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The Door to December

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3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  31,709 Ratings  ·  599 Reviews
The #1 New York Times bestselling author delivers a truly suspenseful novel of a mother who must save her daughter from a threat she can hardly understand. What happened to nine-year-old Melanie during the six years she was subjected to terrifying experiments? And what is the unstoppable power that she can unleash from behind the "Door to December"?
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published January 28th 1988 by Inner Circle Books Ltd (first published June 4th 1985)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Colette Guerin
May 07, 2012 Colette Guerin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Simply awful. I will go no further than to say that Mr. Koontz hasn't the least bit of an idea of what autism really is. The idea that autism is created by neglect or abuse on a parents part ie: the "refrigerator mother" theory developed by Bruno Bettelheim was discredited many years ago. It is a neurological disorder and the cause is yet unknown, it may be genetic, it may be environmental, it may have to do with vaccinations, but most likely it has a variety of causes making it difficult to fin ...more
Obsidian
Please note that I gave this book 3.5 stars, but rounded it up to 4 stars on Goodreads.

So I read this as my final book for Halloween Bingo 2016! This one was for the "It was a dark and stormy night" square. Lucky me for picking this to just read for the month of October and realizing as I read that most of the book takes place during thunderstorms/rain and the opening scene the main character (Laura) who arrives at a crime scene in the middle of the night during a torrential downpour. I also jus
...more
Brett
Jun 12, 2008 Brett rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Another worthless Dean Koontz novel full of the usual Koontz crimes against writing: awful dialogue, characters with no complexity, and a "surprise" ending that I knew was coming on page 30 of this over 500 page novel.

This is supposedly a mystery/suspense story focusing on the efforts of police officer Dan Haldane to unravel a weird case that revolves around forced sensory deprivation of a nine year old girl. As usual in the Koontz formula, Haldane falls in love with the girl's mother and there
...more
Christopher Jones
Oct 29, 2011 Christopher Jones rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Better than the vast majority of his new books. With all the attention focused on a traumatized little girl and little (if any ) focused on Koontz whining about how much he hates modern society or Hollywood, makes this book a winner.

Characters: Here they are alright, but still somewhat cookie-cutter. I read the book only a month or two ago and I've already forgotten the psychiatrist's name (she was one of the main characters, so that's really not good). I just checked and her name is Laura (same
...more
Amelie Court
Dec 13, 2009 Amelie Court rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh my, this has to be my favorite book from Dean Koontz. There is something about the Author, that he can delve into the thriller realm and just suck you in, and freak you out with every turn of the page.

I loved how descriptive he was when writing this book. I had many a sleepless night when reading this, but I couldn't seem to put it down, no matter how hard I tried.

This will always remain at the top of my list forever; Unless he comes out with something even better!

Move over Stephen King, you
...more
Dustin Crazy little brown owl
I liked Mr. Murder better, but this one is quite intriguing. Dean Koontz has penned tales of a similar theme in Cold Fire and Brother Odd, both of which I enjoyed immensely. I loved Dan Haldane, a character of witty humor. The Door to December was originally published under a pen name in 1985.

We'll plunge into darkness,
into the hands of harm,
when Science and the Devil
go walking arm in arm.

-as quoted in The Door to December
Jennifer Waddell
My absolute favourite read of all time! I don't really like the whole para normal stuff but by far this book is a hit! Unfortunate I read a lot of the reviews. Nobody was dissing autistic kids, remember folks he's a writer and a dam good one, he's not out there to put people down, I am a mother with two autistic children plus myself I carry the gene, people say to me all the time your full of shit when it's a known fact DNA approved that its what we were granted, being autistic myself I didn't f ...more
Maciek
This is an old and rather obscure Koontz novel, originally published in 1985 under a pseudonym.

It's a pretty basic feature: Laura McCaffrey is reconciled with her daughter, whom her father kidnapped six years earlier. The police found the child in his laboratory - along with his mangled remains. Melanie, because that's the name of the girl, is overpowered by terror - and she can only say the cryptic phrase the door to december...strange things start happening, as Melanie's fathers colaborators s
...more
Japheth
Aug 19, 2012 Japheth rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book was filled with clichés and insults to autism. The clichés were enough to insult everybody's intelligence already so the interchangeable use of the terms "cationic" and "autistic" tipped this over the edge enough to earn negative stars if it were possible. Yes, I get how at the time this book was written there wasn't a lot of study on autism but that doesn't mean it's fair game to make stuff up about a very real condition.

