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The Mask Paperback – 20 Jul 1989

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Headline (20 July 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747232628
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747232629
  • Product Dimensions: 12 x 2.2 x 24.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 313,009 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.

Product Description

Book Description

Who was the girl behind the mask ...?

About the Author

Dean Koontz was born into a very poor family and learned early on to escape into fiction. He lives in southern California with his wife, Gerda and a vivid imagination.

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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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bob on 3 Mar. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I gave up on this book, not even a quarter of the way through. It was all the married protagonists' fault.

They never fall out, are perfect for each other, excel in their respective fields, etc.

I've never met a couple like this, in real life, because, in real life, they are impossible.

I have, however, met this couple before, in fiction, many times, in almost every Dean Koontz book I've ever read.

From book to book, their names change, but the couple remain the same, and they sometimes have a dog, who, guess what? Is the most perfect dog there has ever been, and he never s***s on the carpet.

Likeable characters have flaws, they fail sometimes and they argue, they are human; it's often their faults that we attach most strongly to.

The Dean Koontz couple don't argue, their sex is always perfect and I detest them for it.

I stopped reading this book when I realized that I wanted the good guys in a Koontz book to die again. (The last time, it was Jimmy Tock and his hatefully-unfunny "family of pastry chefs" in Life Expectancy.)

In short: I did not like this book.
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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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