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The Taking

A Novel
Narrated by: Ari Meyers
Length: 9 hrs and 29 mins
4 out of 5 stars (1,068 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In one of the most dazzling books of his celebrated career, Dean Koontz delivers a masterwork of suspense that surpasses even his own inimitable reputation as a chronicler of our worst fears - and best dreams. In The Taking, he tells the story of a community cut off from a world under siege and the terrifying battle for survival waged by a young couple and their neighbors as familiar streets become fog-shrouded death traps. Gripping, heartbreaking, and triumphant in the face of mankind’s darkest hour, here is a small-town slice-of-doomsday thriller that strikes to the core of each of us to ask: What would you do in the midst of the Taking?

On the morning that will mark the end of the world they have known, Molly and Neil Sloan awaken to the drumbeat of rain on their roof. It has haunted their sleep, invaded their dreams, and now they rise to find a luminous silvery downpour drenching their small California mountain town. A strange scent hangs faintly in the air, and the young couple cannot shake the sense of something wrong.  

As hours pass and the rain continues to fall, Molly and Neil listen to disturbing news of extreme weather phenomena across the globe. Before evening, their little town loses television and radio reception. Then telephone and the Internet are gone. With the ceaseless rain now comes an obscuring fog that transforms the once-friendly village into a ghostly labyrinth. By nightfall the Sloans have gathered with some of their neighbors to deal with community damage...but also because they feel the need to band together against some unknown threat, some enemy they cannot identify or even imagine.

In the night, strange noises arise, and at a distance, in the rain and the mist, mysterious lights are seen drifting among the trees. The rain diminishes with the dawn, but a moody gray-purple twilight prevails. Soon Molly, Neil, and their small band of friends will be forced to draw on reserves of strength, courage, and humanity they never knew they had. For within the misty gloom they will encounter something that reveals in a terrifying instant what is happening to their world - something that is hunting them with ruthless efficiency.

Epic in scope, searingly intimate, and immediate in perspective, The Taking is an adventure story like no other, a relentless roller-coaster that brings apocalypse to Main Street and showcases the talents of one of our most original and mesmerizing novelists at the pinnacle of his powers. 

©2004 Dean Koontz (P)2004 Random House, Inc. Random House Audio, a division of Random House, Inc.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

The book may be good, but how can we tell?

I am only 3 hours into this book. I just cannot understand HOW whoever is in charge of selecting narrators thought the reader of this one was suitable for a best-selling author like Koontz. Like almost everyone else who gave a review, I feel this reader has no place narrating. Her voice is flat, no inflections, no pauses. Kind of like if Rosie the Robot were reading. When she tries to read male quotes, she sounds like she is gargling. It is very hard to get into the book when you are wincing at the narrator's bad reading.

Wait, I know! Maybe they are trying to force people to buy the hard cover book! That's the only reason I can think of to have a bad reader narrating a best selling novel.

Dean Koontz 4 stars, narrator zero stars.

19 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Mike
  • Indian Wells, CA
  • 05-22-10

Mildly Suspenful But Narrator Is The WORST

This book was entertaining and mildly suspensful. For me, it took a long time for this book to get some lift and get into the air. When it did it finally became a worthwhile read (listen). I might have given this audiobook 4 stars but I couldn't solely due to the poor narrator. Get a mental picture (or audio picture) of Sally Field trying to reading Stephan King or for the Aliens screenplay. No depth, no feeling, no tone. When she tried to channel a male voice it sounded like a little girl with a sore throat in search of a lozange. I am sure her voice is better suited to other, lighter type of material but she definitely did not and could not communicate suspense. How and why did the producers pick this person to read this particular material ??

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

And the point was...?

I have loved Dean Koontz for many years. Even in recent years, when others have complained that his stories are too rambling and less exciting, I have still enjoyed his work. This is the first book he has written that I was completely disappointed with.

