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THE MASK Hardcover – 2007


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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: BOOK CLUB ASSOCIATES (2007)
  • ASIN: B001W1MBBW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,880,137 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I was born and raised in Pennsylvania where I graduated from Shippensburg State College (now Shippensburg University). When I was a senior in college, I won an Atlantic Monthly fiction competition and have been writing ever since. My first job after graduation was with the Appalachian Poverty Program, where I was expected to counsel and tutor underprivileged children on a one-to-one basis. During my first day on the job, I discovered that the previous occupier of my position had been beaten up by the very kids he had been trying to help and had landed in the hospital for several weeks. The following year was filled with challenge but also tension, and I was more highly motivated than ever to build a career as a writer. I wrote nights and weekends, which I continued to do after leaving the poverty program and going to work as an English teacher in a suburban school district outside Harrisburg. After a year and a half in that position, my wife, Gerda, made me an offer I couldn't refuse: "I'll support you for five years," she said, "and if you can't make it as a writer in that time, you'll never make it." By the end of those five years, Gerda had quit her job to run the business end of my writing career. Gerda and I live in southern California with their dog Anna, and the enduring spirit of their dog Trixie in southern California.

Dean Koontz is an international household name whose hugely entertaining parables for our times have been bestsellers in many countries, selling seventeen million copies each year.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 34 people found the following review helpful By hippo on 30 Jun 2004
Format: Paperback
Dean Koontz has written so many books, but this is first i've read. I 've been looking for an alternative from Stephen King. I think Koontz can fill his boots.
This is about a loving, warm childless couple, eagar to adopt, however something seems to want to stop them, near miss after near miss follows. Then they meet Jane, a cool but lost kid with amnesia but who warms to them. The perfect set up.. right?
This is all out horror. The story is short and tight, with only a handful of characters but this adds to the story because you feel for them. Koontz is great at setting a scene, there are a number of chilling ones mostly involving Grace, an elderly woman who plays an intregal part in the book.
The book ends quite suddenly, but this isn't as bad as it sounds because Koontz ties almost all of the threads together just before and leaves you with enough to think of. Stories that drag on become monotonous.
I can't wait to read further Koontz books and highly reccomend this one.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By R. Faulkner on 16 July 2011
Format: Paperback
This is five star Koontz and highly recommended for a first foray into his novels. I personally find his earlier books, such as this one, from 1981, to be far better than his later stuff. not that his later books are poor, just that they are not quite so well crafted, with not quite so much thought and energy being put into them. It's understandable I suppose, when you are an established best-selling author.

I don't quite get the title of 'The Mask' as it really isn't relevant, in that the point of the story is nothing to do with 'masking'. I'm having difficulty finding a concept to describe what it IS about without risking spoiling the storyline, so perhaps DK and his publishers thought 'Mask' was a safer bet, but it ain't accurate, that's all I'm trying to tell you. Oh, and I felt the ending was a bit underdone, but then you have to leave something to the imagination, don't you?

As always, Mr Koontz takes his time to get to the point (see my other DK reviews) but it is always worth the wait, and with 'The Mask', the wait is certainly not as painful as it sometimes is, and there is always something happening to keep you spooked and intrigued.

That I give it 5 stars despite the poor title, the usual wait for the real action and the truncated ending, is significant, and I'm quite certain that anyone with a decent imagination will thoroughly enjoy this book.

If you haven't read Koontz before, please give him a try. Trollope he isn't, but he trounces most of the over-rated modern 'thriller' writers who are around today, and he writes in proper sentences, so you won't be irritated by the constant use of four-word pseudo sentences favoured by some of the uneducated clots who get published these days!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mark Slattery on 17 Jan 2011
Format: Paperback
This gets off to a fast start and maintains its velocity. It's a spooky story, intruiging and unnerving, character-driven as always and unfurling a mystery that threatens to engulf every character. As usual it has touches of the supernatural but these are never allowed to become unbelievable, and you enter the fiction convinced of the tension the characters are exposed to.

This is a single-strand novel as with many of Koontz's earlier books and feels like a natural fit for a movie. He has not been well served by the adaptations of his books, poor guy, while the man he is compared to, Stephen King (I like King but Koontz is a much better writer) is leaving a trail of magical movie adaptations. How's that for dumb luck?

The prose is confident and smacks of a man hitting his stride effortlessly after just becoming a million-seller (the Funhouse, 1980). He writes for three generations of women in this book, and handles the teenager, young woman, and retiree with great skill. Plus there is a very interesting cat! It is a clever ending too. If you don't know Koontz's work, and want to start with a shorter, self-contained book, this is ideal. If you do know his work, and have not got around to this, its stronger than many of his early works and the ending is especially neat.

If you want to start or continue your relationship with Koontz at a higher level of ambition, try Watchers or the Bad Place. Both will turn your fingers white.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Cassie Dixon on 2 April 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Really enjoyed this book with little twists and turns and great read for any imagination would liked to have known how Carol felt after finding out the truth.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Elena bibic on 17 Jan 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Great story line but there seemed to be no closure. I felt it wasn't the end. Another gripping book from Koontz.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Ms. S. De La Haye on 20 Oct 2008
Format: Paperback
this was a case of ive started reading it and all nice and plain and suddenly it got spooky i tried to leave it and stop reading it gave me the shivers .the thing is this is not my sort of book but could not stop reading it. if you like spooky then this will not disappoint you promise
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Matt Hemingway on 14 Jan 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Big fan of Dean Koontz but this isn't one of his best. Predictable throughout and ended abruptly. Started well though.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Quetzalcoatl78 on 3 July 2012
Format: Paperback
I haven't read a Dean Koontz book since I failed to finish LIFE EXPECTANCY a few years ago. Before that I'd read THE TAKING which was very good with a plain crap ending. I'd never even fancied reading THE MASK, but I found it in a charity shop recently, and read it pretty much straight away.

Carol and Paul Tracy are a high-achieving goody-two-shoes couple trying to go through the adoption process. When a freak lightning storm delays a crucial adoption meeting, and their applications are lost, it seems that something is against the whole idea of them adopting a child. Then, a young girl with amnesia walks in front of Carols car and ends up in hospital, when, after no family emerge to claim her, she is put into Carols care. Carol is a psychologist and, while providing a temporary home for the girl, whom they call Jane, also tries to hypnotically regress her to get past her amnesia and discover who she really is.

The hypnosis sessions are strange; Jane seems to have macabre memories, as well as multiple personalities, and attempts to follow up on the information received in hypnosis lead nowhere. Meanwhile, Carol and Paul's house begins to tremble with a strange thudding noise, and strange apparitions and disturbances - poltergeist activity - appear around the house. Grace, a now-elderly psychiatrist who took in and nurtured Carol as a teenager and looks upon her as her own daughter, also begins to have strange experiences. She has terrible portentous dreams, receives phone calls from her long-dead husband, and has an eerie sense of imminent disaster. Her beloved cat, Aristophanes, behaves strangely, bizzarely, and then menacingly, and after a long-dead reporter visits her, she learns that her cat has been possessed by some evil (and under-explained) intent.
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