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Strange Highways

4.4 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • MP3 CD
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio; Library edition (Nov. 29 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1423339649
  • ISBN-13: 978-1423339649
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 1.3 x 19 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Collection of tales from horror novelist Koontz.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

From Library Journal

"Strange Highways" is the title story in Koontz's (e.g., The Servants of Twilight, Audio Reviews, LJ 2/1/94) new collection of short stories. Joey Shannon, an alcoholic whose life has been going nowhere for 20 years, returns to his hometown for the funeral of his father. As he leaves town, he gets a mysterious second chance to relive the night in 1975 when his life began its downward spiral: to both literally and figuratively take the road that he didn't originally take. On this road he is supremely tested by conflict with his successful and charismatic older brother P.J., by conflict between his cynicism and his lost faith, and by conflict between the ultimate good and evil. Actor James Spader's reading is somewhat uneven, often invested with the right measure of blase cynicism but occasionally too rushed and monotonal. Nevertheless, this audiobook will be popular. Recommended for fiction collections.?Kristen L. Smith, Loras Coll. Lib., Dubuque, Ia.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Koontz isn't a horror novelist, even though he's been cast in that role. He's called the Master of SUSPENSE, and for a reason: his tales are downright suspenseful (the mold for other novelists) even if they usually don't use the element of horror.
But in this collection, Dean Koontz delivers several short stories that contemplate and expertly acheive horror genre greatness.
The title story (actually, it's a novel) is about a man who returns home...then is forced to face the demons of his past, who have come back to haunt him. "Kittens," Koontz's first published work of fiction, is about a little girl who decides to get revenge on her parents.
"The Black Pumpkin," along similar lines, is about a little boy ostracized from his own family. "Miss Atilla the Hun," "We Three," and "The Night of the Storm" are brilliant sci-fi pieces (from Koontz's old days of writing science fiction), while "Trapped" follows a similar vein as Koontz's pinnacle novel "Watchers".
"Bruno" is a flat-out hilarious sci-fi farse, while "Hardshell" (the first piece of fiction I read by Koontz) is about a cop hunting down a killer who is a little different. "Snatcher" is a journey into the macabre, while "Twilight of the Dawn" is a moving tale of a man's search for faith and guidance.
"Strange Highways" is not so strange at all; it's great fiction by a masterful writer. Dean Koontz is without a doubt one of the best writers of all time. That statement may sound a little exaggerated, if you haven't read any of his work. If you read something by him, though, you'll know what I mean. Why not start here, with "Strange Highways"? It's diverse, and it shows you what this man can do--and do well.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Because this book contains many short stories I obviously have mixed feelings about it. The first short story "Strange Highways, which is closer to being a novel, was excellent. It had everything: suspense, action, and twists. I think it is one of Koontz's greatest pieces. The last story "Chase", which was also almost novel length, was excellent as well.
However, most of the stories between these two novels were horrible and downright embarrassing. Many of them where from when Koontz was just starting to write(and it shows). The story "The Black Pumpkin" reminds me of something I wrote in fifth grade for a Halloween project. "Bruno" is Koontz's attempt at writing comedy and it succeeds at being the corniest, most childish, waste of thirty-some pages. Most of the rest of the stories are very one dimensional and uninspired.
I think this book proves that Koontz should stick to writing novels and steer clear of short stories. I do think that Koontz is a wonderful writer and I have read many of his excellent books, but this isn't one of them. I would definetely recommend reading the first and last stories of this book, just nothing in between.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Koontz is far better at developing novel-length stories than short fiction. (Stephen King, by contrast, is the exact opposite.) For the revised reprint of "Chase," alone, though, it's worth the price of the book.
The title novel/novella in the book is uneven, suffering from an excess of unexplained fantasy elements, which has plagued several of the author's more recent pieces. It is, however, well-written and enjoyable.
The rest are much more of a grab-bag. Most of Koontz's short stories aren't all that memorable. There are exceptions. His first sale, "Kittens," is among its pages, and is much better than the author gives it credit for. "Down in the Darkness" is eerily atmospheric and unsettling. "Miss Attilla the Hun" displays Koontz's ability to wed humor with suspense, and is quite enjoyable, and "Bruno" is simply a comic delight.
Two of the pieces I would much have preferred to read as novels, and I'm sorry Koontz didn't develop them to that extent: "Hardshell" and "Trapped." The former is a most unusual cops-and-robbers story, the latter one of Koontz's monster-out-of-the-lab offerings.
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Format: School & Library Binding
If you've ever read any of my reviews on Koontz titles in the past, you know how big a fan I am. This time is no different. I found a hardback copy of Strange Highways in a local used bookstore and pounced on it immediately. What an awesome collection! There really is something here for every fan of Koontz, whether you like his creepy supernatural stuff, the tense psychological suspense, or some of his more science fiction pieces, you won't be disappointed. "Trapped" is one of my favorites, mainly because Whispers tops my list of favorite books and the subject matter is very similar (he discusses this at the end of the book). "Miss Atilla the Hun" is another favorite, as well as the title novel. And who couldn't love "Bruno"? Whethere you're new to Koontz's work, or an old fan like me, I strongly suggest picking up a copy of Strange Highways for yourself. You're sure to be taken on a lively ride that's definitely worth the price of admission.
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