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Strange Highways

3.81  ·  Rating Details  ·  14,527 Ratings  ·  232 Reviews
One of the most popular and prolific writers of our time, Dean Koontz has penned many classic New York Times bestsellers, but nothing quite like this. STRANGE HIGHWAYS is Koontz's spellbinding collection of tales interconnected by the strange highways of human experience-the adventures, terrors, failures, and triumphs encountered on the roads that are chosen, and on those ...more
Hardcover, 576 pages
Published September 29th 2002 by Warner Books (first published January 1st 1995)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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A strong and solid, horror anthology!

The general rating is an average sum result of the individual ratings given to each novella and short story contained in the anthology.

All stories in this anthology are written by Dean Koontz.


Rating: ***** ( 5 stars )

…how can there be any redemption if I knowingly turn my back on evil and walk away from it?

This is the story who gives title to this anthology.

A man who has failed in anything that he ever tried, while his older br
Theresa Leone Davidson
I try not to give out five stars without really good reason, because in some way the book was outstanding, and this book of Koontz's short stories was outstanding and deserves the five star rating. Included are stories that deal with a bear with human intelligence (and a love for dancing), another about genetically altered rats, bigger than normal, more malevolent, and very smart, who trap a widow and her son in a farmhouse. One about a pumpkin that gives only what you deserve, as well as others ...more
Mike (the Paladin)
Aug 18, 2010 Mike (the Paladin) rated it it was amazing
Yes! A 5 for a Koontz book! I really liked this odd little story.

Okay rereading for the Koontz group...I'll probably do a more extensive review after the discussion.

Originally I listened to an audio which had only the "title-title"...:). So now I have the book from the library and while I don't think each and every story measures up to Strange Highways, which is a favorite "novella", I still like the book. I plan to try and track it down (locally) and add it to my "home library."

I think I'll
Apr 06, 2016 Javi rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Dean Koontz Fans
" Strange Highways" is a collection of short stories by Dean Koontz and also the title of the first one of the bunch, a novella really, at almost 200 pages and the only one where the author explores themes in any depth. Basically it tells the story of a man who's given the chance to change his past and save a woman's life, and it all starts at a fork in the road. Who wouldn't identify with such a premise? What if....? This novella is far the best of the collection with the rest varying from medi ...more
Satanism, deals with the devil, time travel, dysfunctional alcoholic - really? I was confused in the beginning of the book, and by the end dissatisfied. I won't be reading any more Dean Koontz. If I want horror (which I rarely indulge in), I'll read Stephen King.
Blake Bowers
Nov 24, 2009 Blake Bowers rated it really liked it
This book is a compilation of short stories published at different points during Dean Koontz's career.Here is a brief synopsis and review of each short story....

Strange Highways: This story starts out with the main character, Joey going back to the home town that he hasn't seen for 20 years to attend his father's funeral. This story flows very well and doesn't ever slow down, from the beginning to the end.
After attending his father's funeral Joey is haunted by some of the things he has done in h
Quentin Wallace
Sep 28, 2014 Quentin Wallace rated it really liked it
After reading this collection I wonder why Dean Koontz doesn't write more short stories because he's very good at it. I like his novels as well, but this collection of shorter fiction is probably my favorite Koontz book. There's probably something for everyone in this collection, as the subject matter of the stories varies. I think the title story is the best in the collection and some of the stories are better than others, but overall I would recommend this to anyone who likes short horror stor ...more
Kris Franzen
Mar 21, 2008 Kris Franzen rated it it was amazing
This is Koontz's collection of short stories. They are all awesome and some are very funny. The best was a very short story of a girl and cats. A must read!
Jan 19, 2009 Stefanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This audio version is only the title story of Koontz's collection of short stories.

In Strange Highways our protagonist, Joey Shannon, lives in Las Vegas. When he runs out of money to buy liquor, he gets a job as a blackjack dealer until he has enough money to supply his addiction for awhile. Doesn’t particularly sound like someone you’re going to love by the end of the story, does he? But you will… or at least I did. In between drunken stupors, Joey laments over the shambles his life has become.
This was my first Dean Koontz read. This was mostly a good read.

The short-story collection was an easy in for me to sample his work. There was 1 novella's Strange Highways and Chase, i suspect is a novellette, about 50 pages. Some of the short-stories were great and some weren't. I enjoyed the afterward on Dean Koontz's writing and his support for short-stories.

