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Tick Tock

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3.68 of 5 stars 3.68  ·  rating details  ·  21,965 ratings  ·  638 reviews
Tommy Phan is a successful detective novelist living the American Dream in southern California. One evening he comes home to find a small rag doll on his doorstep. It’s a simple doll, covered entirely in white cloth, with crossed black stitches for the eyes and mouth, and another pair forming an X over the heart. Curious, he brings it inside.

That night Tommy hears an odd p

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Mass Market Paperback, 352 pages
Published October 1st 1996 by Random House (NY) (first published December 12th 1991)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Ani
My first Dean Koontz book, and what an introduction! This book defines what Dean Koontz is all about. He'll reel you in from the first page to the very end, transport you into a world that you're so sure is this but turns out to be that. In this book you actually begin to fear a stupid little rag doll that is more terrifying than Penny Wise (from Stephen King's It) and terribly persistent, and when you find out who's controlling it... Honestly? This book will slap you over and over and over, and...more
Tasmin
This book is about a man named Tommy who lives in California. One night he gets a doll that shows up on his door step. Then out of no where it comes alive and is on a mission to kill Tommy. Now, Tommy is running for his life meeting new people and trying to figure out why this thing is trying to kill him.
This book kept me reading because I wanted to know what would happen to Tommy and if he would survive the evil doll trying to kill him. I tryed to predict the ending, but predicting is a 50/50 c...more
Maciek
It's very absurd, fast-paced and engaging. A book which you can read in a few hours, not be bored, put it away and then read it again after a month or two because you've already forgotten it. Quick, fun, ideal for travel.
Barks & Bites
This review is for the abridged audiobook version. I keep meaning to get around to reading the entire book but something else always grabs my attention and the narrator read this book with such glee that I'm afraid I'd be disappointed.

Tommy Phan has just about everything he ever dreamed of; a successful career as a novelist, a brand new Corvette, and all the trappings that money can buy. His life would be perfect if only his Mother would stop making him feel guilty for forgetting his Vietnamese...more
Todd
Dean Koontz created a real page turner in TICK TOCK. Heck, even the cover art works well with the book on this one. It's an all around winner. I'll tell you up front one complaint that keeps it from being a 5 star - it's only one book.

The book chronicles the night from hell for Tommy Phan. Starting with the purchase of his first corvette the ride just keeps going from there.

This book is not what it seems at first. When I picked this up I expected a horror story, with focus on Tommy and a demonic...more
Robyn
What a mess. This book is just all over the place. From the nonsensical story line, to the overly goofy characters, Everything in this book can't seem to make up it's mind about what to be. It's not scary enough to be a horror novel, and the strangeness and bad puns want to make it a comedy, but it isn't very funny. I really feel as though the major plot points were chosen at random, perhaps through the "pull some words out of a hat and make a story about them" method. You can make a good story...more
Alejandro
This is a great novel, only that curiously when I bought this book, I bought too another novel by Dean Koontz titled "Life Expectancy" (you can see my review of that book here: Life Expectancy . I comment this due I found both novel quite similar, not exactly the general story and developing but the mood of the novel. I totally adored "Life Expectancy" and I jumped right after that book to read this one and I was like "Mmh, I'm feeling like deja vú." I say again, the stories are totally differen...more
Janie Johnson
In the beginning, the first 25 pages or so, the book seemed to be a little wordy, a little draggy, and then boom you enter a world of doom with a creepy little white demon doll! Chapter 2 was definitely the highlight of the book for me.

I thought it was pretty cool how Tommy compared himself to his detective character in his book. He was the complete opposite of him, but you could tell he wanted to be like him. He had a great character in the story, but I would have liked to see him become a stro...more
Andrew
This book offends me greatly. I was offended at the first 30 pages of foreigner stereotypes (give a Vietnamese mother a food obsession, over-protectedness and an inability to form predicates despite otherwise idiomatic English and you get Koontz' ridiculously pathetic attempt at being "diverse.") Hideous!

As horror it's also pathetic. Too much happens too soon. There's no build-up or tension. An inane monster (sort of) terrorizes two idiots when they're not engaged in the most banal dialogue ever...more
Annette
Slapstick horror?