This book was very predictable and easy to figure out within th
...more
Rebecca McNutt
Jun 08, 2015 Rebecca McNutt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, thriller, fiction
Eerie, suspenseful and well-written, The Door to December is one of my favorite Dean Koontz novels lately and its originality never lets up. It's a really creative book and well worth reading, especially if you're a fan of horror or thriller novels.
Emma
May 05, 2015 Emma rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
No no no!

I knew how this was going to end less than 100 pages in. Still, I tried to forgive it that because I was enjoying the story.

I was disturbed and annoyed by the "autism" stuff. See also: Koontz asserts that autism is caused by child abuse. Not only that but autism is basically a fancy name for catatonia, I guess. I cringed every time he even used the word autism. Even still, I could overlook that due to the book's age.

Then the ending to Door to December is basically like, "THEN WE GAVE H
...more
Ash
May 09, 2012 Ash rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
i did not like this book at all.
this was my first Dean Koontz novel, and i must say after this book i don't think that i will be reading his work again. his writing style comes off as cheesy and long winded. and this particular story i found to be... silly.
i suppose it just wasn't my type of book...
Chelsea
Dec 11, 2008 Chelsea rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The Door to December by Dean Koontz

Although Dean Koontz has written several novels, The Door to December is the first one I have read by him. He started out as an English teacher and started writing books in his spare time. He has used several pen names such as Aaron Wolfe and David Axton. Most of his novels are now published under his name though.

Door to December takes place in Los Angeles, California. It is a very suspenseful fiction novel. It has a mix of horror, mystery, and science fiction
...more
Henrik
Nov 08, 2007 Henrik rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
It's been more than 10 years since I last read a Koontz book... 'Tis gonna be interesting...

LATER:
Okay, now I've read it. And all in all it's a pretty good yarn. A thriller-horror type story where Koontz deftly entwines pshychology and elements of the occult to fine, fairly believable effect. And the ending is more satisfying than I remember from several of his other stories. That's great:-)

Unfortunately the plot was very obvious early on and it seemed incredible that the characters had to wade
...more
Karen B.
Apr 21, 2011 Karen B. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dean Koontz writing as Richard Paige. This is one of Koontz' earlier novels and it is full of the same fire and excitement as those early books. Melanie is a nine-year-old girl who was abducted by her own father when she was three. She had been used by her father and his associates for psychological research particularly into the realm of the unconscious. The men with her father have been brutally killed and her mother Janet, a detective, Dan Haldane and Earl, from a security agency are doing th ...more
June
Mar 31, 2016 June rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read The Door to December by Richard Paige (Dean Koontz) in order to see how Koontz's writing style has changed over the years (and also to see if he varied his plot-lines more 'back in the day.' Thankfully he did.). Written in 1985, this tells the story of Laura McCaffrey, a woman whose child was abducted six years earlier, by her ex-partner.
When the ex is found murdered, Laura is called by the police, and shortly after that a girl is found wandering naked in the street. This is a story of te
...more
David Cain
Apr 20, 2009 David Cain rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
I've never read Dean Koontz before so I didn't know quite what to expect. I was...disappointed. Seems like a weak imitation of Stephen King. This book was SOOOOO predictable. I had figured out the "twist" ending in the first 50 pages and had to read the next 450 pages for my hunch to be confirmed. In fact, most of the plot twists were similarly predictable. Not sure who this book was aimed at, but my guess is either bored middle-aged housewives, or teenage boys. The whole "brainwashed sex slave" ...more
Susan
Jul 25, 2009 Susan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Unabridged audio. Perhaps it was the reading, but I didn't like this as much as most of Koontz's books. After her husband is found brutally murdered, a mother recovers her young daughter, who was kidnapped by her father and subjected to experiments. Mysterious murders and inexplicable happenings. OK at best.
Amanda Cowher
Jul 01, 2012 Amanda Cowher rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Koontz has proved to me again that he surpasses all other authors with his wittiness and his ability to make you love characters (and hate some) who aren't real but feel as real to you as the ones around you. This story takes you into a scientific perspective that makes you think. Lieutenant Haldane is a character who you are rooting for the entire time, and he is by far the best character out of the book. He is complex although at first he just seems like any other cop. Melanie is a troubled li ...more
Debbie
Jul 23, 2009 Debbie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ed Gorman and Dean Koontz (close personal friends, each referring to the other as the greatest living writer in their genre) are my favorite (living)fiction authors. Since leaving IA, I haven't been able to find any Gorman books I haven't' read. Koontz is so prolific, I doubt I'll ever run out.
He wrote The Door to December in 1985, which accounts for not only some of the particular plot/tech devices but also made it evident how much more masterfully he handles character development and dialogue
...more
Dustin Crazy little brown owl
An intriguing story, but not among my favorite Dean Koontz novels.

