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The Bad Place

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  36,010 ratings  ·  818 reviews
Frank Pollard is afraid to fall asleep. Every morning when he awakes, he discovers something strange--like blood on his hands--a bizarre mystery that tortures his soul. Two investigators have been hired to follow the haunted man. But only one person--a young man with Down's Syndrome--can imagine where their journeys might end. That terrible place from which no one ever ret ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 417 pages
Published July 6th 2004 by Berkley (first published January 13th 1990)
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Super*BETA*Reader I think it might be because in 1981 Stephen King wrote a non-fiction book about the horror genre, and in it there is a well-known quote about the haun…moreI think it might be because in 1981 Stephen King wrote a non-fiction book about the horror genre, and in it there is a well-known quote about the haunted house being the archetype of a "Bad Place". It is a term that he uses a number of times in that particular chapter.(less)

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Average rating 3.93  · 
Rating details
 ·  36,010 ratings  ·  818 reviews

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Mar 25, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
2012 review: Exceedingly dark, and gripping detective agency horror. A couple of private investigators get involved with a manic family feud between brothers with psi powers. Reads a lot better than it sounds. One of Dean Koontz's best, in my opinion. Up to 8 out of 12.

2009 review: A pretty dark, and at times gripping detective agency horror. A couple of private investigators get involved with a manic family feud between brothers with psi powers. One of the more interesting Koontz reads. 7 out o
Jan 24, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-said, abandoned
I hate putting down a book once I’ve started it, until I have turned that final page. But in life sometimes exceptions must be made and this is definitely one of those times.

What can I say? This book, this story, simply did not connect with me in any way. I suppose that the concept does indeed have promise, but what ever little bit of interest it was successful in generating within me has wicked out.

The characters are beige, the scenes are beige, the writing is blah, blah, blah, full of cliché
"Not funny ha ha, funny weird".

That is a quote from this book that my friends and I used to repeat constantly in high school. "The Bad Place" is actually the first Koontz novel I ever read, and it got me hooked - rightfully so. I still love this book and have re-read it a few times.

It only loses one star because there are other Koontz novels I prefer over this one. It's not one of my all-time favourites, but it's pretty close, and it holds sentimental value.

EDIT: I should add that I went back on
May 18, 2022 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Bad Place is an entertaining chiller, though not among Koontz's best. It is one of his darker books, with some content many readers will find disturbing, and it's a very well-crafted plot, with many intriguing twists and turns. There's no memorable canine character, but the humans are all somewhat annoyingly either all good or bad with no shades of grey. There were a couple of twists that didn't get resolved to my complete satisfaction, but I wasn't engaged enough to fret about it much. Bad ...more
Karl Marberger
Jan 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, suspense
Koontz packs compelling protagonists, chilling prose and a terrifying antagonist with a twisted back story efficiently into 400 pages. Perfect length. Nothing about the novel felt drawn out or bloated at all. Also less predictable than some of his other books I’ve read. Koontz packs his characters with his own convictions and counter-convictions and I could not help but feel mildly, emotionally invested in the conflict and resolution. Great read.
Ashton Jade Gibbs

The Bad Place - Dean R Koontz

Let me just start by saying that I would actually consider this is 3.5 stars than just a 3! :)

Frank pollard awakes at night, in the middle of an alley, with nothing but his confusion and panic. His mind is a complete blank; he can’t remember who he is, doesn’t recall how he got in the alley, and doesn’t know who to turn to for help. He knows nothing but his name. Every time Frank goes to sleep, he wakes up with things he can’t explain – valuables in his pockets,
Cody | CodysBookshelf
With The Bad Place, Dean Koontz did something he's never done before — gross me out. This book had me gagging on multiple occasions, especially toward the end. "Four testicles." Need I say more?

Written during what many consider Koontz's peak period (which most tend to agree was from 1983 to 1995 or so), I went into this novel with relatively high expectations and was not let down. This makes for my tenth or eleventh Koontz read, so I don't claim to be well-versed in his works yet . . . but this
Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*
The Bad Place is an unpredictable, surprising novel with more strengths than weaknesses. The characters are written well and in depth; the suspense and horror are strong, the drama is high when shown - I even cried at one scene involving Thomas.

