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Strangers

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3.99  ·  Rating details ·  38,810 Ratings  ·  654 Reviews
Six strangers are unaccountably seized by nightmares, attacks of fear, and bouts of uncharacteristic behavior. The six begin to seek each other out as puzzling photographs and messages arrive, indicating that the cause may lie in a forgotten weekend stay at an isolated Nevada motel. Koontz has topped a fine roster of horror and suspense novels with an almost unbearably sus ...more
Paperback, 704 pages
Published October 1st 2002 by Berkley (first published January 1st 1986)
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Dirk Grobbelaar
"We may be teetering on the brink of a whole new world. Are you ready for it?"

This review is complicated for me. Dean Koontz’s Strangers is an amalgamation of many things: techno-thriller; psychological horror; science fiction. It’s quite unlike DK’s other 1980s novels. The book does contain some pretty creepy scenes, but the terror generated here is vested in the not knowing; the “something terrible happened to me but I don’t know what” scenario. Strangers is a longish book, at 700-or-so pages,
...more
Paul O'Neill
Feb 14, 2013 rated it did not like it
Changing my rating on this since I remember that it was just awful! And that Koontz' writing is dire.

I found that I enjoyed this in the same way that you enjoy a terrible film. It is entertaining because it is so bad. That being said I might pick up a Koontz book again just for the lolz.
Mike (the Paladin)
Picture me beating my head against a wall...or a table....or a desk, or something. Dean Koontz can write a good book, he's written several that rate among my favorites. This isn't one.

To be fair different books by DK rate high and low with different people. I've read that this was his first best seller. Cool. I see that there are a lot of people who love it and for them I'm happy. Really.

For me this book was too long for the story it told. The disparate characters of the story each struggling wi
...more
Maciek
Strangers (1986)

"Strangers" is not your typical Koontz book. It was his first hardcover bestseller and the first book he wrote without resorting to outlines.
Plus it bears a glowing endorsment from Stephen King, who states that it's "The best novel he has written!".

The novel is concerned with a group of strangers from all over the USA - a surgeon, a writer, a motel-keeper, a priest and a thief - who are troubled by different phobias - nyctophobia, somnambulism, anxiety. They have nothing in commo
...more
Tressa
Sep 21, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
I picked up a bag full of old Koontz books, and this is the one I chose to read first. I'm glad I did. Although it's a dense book, it was worth the wait slowly getting to know the characters and having their fears revealed little by little, one by one. When the strangers convene once again at the Tranquility Inn to get to the bottom of what happened one July night a year before and end their nightmares, the tension and fear of what they saw and heard from the skies is palpable. The ending is jus ...more
C. Lorion
Jul 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read Strangers years ago, and it's probably about time for a reread. For me, it's that good, my second favorite Koontz book behind Watchers which was written in 1987, the year after Strangers was published.

Dominick Corvaisis, author
Ginger Weiss, surgeon
Ernie Block, U.S.M.C. (ret.), and his wife, Faye Block
Brendan Cronin, priest and curate
Jack Twist, former Army Ranger and P.O.W., professional thief
Jorja Monatella, formerly Rykoff, Las Vegas casino cocktail waitress

Six people, six...wait for it
...more
Wendi
May 10, 2009 rated it liked it
I used to love Koontz, when I was in junior high. What happened? Oh, I know, I grew up and realized that his characters are absolutely ridiculous.

Dean Koontz, much like his mid-life crisis make over from bald mustached guy to full of head of hair and clean shaven face, is just one big old cliche. There, I said it.

This book had promise. Again, I had read it years ago, but it didn't stick with me, so when I saw it at the used book store I had to pick it up again. I should have kept the three dol
...more
Karen B.
Mar 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was probably my fourth time reading this book and I have to say this is one example of Koontz at his best. Maybe it's because of my advancing years causing me to be forgetful, but I think it's Koontz magic that makes this book just as exciting as that first night in 1986 or 1987 when I stayed up much too late just to finish it. It bristled with excitement with each new piece of the puzzle trying to figure out what exactly happened to these strangers that links them together. I loved all of ...more
Cody | codysbookshelf
A shockingly bad novel from Dean Koontz’s “classic” period, Strangers is a big, dumb, plodding creature overstuffed with banal characters and pointless storylines, all which converge to form a predictable, distinctly Koontzian ending. While Koontz’s novels that focus on a couple of characters are typically fun (albeit brainless) reading, with this the author bit off more than he could chew. Lifeless and insufferable, I could barely make it through what Stephen King once called Dean Koontz’s “fin ...more
Melissa
Aug 27, 2014 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book. It had some suspenseful moments. I wish I could have given it more than 3 stars. However...
It was long. Too long. There were many unnecessary characters and events which had absolutely no point except to add to the word count. And everything was described with such meticulous detail. Too much detail.