I get the distinct feeling that this book was seriously rushed. There is very little character motivation, and the only character that isn't completely two-dimensional is the main character, Molly. Her husband Neil might as well have been a potted plant with a shotgun. And maybe it's just me, and the fact that I've read all his books, but the "twists" were not only highly predictable, but also depressingly lame.

As far as theme, he could not have shoved it down the reader's throat any more forcefully. It became highly annoying, and the book would have greatly benefited from a far more subtle approach.

Nothing in the book makes any sort of sense at all because the main character keeps taking up these false explanations (which are far too simplistic), and so you must wait until the final chapter to figure out what at least some of it meant. The ending, sadly, was the most frustratingly sophomoric ending he has ever written.

Add to that the little-girl voice of the narrator who pronounced at least a handful of words wrong, and you have a sad mixture.

The only good things I can say about this book are that Koontz still has a way with metaphors and his descriptions are vivid.

194 of 218 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

The narration killed it for me

I have listened to over two dozen audible books, and this is by far the worst narrator I have ever suffered through. It was like listening to Donald Duck doing a little girl doing characters. And when she did the men, they sounded like little tiny zombies. This title never had a chance with me, I couldn't get past the narration.

21 of 23 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Martha
  • Clyde, NC, USA
  • 06-09-04

Fine Work

This work of Dean Koontz is a bit thicker than many of his other titles. Dig in to your religion histories, Dantes works, Apocliptic writings, myths, and beliefs, current physics-cosmology, Hawkings multiverse concepts, the writings of man's concepts and beliefs on evil, redemption, and hope... and perhaps then... your ready to grab this book and dig in.

An approach with the actual existance of evil as a given, the whereabouts of 'HELL and it's Potentates, separate universes, or parrallel universes, as a new repesentation of where the 'bad guys'may reside.
A marvelous concept and combination of modern physics, cosmology, the existance of evil, the power and nature of human redemption, and the triumph over the darkness without and within.
I give it an A+. Read it!

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Ian
  • Mountain View, CA, USA
  • 05-30-04

What a mix of other books

Koontz always follows same classic formula, lonely person A, experiencing very strange things, meets hero person B (opposite sex) and somewhere children are involved. Then the mystery unravels itself and you understand what the very strange things were.

This follows his classic structures with 2 exceptions
1) There are dogs this time as well
2) (SPOILER!!) The very strange things are not fully explained but it is implied that they are Biblical.

Listening to this, it seemed like his standard formula with elements of Lassie, E.T. and the Bible mixed in. The abrupt ending was disappointing, but he had built the story up to such a peak, that three quarters of the way through you are thinking "How can this end?"

It still has his good narative and excellent descriptive passages which saves it somewhat and - because of the dogs - I give it a 3 star rating.

19 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Walter
  • big pine key, FL, USA
  • 04-08-05

Atrocious narration.

This fan of Koontz was distressed with the narrator. Her delivery of the prose and absolute inability to deliver credible voice characterizations was so annoying that I nearly abandonded the book in the first chapter. On first hearing her voice I seriously thought that the narration might be first or second generation computer speach. We pay a serious premium for the convience of audio books, and we deserve a better delivery.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

sci fi for Koontz fans

It takes a Dean Koontz to put across this oozy tale of apocalypse by alien invasion - or is it? Certainly many die, but maybe they deserve it, and maybe there's somebody making the decisions whom we'll come to respect and thank. But, unlike a Koontz murder thriller, there is no way to to be sure of one's hypothesis.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Jared
  • Provo, UT, United States
  • 10-10-06


if i wanted to hear 9 and 1/2 hours of Lisa Simpson's voice, i would have watched 19 episodes of The Simpsons...the narration sucked...period. Pulled me out of the story more than not and i hated her for it...

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A Love Story

Your initial reaction to the description of The Taking is, "this must be a thriller." And it is. But it is also a very well-done love story set against a supernatural backdrop.

Koonz is masterful at getting us to love the characters, and of course, one way he does that is through the animals in his books. This one is no exception. Koonz again reveals his expertise at making you feel things other writers only allude to in passing.

This is one of his better efforts.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful