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Night Chills

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  21,960 ratings  ·  317 reviews
#1 New York Times bestselling author Dean Koontz unleashes a contagion on a small Maine town--one that triggers the darkest desires of the soul.

Designed by top scientists and unleashed in a monstrous conspiracy, night chills are seizing the men and women of Black River--driving them to acts of rape and murder. The nightmare is real. And death is the only cure...
Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Published September 15th 1986 by Berkley Books (first published January 1st 1976)
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Edward  Lorn
Jun 29, 2015 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of rape-y fiction and amnesiacs.
Sit back and relax. We're going to be here for a while.

First and foremost, I must appreciate how fantastic my paperback of this book smells. These old Berkley-Koontz books have a distinctly woody aroma. Less of a vanilla smell and more of a damp pine scent. Like walking through a Christmas tree farm in the rain. I've picked up Zebra novels from this era and Tor paperback originals, even a few King Pocketbook editions, and none of them smell like these old Black/Neon paperbacks. If you're not fa
Apr 01, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror-thriller
Most Dean Koontz novels are a source of brain candy for me...think the gooey, dripping kind that parents never want their kids to have because they know they'll be the ones scrubbing it off the couch or inside of the car. After I read them I usually forget about them in a month or so; I might keep one or two details that make me smirk whenever I see the cover of that book.

NIGHT CHILLS was a bit different. This book disturbed me. I have no problem with violence within the confines of a horror nov
Mar 11, 2014 rated it it was ok
2.5 Stars

Now and again I read a Dean Koontz novel. They're good for that five or ten minute read before turning out the light at night or while killing time waiting. Not heavy reading and Koontz basically writes from a template making a change here or there.I find that I can skim through sections that are not catching my interest and not miss out on anything. I speculate that he might have a ghost writer now, but who knows? Maybe he's just a spectacular workaholic.

Anyway Night Chills is one of
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
I wasn't supposed to read Night Chills (since I already have a lot of other books planned to read), but my eyes found it in a pile of books at home and I just felt the need for a Koontz and I'm happy I followed my instinct since it was a really good novel.

Black River is a sleepy little town in Maine (Stephen King vibes) where the population starts getting night chills and suddenly all hell breaks loose. In the middle of the chaos stands a family that doesn't get the night chills and they now hav
Feb 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Just by the writing style of Night Chills, I could tell that this was an older book by Koontz. Night Chills was probably so far, for me one of his darkest books, with a few disturbing rape scenes. Aside from that, it was a good read, the mind manipulation plot was interesting, in a creepy kind of way, kind of reminded me of the Jedi Mind trick from Star Wars, HAHA! The first few chapters were slow, with a few lengthy flashbacks, but once I got past that and got to know the plot and the main char ...more
Oct 09, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2016-reads
Hmmm...wasn't that impressed by any of it really. I guess I would say his books might be lumped in a guilty pleasures pile but there wasn't much pleasure involved in this one. =|
Scott Rhee
Apr 18, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: horror
It's been a while since I read this (I'm pretty sure I was still in high school), but I do recall, even then, that it was crap. Granted, it was highly readable and entertaining crap, but crap nonetheless. I remember thinking, as I read it: "Koontz is pretty much projecting every sick, sexually perverted male fantasy he's ever had into this story and passing it off as entertainment.". The story, I think, had something to do with some kind of government project that turns the inhabitants of a smal ...more
Oct 27, 2010 rated it did not like it
If this was the first Koontz novel I read, I would not have read another one of his books. The violence to women was over the top. I am not a prude but I feel like this was excessive and it took away from the the interesting part of the story, subliminal messaging. I just felt that Koontz took the less creative way to show the evils of mind control and when science takes a wrong turn. Very disappointing.
Rebecca McNutt
Dec 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Night Chills was one of the most disturbing Dean Koontz novels I've ever read, really shocking and creepy.
Kyra Dune
Sep 04, 2013 rated it did not like it
I was very disappointed by this book because I usually really like Dean Koontz. Night Chills started out okay in the first couple of chapters, but after that it went downhill. To begin with, the second half of the blurb is bogus. Except for in one instance, the people in Black River don't really do anything much at all. And after those first few chapters, the biggest chunk of the book is dedicated to an in-depth explanation on how subliminal messaging works.

Most of the time when I write a revi
Mike (the Paladin)
Oct 12, 2010 rated it did not like it
My daughter came through the living-room the other day and observed, "I just read another one of Koontz's early books, and he really has improved, a lot."

Now that's not a blanket truth, a few of his early books are pretty good. I don't, personally, think this is one of them.

It may be that I would have given the book 2 stars rather than 1 had the account of the "romance" not completely driven me up the wall and away from the book, so I put the book down. I went so far as to put it on my to be tra
Hannah O.
Aug 21, 2008 rated it it was ok
This book was about a man who took his kids to the mountains for their annual vacation. He starts to fall in love with this woman after his wife's tragic death. Then a doctor showed up in the mountains and started asking strange questions. It turns out he had been studying subliminal messaging and he'd come across a major discovery. He would now have control of the whole world.

I would recommend this book to people who like scary-ish stories. It kept me on my toes most of the time. It was also ki
Ed Myers
Sep 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Dean Koontz did an exceptional job of taking a subject such as subliminal advertising and writing a first-rate thriller. There is some emotional intensity because bad things happen to a couple of good characters. You'll be downright disgusted by the behavior of the main villain Ogden Salsbury -- the scientist who believes subliminal advertising can be used to take total control over people. And, you can get them to do exactly what you want them to do.
Salsbury along with his two accomplices -- bi
Gianfranco Mancini
Non leggevo Koontz da anni ed era da tempo che un libro non mi appassionava tenendomi sveglio a leggere fino alle due di notte (view spoiler). Purtroppo il finale non mi è piaciuto proprio (view spoiler) ...more
Barbara ★
I usually like Dean Koontz's writing but this one was just horrible with over-the-top forced sex situations and mind-numbing sciencology of subliminal messages.