The middle and end paid off big time, keeping me flipping through the pages. On bad points, The Bad Place was a little hard to get into because of how outlandish the story was at first. I was confused, and didn't want to dig that much to get 'into it'. Th
Apr 14, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: annoying, mystery, horror
The first time I read this book I was in 8th grade, and wasn't exactly brimming with literary experience. Now I'm 26 and just read it again for the second time... my god, I can't believe how awful this book is. I'll be fair and mention the positive first: the "bad guys" are rather... unique. You won't find characters like them in other books. And I thought their psychology, the plot twist at the end, and some of the strange powers that they have and places they get to were pretty interesting. TH ...more
Nov 16, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dean-koontz
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I read this book for the May group read for the Dean Koontz Group, of which I'm currently a member. Unfortunately, I can't really say that liked this one at all. It seemed to me that it was both lacking and overdone at the same time. Lacking in characterization (which is important to me), but overdone in drama and strangeness.

Dean Koontz is not the best character writer. This is a big deal for me, because characters are my vehicle to the story. I don't care how great the plot is, or how unique t
Dustin the wind Crazy little brown owl
Every eye sees its own special vision;
every ear hears a most different song.
In each man's troubled heart, an incision
would reveal a unique, shameful wrong.

Stranger fiends hide here in human guise
than reside in the valleys of Hell.
But goodness, kindness and love arise
in the heart of the poor beast, as well.

- The Book of Counted Sorrows

Holy Wowzers! Certainly one of Dean Koontz's best. Similar to Cold Fire, but The Bad Place is more bizarre & disturbing. An impressive Cross-Genre novel with Romanc
Tara Chevrestt
Dec 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
It's been a good ten years since I read this one but I have never forgotten it. I would probably not enjoy it so much now as I ten more towards the historical fiction genre but when I read this, I was blown away. This particular Koontz book had a husband/wife team time traveling together. It was very exciting and fast paced. Between this and Cold Fire, I became a Koontz fan. ...more
Aug 16, 2008 rated it liked it
This book was a nice change from Koontz usual stuff. The main character’s dilemma is intriguing: he teleports randomly and without control, finds unusual stuff in his pockets (and occasionally blood on his hands) and has no memory of who he is, where he’s been, or what in God’s name is going on. That alone would make this a good read, but there’s also some pretty fascinating bad-guy characters, like the vampire-like killer, his psychic and decadent sisters, and their devoted, lunatic, deceased m ...more
Jul 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
My thoughts:
I read a lot of Koontz when I was younger. 13 books in a couple weeks once, had to quit reading his stories because I started to be afraid to go out in the dark by myself - I got over it! I was thrilled when I got this audio book as a gift even though I had read it during what I called my "Koontz phase." Many of the books had run together in my memory because I read so many in such a short period of time, but this one always stood out as truly scary and one of my favorites. I was sho
Samantha Shu
Oct 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I read this years ago and decided recently to revisit my Koontz days. These were the days before I was cynical and jaded by the same story repeated seven thousand times. What I discovered was so wonderful that I actually remembered the feeling of falling in love with this Author. His ability to somehow infuse you with hope for the human condition while allowing you , simultaneously to enjoy simple, bloody terror. It is, I will admit a strange combination , but it is ultimately one I crave in all ...more
DeAnna Knippling
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Suzana Vuksanovic
This book is the best novel I have read that has been written by Dean Koontz to date.
The unusual family (the "how-did-it-happen' origins of which form an intriguing and compelling part of the book), the Private Investigators that decide to pledge themselves to the case, and saddest of all, one of the PI partnership's brothers who was born with Down's Syndrome - they all add an extra ingredient which leads to the conclusion of a truly exciting, in the end unpredictable (though hints are laid thro
Mar 01, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2016
I read this book when I was a preteen and loved it. I probably shouldn't have reread it.

Parts of it are still interesting and creepy, like when you get the backstory about the family of mutants (for lack of better term). (view spoiler), which leads to four kids with special powers. Makes no sense, but who cares? The backstory and the powers were all creepy, but frankly, King would have done it better.
Nikos Anagnostou
Jun 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Ο Koontz είναι ο συγγραφέας που με έκανε να αγαπήσω το διάβασμα και πιο συγκεκριμένα την κατηγορία των ψυχολογικών θρίλερ με υπερφυσικές προεκτάσεις, που όμως ποτέ δεν αφήνει ανεξήγητες.

Έχει τη μοναδική ικανότητα να προσεγγίζει με περισσή ευαισθησία ακόμα και τις πιο ανατριχιαστικές αφηγήσεις.

Από τα καλύτερα του βιβλία. Must read.
Jane Stewart
Entertaining escape. A monstrous human wants to kill Frank and frequently kills others.

