Strangers

( 109 )

Overview

THEY WERE STRANGERS.

A handful of people. From different backgrounds, living in different towns and cities across America, they had nothing in common - except fear.

THEY WERE VICTIMS.

Cold and stark, an unknown terror gripped their dreams and turned their days into living nightmares.

THEY WERE CHOSEN.

And ...

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1989-07-15 Mass Market Paperback New Perfect, unread book.

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Overview

THEY WERE STRANGERS.

A handful of people. From different backgrounds, living in different towns and cities across America, they had nothing in common - except fear.

THEY WERE VICTIMS.

Cold and stark, an unknown terror gripped their dreams and turned their days into living nightmares.

THEY WERE CHOSEN.

And they could not escape. Deep in the heart of a sprawling desert, a dark memory called out to them drawing them to the Tranquility Motel - where the terrifying truth was waiting...

They are from different towns across the country, with different backgrounds. They have nothing in common but their dreams--full of a terror that turns night into hell and day into living nightmares. The strangers are drawn to the Tranquility Motel, deep in the heart of the desert, where they will discover a shocking truth.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's 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.
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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425119921
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 7/15/1989
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 704
  • Product dimensions: 4.28 (w) x 6.88 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Dean Koontz was born in Everett, Pennsylvania, and grew up in nearby Bedford. He won an Atlantic Monthly fiction competition when he was twenty and has been writing ever since. Mr. Koontz's books are published in 38 languages. Worldwide sales total more than 175 million copies, a figure that currently increases at a rate of more than 350 million copies a year. Dean and his wife, Gerda, live 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 4.5
( 109 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(60)

4 Star

(29)

3 Star

(14)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(4)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 109 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 11, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Strangers is an early Koontz masterpiece.

    I've read the reviews posted on this book and I understand everyones opinion. However, please keep in mind Koontz wrote this book and had it originally published back in '86. He has evolved as a writer over the last 20 plus years. He still explores the same themes in his books, but his older books are just a bit different compared to his more recent books. Strangers is a huge tale that introduces multiple characters, both good and evil, that are all caught up in a singular event. I loved that Koontz wrote such a big, sweeping, epic book. This was tons of fun. I'm glad he explored each character and explained their motivations and backgrounds. It made this book all the more enjoyable for me. I was invested in each character and I wanted to see where the story was going. I was rooting for their success. I genuinely liked the good guys. I disliked the bad guys. This was a fun read for me, which explains why I've gone back and read it multiple times. I always get something new out of the story. Strangers, after all these years, has become a familiar friend for me. Dean Koontz writing in the 80's and early 90's was some of his best. Strangers is near the top of all his books.

    13 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2011

    Love this book!!

    Another person stated this book was originally wrote in 86, this is true, as this was the first Dean Koontz book I had ever read. I remember it vividly, I was 6 pregnant with my son and was having complications. My Dr told me the best thing for me to do was go find a big book, and curl up with it and relax for the next 3 months. I took that to heart, and went to Longs Drugs and looked for the thickest book I could find, and Dean Koontz "Strangers" was it. It however did not last me 3 months as I couldn't put this book down. I found it very well written, very intense, exciting and I felt it introduced & explained the characters very well.

    I have read so many of Dean Koontz's novels since then, and while I agree his writing has changed since Strangers, I am still an avid reader of his work. I recently had had shoulder surgery and had to find something to occupy myself while healing, so my hubby bought me a Nook, First Author I looked up was of course Dean Koontz, and I can't even begin to tell you how happy I am to find this book available for the Nook. Give this book a chance, even if you have to put it down and pick it back up a few times. I have no doubt you will love this book, it is my all time favorite.

    Happy Reading!

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 4, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    INCREDIBLE characters that you can't help but fall in love with,

    INCREDIBLE characters that you can't help but fall in love with, a twisted, captivating plot and satisfyingly creepy. It was a bit long (nearly 700 pages) but definitely worth your time.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2005

    Excellent

    This book had great character development and nothing was skipped or skimmed over. It was suspensful and although I have read several Dean Koontz books Intenisty, The Bad Place, Frankenstein Strangers is one of the best. I wanted so badly to learn the secrets behind the nightmares and when it was revealed I would have never guessed it. I didn't think this book would go into that direction. One of the best.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2009

    One of my all time favorite Dean Koontz!!

    I have read this book 4 times now in the last couple of years. The very first time I ever read it, after reading the last page, I started back at page 1 and read it again. Unbelievably thrilling, the ending left me with such a good and happy feeling that the only thing I was disappointed with in the entire book was that it ended, I wanted it to go on forever... Fantastic story, captivating characters, incredible ending!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2012

    Loved it

    Great book

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 28, 2011

    Terrific Book!

