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A Stir Of Echoes

3.90  ·  Rating Details  ·  8,752 Ratings  ·  395 Reviews
The novel that inspired the movie from Artisan Entertainment concerns an ordinary suburban husband who is able to read the minds of his neighbors and learn their sordid secrets. He is also haunted by the apparition of a mysterious woman, which forces him to uncover the truth behind a long-forgotten tragedy. Movie to star Kevin Bacon.
Published May 19th 2000 by Boxtree Ltd (first published 1958)
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I want you to pretend you're in a theater, an enormous theater. You're sitting near the front....

 photo e50ac15c-5cc8-44f8-81e1-4400a70ca2b9_zpse1d3dac3.jpg

It is completely black inside. the walls are dark velvet, the floors are covered with dark velvet rugs. It's black inside, absolutely black...

 photo 7de28f9e-ebd7-4ead-bd72-73b078c86d39_zps63e8b3b6.jpg

Except for one thing. In the whooooole pitch-black theater there's only one thing you can see. The letters on the screen. S-L-E-E-P. You're very comfortable. Veeeery comfortable. You are just sitting there and looking at the screen, looking, loooooking at that
Bill  Kerwin

An enjoyable novel about a man hypnotized at a party who then begins to exhibit psychic powers--including the recurrent appearances of a woman who may or may not be a ghost.

Matheson--author of I am Legend, numerous classic creepy short stories and many of the best Twilight Zone episodes--has written better things, but this still kept my interest.

I am a fan of the movie with Kevin Bacon, and was surprised by how much different the atmosphere and setting is in this, the original. The movie is se
Richard Matheson (1926 - 2013)

Thanks for the stories.

Before I say anything about this classic bit of horror, I want to put a plug in for the film adaptation. Stir of Echoes starring Kevin Bacon is a truly terrifying ghost story. I always felt it didn't get the attention it deserved because The Sixth Sense was released earlier the same year and stole all the thunder (for the record, I think Stir of Echoes is the better movie). If you haven't seen it I highly recommend that you do. You won't even
Mar 14, 2016 Lyn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Richard Matheson has quickly become one of my favorites, he is a master of his genre.

This is about psychic powers and telepathy and all rolled up into a classic ghost story. Published in 1958, it is refreshing to read a minimalistic work in an age of sensationalism and graphic detail. It is obvious how influential he has been to generations of writers after him, I think Stephen King must have put this book down and kept it close before writing The Dead Zone.

This is a Matheson book so three stars represent a better rating than they usually do. However, compared to his 4 and 5-starred books of his, this one wasn't as good. It was good though. It was unputdownable, for lack of a better term. I know there's actually no such word but I like it. Besides, it comes in handy in cases like this.

A stir of echoes is a comparatively short novel in which R.M. doesn't waste his ink blabbering. It's a simple, yet intriguing story about a man who accidentally obtai
Jul 18, 2013 Mark rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dammit, Matheson, what the hell was that?? That has to be one of the all-time worst cop-out endings. You're better than that, man.

See, Matheson and I have history. This is the first novel of his I've read, but still, we have history. Matheson was my very first favorite author. And he was without my even knowing it. I grew up on Twilight Zone, the repeats and the 80s movie and redo, and my Mom, goodness love her, was cool enough to say, "You would love this," when I was no more than six. We watc
First publishes in 1958, A Stir of Echoes is Richard Matheson's third major work, the first two being the classic I Am Legend which guaranteed his literary immmortality, and The Incredible Shrinking Man, the classic horror novel with a man racing against literally increasing odds.

The basic plot crux is very simple and the storyline doesn't deviate much from it: Tom Wallace agrees to undergo a hypnosis, as he believes he won't be affected by it. As it usually turns out in novels of the uncanny th
I love reading Richard Matheson's stories. Even if the story itself isn't quite to my taste, and not everything he writes is, the writing is so enjoyable to read. I don't know what it is about it that makes it so, but it's just so accessible and straightforward and unassuming, and it just hooks me right from the start. I love it.