The stories are very deep in Catholicism. Each story had great flow, it was easy to read, had clear descriptions, rich in page-turners,
Timothy Hicks
Jul 21, 2015 Timothy Hicks rated it really liked it
Strange Highways:

The beginning set up for this story was right up my alley... It had that eerie and expectant feeling you get when you watch a good Twilight Zone episode. Joey Shannon, a lowlife alcoholic, returns to the place he grew up, a near abandoned coal mining town, to bury his recently deceased father, whom he hasn't seen in 20 years. All the while some repressed memory, of one fateful night, two decades ago keeps coming back to the surface of his mind... Joey will finally get a second c
Apr 15, 2008 Thee_ron_clark rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everyone.
This is a collection of short stories and novelettes by Dean koontz. I must say that I enjoyed every story in it, some more than others. At first, I was puzzled by the numerous mentions of the Vietnam War until I discovered that some of the stories were written in the 60's. For those looking to experience Dean Koontz as an author, but not wanting to dive directly into a lengthier book this is a great choice.
Aug 31, 2014 Dustin marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Dustin by: Holly

As many of you know, I'm not really a fan of Koontz's more recent work, but I've loved most of his earlier writings and this collection certainly qualifies.
Jul 18, 2008 Charles rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
This is a collection of Koontz's shorter stuff, along with a novella. It's very good. I don't think there's a clinker in the bunch.
Jun 11, 2015 FDeroche rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
1. Srange Highways - P.J. Shannon chases his younger brother, Joey, and Celeste Baker (girl found at his empty dad's grave, Dan Shannon). Coal Valley Road in Pittsburg. P.J. coal mining has killed many families & 3 are left in Coal Valley. P.J. is Judas, the Betrayer, 13th apostle..... Joey & Celeste are chased with a final death(s) at St. Thomas concerned with the P.J.'s flame of Judas. Chase scenes are long and some seemed to repeat...

2. The Black Pumpkin - A elderly crazy sculptor car
This is Koontz's only collection of short fiction, composed of the titular novella and twelve short tales (The US edition also includes another novella, "Chase").

The novella is perhaps the best of the whole bunch; mostly because it's almost 200 pages long and simply has enough time and space to provide for an interesting plot. A strange occurence offers a man a chance to change his past; it's a formulaic Koontz tale, but strong enough reading to sustain interest and keep the suspense throughout
Drea Hart
May 15, 2010 Drea Hart rated it did not like it

So much dislike. So. Much. I wrote this review ages ago and it still holds true:

So, I finished Everything's Eventual and I have to say I was quite pleased, as usual, with the varied subjects know...King-ness stuff. The real problems began when I realized that if I went out and bought a new book I would be hacking into my Christmas list. If left to their own devices and not provided a detailed list my family will buy me clothes or ::::shudder:::: feel good movies on DVD. You can see th
Jeff Richey
Apr 01, 2009 Jeff Richey rated it liked it
Strange Highways was my first experience reading Dean Koontz. I found that I enjoyed his writing style. Strange Highways is a collection that consists of fourteen short stories. Some of the stories are definitely better than others. I began reading Strange Highways by reading the shortest of the stories in the collection first, and then working my way up to the longer stories. When you begin, don’t let the shortness of the story Kittens fool you, though. I was shocked and disturbed by that very ...more
Jerrod Carter
Oct 29, 2014 Jerrod Carter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, I didn't know what to expect since I hadn't ever read a Dean Koontz novel before, but I know I wasn't expecting this. I wasn't sure where he was going with it for a while, but liked where it went. It was a little bit predictable in that I was usually anticipating things about two chapters ahead, but he threw in a few twists at the end that had me surprised. I liked it and will probably read another of his books before it's all over. Dude has written a lot of books!
Jul 28, 2015 Keith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, short-stories
Overall this was an enjoyable collection of stories.

