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77 Shadow Street Hardcover – December 27, 2011
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PRAISE FOR DEAN KOONTZ
“One of the master storytellers of this or any age.”—The Tampa Tribune
“Koontz writes first-rate suspense, scary and stylish.”—Los Angeles Times
“A rarity among bestselling writers, Koontz continues to pursue new ways of telling stories, never content with repeating himself. He writes of hope and love in the midst of evil in profoundly inspiring and moving ways.”—Chicago Sun-Times
“A master at spinning dark tales . . . Koontz knows how to dial up the terror.”—Associated Press
“Koontz is a superb plotter and wordsmith. He chronicles the hopes and fears of our time in broad strokes and fine detail, using popular fiction to explore the human condition [and] demonstrating that the real horror of life is found not in monsters, but within the human psyche.”—USA Today
“Koontz . . . is a master storyteller and a daring writer. . . . He gives readers bright hope in a dark world.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Dean Koontz . . . has the power to scare the daylights out of us.”—People
“Dean Koontz is not just a master of our darkest dreams, but also a literary juggler.”—The Times (London)
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.
Top customer reviews
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The biggest problem with 77 SHADOW STREET is the way Koontz tells his story. There is a huge cast of characters, which are introduced slowly over the first half of the book through a series of vignettes told from differing perspectives. At first it's difficult to keep track of all of them; it's also difficult to get very attached to any of them. Devon Murphy is a security guard still mourning the loss of his mother, Bailey Hawkes is an ex-marine investment counselor, Silas Kinsley is a retired litigation attorney who finds himself researching the history of the Pendleton, Twyla Trahern is a country music composer with a precocious 8-year-old son, Mikey Dime is a hit man with psychopathic tendencies, the Cupp sisters are octogenarian cake-bakers, Sparkle Sykes is writer with an autistic daughter - the list honestly goes on and on (and I haven't even mentioned the characters from past generations of Pendleton residents). It's not that these characters aren't interesting - some of them are. It's just that there are so many of them, and the story jumps from one to the other in little mini-chapters which never allow the reader to become really invested in any of them. This makes it hard to care all that much what happens to them when things go crazy at horror house.
Additionally, there is an amazing lack of dialogue in this novel. For almost the entire first half, Koontz's many characters are isolated from each other, each in his/her own apartment. The story unfolds from their many perspectives, with Koontz telling us what's happening, describing events, even summarizing conversations that we never actually get to hear. It's an odd way of telling a story, especially with so many characters involved. It leaves us, as readers, distanced from the core of the action, and kept separated from the characters we're supposed to root for.
Ultimately, Koontz's story is interesting, and I can't say the book isn't worth reading. I grew tired of it, however, which isn't what I expected from a Dean Koontz thriller. And by the end, I wasn't invested enough in any of the characters to really care why all this was happening and what we were supposed to learn from it. "This world," one character says, "is a dark place, and hard." That much comes through very clearly in 77 SHADOW STREET. I was disappointed, however. Two stars for the novel; the additional one is for Mr. Koontz, whose books I have loved for decades. I will always be a fan.
As a Koontz fan, I've come to recognize that there is often something bizarre that happens to a couple or a family. At first I couldn't find that in this book and then I realized that as some of the residents begin to work together to discover what is going on and why, those residents (and two employees) form a sort of family.
What I didn't like about the book was that it didn't rivet me from the first page as most Koontz novels do. The dragging out of the meeting the characters is also tedious.