We'll plunge into darkness,
into the hands of harm,
when Science and the Devil
go walking arm in arm.

-rhyme quoted in The Door to December

I think my favorite thing about this story is the creation of the smart ass character named Lieutenant Dan Haldane.

One passage with another main character, Laura:
She would have given anything to be able to deny the reality of what she had seen. But she was too good a psychiatrist to allow herself
...more
Jesse S. Greever
Mar 14, 2013 Jesse S. Greever rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pretty well written, typical Dean Koontz style. I was able to predict the ending about 60 percent of the way through, but that didn't ruin the book for me at all. Dated in its views on autism and the technology, but overall a very fast, engaging read!

As an aside: For those who have written reviews lambasting the author for his uninformed view on autism in this nearly-30-year-old book: get a grip, please. If you were using this book as a research tool on autism, then you would have every justifia
...more
Corey
Jan 27, 2013 Corey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tom Mueller
Afterword by the author, delving into the use of pseudonyms. It is Koontz' belief that writers of literary fiction consider the publication of a work that satisfies the audience is ad hoc proof that said work is utterly worthless (p. 514). "Door" was originally published in June 1985 under "Tivhstf Paige".
Ten protagonists systematically killed by Melanie's astral being spirit entity. After completion, Melanie's astral being will then kill her physical presence. She is saved by Dan, a good guy co
...more
Erica (Elle) Lessie
Even though I sort of saw the ending coming from a mile away, which is one of the main complaints I read in the reviews of this novel, I still thought it was absolutely fantastic. The fact that I wanted to keep reading, even knowing what direction it was heading, is just a testament to the fantastic story-telling ability that Dean Koontz has and his total command over this genre. Finding out all the little details along the way and not wanting to put the book down until I understood all the litt ...more
B&p
Feb 11, 2015 B&p rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
เพิงเคยอานงานของดีน คูนทซ ครังแรก ตอนทีหยิบมาไมไดดูอะไรเลย อานโปรยหลังผานๆ ดูทาทางนาจะสนุกกหยิบเลย อยากบอกวา 40 หนาแรก หดหูมาก มันเศราสะเทือนใจแตกสนุก อยากรีบๆเปิดอานวาจะเปนยังไงตอไป เราเอาใจชวยหนูนอยเมลานีมากเลย อยากใหเธอเติบโตมามีชีวิตทีดีงาม

โอย...ชอบอะ หลอนๆ จิตๆ ติดหนึบไมอยากวางเลย แอบชอบความโรแมนติกนิดๆ(ไมรูอะแตรูสึกวามันมีความรูสึกหวานๆซึงๆระหวางบรรทัดระหวางพระเอกกับแมของเมลานี) ชอบๆ สมัครเปนสาวกดีน คูนทซเลย

ปล.เราชอบความกวนๆของพระเอกดวยและจบดวยแงคิด "การลืมคือจุดเริมตนของการเยียวยา"
...more
Nicholas Beck
Jun 21, 2010 Nicholas Beck rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: koontz
I found this book to be a very interesting view into the world of psychology. The characters were believable and I liked the three main characters right away, including the girl who didn't say much. The amazing thing about this novel to me was that the length of the book was incredible for how much time was actually covered within the story. The Door to December was a fantastic story with an interesting theme underlining the story. The five hundred pages flew by much quicker than some of Koontz' ...more
Emily
May 07, 2012 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There were some interesting concepts in this book. Koontz's ability to come up with such creative, far-fetched plots never ceases to amaze me. A lot of the criticism of this book has been based on the description of Autism, but this book was published in 1985 before we knew what we know now. That is like criticizing him for including a payphone because we use cellphones now. Seriously, look past all of that and enjoy the book!
Nicholas
Mar 15, 2015 Nicholas rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Once again, decent idea, lackluster execution.

I know that one of the main characters *really* regrets the deaths of some people in his past. How do I know this? Because the author insisted on telling me every 10 pages or so. In case I forgot, I guess. Boring characters, predictable plot pathing, painfully anticlimactic ending.

Skip it.
Mike (the Paladin)
Not koontz's best work, but far from his worst. i enjoyed this novel and found the idea behind it interesting...possibly far fetched, but interesting. As for far fetched this is a fantasy/horror story...it's expected to be far fetched. Some of Koontz's repeated themes are here, but if you're a Koontz fan that's not a big deal.

May change your attitude about sensory deprivation...:-)

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