Includes: Strange Highways, Miss Atilla the Hun, We Three, The Night of the Storm, Bruno, Hardshell, Snatcher, Kittens, Chase, Ollie's Hands, The Black Pumpkin, Down in the Darkness, Twilight of the Dawn and Trapped.
Aug 19, 2010 Emily rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2010
I just finished rereading this collection of short stories by Dean Koontz and it just reminds me of how much better I feel his earlier writing is. While some stories were better than others there wasn't a bad apple in the bunch. Kittens is still my fave, I have a deep need for justice and it was served here in a most disturbing way. I loved Chase, the Black Pumpkin, Trapped, Strange Highways, and Twilight of the Dawn. All so different. My least favorite was Ollie's Hands, I just found it stiflin ...more
Brandon Burrup
Dec 21, 2014 Brandon Burrup rated it it was ok
This was my first Dean Koontz novel and it may be my last. Wasn't terrible by any means but I was expecting a lot more based on the reviews and ratings I saw online. The bizarre jumps in the logic from Joey along the way were distracting and kept pulling me out of the story. I found the book way too full of cliches as well that just frustrated me and kept me from enjoying what could have been an interesting story. Had the author spent a little more time on giving PJ a more believable motive rath ...more
Alesha Leveritt
May 20, 2016 Alesha Leveritt rated it liked it
I've always loved Dean Koontz for his mixture of fantasy with a touch of faith. This one is typical of his work.
Read by Jeff Cummings, Strange Highway is just over six hours of listening. Typical of Dean Koontz this story is hide-under-the-covers scary stuff. The plot is intriguing. A guy is stuck in a time warp, initially bouncing back to his youth to right some wrongs. I don’t usually even purchase books less than ten hours in length, and actually purchased Strange Highway simply because it’s a Koontz. Good story.

The reader is a teeny bit intense for my taste, but whatever. It’s an intense, spooky tale
Jul 18, 2015 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I gotta admit it's been years since I have have read anything by Dean Koontz. When I was in high school I read every book of his that I could find in our small town library-- yup, really, really loved his stories back then. In reading this I was quickly reminded why he was one of my favorite authors. The title story 'Strange Highways' (novella/short novel length) in this collection is dark, thrilling and satisfying. It moved swiftly, spiriting me along and the tension humming along the way was q ...more
Tom Mueller
A short story collection of mostly early Koontz ("Kittens" was originally published in 1966; the first Dean ever sold commercially, while still in college). Two short novels are included; "Strange Highways" (first published here) and "Chase" (earlier published under his psuedonym, K.R. Dwyer). I like to become as familiar as I can with an author I'm a fan of, and that includes getting to know the author's early work. I like seeing the progression of the author's craft, character and story develo ...more
Rose Moore
Oct 26, 2015 Rose Moore rated it really liked it
This collection of short stories is a wonderful example of Koontz and his personal approach to horror.

The stories range from only a few pages long to short novels, and cover all his usual ground as well as some more supernatural or experimental subjects. Koontz's distinctive voice comes through in each one, with occasional irreverence and joyful use of language- every book of his I read, I come away from it with new phrases to add to my day-to-day vocabulary.

Although these stories are often hu
Nov 15, 2015 Erin rated it it was ok
My copy of this book only contained the novella called 'Strange Highways' and not the other short stories - This was my first read of Dean Koontz and I was slightly underwhelmed, to be honest. The premise for the novella is good; and some scenes really did get me hooked in (like when he opens the trunk of his brother's car, also the scene in the house in Cole Valley), but for the most part I just found it really dragged and was a little bit predictable. The whole flash back/multiple versions of ...more
Annette Jordan
A collection of Novellas and short stories
Strange Highways:
One of the longer novella style stories in the book. Started out slowly, then gradually built up the weirdness factor before descending into a battle between good and evil, between belief in God and in Satan , which made me like the ending of the story less than the beginning.

The Black Pumpkin:
A short but creepy morality tale, I particularly liked the vivid description of the Carver comparing him to his own creations.

Miss Attila the Hun
Jeff Yrmom
Jul 10, 2007 Jeff Yrmom added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: jerks
That's right. No stars. Not because this is a particularly bad book, but because I'm selecting it to represent ALL Dean Koontz books. He sucks. Plain and simple. I could write better stories accidently while cleaning up a Scrabble game. This jerk can write an entire chapter on the color of the kitchen cabinets. Honestly, who's he writing to, Martha Stewart worshippers?
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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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“Darkness dwells within even the best of us. In the worst of us, darkness not only dwells but reins.” 56 likes
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