I was disappointed with the ending. It could have been so much more. Thankfully everything wrapped up nicely, but all that momentum built up in the beginning of the novel came to
...more
Hyejung
Mar 10, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: deankoontz
This is not one of his best books. It drew you in because you wanted to know what happened to the characters to connect them, but I thought the end was anti-climatic. The actual story of the event that occurred to the characters was sort of boring; an interesting concept, but not told in an interesting way. Even the characters, who were interesting throughout most of the story, seemed to become less so during the main "action" part. He's had better.
Dustin Crazy little brown owl
Courage, love, friendship,
compassion, and empathy
lift us above the simple beasts
and define humanity.

-The Book of Counted Sorrows

Jane Stewart
Weak 3 stars. Neat characters and ideas, but I grew tired of too much “I can’t remember.”

The first 80% or more is stories about a handful of unrelated people living in different parts of the U.S. Ginger is a Boston surgeon. Jack is a New York thief. Dom is a Los Angeles writer. Brendan is a Chicago priest. Ernie owns the Tranquility Motel in Nevada. Each story is broken into maybe eight pieces, and the reader is jumping around among the various stories. I am not a fan of jumping around, but I ca
...more
Tracy
Dec 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
I have had this book on my TBR for fur years and really not sure why. Koontz is by far my favorite author and it takes me more than usual to read a Koontz book since I love to savor the words on the pages. I read this one in a little under two weeks and I love it.

As usual, Koontz writes an appealing, unique plot about humanity. He brings together the most unlikely characters that bond in the most unlikely way. To say that this story is very thought provoking is a little mild because Koontz alway
...more
Jim C
Apr 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a book by Dean Koontz. Even though this author is known for his suspense thrillers, this novel is more like a mystery book with supernatural aspects. In this one, different people from different areas of the country are suffering meltdowns. Some are sleepwalking, others are afraid of the dark, and others are scared of the moon. All of these people have a shared experience.

This book had a X-Files feel to it as the author gives us one piece of the puzzle at a time. I liked this change of b
...more
Bandit
Nov 12, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
In an effort to give Koontz one last try I opted for this one, since it was better reviewed in general than his other books. Even King said that this was Koontz's best, but then again maybe he has a low opinion of his other works. This exhausting massive door stopper consists of three parts, first two are the size of a novel each and the last one the size of a novella. All this reading basically amounted to a giant waste of time. Koontz is capable of creating a somewhat decent plot, but not the ...more
Checkman
2.5 Stars

