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Strangers

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3.97  ·  Rating Details  ·  33,407 Ratings  ·  516 Reviews
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 sus ...more
Paperback, 704 pages
Published October 1st 2002 by Berkley (first published January 1st 1986)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Dirk Grobbelaar
"We may be teetering on the brink of a whole new world. Are you ready for it?"

This review is complicated for me. Dean Koontz’s Strangers is an amalgamation of many things: techno-thriller; psychological horror; science fiction. It’s quite unlike DK’s other 1980s novels. The book does contain some pretty creepy scenes, but the terror generated here is vested in the not knowing; the “something terrible happened to me but I don’t know what” scenario. Strangers is a longish book, at 700-or-so pages,
...more
Mike (the Paladin)
Picture me beating my head against a wall...or a table....or a desk, or something. Dean Koontz can write a good book, he's written several that rate in my favorites. This isn't one.

To be fair different books by DK rate high and low with different people. I've read that this was his first best seller. Cool. I see that there are a lot of people who love it and for them I'm happy. Really.

For me this book was too long for the story it told. The disparate characters of the story each struggling with
...more
Tressa
Sep 26, 2009 Tressa rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
I picked up a bag full of old Koontz books, and this is the one I chose to read first. I'm glad I did. Although it's a dense book, it was worth the wait slowly getting to know the characters and having their fears revealed little by little, one by one. When the strangers convene once again at the Tranquility Inn to get to the bottom of what happened one July night a year before and end their nightmares, the tension and fear of what they saw and heard from the skies is palpable. The ending is jus ...more
Maciek
Strangers (1986)

"Strangers" is not your typical Koontz book. It was his first hardcover bestseller and the first book he wrote without resorting to outlines.
Plus it bears a glowing endorsment from Stephen King, who states that it's "The best novel he has written!".

The novel is concerned with a group of strangers from all over the USA - a surgeon, a writer, a motel-keeper, a priest and a thief - who are troubled by different phobias - nyctophobia, somnambulism, anxiety. They have nothing in commo
...more
C. Lorion
Oct 14, 2014 C. Lorion rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read Strangers years ago, and it's probably about time for a reread. For me, it's that good, my second favorite Koontz book behind Watchers which was written in 1987, the year after Strangers was published.

Dominick Corvaisis, author
Ginger Weiss, surgeon
Ernie Block, U.S.M.C. (ret.), and his wife, Faye Block
Brendan Cronin, priest and curate
Jack Twist, former Army Ranger and P.O.W., professional thief
Jorja Monatella, formerly Rykoff, Las Vegas casino cocktail waitress

Six people, six...wait for it
...more
Wendi
May 10, 2009 Wendi rated it liked it
I used to love Koontz, when I was in junior high. What happened? Oh, I know, I grew up and realized that his characters are absolutely ridiculous.

Dean Koontz, much like his mid-life crisis make over from bald mustached guy to full of head of hair and clean shaven face, is just one big old cliche. There, I said it.

This book had promise. Again, I had read it years ago, but it didn't stick with me, so when I saw it at the used book store I had to pick it up again. I should have kept the three dol
...more
Paul O'Neill
Jul 27, 2015 Paul O'Neill rated it it was ok
I'm giving this book 3/5 as an average. Id rate the first 500 pages as 5/5. He had me flicking through the pages with ease, not having a clue what was about to happen. I give the last 200 odd pages 1/5. The end of the book was hard to read. So cheesey. I wish that Dean would be more daring, kill off a main character or add actual elements of horror instead of having it all being perfectly and reasonably explained. A decent book, but if what other people's reviews have said about his 'formula' it ...more
Hyejung
Mar 10, 2007 Hyejung rated it it was ok
Shelves: deankoontz
This is not one of his best books. It drew you in because you wanted to know what happened to the characters to connect them, but I thought the end was anti-climatic. The actual story of the event that occurred to the characters was sort of boring; an interesting concept, but not told in an interesting way. Even the characters, who were interesting throughout most of the story, seemed to become less so during the main "action" part. He's had better.
Karen B.
Mar 03, 2015 Karen B. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was probably my fourth time reading this book and I have to say this is one example of Koontz at his best. Maybe it's because of my advancing years causing me to be forgetful, but I think it's Koontz magic that makes this book just as exciting as that first night in 1986 or 1987 when I stayed up much too late just to finish it. It bristled with excitement with each new piece of the puzzle trying to figure out what exactly happened to these strangers that links them together. I loved all of ...more
Melissa
Sep 02, 2014 Melissa rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book. It had some suspenseful moments. I wish I could have given it more than 3 stars. However...
It was long. Too long. There were many unnecessary characters and events which had absolutely no point except to add to the word count. And everything was described with such meticulous detail. Too much detail.

