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Strangers | [Dean Koontz]

Strangers

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

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.

©2008 Dean Koontz; (P)2008 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"With its masterful blend of elements of espionage, terror, and even some science fiction, Strangers may be the suspense novel of the year." (Library Journal)
"The plot twists ingeniously...chilling." (The New York Times Book Review)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (1625 )
5 star
 (614)
4 star
 (551)
3 star
 (297)
2 star
 (114)
1 star
 (49)
Overall
4.1 (844 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.2 (838 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
 (114)
2 star
 (42)
1 star
 (19)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Barry F. Stinson The Dalles, OR 08-25-08
    Barry F. Stinson The Dalles, OR 08-25-08 Member Since 2013

    masterfundi

    HELPFUL VOTES
    100
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    72
    20
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    "Brilliant"

    20+ years ago, when already a Dean Koontz fan (Whispers, Phantoms), I read, and fell in love with, Strangers. This is the author's epic novel of friendship and hope, sometimes predictable, often suspenseful, always thought-provoking. After reading it the first time, I wondered what treatment it could be given on the big screen by a director like Spielberg. But the story is far too big for a movie, rather it could (and should) be filmed as a TV mini-series. Take note, SciFi Channel! I did find the narration a little slow at times, and didn't approve of all of the characterizations, but after listening for a few hours I became very comfortable with the reader and give him a big 'thumbs up'! For anyone that doesn't balk at a 29-hour listen, this is an outstanding choice. Those that choose not to listen are missing a wonderful experience.

    22 of 22 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda E. Lawrence Dallas, Texas, USA 09-10-08
    Linda E. Lawrence Dallas, Texas, USA 09-10-08 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    24
    ratings
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    83
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    Overall
    "Best Koontz book ever"

    This is great entertainment! The characters are interesting and well-developed. The dialog flows easily and enhances the story, and it is read beautifully, each character with a distinct voice. The plot has many twists and turns that keep you wanting more. A great read.

    13 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wesley RICHMOND, TX, USA 08-21-08
    Wesley RICHMOND, TX, USA 08-21-08 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    26
    ratings
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    39
    4
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    0
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    Overall
    "Good story!"

    Not really a big Koontz fan but I have to say I really enjoyed this story. The characters seemed to more flesh and blood than is typically the case with Koontz stories. The pace of the story was perfect and the conclusion was great. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for good adventure.

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert E. Swale Frankfort, IL USA 10-05-08
    Robert E. Swale Frankfort, IL USA 10-05-08 Member Since 2011

    GPS Maven

    HELPFUL VOTES
    35
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    62
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    "It depends on your personality I guess"

    I listen to audiobooks in the car on the way to work and back which equals about 1-1/4 hours of listening each day. So a book this long (29 hours) will take me about 4-1/2 weeks to finish.

    I've listened to several different readers over the past few years and would give the narrator of this one an average score, say three out of five stars. He does most of the characters reasonably well and has a little trouble with the women voices (but he is a guy with a deep voice so go figure). Generally for me the narrator thing is a non-issue, he doesn't ruin the book in my opinion, and he doesn't make a bad book good (I'm not saying this is a bad book, just that his reading wouldn't make it better if it was).

    The book itself has excellent character development and the characters are very believable. They seem like real people with real thoughts and are not superficial or outrageously successful, or "super people", which makes them believable.

    Yes this book is long, but so are other books with a lot of detail, which brings me back to my title. If your personality is such that you must move quickly through a book and don't care about character development details but want to get to the action, then either skip this book or wait for an abridged version.

    However, if you are like me and can grow to like a story because you grow to understand and then like the characters, then this book is for you.

    Bottom line: if you are patient, can delay gratification and like a good mystery, then you will like this book. If you are impatient and need more instant gratification, then you probably better skip it.

    35 of 37 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Candace Tracy, CA, United States 10-30-08
    Candace Tracy, CA, United States 10-30-08 Member Since 2012

    Daily commuter relying on Audible to keep awake. I need excitement! If something crazy doesn't happen in the first 20 mins I'm done!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    134
    ratings
    REVIEWS
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    56
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    8
    1
    Overall
    "Where's the Dog?"

    I am Dean Koontz number one fan, so of course I was thrilled that this was added to Audible. Somehow I missed reading it... It was typical Koontz with several characters being built then they come together as a team with some falling in love. Although he seems to always use the same formula, each are so unique and original that I CANNOT GET ENOUGH. I wish he would write faster... I almost didn't download this because of the comments about the narrator - because a bad narrator can be real irritating and I have dropped some audiobooks midstream because listening to the narrator was so difficult. NOT SO IN THIS CASE. I thought he was just fine. Maybe not the best, but certainly not bad enough to quit or not enjoy the story.

    If you are an avid Dean Koontz fan you will enjoy this book. You may also be wondering, like me, where was the dog?

    19 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steven Bakersfield, CA, USA 09-22-08
    Steven Bakersfield, CA, USA 09-22-08 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    45
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    468
    27
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    Overall
    "I liked the Whole book"

    Read all of your reviews and decided to get the book anyway I liked it. It was A little slow to get started but wow once it did I was glad that I didnt pay much attion to the ones that said that it wasent worth the read... I enjoyed the whole book :)

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laudine Buckley Fresno, CA 12-27-09
    Laudine Buckley Fresno, CA 12-27-09 Listener Since 2008

    Dee the Reader

    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
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    3
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    "You gotta get this book"

    I'm a huge Koontz fan, trying to read his books as soon as they hit the streets. I have thought "In the Corner of his Eye" was my all time favorite but "Strangers" comes a close second. The characterizations are awesome, you really get to know each and every one of the people whose story he is telling. They are living breathing folks that you come to care deeply about and to cheer on when things go so amiss for them. I miss these guys now that I've finished the book and wonder often how their lives would progree.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Sinclair, WY, United States 04-08-11
    John Sinclair, WY, United States 04-08-11 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    192
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    "Classic Dean Koontz, not old and no amazing dogs"

    This is classic Dean Koontz at his very best, this book is more reminiscent of books like Dark Rivers of the Heart and The Good Guy. There are thankfully no dogs to save the day, no families consisting of novelist, artist, 2 girls and a dog (Mr. Koontz, these families simply arent relatable unless were you), and in the best tradition of Dean Koontz, this book doesnt require you to suspend disbelief, it is all, sadly, too plausible.