I've seen the movie based on this book, before I knew it was a book, and before I'd ever read anything of Matheson's, and I enjoyed the movie. That's really the best wa
Dec 16, 2015 Sandy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Richard Matheson is an author who never seems to let me down. The first two novels that I read by the man, "I Am Legend" (1954) and "The Shrinking Man" (1956), are superb and highly original sci-fi creations, and both have been memorably filmed. (I seem to be in the distinct minority in preferring the 1964 U.S.-Italian coproduction "The Last Man on Earth," starring Vincent Price, over 1971's "The Omega Man," featuring Charlton Heston, although neither quite does justice to the "I Am Legend" orig ...more
Dan Schwent
Feb 06, 2008 Dan Schwent rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: matheson
Matheson rarely fails to impress. Stir of Echoes is one of his novels that grabs you in the first couple of pages and holds your attention. All meat, no filler.
Jason Parent
Jan 07, 2015 Jason Parent rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my faves. Thinking about a re-read.
Apr 26, 2013 Bill rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
This was pretty good. A very quick read about a guy who, after becoming hypnotized at a party, begins to experince some paranormal abilities.

Matheson can tell a story, that's for sure, and since this one is told mostly via dialogue and first person narrative, you're finished before you know it.
I don't really have a whole lot more to say about it because
a) I'm really busy, and
b) yeah, it's Matheson, so if you like him you'll like this.

So, a short review for a 200 pager. I liked it. Recommende
Sep 24, 2011 Lou rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A evening with friends and loved ones having fun playing games could take a turn for the worse, one person ends up in un-treaded waters and a countdown commence as the fabric around you peels away bit by bit.
Knowing more than the average man can be a deadly weapon a torment if you have precognition's of something bad and it turns out exactly as you envisioned. Well that the predicament for one man in this story.
As they say ignorance is bliss.
Matheson is a master when it comes to gripping you and
Richard Matheson filled A Stir of Echoes with so much potential, but ultimately the book never delivered. There is a lot of creepy and introspective paranormal stuff. And an interesting cast of characters. Where Matheson failed is by focusing on the abnormal happenings surrounding main character Tom, and not going into quite as much detail with the other characters. When everything is said and done, this story really isn't about Tom, but throughout much of the book, we are led to believe it is. ...more
Sep 25, 2015 George rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Μ'έναν εντελώς τυχαίο τρόπο (αγγελία σε ομάδα στο Facebook), έπεσε στα χέρια μου αυτό το κλασικό βιβλίο τρόμου, ενός από τους καλύτερους συγγραφείς του είδους και αγαπημένου του Στίβεν Κινγκ. Αυτό είναι το τρίτο βιβλίο του Ρίτσαρντ Μάθεσον που διαβάζω, μετά τα εξαιρετικά "Ζωντανός θρύλος" και "Το στοίχειωμα", και αυτό με την σειρά του μου άφησε πολύ καλές εντυπώσεις.

Ο αφηγητής της ιστορίας μας, Τομ Γουάλας, ευτυχισμένος οικογενειάρχης και εργαζόμενος, ένα βράδυ υπνωτίστηκε από τον αδερφό της γυν
Troy Blackford
Oct 16, 2015 Troy Blackford rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A masterful work of telekinetic and supernatural horror from one of the top masters in the field, the late Richard Matheson. This 1958, tight-as-a-drum novel is, like most of Matheson's work, taut and right to the point, able to be read in a single feverish sitting. Equal parts mystery, suspense novel, and outright horror, its occasionally slightly jarring 1958's setting doesn't obliterate the feeling that this story is a timeless one, only adds a few touches of sociology to a great tale. Absolu ...more
Lady of the Lake
I'm thinking that in 1958 when this book was originally published this was very creepy amd very scary. However in 2010 when we have the amount of HORROR thrown at us in the media, film and the written word today, it was much less so. However, it does give a nice Thrill and something
To think about! I certainly would never let anyone hypnotize me at a casual party to liven things up!! The human mind is not to be messed with by amatures! This was a super fast read at 224 pages but those
pages did p
Kathy Worrell  ツ
May 28, 2016 Kathy Worrell ツ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Audiobook read by Scott Brick

Scott Brick gets 5 stars for narration. He reads this novel so well, it seems like he becomes the characters. (I might be scared if I was his wife.)

I enjoy a good, spooky, novel and A Stir of Echoes was just that.....spoo-ooo-ky!

I did have a "scooby-doo moment" near the end of the story. I think I heard:

"I would have gotten away with it, too, if it wasn't for you meddling kids."

