies show no visible signs of violence or disease, and no known plague kills victims before the ice in their dinner drinks has time to melt. But the deep quiet that surrounds her offers few clues about the fate of the town's inhabitants. Dean Koontz's Phantoms strikes fear in readers from the very beginning. The mystery deepens, paving the way for a chilling journey toward the truth. If you plan to catch the film version, starring Ben Affleck and Peter O'Toole, remember that you'll be experiencing this terrifying story in a dark theater. So bring an arm to grab! --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

“A master storyteller…his fast-paced plots are wonderfully fiendish, taking unexpected twists and turns.” San Diego Union-Tribune

“First-rate…scary and plausible.” Publishers Weekly

“Gruesome and unrelenting.” Stephen King

“Koontz has outdone himself. A terrifying story.” Philadelphia Daily News


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

Once I started reading this book, I could not put it down.
tiny_tunes@yahoo.com
The writing is pure and simple, characters extremely well drawn and very suspenseful plot.
MRose
What made me want to read this book was because i really liked the movie it was based on.
andy the man

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

126 of 130 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Leach HALL OF FAME on May 26, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I avoided Dean Koontz like the plague since the day some years ago when I attempted to read his novel "Mr. Murder." I found that book so formulaic and tedious that I swore never to read another of his books. I did not even finish "Mr. Murder," a rarity for me because I always strive to finish any book I pick up. When I recently decided to cast my nets a little wider into the vast seas of the horror genre, I looked for something by Koontz that other readers praised. Repeatedly, I found that his book "Phantoms" came highly recommended by nearly everyone who read it. So, with my sense of smell ready to detect the slightest hint of staleness or boredom, I dove right into this 1983 Koontz novel. My analysis: of the many horror novels I have read over the years, "Phantoms" may be the best of the batch, ranking right up there with Stephen King's "It" as one of my all-time favorites.
The author wastes little time getting right into the story. Dr. Jennifer Paige and her little sister Lisa are driving to Jennifer's house in Snowfield, California. Jenny was never close to her sister due to the rigorous demands of medical school and the headache of establishing a practice in the small town. When their mother dies suddenly, Jenny steps in to take care of Lisa. The poignancy of this action quickly shatters when the two arrive in Snowfield. The town appears to be completely uninhabited. Jenny and Lisa realize that no one is walking around town and that no cars are on the streets. An even ruder shock overwhelms the two women when they find Jennifer's housekeeper dead on the kitchen floor. Even eerier is the condition of the dead body, which has uniform bruising over every inch of the skin.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 9, 1997
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"Phantoms" is just one of Koontz's many fine horror stories. It offers an imaginative explanation for a tantalizing historical mystery: the mass disappearance (such as the famous Roanoke colony in the early seventeenth century). Koontz tells the story of the almost instantaneous depopulation of an isolated California mountain village, discovered by the town's doctor and her teenaged sister upon their return from attending their mother's funeral some miles away. These two find a terrifyingly quiet Snowfield, devoid of residents, dining room tables set with still-warm suppers. The mystery deepens when the county sheriff and deputies arrive and discover a few dreadfully bruised bodies sprawled lifeless in tightly locked rooms. As dark falls, it becomes clear that something is stalking the entire town of Snowfield--and its would-be rescuers--and that this hunter delights in savoring every morsel of fear it can extract from its prey. I do not want to give away any more of the plot, because Koontz paces the story of the discovery of the identity of the murderous "Ancient Enemy" so well that reading the book is a rollercoaster of an experience.
A word about my rating: Koontz is one of my favorite authors, and I have read quite a few of his books. Phantoms is one of his early novels and is imaginative and entertaining. Compared to some of his later stories, however ("Dark Rivers of the Heart" and "Twilight Eyes" immediately spring to mind), it is not as richly characterized and the level of suspense is not quite as nightmarish. It is like comparing two tornadoes from the movie "Twister": one may suck up cows, but the other swallows cows and barn whole. Each is a frightening experience, but the one is a more intense--and deadly--event. Thus, the seven.
Judith Abendschei
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 2, 2000
Format: School & Library Binding
I read this during the summer of 1999, and holy spit I was scared by it! This book is vintage Koontz. This is the book that made me love him the way I do. The character analysis is amazingly well done, and the amount of atmosphere that gets created while you read this makes you feel like you're really there. The main characters (Jenny & Lisa Paige, and Bryce Hammond) were, no, *are* unforgettable, the actual scenes where something scary happens are scary as hell (this does not necessarily mean it is gory, though!), and... Well, I suppose I shouldn't mention anything more. It is so scary, though, because this book, among others (The Shining, The Relic, and Reliquary, to name a few), makes you scared of the dark (believe me--I was scared of the dark for months after reading these), because so many scenes take place in the dark. Oops, I've said too much already. Just read this book and find out. Also recommended by Mr. Koontz: Whispers, Darkfall, Twilight Eyes, Night Chills, and Watchers. Recommended by Stephen King: The Shining, Desperation, Night Shift, and The Dark Tower series. Good night... hah-hah-hahhhh...
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By David Girod TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 9, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
My guess is that most folks my age who are fans of the horror genre were probably introduced to the genre by Stephen King. I wasn't. As a pre-teen I discovered Dean Koontz and all things horror by "Phantoms". I loved this book, and not only do I credit "Phantoms" for opening my eyes to the horror genre, I credit "Phantoms" for instilling in me a love to read. Since reading "Phantoms", I've of course branched out to many authors, genres and styles. I've read the classics, I read bestsellers, and basically just about anything I can get my hands on these days, and I feel I owe a debt of gratitude to Koontz and this fantastic novel for introducing me to the written word as no one else had.

The basic storyline of "Phantoms" is that the town doctor is returning home after her mothers funeral along with her little sister. When they arrive in the small ski community they find it deserted. The discover several dead bodies and call in the state police. I hate to give any spoilers, so won't get more specific than that. What happened to the town, why are some of the corpses mutilated while others are blackened with universal bruising? Once the police arrive and the nightmare begins unfolding, you won't be able to put the novel down!

That said, I was a little leery of re-reading what to me, was a landmark novel. Would it hold up? Did it still carry the magic I so fondly remember? The great news is that "Phantoms" is still a great novel. At times chilling, and full of suspense. The characters are so well crafted that you truly care whether the will make it out of Snowfield alive. Koontz can build tension and crafts such a wonderfully scary tale, its no wonder I was so eager to read more of the authors work after finishing this novel.

If you are a fan of Koontz's writing, then I'm sure you are familiar with this novel. If, however, you've missed this title, pick it up right away. As a longtime fan of Koontz, I can honestly say "Phantoms" is one of his best.
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