• The Face

  • A Novel
  • By: Dean Koontz
  • Narrated by: Dylan Baker
  • Length: 19 hrs and 32 mins
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (2,396 ratings)

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The Face  By  cover art

The Face

By: Dean Koontz
Narrated by: Dylan Baker
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Publisher's Summary

He's Hollywood's most dazzling star, whose flawless countenance inspires the worship of millions and fires the hatred of one twisted soul. His perfectly ordered existence is under siege as a series of terrifying, enigmatic "messages" breaches the exquisitely calibrated security systems of his legendary Bel Air estate.

The boxes arrive mysteriously, one by one, at Channing Manheim's fortified compound. The threat implicit in their bizarre, disturbing contents seems to escalate with each new delivery. Manheim's security chief, ex-cop Ethan Truman, is used to looking beneath the surface of things. But until he entered the orbit of a Hollywood icon, he had no idea just how slippery reality could be. Now this good man is all that stands in the way of an insidious killer - and forces that eclipse the most fevered fantasies of a city where dreams and nightmares are the stuff of daily life.

Enter a world of marvelous invention, enchantment, and implacable intent, populated by murderous actors and the walking dead, hit men and heroes, long-buried dreams and never-dying hope. Traversing this extraordinary landscape, Ethan will face the secrets of his own tragic past and the unmistakable premonition of his impending violent death as he races against time to solve the macabre riddles of a modern-day beast.

A riveting tour de force of suspense, mystery, and miraculous revelation, The Face is that rare novel that entertains, provokes, and uplifts at the same time. It will make you laugh. It will give you chills. It will fill you with hope.

©2003 Dean Koontz (P)2003 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Great kudos to Koontz for creating, within the strictures of popular fiction, another notable novel of ideas and of moral imperatives." (Publishers Weekly)

"Dean Koontz is not just a master of our darkest dreams, but also a literary juggler." [The Times (London)]

"...The suspense builds smoothly and steadily in [narrator Dylan] Baker's hands." (AudioFile)  

What listeners say about The Face

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Entertaining but predictable

Interesting mix of the typical "cop thriller" with the supernatural. Unfortunately, some of the characters crossed the line to caricature, and the plot, though suspenseful, was predictable.

A fun "read", if not inspiring. Not at the top of my list, but it was worth listening.

54 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

One of my all time favorite audible downloads.

While I certainly respect the opinons of other reviewers, I am glad I bought this book prior to reading the other reviews! It is amazing to me how far on the extremes different people can be reading the same book. I found The Face to be a delightfully fun audible experience. The plot was gripping and while I agree with others that Dean Koontz may not write literary masterpieces, he certainly knows how to build suspense in his books. There were a number of times a chapter would close on one character and I'd be anxious for the book to get back to their story, only to become wrapped up in what was going on with the current character. For me, one of the best parts of the book was how real and likeable the characters were. Contrast that with Mr. Murder (which I still liked), in which the Stillwater's family life, marriage and "adorable" children were saccharin-sweet and too nauseatingly perfect to be true and something that the average person can relate to. I like to use my iPod when I exercise, and I found myself taking much longer walks than my "minimum" just so I could keep listening to The Face. One final note - I am mystified as to why so many others slammed Dylan Baker as the narrator. I felt that he did a great job and was better than average. For me, his voice was pleasant and he put the right amount of emotion into the story without going overboard. There were a number of different voices and I felt he did really well with almost all of them. (His French chef needs a little work, though)

50 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars


Dean Koontz has become a writer I can only describe as, verbose, bombastic, wordy, gabby, garrulous, long winded, loquacious, redundant, repetitive and tedious. Anyone who read the book will recognize the parallel I am drawing (the scene where Corky walks into the arcade) Listening to this book was akin to physical pain at times. The author spends so much time over describing and using un-needed and certainly unwanted metaphors that the plot becomes stale. I have given Mr. Koontz the benefit of the doubt for the last time.

42 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars


Amazing to me is the reviews are so opposite. It appears you either really enjoy this book (as I did) or you really don't. I like unabridged books and I found the Face to be a good length, entertaining, suspenseful, but a little bit of a weak ending.

Some reviewers mention the book is too wordy. From my prospective, not at all. I love the development of a story, analogies, wordsmiths and conjure up pictures in your mind. Koontz does a masterful job at this. The narrator is excellent, and, IMHO, the kid steals the book! Koontz develops this character the best, making you laugh, cry and feel his loneliness.

32 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

I liked it

I am not someone who reads all of Koontz's books, but I liked this one. The character development is strong, and while the reader has to suspend belief, I enjoyed the story the characters told. Its a bit too long but all loose ends are tied up.

24 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A Thoroughly Enjoyable Listen

This is my second Dean Koontz download and my favorite Audible download so far. If his earlier books are so much better, I need to give them a try.

The villain in this book is such an interesting one that it may merit your attention alone. I am not sure if he is believable or even deep, but I really liked hearing his thoughts and malevolent intentions. How can you not love a deeply evil English professor named Corky?

The rest of the story is solid and suspenseful. I wasn?t actually scared, but I couldn?t stop listening once I hit the book?s final moments. For me, this is what listening to a book is all about. It?s just a good yarn. When I want something substantive, I will read the book.

As for the long descriptions, they truly didn?t bother me. I like Koontz?s wry observations. This one is full of some pretty funny thoughts about politics and literary criticism.

As an important note, the book hits on some religious notes. I realize that some of the horror fans may not be looking for religion. I realize that some believers might get uptight about the theology. If it offends you in either way, you seriously need to relax. Further, this part of the story is predictable, but I do not think that faith is supposed to be suspenseful. For me, I was touched by this element.

Enjoy this. It is probably my favorite download so far.

18 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

A deluge of adjectives and metaphors

Being a Koontz fan (particularly of Intensity and Mr. Murder), I anticipated The Face to be extremely entertaining. Two things quickly became apparent. Part of the joy of reading a mystery comes from attempting to figure out where the story is going. As soon as the supernatural was introduced into the story, all bets were off. I could no longer take even the slightest guess at what may happen. Also, throughout the book, the reading is bogged down by rich, heaping piles of adjectives and metaphors, most of which add little or nothing to the reader's understanding. The narrator, Dylan Baker, sounded at times as if he was as bored as I was. Eliminating the useless verbiage would reduce the 19+ hour book to something around 13 hours. The book was ok - not bad, not good - just ok.

18 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Welcome back Dean

Not the best, but certainly good. Very well read with the typical Dean Koontz mix of reality and the supernatural. I throughly enjoyed this book and recommend it to D.K. fans.

14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Very Enjoyable

I've read almost all of his books, and while I do like Dean's writing, there are some of his books I would not recommend; for example, I was a bit disappointed with "Odd Jobs". This book, however, I highly recommend. A touch of suspense, a touch of crime/mystery, and a touch of the supernatural all combine to make this one of my favorites.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

One of my favorite Koontz novels

I have listened to this novel several times now.

Everything about this novel is enjoable.

The villian, the hero, the child, and all the other characters are wonderful. And the plot and pace entertaining.

This long novel is an easy listen and does not become dry. The narrator was an excellent choice and captures all the feelings in the story.

I totally recommend this to all Koontz fans.

10 people found this helpful