Dean Koontz isn't a terrible writer, but he isn't a great writer either. However he is a very consistent and smooth writer. Amazingly commercial and very successful. Perhaps some of this is simply sour grapes because I will readily admit that I am a middle-brow reader with mainstream tastes, but something about Koontz rubs me the wrong way - though I did enjoy Phantoms. Honestly I don't know why I keep reading his books. The only good thing is I pick them up at yard-sales and thrift sto
...more
Billy Maise
Jun 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Brett
Jul 12, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: horror
Maybe I'm getting soft in my old age, but I seem to be having a hard time summoning the energy to really hate Dean Koontz novels the way I used to. This one has the same mechanics as most of his others, except that it is a couple of hundred pages longer than your typical Koontz story. There are some pretty cliche charcters, a government conspiracy, brainwashing, etc. Also, if you think about the title of the book--Strangers--it's not hard to figure out what the answer to the big mystery at the e ...more
Kirstin
Sep 28, 2016 rated it did not like it
Just not a fan of these basic thrillers. I still have about 20 pages left to read but I just don't care. How sad is that?
Sherri
Apr 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
I had to extract one star because the story was very boring and slow-moving for the first 75 pages or so, then it picked up its pace. Also, the language was very male-biased. You cannot use the word 'men' to encompass all of humanity; it just doesn't work for those of us who are more liberal-minded and aware. 'He' was the default pronoun used throughout the novel. This book was written in 1986, so that may have been the leading factor - I don't think political correctness was a big issue....yet. ...more
Eve Nolon
Aug 27, 2014 rated it did not like it
I must have forgotten how much I hate this book because here I am reading it again. There's a lot to hate, I mean, A LOT TO HATE, but I'll focus in on Koontz's utter contempt for Native American cultures and people this time. There's the ending diatribe but I'll get to that when I get there. Let's take a look at Koontz's writing of Jack Twist, the thief with a heart of gold, who is a former army ranger. Twist is thinking back to his last, or one of his last, assignments in Central America where ...more
Siobhan
Oct 11, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is another great Koontz book. Yet another of his books which keep you second guessing until the truth comes about – a truth which may not be what you expect. With this one there is a lot of time put into the characters, ensuring that you know everything there is to know about them. Whilst this isn’t odd for Koontz there is more than usual in this, especially so that you can understand the strange phenomena which are occurring. Each of the characters has been given their own unique strange e ...more
DeAnna Knippling
Uh....

Did not like. 600 pages of setup for 100 pages of plot. Atheists are evil psychopaths, Native Americans weren't butchered, they just lay down and died because their culture was inferior, and you're sure brave, little lady. The big revelation is not a surprise and the ending lacks logic. Umm...Yep, those atheists. Fighting against everything good. Dang Ol Atheists.

The techniques are good. I did a lot of skimming, but was forced to keep turning pages to find out what happened. And the charac
...more
Thomas Strömquist
My second Koontz following the brilliant Phantoms. This was similar in outset ("what happened here/to these people?") and the first half is really thrilling. Somewhere you realize you're actually reading a sci-fi when you thought you grabbed a horror, and then again, it's pretty horrific. The bad news is that the background story (when revealed) does not live entirely up to expectations, and the main gripe is that the book is too long. Other than that, it is a great effort and recommended.
ScottK
Oct 19, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dean Koontz is one of my favorite authors,and this book is one of the reasons why. Although some of his works are hit or miss this one was very well written. You couldn't help but feel sorry for the characters as they all went through their own various ways of coping with what happened to them all. And not until almost they very end did I figure out exactly what it was that did happen to them. This, along with Lightning, are two of my all time favorite reads.
David Haynes
Oct 03, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016
I thought this was too long. It took an age to get into the guts of the story and it wasn't until the last third that there was any tension. That said, I am judging it based on the excellent Watchers which I thought was one of his best.
Stephen McQuiggan
Apr 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
A group of people are suffering from terrifying fugues and phobias; strange dreams that draw these strangers together in the Tranquility Motel where they begin to realize they also share a world changing secret. A very good, if overly long book - you could cut a good two hundred pages from this and not lose the story. Plus the secret, revealed in the last fifty or so pages, is not exactly a big surprise. Yet it is well written and enjoyable and quite addictive. The section on the salt cellar, ho ...more
Logan Derby
Sep 01, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bettie☯


Unabridged, and read by Dick Hill

2.5 Strangers
2* Phantoms
2* Intensity
2* Phantoms
1* The Taking
4* The Good Guy
3* The Door to December
3* Tick Tock
2* The Darkest Evening of the Year
3* Whispers
2* By the Light of the Moon
3* Mr Murder
2* The Face
TR Darkfall
3* Icebound
3* Winter Moon
TR Shadowfires
3* The Voice of the Night
TR The Vision
3* Black River

2* Fear Nothing (Moonlight Bay #1)

TR Odd Thomas
TR Forever Odd





CR October Skies
3* Dark Echo
3* Strangers (2.5*)
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Koontzland - Dean...: Strangers (Group Read - March 2015) 79 43 Apr 03, 2015 06:49PM  
Koontzland - Dean...: Strangers (Group Read - April 2012) 40 101 Feb 02, 2015 03:11AM  
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21,866 followers
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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