This wasn’t my favorite Koontz book, but it was good. Koontz is excellent at creating and describing characters, dialogue, and events. My favorite Koontz stories consist of one or two characters who face obstacles, struggle, become stronger, and survive or succeed. This story is more about uncovering the mystery, getting closer, then luckily managing to survive, with scars. Some of the battle scars are the los
Mike (the Paladin)
I would like to start this review with "okay" but anyone who's followed my reviews knows I do that a lot, so I will try to refrain. I probably won't succeed, but I'll try.

I've read a lot of Mr. Koontz works. My late wife was a big fan and over the years we ended up with quite a large collection of both paperbacks and hard covers, but when the Koontz group decide to read "The Bad Place" I discovered I didn't have a copy.

My daughter (who has also read a lot of Koontz)said that she thought Jeanie (

I’m not sure if I’ve ever read this novel before, but if I had, it was probably back when this novel came out in 1990. And I’m quite sure I cringed back then, too.
This novel is rife with stereotypes about Asians (even a positive stereotype is still a stereotype, guys), ableistic labels for people with Down Syndrome that Koontz even had his characters calling themselves, and all that crap. **But it also has incest, child abuse of all the kinds, r*pe, religion used as a weapon o
Diane Lynch
Jun 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Wow. This book is everything you never saw coming. It is The Bad Place written in an amazing story form. I've never read anything like this book. You get to know all the characters, even the bit ones, like you've always known them. As far as category of book, it's all of them. One of my favorite Dean Koontz books. ...more
Dimitar Jovanovski
Oct 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
I liked this one :) so much better than ''The Taking'' , that book by Koontz was just horrible. The first two-three chapters were little bit confusing for me, I needed time to get into the story so I took breaks at the beginning, but when I did get into it, I wanted to know who,what,where,how?? It had some strange parts (hey it's Koontz) but in this type of books I guess it's normal. It's a mix of supernatural, mystery, thriller and little bit of romance. It was an entertaining story so rating o ...more
May 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
I choose to read 'The Bad Place' because I have known Dean Koontz to be a great author. I read the book 'Odd Thomas' by him, and I greatly enjoyed it. I was always recommended this book by a friend, and thought that I would give it a try.
At first, I had a little difficulty getting into the book. I had many unanswered questions in the first few chapters and I was a little frustrated. Koontz wasnt being very discriptive at first, and he left me a little confused.
As I progressed into the book, I be
Dean Henryson
Dec 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I read this book as a teenager. It was so good that I read it slow, at a neighborhood park at night, underneath a small, dim lantern, and cherished every word. As Koontz often did in his earlier works, he captures you quickly with intense action, unique circumstances (such as with this novel of a man waking up in an alley not knowing who he is), and leaving the reader wanting to know more. The perspective is third person and it flips around from different characters. One of the best characteriza ...more
Lee Osborne
Dec 30, 2016 rated it did not like it
One of my penpals recommended Koontz because I'm a Stephen King fan. I happened to acquire this book for free, which is just as well because it's spectacularly bad. Really, really awful. It started with a reasonable amount of promise but rapidly got worse. I persisted with it in the vain hope it might improve, but no such luck there, unfortunately.

I like horror, but this ended up getting ridiculously over the top and read like a spoof. It reminded me of Garth Marenghi's Darkplace - it really is
Pantelis Andreou
Jan 22, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
That was one of the most disappointing and let down books from a writer i have read from for the the third time and the other works were far more superior..
I don’t know what happened with this one.. it did not stick with me.. i was not concentrated while reading it.. it had me rolling my eyes from the cliches and the bad characterization..
phew.. let’s hope the next novel from Koontz is not the same mess..
May 25, 2018 added it
Shelves: a-dnf
Did Not Finish

This was picked up on a whim. The blurb caught my interest. The first several chapters were great. But then the story switched to a killer killing a family in their home. No thanks. And upon reading other reviews, it only gets worse.

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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, the author of many #1 New York Times bes

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  Dean Koontz has been a long-time master of the suspense, with his bestselling Odd Thomas and Jane Hawk series as well as his many standalone...
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“On those occasions when he had killed in the dark, he later needed to see his victims' faces because, in some unlit corner of his heart, he half expected to find his own face looking up at him, ice-white and dead-eyed. "Deep down," the dream-victim had said, "You know that you're already dead yourself, burnt out inside. You realize that you have far more in common with your victims after you've killed them than before.” 25 likes
“That was one of the most fundamental and sacred duties good friends and families performed for one another! They tended the flame of memory, so no one’s death meant an immediate vanishment from the world; in some sense the deceased would live on after their passing, at least as long as those who loved them lived. Such memories were an essential weapon against the chaos of life and death, a way to ensure some continuity from generation to generation, an order of endorsement and meaning.” 23 likes
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