The House of Thunder

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Overview

Susan Thorton awakens in a hospital, after a near-fatal car crash, to see four men lurking outside her door--men who exactly resemble those who killed her boyfriend years before. Can these be the same men? As she tries to uncover the identities of those stalking her, Susan enters a terrifying nightmare--one from which she may never escape. Previously published by Pocket under the pseudonym Leigh Nichols 1982.

Susan Thorton awakens in a hospital, after a near-fatal ...

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The House of Thunder

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Overview

Susan Thorton awakens in a hospital, after a near-fatal car crash, to see four men lurking outside her door--men who exactly resemble those who killed her boyfriend years before. Can these be the same men? As she tries to uncover the identities of those stalking her, Susan enters a terrifying nightmare--one from which she may never escape. Previously published by Pocket under the pseudonym Leigh Nichols 1982.

Susan Thorton awakens in a hospital, after a near-fatal car crash, to see four men lurking outside her door--men who exactly resemble those who killed her boyfriend years before. Can these be the same men? As she tries to uncover the identities of those stalking her, Susan enters a terrifying nightmare--one from which she may never escape. Previously published by Pocket under the pseudonym Leigh Nichols (1982). (Occult)

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Koontz Watchers , The Servants of Twilight has come up with an intriguing premise: Susan Thornton wakes up in a hospital after a serious car accident with an odd, selective amnesia. She can remember nothing of her job, yet she is stricken with fear when the company she works for is named. And that's not all. Thirteen years earlier, Susan had witnessed the murder of her boyfriend during a brutal fraternity hazing; her testimony sent one of the four men responsible to prison. Now she sees the same men, looking not a day older, walking the corridors of the hospital. Even worse, she has recurrent macabre hallucinations involving them and the decomposing corpse of her boyfriend. Susan doubts her sanity until she stumbles upon a bit of hard evidence right out of one of the ``hallucinations.'' Koontz's resolution, involving a complex Soviet plot, transforms the story from a cozy chiller to political thriller and may not please readers tired of cold war paranoia and propaganda. Others, however, should find this tale satisfying from start to finish. Nov.
Library Journal

Brilliance Audio has mined Koontz's backlist to present House of Thunder, a book originally published in 1982 under one of Koontz's pseudonyms. In this work, Susan Thornton is in the hospital recovering from a car crash. There, she is terrorized by haunting figures from her remote past. Is she wigging out? Having accident-related delusions? Or are there actually ghosts who intend to kill her? The answer is, of course, none of the above, but along the way we are treated to Koontz's signature ability to confound us with the seeming plausibility of the absolutely implausible. Still, this is clearly a less mature work than his contemporary offerings: the characters are stereotypes, neither believable nor even likable; the conclusion, when it finally arrives, is a bit of a dud. The dual reading by Laural Merlington and Mel Foster is adequate but not inspired. This novel is probably best left on the shelf with our snapshots of the year 1982. Brilliance's practice of dividing a 70-minute compact disc into 99 40-second (or so) tracks is a major inconvenience for quite a few reasons. Not recommended.
—Kristen L. Smith

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425132951
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/28/1992
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 4.24 (w) x 6.70 (h) x 1.01 (d)

Meet the Author

Dean Koontz is one of the bestselling writers in the world. He lives in Southern California.

Biography

He is one of the most recognized, read, and loved suspense writers of the 20th century. His imagination is a veritable factory of nightmares, conjuring twisted tales of psychological complexity. He even has a fan in Stephen King. For decades, Dean Koontz's name has been synonymous with terror, and his novels never fail to quicken the pulse and set hearts pounding.

Koontz has a lifelong love of writing that led him to spend much of his free time as an adult furiously cultivating his style and voice. However, it was only after his wife Gerda made him an offer he couldn't refuse while he was teaching English at a high school outside of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, that he had a real opportunity to make a living with his avocation. Gerda agreed to support Dean for five years, during which time he could try to get his writing career off the ground. Little did she know that by the end of that five years she would be leaving her own job to handle the financial end of her husband's massively successful writing career.

