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A Stir Of Echoes

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  10,164 Ratings  ·  529 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.
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Published May 19th 2000 by Boxtree Ltd (first published 1958)
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Dan Schwent
Feb 06, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: matheson, 2017, 2017-books
When Tom Wallace's brother-in-law hypnotizes him at a party, he inadvertently wakens something in Tom. Now, Tom sees the ghost of a woman in a black dress and can sense peoples' thoughts. But who is the woman in the black dress...?

Sometime in that half-forgotten time before Goodreads, I went on a Richard Matheson binge and this is one of the books I read. I thought I'd unloaded it at the local used bookstore years ago but I stumbled upon it in my basement while looking for something else. Since
...more
Delee
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
...more
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
...more
Lyn
Dec 13, 2011 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.

description
Trudi
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
...more
Maciek
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
...more
Mark
Jul 03, 2013 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
...more
Carmine
Oct 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Il sorriso dell'apparenza

Soleggiata e ridente questa Tulley Street, classico quartiere di una medio-borghesia accogliente con i propri dirimpettai, prodiga nel mantenere verde il giardino e ingenuamente innocua quando scappano le due birrette il venerdì sera.
L'ignoranza diventa salvifica per la nostra incolumità; le menzogne raccontante a noi e gli altri un indispensabile compromesso - questo è quello che ci ripetiamo ogni giorno - per sopravvivere.
Perché dovremmo vivere con degli specchi in c
...more
Shorty
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.
Becky
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
...more
Jason Parent
Jul 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my faves. Thinking about a re-read.
Sandy
Dec 16, 2015 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
Bill
Apr 15, 2013 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
...more
Helen
Apr 03, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 stars.

Superb writing. Tom was most likeable and the descriptions of his experiences were vivid and real, a masterful blending of the everyday mundane and the incredible.However, the ending was neither one thing or the other; neither resolved or left open. Still, an excellent story and I liked that the film diverged from the plot of the novel and yet retained the essence of the tale. Both are worth checking out!
Emma
Oct 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tom Wallace and his wife Anne are your standard perfect 1950s couple. They have one son, and another child on the way. Tom has an average job, and the couple attend normal boring dinner parties at their neighbour's house. However, one evening everything is thrown into jeopardy when Tom is hypnotised into developing psychic powers...

I very much enjoyed this book, as I didn't know anything at all about it going into it. I only found out about 3/4 of the way through that it's supposed to be a horr
...more
Megan
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
Marko Radosavljevic
2.6...Iskreno se nadam da je ova bljutava mlaka kaša posledica lošeg prevoda.Metisonu dajem još jednu šansu.
Lou
Nov 24, 2010 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
...more
Troy Blackford
Oct 16, 2015 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
Eℓℓis ♥
In occasione del gruppo-tour halloweeniano su Facebook --> Piuma&Calamaio - Suggerisci un libro

Io sono Helen Driscoll si presenta come una ghost-story, all'apparenza, ricca di suspense... Esatto, soltanto all'apparenza perché di veri momenti da brivido non ce ne sono.
La narrazione in prima persona e la scorrevolezza del testo e dei dialoghi sono gli unici punti a suo favore, Matheson avrebbe potuto sfruttare meglio il potenziale della trama perché più che sull'aspetto paranormale semb
...more
Flavia
Oct 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Il paranormale che piomba addosso all'uomo comune. La mente che si apre a percepire ogni cosa e l'individuo che lotta per non impazzire, non essere sopraffatto, imparare a gestire lo straordinario che irrompe nell'ordinario.

Qualche ingenuità qua e là, una rapida carrellata di fenomeni psi che a tratti risulta un po' forzata, ma il tutto è comunque gestito in modo lineare, semplice ma comunque curato. La storia magari non trasmette molti brividi, anche a causa di decenni di variazioni sul tema, s
...more
George K.
Sep 24, 2015 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
...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
...more
Kathy Worrell  ツ
Oct 14, 2015 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.
Jeremy
Jul 09, 2008 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.
Irene
Jul 09, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Me di cuenta de lo que estaba leyendo a las pocas páginas, y casi me arrepiento de no revisar de qué va un libro antes de empezarlo. En fin, apenas recuerdo nada de la película, exceptuando la cara de Kevin Bacon, lo cual es bueno para mí y quizá malo para la película.

Me gusta mucho el estilo narrativo de Matheson (Soy leyenda es uno de mis libros favoritos ever), por lo que he disfrutado mucho con la lectura de esta novela (si no fuera porque desde hace unos años no me gusta demasiado el terror
...more
P
Oct 12, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: better-movie
My God but this was dull. It made me start a new shelf for movies that are better than the books they're based on, because after years it's difficult to keep them sorted in my head.
Mark
Jun 25, 2013 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
Fiona MacDonald
Oct 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-books
Interesting story. Even more interesting to know that Matheson inspired Stephen King. It's quite well written, and has a Dean Koontz/Richard Laymon feel to it. Creepy story about what happens when a man starts having visions of the future, and of a terrifying female presence in his house. Soon his life, work and marriage is on the line.
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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.” 23 likes
“Everyone has a secret place in his mind. Otherwise relationships would be impossible.” 4 likes
More quotes…