    If you are a long time fan of DK and liked books like Fear Nothing, Dragon Tears, and Dark Rivers of the Heart, then this will be another of your favorites.

    Dick Hill does a good job on the narration, accents are not his forte, everyone sound New Jersey Jewish, but its not a detriment to this work.

    This is the book that will engulf your attention until its done, its one I know I will listen to again at some point.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Clarice S CLEVELAND, TN, USA 10-05-08
    Clarice S CLEVELAND, TN, USA 10-05-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    71
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    0
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    "One of the Best Audiobooks I Have Bought"

    I love Dean Koontz and had not read this since it first came out years ago. It was so good and kept me interested from beginning to end, even though it was a very long book. The narrator did a great job, too, I thought. I am going to look for more books he has narrated.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    OpenMindedNotCredulous California, USA 08-30-08
    OpenMindedNotCredulous California, USA 08-30-08 Member Since 2014

    Secular humanist. Atheist. Dog lover (having had as many as four dogs in my pack). Skeptic.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    72
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    4
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    Overall
    "Great narration of one of Koontz's best stories"

    This was the second Dean Koontz book I read many years ago and is still one of my favorites. It is closer to science fiction than his more recent work. Particularly refreshing is the portrayal of a priest who embraces rationality rather. But what really earned this audio book five stars is the narration. This is one of the best readings of any fiction book I've listened to in the past couple of years. The only other book whose narration I think is of comparable quality is "Water for Elephants".

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
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  • J. Freeman
    HULL, United Kingdom
    6/17/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Cheesy amateur dramatics style narrator spoils it"

    I think I might be getting too picky in my old age but the cheesy, old fashioned, amateur dramatics style narrator made the whole book impossible to listen to. It was over performed to the point where all I could hear was the annoying voiceover trying to show off with his dramatic range.

    Very disapointed

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Kim
    1/24/09
    Overall
    "Gripping"

    Really enjoyed the story and it was well read. Realising what is going on before the author tells you works well because you keep listening waiting for when they all find out. Like this author in audible format works really well

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • T. Norman
    Dorchester, U.K.
    2/20/10
    Overall
    "Dreadful!!"

    I'm sorry, but this is the worst book i've had from audible... It's not the quality of the writing that's the issue, I've bought and loved many Dean Koontz books over the years; it just comes down to the poor quality of the narration.
    it's dis-jointed, with pauses mid sentence (this is really off putting!) and as the narrator attempts to play an individual accent for each character I found myself being turned off by the irritating nasal tone he adopts.
    I will never get another book with this narrator!!

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    Southport, United Kingdom
    12/1/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good book"
    What made the experience of listening to Strangers the most enjoyable?

    I enjoyed the book Strangers. The reading of the story was ok, although some of the voices, I thought did not match my ideas of the characters, eg Ginger sounded quite timid were to get to the position she was she would have to be a stronger character.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I enjoyed the character of Jack Twist, his fall from good to not so good but the rationale behind it.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I did not emotionally connect with this book.


    Any additional comments?

    I have read some other Dean Koontz books. His books pass the time, they can have good ideas but the ending tend to not live up to the story preceding. This story shows the difference in time from when it was written to the present day it is read. The story has a lot of cliches (although novel at the time it was written) that help the reader (or listener) to guess the twist in the ending, well before we get there.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Colin
    hambledon, surrey, United Kingdom
    7/19/10
    Overall
    "Strangers"

    Good listen

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ms. J. Stewart
    5/27/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "fantastic!"

    hooked all the way through in the fashion of Stephen kings under the dome. Definitely going to check out some other Koontz books now

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Adaline
    Ireland
    4/7/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fantastic tale"

    I am a Dean Koontz fan but it took me a while to get into the book. It was worth the endurance. Once it gets going, the story is great and the characters and believable and well developed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amanda
    CHATHAM, United Kingdom
    4/1/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Lovely story!"

    Can remember reading this book years ago and enjoyed it just as well now, even better having it read to me on long commuter driving!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    Norwich, Norfolk United Kingdom
    2/17/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Play at 1.5"

    Love the book, but the narrator speaks very slowly so I'd advise you play at 1.5 speed if you don't want to get annoyed. Also, sometimes when as he talks in different voices for different characters, I couldn't make out what he said.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Kevin Grover
    1/9/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Awful Narrator"
    If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Die hard Dean Kontz fans


    What was most disappointing about Dean Koontz’s story?

    Too many characters and no focus on plot development. It was lost, directionless and didn't seem to want to get started


    Would you be willing to try another one of Dick Hill’s performances?

    No - the narrator was awful. Just awful. It was like listening to Fat Tony from the Simpsons reading a novel.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Strangers?

    Halved the characters. We don't need to know every tiny bit of history about a character as soon as they walk into a room. We don't need the writer to describe physical traits in such depth - you tell us she's a bit of a goth with a geeky side, we get what you mean. You don't need to say she had black hair with glasses, wore black clothes that matched her black nails that she had roughly bit... ugh!


    Any additional comments?

    Not bothering with any more Koontz

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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