Koontz first burst into the literary world with 1970's Beastchild, a science fiction novel that appealed to genre fans with its descriptions of aliens and otherworldly wars but also mined deeper themes of friendship and the breakdown of communication. Although it is not usually ranked among his classics, Beastchild provided the first inkling of Koontz's talent for populating even the most fantastical tale with fully human characters. Even at his goriest or most terrifying, he always allows room for redemption.

This complexity is what makes Koontz's work so popular with readers. He has a true gift for tempering horror with humanity, grotesqueries with lyricism. He also has a knack for genre-hopping, inventing Hitchcockian romantic mysteries, crime dramas, supernatural thrillers, science fiction, and psychological suspense with equal deftness and imagination. Perhaps The Times (London) puts it best: "Dean Koontz is not just a master of our darkest dreams, but also a literary juggler."

Good To Know

Shortly after graduating from college, Koontz took a job with the Appalachian Poverty Program where he would tutor and counsel underprivileged kids. However, after finding out that the last person who held his job had been beaten up and hospitalized by some of these kids, Koontz was more motivated than ever to get his writing career going.

When Koontz was a senior in college, he won the Atlantic Monthly fiction competition.

Koontz and Kevin Anderson's novel Frankenstein: The Prodigal Son was slotted to become a television series produced by Martin Scorsese. However, when the pilot failed to sell, the USA Network aired it as a TV movie in 2004. By that time Koontz had removed his name from the project.

Some fun and fascinating outtakes from our interview with Koontz:

"My wife, Gerda, and I took seven years of private ballroom dancing lessons, twice a week, ninety minutes each time. After we had gotten good at everything from swing to the foxtrot, we not only stopped taking lessons, but also stopped going dancing. Learning had been great fun; but for both of us, going out for an evening of dancing proved far less exhilarating than the learning. We both have a low boredom threshold. Now we dance at a wedding or other celebration perhaps once a year, and we're creaky."

"On my desk is a photograph given to me by my mother after Gerda and I were engaged to be married. It shows 23 children at a birthday party. It is neither my party nor Gerda's. I am three years old, going on four. Gerda is three. In that crowd of kids, we are sitting directly across a table from each other. I'm grinning, as if I already know she's my destiny, and Gerda has a serious expression, as if she's worried that I might be her destiny. We never met again until I was a senior in high school and she was a junior. We've been trying to make up for that lost time ever since.

"Gerda and I worked so much for the first two decades of our marriage that we never took a real vacation until our twentieth wedding anniversary. Then we went on a cruise, booking a first-class suite, sparing no expense. For more than half the cruise, the ship was caught in a hurricane. The open decks were closed because waves would have washed passengers overboard. About 90% of the passengers spent day after day in their cabins, projectile vomiting. We discovered that neither of us gets seasick. We had the showrooms, the casino, and the buffets virtually to ourselves. Because the crew had no one to serve, our service was exemplary. The ship dared not try to put into the scheduled ports; it was safer on the open sea. The big windows of the main bar presented a spectacular view of massive waves and lightning strikes that stabbed the sea by the score. Very romantic. We had a grand time.

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    1. Also Known As:
      David Axton, Brian Coffey, K.R. Dwyer, Deanna Dwyer, John Hill, Leigh Nichols, Anthony North, Richard Paige, Owen West, Aaron Wolfe
    2. Hometown:
      Newport Beach, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      July 9, 1945
    2. Place of Birth:
      Everett, Pennsylvania
    1. Education:
      B.S. (major in English), Shippensburg University, 1966
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 59 )
Rating Distribution

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(18)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 59 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 11, 2012

    Disappointing

    This is one of those mysteries where you have absolutely no idea what is going on until the very end. Is she imagining things because of her brain injury? Is she really seeing ghosts come back from the dead to take their revenge? Or is it all just an elaborate plot to send her crazy? I really enjoyed most this book and I would have loved to give it a higher mark. Sadly, though, it was let down by the ending, which seemed to be rushed and didn't really fit the rest of the story. It is as if the author ran out of inspiration at a certain point and just tacked on a stock ending. I was left with a feeling of dissapointment and anti-climax when I finished this novel. Such a shame.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2008

