John's Reviews > Hideaway

Hideaway by Dean Koontz
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's review
Dec 10, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: thriller, horror

Koontz's novels range anywhere from awful to brilliant. After reading a couple of his more mediocre ones in high school, I had pretty much written him off as a poor man's Stephen King and moved on to other horror writers like Clive Barker and H.P. Lovecraft. Hideaway, though, showcases Koontz at the height of his talent, and it's a surprisingly powerful, intensely gruesome read. I decided to give it a chance--partly because I found it at a thrift shop for less than a dollar, and partly because I had seen the movie version and thought it to be the best of Koontz's film adaptations. Talk about getting my money's worth... Although these days Koontz has adopted a faster paced, more modern writing style, Hideaway was written back in the day when Koontz wrote in a style similar to Stephen King (causing endless comparisons to each other): namely, highly-detailed descriptions of middle-class American life combined with loads of pop culture references and highly developed, fully-realized characters that any average Joe could easily relate to. For the most part, King did it consistently better--thus my reason for abandoning Koontz for pretty much the entire last decade--but Hideaway shows that that wasn't always the case. Though it's not as good as King at his best (i.e. The Stand, It, etc.), it's definitely as good as King at his better-than-average. Hideaway sticks in my mind as having the best literary rendering of a car crash that I have ever read, and also one of the most believably twisted villains I have ever come across. It's a little too drawn-out, and some things work out a little too conveniently, but those are minor complaints. The movie version is also worth a look, as it improves on the plot somewhat...but it totally ruins the best character of the novel by changing her from a disabled orphan girl to a very ordinary one played uninterestingly by Alicia Silverstone.
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Reading Progress

December 10, 2010 – Started Reading
December 10, 2010 – Shelved
Finished Reading
April 8, 2014 – Shelved as: thriller
April 8, 2014 – Shelved as: horror

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