Strange Highways

( 22 )

Overview

From the denizens of hell to unlikely heroes, from vengeful children to suspiciously humanlike robots, this new collection of tales from a genius of horror and suspense writing provides a hypnotic view of the strange highways of human experience. A masterful achievement--as profound as it is mesmerizing. (Ficiton--Horror)

Mega-bestselling author Dean Koontz's highly successful novels continue to sell at a phenomenal rate, with total sales worldwide of more than 125 ...

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Overview

From the denizens of hell to unlikely heroes, from vengeful children to suspiciously humanlike robots, this new collection of tales from a genius of horror and suspense writing provides a hypnotic view of the strange highways of human experience. A masterful achievement--as profound as it is mesmerizing. (Ficiton--Horror)

Mega-bestselling author Dean Koontz's highly successful novels continue to sell at a phenomenal rate, with total sales worldwide of more than 125 million copies. His newest book, Strange Highways, guarantees the same thrilling suspense which Koontz fans have come to expect. The Hideaway is now a major film from Tristar, starring Jeff Goldblum and Christine Lahti.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Collection of tales from horror novelist Koontz. Aug.
Library Journal
This collection includes a new novel along with previously published novellas and short stories.
Brad Hooper
The King of Creep is back, not with a novel, however, but with his first collection of short fiction. Fourteen stories, two of which are actually novel length, provide Koontz with various venues for exploring eeriness. The title piece, one of the two very long works in the collection, is the tale of a young man's hallucinations; the other long story, entitled "Chase," is a dark, almost dank psychological suspense yarn. An out-and-out monster appears in the shorter "Black Pumpkin," and "Bruno" is a combination sf and detective story. Other stories take different approaches to tingling the reader's spine, but all are successful. Koontz's legion of fans won't be let down.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780446603393
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication date: 8/28/1996
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 624
  • Sales rank: 201,797
  • Product dimensions: 6.74 (w) x 4.24 (h) x 0.99 (d)

Meet the Author

Dean Koontz
The books of Dean Koontz are published in 38 languages, and worldwide sales top 400 million copies. Eleven of his novels have risen to number one on the New York Times hardcover bestseller list, and several have been adapted into feature films and TV miniseries. Dean and Gerda Koontz live in southern California with their golden retriever, Anna, grand-niece of the famous and beloved Trixie.

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
( 22 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 22 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2007

    Entertaining and full of suspense

    ¿Strange Highways¿ by Dean Koontz is a collection of short suspense stories. ¿The Black Pumpkin¿ is a story about a hideous creature coming from a pumpkin patch to get revenge on people. ¿The Night of the Storm¿ is a story about the world being controlled by robots, and humans are just a myth until something or someone starts to unexplainably destroy robots. ¿We Three¿ is about a race of super humans with unimaginable powers who make plans to take over the world, but are soon worried about their children becoming even more powerful then them and eventually killing them. ¿Hardshell¿ is a story about a cop who is pursuing a serial killer who later turns out to be an alien. The cop himself then reveals himself to be an alien and after a long struggle eventually defeats the criminal. ¿Strange Highways¿ is a very well written book. It is full of both wonderfully beautiful and eerie grotesque imagery. Each story also contains a lot of suspense that keeps the reader intrigued and wanting more. That is what the stories have in common but they are also completely different ranging from stories about robots to stories about a Vietnam veteran being chased by a killer. The variety of the stories keeps readers entertained. The length of the stories is also good for people who just read occasionally because they can just pick up the book and read a story. The author achieved his purpose in writing this book because it is entertaining, full of suspense, and enjoyable to read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2004

    Not Bad

    This book is great although there are a few stories that could have been better. It kept my attention all the way through and I would recommend this book to any Dean Koontz fan.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2003

    Surpasses Stephen King

    If you pick up this book, you wont be able to put it down. Dean's writing is genius! Strange Highways is a must read for Halloween!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2001

    Koontz, the Genius

    I have been reading Dean Koontz books for almost 4 years, I personally own 18 of them, Strange highways showed me the road of true horror and suspense fiction, it is a collection of some of Dean's best short stories. I rate this a 5 star special.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2000

    Memorable, high quality short stories.

    This collection of short stories is quite good. Short stories are how Koontz started out, as he explains in the 'Notes to the Reader' at the end, so this book is good background material for any writers wanting to reach Koontz's level of popularity. Some of the more memorable stories were 'Down Into the Darkness' (chilling, good moral issues raised), 'Bruno' (unusual humorous style, parody of the standard private detective novel), 'Strange Highways' (something of a male fantasy about time travel, about being given a 2nd [& 3rd & 4th...] chance), 'The Black Pumpkin' (short and obvious, but well done with a cute touch at the end), 'We Three' (short and daring, much like the film 'Village of the Damned').

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2000

    The Highway to Strange!

    This collection of short stories by Koontz is amazing. All Koontz readers will loves each and every story while new readers will be fascinated. It's really hard to choose a favorite story among them all, although Chase and Black Pumkins stand out. The main story Strange Highways pulls no punches as it leads you into a brother's disturbing discovery and what he ends up doing about it. Another great story here is Bruno. The opening sentence catches the reader and hooks you. You simply want to know more. ALl in all, this is a great collection which will chill you. Currently, I'm listening to Chase on the Audio tapes read by actor Chris Sarandon (Although I had read Chase years ago)and have found it to be very gripping and shocking, as if it was a new story. I can't wait for the 3rd Chris Snow book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2000

    Koontz has reached new highs

    Chase is excellent. This book proves Koontz's skill in many areas. Any horror fan should read this collection. It will chill you completely

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