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Whispers: 08/21/06


I like horror and mystery stories though I get most of my horror stories through either short stories or films. It's been a couple years at least since the last horror book I've read and that one involved vampires. Whispers is more of a psychological thriller with some slasher stuff thrown into the mix.

Given the mundane way Los Angeles is presented I was surprised at how quickly all the characters were willing to accept that there might be supernatural explanation behind the events. I suppose Koontz was hoping his readers would go along with the main characters until they figured things out but there are enough clues and enough use of cliché to make predicting a more terrestrial answer fairly easy.

Here's my BookCrossing review:

The book has its flaws, mostly in the details and a lot of my complaints are petty but if Koontz is as much a perfectionist as he claims in the Afterword, then he should triple check things. Two that jumped out at me: Warner Brothers should be Warner Bros. as that is the company's name. I've seen their incorporation paperwork when I worked in the film archive at UCLA. Secondly, it's Caltech, not Cal Tech; my husband went there as did a number of our friends.

Now onto the story itself. Much of it is dated which is understandable given it was written in 1978. Many of the details rely on pop culture references relevant to the time like Mork and Mindy and the Rockford Files. Of course back then there isn't the internet which I'm sure would have played heavily in a more modern version of this story.

The story starts as a horror / slasher and then dabbles in the supernatural and occult. Both of these disguise the fact for a while that it's really a combination of Psycho and Flowers in the Attic.

I have to admit to enjoying the book for its goofy charm. It's not one of the best books I've read this year but it kept me entertained and was easy enough to read in a couple of afternoons.

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