Basically we have 3 evil geniuses trying to rule the world starting with a small town in Maine. Unfortunately it morphs into a debauched sexfest. The extent of the violence is ridiculously unnecessary to sell this story. I found myself skipping over a good lot of the encounters just trying to stay in the moment of the subliminal experime
Laura B.
Sep 22, 2016 rated it liked it
father of two: ahhh this looks like a nice place to camp out with my kids for a few weeks

Super villain: Hey lets just contaminate the drinking water with a drug then I'm gonna come brainwash and rape everyone in town....

father of two: hello my name is Paul and u killed my son

super villain: why won't my drug work on u

father of two: I'm gonna kill u

super villain: I'll kill u first

moral of the story: drink bottled water people
D.M. Kirtaime
Mar 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
During my Army days I snapped up Koontz, King and Herbert as soon as titles became available. I still treasure the signed book from Koontz (hard to get when living in Europe).
Cody Sexton
May 17, 2018 rated it it was ok
To the greatest extent possible, I need you, the reader, to appreciate how fantastic this paperback actually smells. These old Berkley-Koontz books have a distinctly woody aroma. Less of a vanilla smell and more of a damp pine scent. Like walking through a Christmas tree farm after a heavy rain.
Koontz is the author you cut your teeth on before moving on to more serious writers. This is more of an observation than an outright criticism of Koontz, but I believe he has been writing and then re-writ
An enjoyable read, for a book found in a secondhand bookstore.

A cautionary tale of using subliminal advertising to influence people's minds. Interesting to read it 40 years after publication. You can see the fears of its age being taken to an absolute, with mind-control and a wary attitude toward technology. Small-town Americana is here as well, but the effect of isolation in a small town in Maine (where else!) today feels more nostalgic than it is horrifying (and I suppose Koontz was originally
Nov 13, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-books
3.5 stars

Glenn drove the Land Rover into a stone wall at just over 100mph.
Alice stuck a meat fork through her hand and pinned it to the chopping board.
Brenda took off all her clothes. She did whatever she was told.
They were compelled by a fear too great to be remembered, enslaved by a power no man should ever wield.

When I initially picked up this book I didn't know what it was actually about as the blurb is very nondescript.

I enjoyed the overall topic of this book
(view spoiler)
Nov 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Gripping, disturbing, vivid, incredibly intense- mind control on steroids! Yet not one of my favourite Dean Koontz novels. But here I am still thinking about it and how it made me feel- so that says a lot in itself, right?
Armand Rosamilia
Oct 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I re-read this one and it still stands up. Koontz mixes his thriller concept with some science fiction-ish as well as fantastic ideas. Overall a great book and I can read (and see) where a book like this would eventually take the author's writing in his future.
Dan Nash
Sep 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book will make you think twice about drinking water!
Alper Kaya
Sep 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: korku-gerilim
Dean Koontz gerçekten radikal bir yazar. 1991'de Türkçe edisyonu basılmış, 80'lerin ortasında orijinal baskısı çıkmış olan "Gecenin Ayazında" kitabında zihin kontrolünü bilgisayar destekli bir kurguyla harmanlamayı başarmış.
Alex Gherzo
Aug 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Patrick Gibson
Mar 05, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror-of-it
There was a time when I thought Dean Koontz wrote circles around Stephen King. He wasn’t famous. He had a cult following and he made you feel like you just discovered someone cool. He was the anti-King you could keep to yourself or share with a selected few. Koontz, of course, went the way of all flesh and began cranking them out and repeating himself. Fame? Well, if ‘Family Guy’ rips on you, fame has become your enemy. I haven’t read a Koontz novel since Odd Thomas became a regular character. T ...more
Oct 11, 2010 rated it liked it
Book of the month for Koontzland group.

I was surprised how explicit this book was; surprised, not shocked. The author's books are usually tamer. I prefer the humor and character development of his later books.

Mad scientist, mad general, mad millionaire, small town = mayhem.

Oct 05, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dean-koontz
There's a cool horror story going on in this novel but unfortunately you gotta weed through lousy characters and some rape scenes to find it. I find I either really love Koontz or prefer to use his novels as coasters for my Jameson on the rocks.
Jan 09, 2013 rated it liked it
I think Koontz needs to work on his endings. The first 3/4 of the book is really interesting and then the last 1/4 felt rushed and the ending was a little lame. Like the other Koontz book I read it was like he was going to go over his 330 page limit so he just had to round it off quickly.
Paul Anderson
Mar 28, 2008 rated it liked it
I'm usually not too thrilled by Koontz's early works, but this book was shockingly original. For its time, I imagine this book was quite frightening, and unique. I really enjoyed it, as I was surprised by this originality.
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What's the Name o...: SOLVED. Subliminal messages/murder. [s] 6 47 Jan 24, 2018 05:04AM  
Koontzland - Dean...: Night Chills (Group Read - October 2010) 92 117 Sep 03, 2014 10:23AM  
  • The Voice of the Night
  • The Fall of the Dream Machine / The Star Venturers (Ace Double, 22600)
  • Darkness
  • Children of the Storm
  • Chase
  • The Dean Koontz Companion
  • Invasion
  • Predators
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