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.
"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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
My taste differs from kid books to gory horror books.
Let me say it again, I am a Koontz fan. He is one of my favorites, yet this book will put you to sleep. I listened to 19 hours of this 29 hour snail paced nothing happening book. 19 hours, just ten hours to go and I could not hack it. Knowing that Koontz often has twists at the end of his books, I was looking at listening a whole day to this and could not do it.
FIBBING IS NOT ACCEPTABLE
It could be argued that this has character development. The way in which he develops the characters is simplistic. One guy was in Vietnam and so we have a long drawn out history on him. One girl was abused by her dad, so we have a long drawn out history on her. This is not the way you develop characters. Characters are developed through the story. George R.R. Martin, Robin Hobb, and Orson Scott Card are the Character development experts and it is not done through long histories on each and every character. This was released in 1986 and is better then some of his earlier works. We still get descriptions of some of the more mundane parts of life, like he had orange marmalade on his toast, but it is not as bad as his earlier writings.
I have often wondered how some of this early boring stuff ever got published and sold and then I start thinking. When I was a kid, all TV shows were an hour long. Gunsmoke was one of our favorite shows. If I try to watch it today it seems so long and so boring, so I guess people and tastes change.
DOS EQUIS, Heineken, CORONA
At least Koontz knows his beer, this is the third book in a row by him in which he has mentioned Dos Equis. This time Heineken and Corona also get plugs. If I wrote a book it would have to include Bohemia, Tsing Tao and Product 19.
Dee the Reader
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.
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.
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 :)
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!
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?
Secular humanist. Atheist. Dog lover (having had as many as four dogs in my pack). Skeptic.
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".
"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.
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
Die hard Dean Kontz fans
Too many characters and no focus on plot development. It was lost, directionless and didn't seem to want to get started
No - the narrator was awful. Just awful. It was like listening to Fat Tony from the Simpsons reading a novel.
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!
Not bothering with any more Koontz
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.
I enjoyed the character of Jack Twist, his fall from good to not so good but the rationale behind it.
I did not emotionally connect with this book.
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.
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!!
hooked all the way through in the fashion of Stephen kings under the dome. Definitely going to check out some other Koontz books now
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.
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!
"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.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.