Something like that, anyway.
Antonio Rosato
Apr 22, 2016 Antonio Rosato rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Di Richard Matheson, morto un paio d'anni fa a 87 anni, tutti conoscono "Io sono leggenda" (anche se solo per il film), perciò questo "Io sono Helen Driscoll", uscito nel 1958 (due anni dopo di "Io sono leggenda") è quasi passato in secondo piano. Eppure è un gran bel libro, non lungo (neanche 200 pagine) e dalla trama per niente complicata. Abbiamo, detto in parole povere, il protagonista Tom Wallace che, durante una festicciola a casa dei vicini, si presta ad un esperimento di ipnosi da parte ...more
Jul 01, 2013 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Tom Wallace is an office-worker everyman, newly moved into a rented house on Tulley Street in Hawthorne with his heavily-pregnant wife Anne and their young son Richard. The Sentas’ live on one side - they own Tom’s house - and aren’t particularly nice, whilst Elsie and Ron on the other side are perhaps a little too over-familiar. Across the road live Frank and Elizabeth Wanamaker - he’s an arse of a man, especially to his heavily pregnant wife. At the start of the book, Anne’s brother Phil comes ...more
Brilliantly done. Quite a bit different from the amazing movie, with Kevin Bacon. Still, completely enjoyable, as it is a solid murder mystery with supernatural overtones that fair very well, even though it was written originally in 1958.
The audiobook was narrated very, very well by Scott Brick.
Jul 09, 2008 Jeremy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
See the movie that is loosely based on the book (starring Kevin Bacon). It is much edgier and more effective than the book. Even if you like Matheson (which I do...I think...), this book comes across as being quaint (written in the '50s) and predictable.
Rebecca McNutt
May 20, 2015 Rebecca McNutt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very similar to the Tales from the Darkside episode "The Enormous Radio", in which some secrets are better left in the dark. Definitely a chilling and unforgettable little story that every horror fan should read, I highly recommend it.
Matheson is the true heir to Poe and Woolrich; hard to think of any writer that does paranoia better. After all, he wrote 16 episodes of The Twilight Zone, plus he adapted his short story "Duel" into the screenplay for the Steven Speilberg movie. Stir of Echoes is one of my favorite movies but it really bears little resemblance to Matheson's novel on which it was based. Sadly, I think the screenplay and movie were better. The novel, though, is still quite good. Its main defect is that too much o ...more
Andrea Blythe
Oct 26, 2013 Andrea Blythe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, fic-horror
During a party one night, Tom Wallace agrees to be hypnotized. But what was supposed to just be a party trick, actually opens a door in his mind, granting him telepathic abilities. He begins to see into the dark, frightening corners of his neighbors otherwise outwardly safe and orderly lives. As his headaches grow along with his perception and his behavior becomes more erratic, his new gifts begin to threaten the stability of his own family, while some darker secret lies just beneath the surface ...more
Feb 12, 2012 Pamela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you think you know all there is to know about this because you've seen the movie, think again. Compared to the book, the movie is nothing more than a bit of fluff. (Or, as I heard one person say: Comparing the movie to the book is like comparing taking a sip of tap water to downing an entire bottle of whiskey in one go.)

Matheson doesn't just give us a peek into Tom Wallace's mind, he invites us in then slams and locks the door after us.

Trust me--inside Wallace's mind is not a very nice place
Apr 15, 2015 Lynn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great little book.....I can see why they made it into a movie. I love a bit of woo-woo.
Jul 16, 2011 Debra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Stephen King recommended author and book.

Book noted as "important to the genre we have been discussing" from Danse Macabre, published in 1981. Author discussed in chapter 9.

8/8/12 A very good page-turner by this notable author. Quite suspenseful and intense. Definitely a must for horror/supernatural fiction fans.
I had never seen the movie, so this review is from a fresh perspective. I enjoyed the book. It definitely kept my attention and wondering if he was going mad, a medium, or what the heck was going on. I did enjoy the thriller aspect of this book. It was definitely intense at times.

I definitely had a little of a snore moment when he was at the doctor. It was such a long part of the book, and full of information, and just kind of boring. That was really the only portion in which I was bored. The r
Bri Fidelity
Takes a couple of turns for the ludicrous in the final act, and the portrayal of women I'm not even going to think about because this is my mother's book and I'd just have to buy her another copy if this one ends up in the bin or in the litterbox or hanging from a tree.

But three stars for the good bits.
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Born in Allendale, New Jersey to Norwegian immigrant parents, Matheson was raised in Brooklyn and graduated from Brooklyn Technical High School in 1943. He then entered the military and spent World War II as an infantry soldier. In 1949 he earned his bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and moved to California in 1951. He married in 1952 and has four children, three of w ...more
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“Everyone has something to hide. And if they couldn't hide it the world would be in a lot worse mess than it is.” 18 likes
“Everyone has a secret place in his mind. Otherwise relationships would be impossible.” 3 likes
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