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The Mask

3.55 of 5 stars 3.55  ·  rating details  ·  8,023 ratings  ·  149 reviews
A beautiful young girl appears out of nowhere. A teenager with no past, no family--no memories. Carol and Paul were drawn to her. She was the child they'd never had. Most mothers would die for such a darling little angel. And that's what frightened Carol most of all...
Paperback, 320 pages
Published August 15th 1990 by Berkley (first published 1981)
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59th out of 69 books — 676 voters
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Shawnee Bowlin
I was so into the story and enjoying every minute of it every chance I got. The suspense of the end was building, and I was anticipating such a huge satisfaction. Hmm, not quite what I had hoped for. In this case, although the story was terrific, the ending was lacking. It was too abrupt, not enough interaction between the characters for me. Still Koontz fan and would still recommend the book, just be aware that it may not satisfy at the end.
Dustin Crazy little brown owl
This was an interesting story. At first, I was confused how the prologue fit into the main story, but that soon became clear. If you like stories with bad kitties like we saw in The Bad Place, for example, you'll love this book!

Upon second reading, I was even more pleased with the story - I even liked the ending because I am crazy :-) It's fun to read an earlier book by Dean Koontz with such a unique story idea - I didn't even mind that it was dated .I love retro - reading about a time when peo...more
Midnyte Reader
This book was published in 1981, so it is a little dated but still stands up as a very creepy story. As with a lot of Dean Koontz books, there is a bit too much telling for my tastes but The Mask redeems itself by being fairly short (only 7 audio cds) and also for the creepiness factor. There is a lot of supernatural elements in the book to make the hair on the back of your neck stand up, demonic cats, ghostly incidents, strange dreams and a past mystery to tie everything up. I thought Koontz di...more
I remember this being "okay" without being in danger of stepping into "fantastic". I'm always confused by Koontz's married characters who feel they need to save stray strangers by bringing them into their homes, only to be confounded by the fact that wierd things start to happen, and seem to center around their newest arrival.

Well, duh - the girl is a mess, she doesn't know who she is, much less anything about her past, but sure! Let's go ahead and bring her home with us and give her fluffy, sof...more
Finished. I thought it was a nice solid supernatural thriller. It's not Koontz best book to me but it doesn't deserve a bad review either like a few I've read elsewhere. It did seem like there was a bit of a hurry about the book and toward the last 50 pages I was wondering how he was going to tie all the loose ends together in so few pages. He simply cut to the chase and didn't waste any time did he?

That cat! Ew. Aristophanes had qualities about him that expressed my hidden fears about those cr...more
I don't believe in Ghosts. Being a Hindu, I must believe in reincarnation - But I don't. Even if I believed in reincarnation and transmigration, I, as a Hindu, must believe that these chances are given to souls to improve upon themselves and not to wreck havoc by channeling all their accumulated Karma towards misplaced revenge.
Having stated my beliefs I must also admit that I enjoyed reading The Mask by Dean Koontz very much. He has managed to weave the unbelievables into a beautiful novel which...more
this was my first Dean Koontz's work. i found it very well written, with a lot of suspense, action and elements of horror, and honestly, i couldn't stop reading :). but i expected more of the story itself - the subject on which the story was based on was too simplified and a explained in a bit "cliche" way. all that with the abrupt and somehow incomplete ending, and i was left a bit disappointed after i finished, but i enjoyed reading it so much that i decided i could tolerate it ;). that's why...more
As I was heavily skimming through this novel, I thought to myself, "I remember Dean Koontz being better than this."

Then about halfway through, I paused. What exactly do I remember about reading Dean Koontz?



There was...

And then that....

Darkness. Someone was afraid of darkness. And there was a hermaphrodite that one time.

Yeah, apparently I don't remember novels from childhood like I thought I did.

Dean Koontz sucks. How did I forget that?
Tracy Mcallister
This was an interesting Dean Koontz novel. I gave it only 3 stars for two reasons. First, I was not pleased that a Siamese cat was a villain or that it had to be killed. BOOOOO! That is terrible. Second, the ending was terrible. It was so jarring and incomplete. It felt very unfinished.

However, if you like Dean Koontz, I believe this is still an enjoyable, easy read. There is a lot of paranormal cool stuff and a bit a mystery to keep the reader engaged.
Daniel R.
The Mask is a reprint of a horror novel originally published under Koontz's Owen West pseudonym. It's essentially a weird tale of a loving couple trying to adopt a child, only to discover themselves caught up in otherworldly danger. It's a fast read, with some great characters. Not as funny as Koontz's later works, though there are a few laugh out loud exchanges. A fun fright story.
My biggest problem with books and movies is the endings never seems to be quite right. This book was great. I was actually scared, at the beginning, to turn the light off and go to bed. But like most movies and books the ending left more to be desired. Still it was a good book to keep my mond off things.
One of my first Koontz novels. Excellent.
Great concept. He wove quite a tale here, bringing three isolated stories into one.
Loved it.
Jennifer Witherspoon
First Koontz book I've ever read. I fell in love and haven't stopped reading him since. The Bad Place is my absolute favorite.
Oct 21, 2007 Brett rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: no one
Shelves: horror
Dreadful. Among the worst books I've read this year, which is saying something.
Giving to si cotic
The moment I was finished this novel, I was dumbfounded. I thought, “Wait, that was it? I need more information!”