I was disappointed with the ending. It could have been so much more. Thankfully everything wrapped up nicely, but all that momentum built up in the beginning of the novel came to
...more
Tracy
Mar 21, 2015 Tracy rated it really liked it
I have had this book on my TBR for fur years and really not sure why. Koontz is by far my favorite author and it takes me more than usual to read a Koontz book since I love to savor the words on the pages. I read this one in a little under two weeks and I love it.

As usual, Koontz writes an appealing, unique plot about humanity. He brings together the most unlikely characters that bond in the most unlikely way. To say that this story is very thought provoking is a little mild because Koontz alway
...more
Dustin Crazy little brown owl
Courage, love, friendship,
compassion, and empathy
lift us above the simple beasts
and define humanity.

-The Book of Counted Sorrows

Checkman
2.5 Stars

Dean Koontz isn't a terrible writer, but he isn't a great writer either. However he is a very consistent and smooth writer. Amazingly commercial and very successful. Perhaps some of this is simply sour grapes because I will readily admit that I am a middle-brow reader with mainstream tastes, but something about Koontz rubs me the wrong way - though I did enjoy Phantoms. Honestly I don't know why I keep reading his books. The only good thing is I pick them up at yard-sales and thrift sto
...more
Bandit
Feb 02, 2013 Bandit rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
In an effort to give Koontz one last try I opted for this one, since it was better reviewed in general than his other books. Even King said that this was Koontz's best, but then again maybe he has a low opinion of his other works. This exhausting massive door stopper consists of three parts, first two are the size of a novel each and the last one the size of a novella. All this reading basically amounted to a giant waste of time. Koontz is capable of creating a somewhat decent plot, but not the ...more
Billy Maise
Jun 05, 2009 Billy Maise rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Brett
Aug 10, 2008 Brett rated it it was ok
Shelves: horror
Maybe I'm getting soft in my old age, but I seem to be having a hard time summoning the energy to really hate Dean Koontz novels the way I used to. This one has the same mechanics as most of his others, except that it is a couple of hundred pages longer than your typical Koontz story. There are some pretty cliche charcters, a government conspiracy, brainwashing, etc. Also, if you think about the title of the book--Strangers--it's not hard to figure out what the answer to the big mystery at the e ...more
Jane Stewart
Weak 3 stars. Neat characters and ideas, but I grew tired of too much “I can’t remember.”

The first 80% or more is stories about a handful of unrelated people living in different parts of the U.S. Ginger is a Boston surgeon. Jack is a New York thief. Dom is a Los Angeles writer. Brendan is a Chicago priest. Ernie owns the Tranquility Motel in Nevada. Each story is broken into maybe eight pieces, and the reader is jumping around among the various stories. I am not a fan of jumping around, but I ca
...more
Thomas Strömquist
My second Koontz following the brilliant Phantoms. This was similar in outset ("what happened here/to these people?") and the first half is really thrilling. Somewhere you realize you're actually reading a sci-fi when you thought you grabbed a horror, and then again, it's pretty horrific. The bad news is that the background story (when revealed) does not live entirely up to expectations, and the main gripe is that the book is too long. Other than that, it is a great effort and recommended.
ScottK
May 23, 2009 ScottK rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dean Koontz is one of my favorite authors,and this book is one of the reasons why. Although some of his works are hit or miss this one was very well written. You couldn't help but feel sorry for the characters as they all went through their own various ways of coping with what happened to them all. And not until almost they very end did I figure out exactly what it was that did happen to them. This, along with Lightning, are two of my all time favorite reads.
Siobhan
Sep 28, 2015 Siobhan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is another great Koontz book. Yet another of his books which keep you second guessing until the truth comes about – a truth which may not be what you expect. With this one there is a lot of time put into the characters, ensuring that you know everything there is to know about them. Whilst this isn’t odd for Koontz there is more than usual in this, especially so that you can understand the strange phenomena which are occurring. Each of the characters has been given their own unique strange e ...more
Logan Derby
Sep 01, 2014 Logan Derby rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jeff Miller
Oct 13, 2015 Jeff Miller rated it it was amazing
Really liked the atmosphere in the buildup as we explore the lives of all the characters as they come to grip with terror and other effects to their lives. Towards the end it plays rather coy when you already have a good idea of the basic element of what is going on. Still solid Koontz and a good Halloween read.
Amy
Sep 04, 2011 Amy rated it really liked it
I always feel guilty to say I read Dean Koontz... why? I dunno. Perhaps b/c he's so well-liked by the mass-market, and I think, somehow, probably, the mass-market is a little whacked.
In any event, this was a great book. Science fiction and romance (light) and drama and mystery. Fast pace, many many interesting characters that were NOT difficult to keep separate, many story lines and mystery!!! And happy endings. I love happy endings.
Books
Sep 19, 2014 Books rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed-2014
I received this book as a birthday gift earlier this month from a friend who is just as much a Dean R. Koontz fanatic as I am. Needless to say, I couldn’t wait to read this highly recommended paranormal sci-fi from one of my all-time favorite authors, so I jumped right in. A whopping seven-hundred Kindle pages later I was left in awe as I always am when finishing one of Koontz’s exquisite works of genius.

