Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Tick Tock” as Want to Read:
Tick Tock
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Tick Tock

3.70  ·  Rating Details  ·  25,755 Ratings  ·  760 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

Mass Market Paperback, 352 pages
Published October 1st 1996 by Random House (NY) (first published January 1st 1996)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Tick Tock, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Tick Tock

Watchers by Dean KoontzOdd Thomas by Dean KoontzIntensity by Dean KoontzLightning by Dean KoontzLife Expectancy by Dean Koontz
Best Dean Koontz Books
19th out of 76 books — 764 voters
The Da Vinci Code by Dan BrownThe Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg LarssonAngels & Demons by Dan BrownThe Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg LarssonThe Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson
214th out of 2,580 books — 3,160 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Mar 30, 2016 Sandra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: contemporary, horror
Tommy Phan buys a new Corvette and, pleased with his purchase, he cruises around for awhile in his dream car. After he gets home the doorbell at the front of his house rings. When he answers the door no one is there, but someone has left a strange cloth doll with a note attached to it on his doorstep. After bringing the doll into his house Tommy lives to regret it.

This was a fast-paced, sometimes funny, and really strange read. It was sort of a horror-comedy. I liked Tommy. I enjoyed his inner t
May 13, 2008 Ani rated it it was amazing
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
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.
Mar 17, 2012 Robyn rated it did not like it
Shelves: reviewed
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
Dec 05, 2008 Tasmin rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 19, 2013 Andrew rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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
Bark's Book Nonsense
Nov 04, 2010 Bark's Book Nonsense rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
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
Feb 22, 2009 Todd rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 02, 2015 Adrianna rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Let me just make a list:
Stereotypical on race. Poorly executed horror/comedy mix. Unidentifiable characters. A think-as-I-go plot. Nonexistent world/environment building and character development. Laughable romance, if you can even call it that. An ending not worth reading the slightest. A book I wish I could un-read and have my time back.
Sep 04, 2013 Alejandro rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 20, 2007 Annette rated it really liked it
Shelves: damnfunny
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
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)
Oct 21, 2009 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) rated it really liked it
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.
Kathy Worrell  ツ
Jun 16, 2015 Kathy Worrell ツ rated it liked it
I read Tick Tock over 20 years ago and now I just finished this on audiobook. I would give the story 3 stars this time.
I love Dean Koontz' wild and zany characters, but I thought the story just wasn't my style.
I'm not a big fan of the terminator gingerbread man.
Jul 12, 2015 Robjr73 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
When I first joined Goodreads, I had about a good 20 minutes of fun searching books that I had read and giving them ratings based off of memory. Tick Tock was a book I had read like 15 years ago and I had recalled enjoying it a lot so I gave it five stars. I remember there being a doll that morphs into a monster that chases the main character around and my memory seemed to recall that it was one of the best Koontz books I'd read at the time.

So now I read it again. I was excited to do so. The fi
Courtney Hoover
Jul 02, 2012 Courtney Hoover rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mike (the Paladin)
Sep 24, 2012 Mike (the Paladin) rated it liked it
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.
Mar 25, 2010 Matt rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: supernatural, 2010
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
This was kind of a fun book. I wasn't expecting much and it took it's time to get going, but once it did I was glad I listened to this quirky, all night chase thriller. It has some violence, but nothing too graphic and only a smattering of swear words. It's a horror story, but with plenty of humor and even a romance and it's a pretty quick read (or listen, in my case).
Dec 01, 2011 John rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, thriller
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
Dustin Crazy little brown owl
Everything is more than it seems, but nothing is as mysterious as it appears to be. -Chapter 6

Reality is what we carry in our hearts.... - Chapter 9

I liked this the second time around better than the first, and even more the third time :-) Originally read in 2009 and re-read when Tick Tock was chosen as the October 2012 Group Read for for the Koontzland - Dean Koontz group. Re-read in October 2014.

I loved the character of Deliverance Payne especially and thought the book was really fun.
C.C. Thomas
Jan 09, 2015 C.C. Thomas rated it it was ok
Fortunately, this wasn't my first Dean Koontz book. If it were, it would be my first...and my last. Normally, I can count on Koontz to provide me with a chilling story, a taut plot, and unforgettable characters. Now, I just want to forget this whole thing.

By his own admission in the introduction, Koontz wanted to do something different with this book. He sought to meld together a variety of genres and write a light-hearted, romantic, horror story. If that sounds a bit strange, that's the perfect
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!
Misha Bella
Sep 06, 2011 Misha Bella rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Del kicks major ass I <3 her and Scootie!
Jan 22, 2014 Paul rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I know this book was meant as a bit of an outlet for Koontz after coming off more exhausting writing like "Dark Rivers of the Heart", but I think it's a disaster. His intent was to make sort of a screwball comedy, and while I like the comedic elements in his book "Mr. Murder", I found this one exhausting for me to read.

The main problem is the lead female character Del. She's annoying. INCREDIBLY annoying. Imagine if every time you talked to a friend or significant other, he/she said something l
Feb 06, 2012 Martip rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 28, 2012 Johnny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re-read, own-it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 23, 2009 Jodi rated it liked it
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
May 03, 2012 Nabila Parnella rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 28, 2011 Stephen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: miscellaneous
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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
2015 Reading Chal...: Tick Tock by Dean Koontz 3 23 Nov 01, 2015 02:24PM  
Koontzland - Dean...: TICK TOCK (Group Read - November 2014) 30 38 Nov 07, 2014 10:30AM  
  • The House of Thunder
  • The Voice of the Night
  • The Fall of the Dream Machine / The Star Venturers (Ace Double, 22600)
  • Dragonfly
  • Children of the Storm
  • Invasion
  • Texas by the Tail
  • Sleepwalk
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
More about Dean Koontz...

Share This Book

“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.”
“The chill, like scurrying spiders, worked deeper into him, weaving webs of ice in the hollows of his bones.” 2 likes
More quotes…