- Hardcover: 526 pages
- Publisher: Putnam Adult; First Edition edition (April 18, 1986)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780399131431
- ISBN-13: 978-0399131431
- ASIN: 0399131434
- Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 1.6 x 6.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 505 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #343,276 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Strangers Hardcover – April 18, 1986
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From Publishers Weekly
The author of Phantoms, Whispers and other thrillers takes an unconscionable time to tell his latest story. The "strangers" are thousands of miles apart when they begin to suffer inexplicable terrors. In California, Dom Corvaisis sleepwalks, fleeing from an unseen menace. In Massachusetts, gifted young Dr. Ginger Weiss's panic attacks threaten her career. A priest in the Midwest loses his faith suddenly, then finds he can heal fatally injured people. And, in Elko, Nevada, the owner of a motela tough ex-Marinebecomes paralyzed by fears of the dark. Mysterious clues bring these characters and others, similarly afflicted, to the motel, where apparently they had met long before. As they compare experiences, the victims realize they've been brainwashed and determine to find out why. That means facing death at the hands of a maniac in a scene that finally induces frissons of terror in the reader. But it's too late; Koontz has vitiated suspense throughout the narrative with numbing repetitions and long explanations of such matters as Jewish cooking, the baldachin over the altar at St. Patrick's Cathedral, a weaver's tools, etc. 75,000 first printing; $75,000 ad/promo; Literary Guild dual selection.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
Six strangers are unaccountably seized by nightmares, attacks of fear, and bouts of uncharacteristic behavior. The six begin to seek each other out as puzzling photographs and messages arrive, indicating that the cause may lie in a forgotten weekend stay at an isolated Nevada motel. Koontz has topped a fine roster of horror and suspense novels with an almost unbearably suspenseful page-turner. His ability to maintain the mystery through several plot twists is impressive, as is his array of believable and sympathetic characters. With its masterful blend of elements of espionage, terror, and even some science fiction, Strangers may be the suspense novel of the year. Recommended for popular collections. Literary Guild dual main selection. Eric W. Johnson, Univ. of Bridgeport Lib . , Conn.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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For me, this wasn't the case here. The suspense was such that I found it hard to put the book down. I kept wondering how he was going to keep all those strings (the many characters) together, and tie them up in the end, but he did.
This is science fiction, which -- when good -- I love. I loved this one, with its hopeful ending. Koontz has a great talent for characterization and he writes better than many Nobel prize winners, but of course, in the world of "high literature" that will never be acknowledged!! His style flows effortlessly. And unlike some reviewers I did not find the book too long. Here and there I did think he went off on a tangent which should have been edited to be much shorter.
I loved the wide range of character types he brought together cleverly.
Eventually he leaves us -- and here I also disagree with one reviewer -- with the everlasting conundrum between religious belief and atheism. Is there a God greater than we can ever imagine? Or ... does the Universe run itself, sort of, and there's no Creator as such?
This is definitely one of his best books. But that's just my opinion.
My first Koontz book, by the by.
I am a big fan of Dean Koontz and it all started for me with this book which I read in the mid 1980'a. My reading group decided to read this book as a mini-read and I wanted to see if it still held the same allure for me. I went in knowing some of the basic plot but not the details. Once again, I had trouble putting this book down. It pulled me in just the same as it did 30 years ago. I loved the characters and their interaction with each other. When they get together there is a real sense of community; like a family. That's one of the things I really appreciated.
If you have read other Koontz books and haven't tried this one yet, I highly recommend it. It has suspense, strong characters, and hope. I especially liked the indominatible spirit of the main characters.
One of the most surprising aspects was realizing how much technology has advanced us since the book was first written. I kept wishing the characters had cell phones and wondered why the government wasn't using satellite pictures. When the character needed research into what had originally happened it was too bad they couldn't go on the Internet to look it up and save time. And I had to laugh when in the very beginning one of the characters is writing is novel on a word processor.
Rereading Strangers was like running into old friends at a bar and spending the night talking and reliving the past. All of the characters and development are perfect and you will finish the book wanting to go back to the bar the next night hoping your friends will be there again.