Strangers isn’t merely an addictive read, but one that pulls you along and unexpectedly sli
...more
Eve Nolon
Aug 27, 2014 Eve Nolon rated it did not like it
I must have forgotten how much I hate this book because here I am reading it again. There's a lot to hate, I mean, A LOT TO HATE, but I'll focus in on Koontz's utter contempt for Native American cultures and people this time. There's the ending diatribe but I'll get to that when I get there. Let's take a look at Koontz's writing of Jack Twist, the thief with a heart of gold, who is a former army ranger. Twist is thinking back to his last, or one of his last, assignments in Central America where ...more
Nikki
May 15, 2012 Nikki rated it it was amazing
At first I struggled with getting into this book. I am a fan of Koontz and didn't want to miss out on any of his books. I am still trying to read every single book he has written and I now can say I finished this one as well. In order to actually get this book read I had to set up a deadline for me to finish it by. I am beginning to realize how important this is for me to do to read certain books I have struggled with. Anyways now on to the book.



The reason why I had such a hard time getting into
...more
Anna
May 10, 2013 Anna rated it it was ok
That was my first and probably, but not necessarily, last encounter with Dean Koontz. In the very beginning I need to stress that I'm much of a King girl - that's why comparing Koontz to King on the back of the book tempted me to read. And that's why I must disagree with this comparison, but just to remind you - a King girl here. Koontz had a nice idea, although I solved the mystery after 1/3 of the book. Not bad, but it lost much of the suspense then. The thing that I disliked the most were the ...more
Mirasol Quisto
Jun 11, 2013 Mirasol Quisto rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, dean-koontz, own
I been eying Dean Koontz's books since last month and Strangers was the first book I picked. The cover and the title was catchy which made me reserved it while I checked his other books. And it really captured me soon as I started reading. Actually, this might be the only thick book I read without skipping some of its pages. Yes, it was impossible to put it down and miss the little details.

The story really gives me creeps but I also got excited to know how their nocturnal ordeals, dreams, or th
...more
Kevin
Apr 04, 2013 Kevin rated it really liked it
Strangers

Strangers is a story about friendship, inner strength and survival. Dean Koontz manages to weave a complex tale filled with many colorful characters.

(There are nine main characters and two sub-characters to keep track of in this lengthy novel).

A roadside motel and its neighboring diner are the main backdrop for the story, but Mr. Koontz manages to take us coast to coast as the plot unfolds. Somehow, a group of complete strangers seems connected though none can remember ever having me
...more
Katie
Jul 25, 2011 Katie rated it really liked it
Shelves: my-bookshelf
This book has been staring at me from my bookshelf for a long time. I am a big fan of Koontz's writing, but sometimes I can be disappointed. However, this was one of his older books, so I figured I'd give it a try, all 600+ pages. This book takes on the story of a handful of characters who are having similar dreams and visions about something they can not remember that has happened to them. Each chapter/part in the book is told by each character, which makes it easy to follow, as there are so ma ...more
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Koontzland - Dean...: Strangers (Group Read - March 2015) 79 41 Apr 03, 2015 06:49PM  
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Acknowledged as "America's most popular suspense novelist" (Rolling Stone) and as one of today's most celebrated and successful writers, Dean Ray Koontz has earned the devotion of millions of readers around the world and the praise of critics everywhere for tales of character, mystery, and adventure that strike to the core of what it means to be human.

Dean R. Koontz has also published under the na
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