It was a bit like "Bringing Up Baby" meets "Joy Luck Club" meets "Halloween" meets "Close Encounters".

I can't even imagine to whom I might recommend this book because it crossed so many genres. Horror fans would most likely find the banter annoying. Romance readers would most likely be put off by the violence.

But it made me laugh and kept me in suspense and I loved the three main characters - whom I envisioned as Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, and scary Mrs. Kim from Gilmore...more
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Angels Weep For Goodreads)
Oct 21, 2009 Danielle The Book Huntress (Angels Weep For Goodreads) rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Readers who like books with Asian protagonists, Koontz fans
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Courtney Hoover
This is one of Koontz's more fun, adventurous, pulse-ounding books with lots of unexpected twists and turns to it. As I was reading it, I kept calling it an 'odd book but pretty good,' which is still how I feel about it for the most part. It's a mixture of sci-fi and horror but always with some levity in it and a great Koontz adventure that will leave you breathless with an added element of humor and just a bit of romance. There's an interesting "Note to the reader" at the end of the book that s...more
Johnny
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Matt
I don't recall having read anything by Dean Koontz before. As far as I'm aware, he is regarded as a second-rate version of Stephen King. I am fairly sure I got this impression from my mother, for whom I picked up a copy of Ticktock from a second hand store. Anyway, reading the cover caught my interest and I decided to read it before handing it over.

My initial impression was that Koontz over-described everything. You could cut this 300 page book down to 200 pages and not skip a beat. I've since b...more
Mike (the Paladin)
Just a word of warning, if somebody leaves a creepy, little cloth doll with thread sewn features...don't take it in. Burn it quick...get help...

Koontz writes books the run from fantastic to (in my opinion) almost unreadable. This one is on the plus side. Enjoyable. Though again I wonder, did this guy NEVER read a horror novel or see a horror movie. Never trust creepy dolls.
Donald Armfield
It been awhile since I read a book from master of suspense and this book made remember what I have been missing.

A rag doll turns into a freighting terror. Chasing a couple through the streets. Stealing cars with ease they conclude to an ending with a twist.

Horror, Suspense with a drop of Sci-fi gives you the time ticking read of amazement. TICK TOCK!
Lisa
Sep 22, 2011 Lisa added it
Frankly, I don't know what I was thinking. Right or wrong, the major impression I was left with is that Dean Koontz doesn't actually know any Vietnamese people.

The concept might made a good short story. As a novel, I was bored by page 50.
Misha Bella
Del kicks major ass I <3 her and Scootie!
Martip
Very enjoyable book. So far I find Koontz's books really rank high in the area of characters that are both memorable, and people you enjoy getting to know. I can't say I've done much reading of 1st generation Americans with living immigrated parents since my Amy Tan days over a decade ago. This story's foundation rests on that cultural conundrum, and it seems the guilt might make Tommy lose his mind. We meet Tommy just as he's bought his dream car, a Corvette, which represents him reaching the p...more
Jodi
Jul 23, 2009 Jodi rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: thriller readers
Shelves: thrillers
I usually don't read this kind of book because Koontz scares the socks of me, so I don't know what I was thinking when I picked this book up for a quarter at a garage sale last summer (I put off reading it for a year because I was so scared). I was a little worried about it for the first 80 pages and debated if it was worth the nightmares, but then I began to get into it and found the humor in it. Instead of being scared of the "doll/monster" I formed a funny picture of a little, tiny alligator...more
Nabila Parnella
This book Tick Tock by Dean Koontz is a pretty thrilling book that is about a Vietnamese man named Tommy who lives alone with his dog named Del who got visited by a small rag voodoo doll right on his doorstep. The doll had a crossed black stitches for its mouth, eyes plus the heart and entirely had a white cloth on, he was curious whether to keep the doll or not. What he didnt know was that the rag voodoo doll is evil, the mission for the rag voodoo doll was to follow and kill Tommy as soon as p...more
Stephen
Tommy Phan is living the American Dream. He was a reporter, now he’s a self-employed detective novelist working from the comfort of his home. With his new, larger salary, he is able to buy a corvette and fulfill his childhood dream. Although Phan is Vietnamese by birth, he thinks of himself more as an American. He actually wants to be just an American. However, Phan’s desire to “Americanize” himself doesn’t sit well with his family, especially his mother, since they live according to simple Viet...more
Crystal Leal
Well this book is about a boy called Tommy Phan.It's about this doll that he finds on his door steps.This doll has and "x"on the eyes,heartand mouth.At first he does know what it is so he takes it inside his house.When he does later that night he start to hear nosies he when to where the doll was and the doll was tearing up by it self.this doll want to take over Tommy's then he see that his computer turns on and it says "TICK TOCK"and it also says that he has a little bit of time to break this c...more
Maicie
This was a reread so it automatically wins 4 stars. I didn't realize it was a reread until I was almost half way through so I can't say it was memorable. Nonetheless, it's a fun story and has the usual Koontz banter that I enjoy. Heck, I might even read it a third time.

