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The House of Thunder

New or Used: 2 copies from $9.48
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Brilliance Audio has mined Koontz's backlist to present House of Thunder, a book originally published in 1982 under one of Koontz's pseudonyms. In this work, Susan Thornton is in the hospital recovering from a car crash. There, she is terrorized by haunting figures from her remote past. Is she wigging out? Having accident-related delusions? Or are there actually ghosts who intend to kill her? The answer is, of course, none of the above, but along the way we are treated to Koontz's signature ability to confound us with the seeming plausibility of the absolutely implausible. Still, this is clearly a less mature work than his contemporary offerings: the characters are stereotypes, neither believable nor even likable; the conclusion, when it finally arrives, is a bit of a dud. The dual reading by Laural Merlington and Mel Foster is adequate but not inspired. This novel is probably best left on the shelf with our snapshots of the year 1982. Brilliance's practice of dividing a 70-minute compact disc into 99 40-second (or so) tracks is a major inconvenience for quite a few reasons. Not recommended.--Kristen L. Smith, Loras Coll. Lib., Dubuque, IA Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

Koontz ( Watchers , The Servants of Twilight ) has come up with an intriguing premise: Susan Thornton wakes up in a hospital after a serious car accident with an odd, selective amnesia. She can remember nothing of her job, yet she is stricken with fear when the company she works for is named. And that's not all. Thirteen years earlier, Susan had witnessed the murder of her boyfriend during a brutal fraternity hazing; her testimony sent one of the four men responsible to prison. Now she sees the same men, looking not a day older, walking the corridors of the hospital. Even worse, she has recurrent macabre hallucinations involving them and the decomposing corpse of her boyfriend. Susan doubts her sanity until she stumbles upon a bit of hard evidence right out of one of the ``hallucinations.'' Koontz's resolution, involving a complex Soviet plot, transforms the story from a cozy chiller to political thriller and may not please readers tired of cold war paranoia and propaganda. Others, however, should find this tale satisfying from start to finish. (Nov.)

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