    Wild Ride

    Dean Koontz is the master of the twist, and this story had so many it nearly gave me whiplash. You're never sure what genre he's aiming for - horror, mystery, espionage thriller, love story, sci-fi -, but that's all part of the fun. Sure, there are the usual Koontz missteps: a far-fetched denoument which strains believability to the breaking point and beyond, a corny love story, and a very dated Cold War sensibility. This early effort by Mr. Koontz wouldn't be out of place as the plot of a Twilight Zone episode. Worth reading, especially for Koontz fans.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 25, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    An intense read!

    this is one of my favorites from Dean. It had me from the start to the very last page. If you love koontz, you'll LOVE this book! I don't really ever get "scared" reading a book, but this definitely had me a bit frightened throughout the pages. I recommend you read this with someone else in the house! Overall, a fantastic read. Well done Koontz :)

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2008

    Amazing!

    This book had me up ALL night! For one, I could not put it down, and for two, I was too scared to go to sleep! This book was absolutely fantastic! I recommend it to anyone who likes scary novels.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2010

    Loved it!

    I have read everything from Dean Koontz, almost all of oit I really enjoyed. This one was so unexpected. The story was awesome and it was a real page turner for me. The story kept you thinking and kept you thinking that you knew what was going on...wrong for me.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 21, 2014

    A twist I never saw coming

    I have been a fan of this book for many years, I purchased it for my Nook so I would always have it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2012

    I don't know

    It was just ok

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2012

    Another great book

    A must read! Love Koontz!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2012

    Great plot

    Loved this book. Entertaining

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2012

    Good read

    I couldn't put this book down. Had me guessing till the end.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2007

    best book ever!!!!

    this book is amazing, i think the best book ive read in my hole life im still in high school and ive only reada few books and dean koontz is awesome i couldnt put this book down

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2004

    Dean Koontz does it again!

    Dean Koontz never fails. Once again he kept me on the edge of my seat throughout the entire novel. This story is full of twists and unexpected turns. A must read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2004

    Unpredicatable

    One of the best Koontz novels I have ever read.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2002

    Get the spelling right! That's Thornton!

    Hi! I have read many of Dean Koontz's books and enjoy his work. I have not read, The House of Thunder, but, now will put it on my list of books to read. Why? Because my name is Susan Thornton. The same as the main chartacter. In the "Annotation" and "From the Publisher" it is spelled incorrectly-Thorton. In "From the Critics" it is spelled correctly-Thornton. We have seen it spelled incorrectly before. We have never met a Thornton that spells it without the "n". I guess people can not get it right. It is an old English name, dating back many centuries, and people can not get the spelling right! I'm looking forward to reading the book.

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2001

    A Wonderful Book

    'The House of Thunder' was the first Koontz book I read. He is an amazing writer with a lot of imagination. 'The House of Thunder' was a little hard for me to get into at first, but once I started I had a hard putting it down. The ending is the best part because it is so out there. I could have never guessed what was going to happen. This story is not at all predictable and I recommend reading it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2001

    Amazing introduction to Koontz

    This was a very good book. It kept me on my toes and I literally could not put it down. I finished this book in four days. It was a very odd story, told extrememly well. It was not predictable in the slightest. One of Koontz finest works. Superb!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2001

    My very first book and looks like everybody esles also. LOL

    This is my very first book of Dean Koontz and I got so hooked on to it that I was reading this book well into the morning.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2001

    Koontz' Best Book

    This was the first of dean Koontz' books that I read. It got me hooked on his books. His endings are twisted and demented but I love them all the same. If you need to read a book for a class or for any reason I would suggest reading this one. You don't always expect his endings and the book will keep you turning the pages for hours.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2000

    House of Thunder has twisted ending

    House of Thunder was the very first Dean Koontz I read. It took me a little while to get into, but the relationship between the characters got me involved. And the ending!! Oh man, it's totally out there. A lot of Koontz's endings are like that. But he makes everything, no matter how weird, believable, so you're never disappointed. I got hooked with House of Thunder 4 years ago and I've read almost every one of Koontz's books since.There hasn't been a single one that I haven't liked, but I have my favorites.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2000

    The mysteries of Willawauk county

    I can't stand to read. I needed an easy 300 page book to read for school and my english teacher recommended Koontz. So I went to the local library and found the shortest book that they had. It was the house of thunder and I can't put it down. IT is so exciting, it keeps you on your toes. I recommend reading it. Koontz is such a talented writer

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