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Strange Highways Mass Market Paperback – August 1, 1996
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From Publishers Weekly
Collection of tales from horror novelist Koontz.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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The first story is the self titled "Strange Highways," which takes up the first hundred and sixty eight pages. The story deals with a failed man named Joe Shannon, who came back to his hometown in order to bury his father. He is haunted by a ghost, and on the same night, Joe has the ability to go back in time to stop a serial killer who will shock you and may not totally be human at all. 5/5--a must read for any Koontz fan
"The Black Pumpkin," is the second story, and one of my person favorite. Tommy warns Frank not to buy that black pumpkin because the pumpkin carver is a very strange man, not to mention he warns Tommy about the evil pumpkin. And that night, Frank gets what he deserves. 5/5--a great and enjoyable read about an evil pumpkin
"Miss Attila the Hun" is a straight up, alien invesion like short story. A lovely school teacher is put to the test when she confronts a mysterious being that wants mankind to go "mad." This is one of those stories where you get something good out of bad. 3/5--worth reading, but could have been a lot better.
"Down in the Darkness" puts a man to the ultimate test when he discovers his new home has a strange celler that only he could enter, and what's waiting down there is nothing more but evil. The man than decides to get rid of a "few people" in this celler. 5/5--a good story about the human condition and the supernatural.
"Ollie's Hands" puts a mute man to the test when he saves a pretty girl from suicide. He has strange powers, mostly from his hands. When the young woman wants more powers from Ollie, she doesn't know there's a price to be paid, even Ollie couldn't control it. 5/5--another great story about human condition and a gift that has prices.
"Snatcher" deals with Billy, a man who gets his money from stealing purses. When he steals a black purse from an old lady, he gets more than he wanted: a gets a mysterious creature that wants to collect him. 5/5--the first time we meet this creatue, it almost reminded me those goblins out of Darkfall.
"Trapped" puts a single mother and her child in a battle with lab created rats. This story is a little creepy, it actually gave me a few chills. 4/5--a good mixture of horror and science fiction, however, it didn't really bring nothing new to the field.
"Bruno" is the weakest story of all. It's about a private eye being a doorway to alternative possiblities, brining a human like bear animal and an alien. 2/5--I wasn't really into it at all.
"We Three" is a mixture of horror and science fiction. It puts three children at risk at the end of the word (which they had caused) with a mystetrious baby in the girl that wants to destroy the remaining humans. 3/5--a good concept, but it could have a little longer.
"Hardsell" puts a police officer on the trail of a serial killer who can actually change into other beings, and our police officer might have the same ability as well. 3/5--the twist was okay, but this story does have some plot holes.
"The Night of the Storm" is a straight up science fiction story about robots ruling the world. When a group was scent to "hunt" in the woods in order to feel more alive again, they are put in situation with their true creators...men. 4/5--I like the concept of robots vs. human, however, it was hard to relate to these characters.
"Twilight of the Dawn" is the last short story in this collection. It's about a man who doesn't believe in God, who doesn't want his young son to fall victim of God. When both the wife and son dies, the man sees something supernatural, questioning his faith. 5/5--a good story about faith and human's beliefs, not to metnion it's the saddest story in this book.
"Chase" is a novella about a Vietnam vet being stalk by a killer after he saved a girl who was on the killer's hitlist. 3/5--it's an okay story, but it could have been a lot better and more a thriller.
Strange Highways is one of those books you must get if you like Koontz's work or if you like speculative fiction.
It's about a 40 year old alcoholic who came back to his childhood town to go to his fathers funeral. While he's there, strange things keep happening to him and when he's heading back home he takes the highway that he didn't take 20 years ago and mystery and suspense ensues and gets a second chance to do things right. All in all great story.