What a great cliffhanger. I can’t believe that was just it and I was still on the edge. Anyway, this is another novel of Dean Koontz that made me think differently of him. This is the fourth novel of his that I read and I can say they are so different from each other, I mean if the book doesn’t include the author’s name I would never think that they are written by the same author. Th...more
With its eerie undertone, The Mask is not a book to be read alone at night. It was chilling, suspenseful, and intense. The plot was well-thought out, as was the foreshadowing. All in all, a great work of literature. I am lucky to have stumbled upon it in a thrift store.

Because there's no summary for this book on goodreads, I'll post what the back covers says:

"Hello, I'm nobody."
She appeared out of nowhere, in the middle of traffic, on a busy day. A teenager with no past, no family - no memories.
This was the first Dean Koontz I have read.
I didn't really know the genre, so I assumed it was psychological thriller or something along those lines.

I was quite surprised when I saw the elements of supernatural beings and horror.

This was the first book of the horror genre that I have read.
It creeped me out.
The imagery was awesome. The way the book was written allowed me to vividly see what was happening.

I loved it.

The book moved at a fast pace, and I wasn't bored at all.
The setting to...more
read this twice like so many of his other stories...i don't recall being blown away nor was i bored to tears. as i recall this is an earlier story...though it made the grade...say like he has 20-40 stories under pen names that aren't likely to published again under his name....i think this one was published under a pen name too, but obviously it now wears his real name.

reading his early stories is a plus...for anyone interested in the art of making fiction...all you need then is a decade or so o...more
Peter Way
I am not a fan of supernatural but I do like Dean Koontz's tight style of writing, he is also a master of page-turning suspense. I first read The Good Guy, then The Husband and Velocity, all excellent stories and not as I recall with any supernatural content, just good crisp fast paced story telling. Always set in the USA and usually the action is over a very short time span you will either like his style or not. The Mask is one of his earlier novels published in 1982 under the pseudonym of Owen...more

A beautiful young girl appears out of nowhere. A teenager with no past, no family--no memories. Carol and Paul were drawn to her. She was the child they'd never had. Most mothers would die for such a darling little angel. And that's what frightened Carol most of all...

About the Author

Dean Koontz was born in Everett, Pennsylvania, and grew up in nearby Bedford. He won an Atlantic Monthly fiction competition when he was twenty and has been writing ever since. Mr. Koontz's books are published in

It was fun to read such an old Koontz novel. Good story, the prolong sucks you in, the characters and other-worldly happenings keep you engaged, but the ending was a little disappointing. What's the deal with the cat?
Tom Haynes
OK. I like Koontz stories. This is a good one, albeit, an early writing. Keeps you guessing and creeped out. Not his best, but still worth a read.
The only fail is the abrupt ending. Otherwise enjoy this early work.
Callie Taylor
The book that got me started on Dean Koontz before I was even a teenager. First book of his I read, loved it, and kept taking my sister's collection to read.
Kathy Jackson
please see review at my website: it's a jungle out there. normally I would copy it from there to here but my laptop is out for repairs and I am not overly proficient with my tablet.
I gotta say for Dean Koontz, I'm a little disappointed. I do believe this is one of his earlier titles though.
It starts off kind of slow. You know something is happening but it's just taking so long to develop. Then when it happens, its great for about 30 pages or so, then it just drops off again. I felt like the book just ended so abruptly without really pulling everything together. I mean you know what happens and the climax is over, but there isn't really any closure. A fine read if you are a...more
Cat Noe
Good enough; I always enjoy it while reading, something which I have been able to do multiple times despite the suspense factor. Not sure what it is about Koontz, but I find him so thoroughly forgettable, it's hard to say for certain which books I've read and which I haven't. At least twice now I've reached the end of a volume before realizing "hey, this is awfully familiar!"

It's odd, not a problem I have with any other author, at least none that I have ever returned to for seconds. But hey, if...more
Nicholas Burress
It was a fairly good mystery/thriller book from Koontz. The mystery part of the book is really what made this book amazing.

My only complaint is the seemed to just be so abrupt and there was no 'aftermath.' I felt the book had all this build-up, rushed to the end, and then just let the reader gauge the aftermath. I usually love these kind of endings, but not with this one. It ended just before I felt it should end.

I'd recommend to any fans of Koontz and to a reader looking for a goo...more
Nicole Slavík
I've got to say for my first Dean Koontz book, I was vastly disappointed. While the concepts of poltergeists and reincarnation are interesting, they were thoroughly lacking throughout the storyline. There were so many holes in the course of the story, only coming together towards the end. While this is usually thrilling as a reader, it felt very rushed and incomplete. The most upsetting factor was the ending, which was severely lacking in all regards. I will withhold judgment of Mr. Koontz'a wor...more
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Koontzland - Dean...: The Mask (Group Read - September 2013) 51 81 Sep 24, 2013 08:08PM  
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Owen West is a pseudonym used by the author Dean Koontz.

Koontz has also published under the names Leigh Nichols, Brian Coffey, David Axton, Deanna Dwyer and Aaron Wolfe.

Note: More than one author has written under the name 'Owen West'. For books by the former Marine major, go here.
More about Owen West...
The Funhouse

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