    This was my first read from Mr. Koontz and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I didn't mind learning of all the characters in this grand novel, or the pace with which he moved the story along to where the characters converged and I discovered their commonality. Intriguing. Koontz held my attention to the very end. I look forward to reading more novels from this author!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 23, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Just too much going on.

    That hardest part about reading this book is that there is so much stuff that you have to remember. It switches between like 6 different people and they are all depicted in a lot of detail. It's sometimes hard to keep up. It's one of those books that you have to sit and continue reading because if you put it down, you'll forget something and have to go back and reread.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2010

    BUST

    normally i love every book that dean writes but it took forever to get started and then i was disapointed in the end. skip over this book if i were you

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    IT`ll KEEP YOU GOING TILL THE END....

    My mom read this book when she was my age, but could never remember the name, all she could remember was "THE MOON! THE MOON!". At first she thought it was a Stephen King novel, but I looked and none of his books matched a description of what she had told me. So I looked under Dean Koontz, the only other horror author that I know about, and I found Strangers, which is the book she was talking about. If you want a book that`s going to scare you then this is it. I guarantee you will never look at sinks and gloves and definitely not the moon the same way ever again. The characters are very interesting, and they have well-formed backgrounds, and the plot keeps to a genre without being monotonous or unoriginal. Exciting, thrilling, and ultimately interesting, this is a page turner. However, I do have to warn the end is a little letdown, but not because it was totally horrible, but because it was not wholly satisfactory, it left me wanting something more rounded, but all in all it`s a 4.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2008

    Different Strokes/Different Folks

    I read some of the reader reviews and couldn't believe the negative ones, but that's why we all keep reading. This is a great book, and I admit on my first reading I may have become impatient with so many character backgrounds, but when I stayed with it, and it all came together, I was blown away. What a great concept, and I loved the goverment conspiracy (part of the reason I've read a lot of his books) and the coming together at the end. After my second reading, I tried to get my husband into it, but as he is more into audios....thats why I'm here now, to buy the audio for him. P.S. I never look up at the moon now without thinking 'THE MOON'.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2007

    Deank Koontz Hits Bottom

    First off, I LOVE D.K. I have at least 10 or 11 of his books and love almost all of them except this and By The Light Of The Moon. Throughout the book you are expecting to experience something incredible, but it just feels like a letdown, it really does. I still have the book but never intend to read it again

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2006

    Okay....if you like TONS of narrative

    I love Dean Koontz. I've read more of his novels than any other author, but this book left me flat. I was so excited when the book started: the characters were great and the storyline was very interesting, but once you get to the end its so blah. Standard sci-fi, nothing interesting or unusual. The ending doesn't fit the build up. Also, I've never read a book with more narrative. You could go ten pages straight without a single line of dialogue.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2005

    Compelled to finish once began...

    This is my first Dean Koontz book and my last. While I enjoyed the characters and suspense...I can't help but feel the story was so much longer than it needed to be. I think Koontz is too descriptive at times. I found myself skipping over paragraphs just to get on with the story. I finished the book just to see what all the fuss was about. But now that I'm done, I think I'll go back to Stephen King.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2005

    Incredible book

    This is a great Dean Koontz book and it is definitely one of his best. Dont listen to the reviewer who said there is a rape scene, because there isn't.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2005

    Frustrated

    This is the first and only Dean Koontz book I have read. I picked it up because he is a famous writer. I loved the story, plot development, suspense, etc until he threw in the rape scene. Who wants to read about that trash in any kind of detail? It was completely unnecessary and the book easily could have been completed without that scene. Im ticked that he put that in there, and I will never read another book with his name on the cover.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2005

    Well, it's very odd....

    I normally love koontz, but this one here just seemed to drag on...which is odd, because there was excellent character development and everything else you look for in a good book, but I just couldn't bring myself to finish it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2004

    This Book Is Awesome

    This is the best book. It is so unpredictable. You expect one thing, and the exact oppisite happens. After you read the first part, you will have to finish it. This is his second book I've read, and I love his books more then Stephen King. He doesn't need to be all bloody and gorey or explain the romance to the tee to keep you interested.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2003

    Suspenseful..Yet Disappointing In The End

    I love Dean Koontz; always have and always will. I am an avid reader of his books; have most of them in my home. However, this book was not all that it's cracked up to be. Koontz is an excellent writer, and this book was definitely well developed, but it kept me on the edge and let me down in the end. The concept with a spaceship and military scandals..that was too much to absorb. The characters were well captured and well portrayed, but the ending just shattered the brilliance of the whole development of the novel. Definitely NOT one of my favorites, but I can forgive him and keep moving on.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2003

    avid reader

    This book is terrific. I couldn't put it down. So many different characters and scenarios...it will definitely keep you interested. And the ending is unbelievable.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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