The author includes a note to the reader giving a fairly precise prescription for what he calls his mix of supernatural thriller and screwball comedy. He adds that the additon of humor to the thriller genre goes against publishing...more
Kirstin
"Tick Tock" by Dean Koontz, was one of my favorite books to read. It is also an adult level book so if your someone who likes to read books that are a higher reading level this is the book to pick. I am one of those people who love's suspense and this is deffinetly one of those books. I first started reading Dean Koontz books when I was in 6th grade, and in 7th grade I had read this book and I never wanted to put it down. I think that if you are someone who likes books that can catch your eye an...more
Wingedbeaver
The first 80 to 100 pages of this novel are on the edge of your seat thrilling, but then, almost like flipping on a light switch, Koontz falls back onto his old tired conventions. Man meets girl, one of the two is being chased by terrifying creature/killer, they survive threat and fall in love. In the afternotes Koontz claims that he is known for changing up styles and genres. I guess this is true if one considers making the couple run from aliens instead of a serial killer changing from thrille...more
Cody Hall
This was the first book I read by Dean Koontz and let me add the only book I own by Koontz. The main reason why I picked up one of his books, was because I was told by one of my fans on my website, that I write like him. Personally, I think otherwise after I read this book. Don't get me wrong I think Koontz is a decent writer and may have some decent books, out there. This may happen to be one of his books that are fairly decent. After I finished the novel I found it rather...Odd I guess you wou...more
Lee
This book was not really what I expected at all, but I must say I loved it. The descriptions in the book are amazing, so very detailed, it is like you are there. It is a very fast read and seems a bit on the short side from the typical Koontz novel. I must say I was disappointed to see it end, but maybe with the way it ended Koontz can make another series.

I found the characters to be very engaging, and loved the humor, sarcasm, and wit in the dialog between the characters. I laughed out loud mor...more
John
Is there any harder genre to pull off than the horror/comedy? Unless you're watching Bruce Campbell in Evil Dead 2 or in Bubba Ho-Tep, you're virtually guaranteed to be left feeling unsatisfied. In Ticktock, the big bad starts out like something from the movie Child's Play and then evolves into a Terminator rip-off. The whole thing has a make-it-up-as-you-go feel to it, and the ending--which comes out of nowhere--is likely to give you a headache in its absurdity. The characters act stupidly, beh...more
Duncan Mandel
EDITORIAL REVIEW: Tommy Phan is a successful detective novelist, living the American Dream in southern California. One evening he comes home to find a small rag doll on his doorstep. It's a simple doll, covered entirely in white cloth, with crossed black stitches for the eyes and mouth, and another pair forming an X over the heart. Curious, he brings it inside. That night, Tommy hears an odd popping sound and looks up to see the stitches breaking over the doll's heart. And in minutes the fabric...more
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Koontzland - Dean...: TICK TOCK (Group Read - November 2014) 6 19 Oct 15, 2014 06:09PM  
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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.

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“Tommy told Sal about the strange white-cloth figure with black stitches that he had found on the front porch.
"Sounds like Pillsbury Doughboy gone punk," Sal said.”
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“The chill, like scurrying spiders, worked deeper into him, weaving webs of ice in the hollows of his bones.” 1 likes
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