Friday, October 16, 2009

The House of Thunder

I've completed my latest audio book. This time it was The House of Thunder, by Dean Koontz. It seems like I am reading a bunch of horror novels lately (not to mention haunted house stories) but that's just the way its worked out. I chose this particular book almost be default. I've been trying a new library that is closer to my work place, making it easier to pick up and drop off but turns out there are very few audio books there that aren't abridged. This was just about the only one I found that was unabridged, and since I've read quite a few Koontz novels before I felt pretty safe in my pick.

Having said that, Dean Koontz can be hit or miss for me. Happily, this one was one of the better Koontz novels I've experienced. I've read enough Koontz to realize that I tend to like his earlier stuff better so perhaps that is why I liked this one. Apparently this was first published in the early 1980's under one of Koontz' pseudonyms. And it's not a haunted house novel in the usual sense at all...more of a haunted hosipital. It has a cool premise and setup for a horror situation. The protagonist, Susan Thornton, wakes up from a coma (from an auto accident) with amnesia. At first her recovery experiences are pretty normal but soon she starts to hallucinate about hospital staff members being bad guys from a murder she witnessed 13 years ago, a murder that resulted in the death of her fiance. That progresses into even more strange happenings, some of a truly horrifying nature and Susan begins to question her own sanity. It's a cool setup for a horror novel because we, the readers, aren't any more sure of what's going on than Susan herself. We can really get into her position and suffer along with her as she tries to sort out fiction from reality. Is she really hallucinating? Is she crazy? Or is something more sinister going on. And because it's a Koontz novel, we can never discount the possibility that supernatural forces are at work here.

The narration was well done on the audio book which always leads to a better experience. They used two people, a male and a female to do the different parts so that helped suspend the disbelief. The resolution was a slight let-down for me as the novel itself changed from a horror novel to more of a spy/thriller story and Koontz does the former better than the later. But the plot was still smooth and the ending was comfortable. All in all an enjoyable "read".

F my next audio book: The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. No, I've never read it so I figured an audio format might be the only way I ever get this one done. And no, it's not abridged (went back to my old library) so I should get the full impact of one of the great classics.

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Top 10 Books in no particular order (Well Known Authors)

  • "The Stand" by Stephen King
  • "Kane and Able" by Jeffrey Archer
  • "The Killer Angels" by Michael Shaara
  • "The Dark Elf Trilogy" by RA Salvatore
  • "Name of the Wind" by Patrick Rothfuss
  • "River God" by Wilbur Smith
  • "Mortalis" by RA Salvatore
  • "Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card
  • "Centennial" by James A Michener
  • "The Repairman Jack" series by F. Paul Wilson

Top Books/ Series in no particular order (Lesser Known Authors)

  • "The Sculpter" by Gregory Funaro
  • "Power Down" by Ben Coes
  • "Revolution at Sea Saga" by James L. Nelson
  • "Black Rain" by Graham Brown
  • "Top Producer" by Norb Vonnegut
  • "Prairie" by Anna Lee Waldo
  • "The Wild Blue" by W. Boyne & S Thompson
  • "Unsolicited" series by Julie Kaewert
  • "Freedom" by William Safire