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Customer Reviews

147
3.1 out of 5 stars
77 Shadow Street
Format: Kindle EditionChange
Price:£4.74
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
As a new convert to Dean Koontz I have very recently read 'The Husband' and 'Intensity' and really enjoyed both, in fact I'd go as far as to say that Intensity is one of the best thrillers I have ever read. And that despite the fact there is hardly any dialogue. It takes an exceptional writer to be able to do that and maintain momentum. It is simply superb. So I bought 77SS with high anticipation and was sorely disappointed. I can't believe it has been written by the same author. Too many characters, a stereotypical haunted house on a hill, daft, disjointed story, repetitive storytelling and silly creatures. Just couldn't get into it and gave up half way. I speed read to the end and it didn't seem to pick up. I wouldn't care I normally only buy bargain books generally no more than £2 but I paid more for this. However, I'm prepared to give him another go as everyone is due a duff book and have started 'The Good Guy'. And so far, it's back to the Dean Koontz I like...
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 1 October 2012
Being a reader of Koontz novels for well over 20 years now, I picked up a second-hand copy of 77SS to see what all the fuss was about. Countless reviews slated just about every aspect of the writing / story, and so I thought I'd see for myself - keeping an open mind of course.
I sadly have to agree with what many people have already commented on the book - too many characters, too much whizzing back and forth, and quite simply - too many pages of unessessary 'dragging out' storyline text.

Where I was once impressed with Koontz delivery of describing a location in a way I could clearly see in my mind's eye; in 77SS I found location descriptions to be repeated constantly throughout the book to the point of thinking to myself - yes, I already know that - you already told me about the walls & ceiling on the last page.
I can't help but feel that Koontz simply gave himself a very limited arena with which to write about - not to mention filling 470 pages with attempting to describe 'one' event in the place (in great detail).

I can't say much better about the story I'm afraid. The idea of a building going through some type of time-shift phase has been done before - only much much better. Take Graham Masterton's 'The House That Jack Built' as an example. Much better story, simple plot and so far ahead of 77SS that you can still smell the warp engines' residue.

I would normally get through a Koontz novel in 2-3 days with the likes of Phantoms or Watchers; I even thoroughly enjoyed Breathless - with 77SS it was almost a 3-week assault course. After every pick-up and covering 20 or so pages I felt I had learned enough about grey slime and things in walls to do me; and after realising the story was going nowhere fast it would be put down again.
In the end it wasn't to reveal whatever twist or turn (which is quite poor I must add) lurked on the final pages, it was simply to get shot and be done with it.

To sum up, my only advice to anyone considering reading this book would be to have a good supply of Pro-Plus or black coffee at hand during the process. It may also help to have a notepad and pen handy to keep track of the amount of jumping around it does, and the people involved.
Perhaps what I feel most concerned with is the fact that Koontz does indeed seem to be slipping in the overall quality of his work. To put this another way - had 77SS been written by anyone else, I doubt the publishers would have even given it the light of day. Perhaps someone should tell them - it may help wake Mr Koontz up a little.

2 stars - 1 for the hope Koontz will recover; and the 2nd - well - I liked the cover.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 31 December 2012
If I didn't know any better, I would have thought someone else had written this book. At the risk of sounding crass, it was complete and utter crap. I read it through to the bitter end and felt so cheated. I have admired Dean Koontz' writing for many years, got my son hooked on his work and to have something like this even published under his name is a travesty. Do not bother.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on 28 February 2012
Oh for the days when Dean Koontz wrote with a ceaseless rigour and a haunting rhythm and an 'R' in between his two names. In those days a new book by the author was an event and a welcome one at that; nowadays he seems to churn them out and they can fail to enthuse and to enthral and are often flabby and flaccid.
At least this is not yet another book about Odd Thomas and there are some gripping passages of prose. This is far more than a haunted house/hotel/apartment block novel with a time travel twist added to the mix. However,unlike earlier tomes such as Watchers and Night Chills this book does not grip and it never seems to entirely engage the reader or to move into top gear.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 15 September 2014
Too many characters, all of which you won't care about, not one jot, intermingled with no sense of consistency and every four page sub-chapter ending on a cliffhanger. Obvious exposition and lack of suspension of disbelief kill the story. Nobody is terrified or seems the least bit disturbed by the unfolding events and there's just the right mix of intellectuals and scientists present to explain everything. Immediately. Despite no evidence to back up their wild speculation.

Koontz does the mind of the serial killer well - better perhaps than most crime writers - but here the obligatory killer is a damp squib and absent for most of the story. Attempts are also made to include a blind protagonist and a child with autism, both of which are so clumsily executed or wasted I found myself embarrassed on Koontz's behalf. The story jumps so eratically from one point of view to the next, you'll forget (and won't care) whose story you're now reading. Some characters are so similar they are almost indistinguishable, while others are so outlandishly unlikely (the girl whose parents were killed by lightning) and so incredibly pointless (the radio show hosts who spend most of the book in a cafe) you just won't buy into any of it.

Koontz is the king of horror, so I refuse to award any less than two stars. I can forgive him his brick-sized books with his own name displayed above the title, sometimes gilded and embossed, but more often than not just presented in tasteful sans-serif. I can forgive him the lack of flair and style his books display in their cover art and blurb - the publishers are probably to blame anyway. I can even forgive him for having a name that makes it difficult to order his books at the library without the librarian giving me funny looks until I explain that, no, it's a horror writer's name. It just sounds rude if you're not paying attention. I can forgive him all these things because he usually writes fantastic books, way above the level of most of his contemporaries.

I think I'll also forgive him for 77 Shadow Street. I've chalked it down to a bad year (assuming it took that long and wasn't penned on the back of a napkin during a boring meal out). Maybe he had a chronic headache, or a bad bout of hayfever. Nobody is perfect. The trouble is, Koontz almost is perfect in his writing which is perhaps why the bar is set so high. I expect better and will expect better. My advice would be, if you can't write anything superb don't write anything at all. To his publishers I say, more harshly, don't just assume your golden boy can throw any old rubbish at his fanbase and keep said fanbase. We're an intolerant lot, we readers. Our bark is worse than our bite, but when your stock in trade depends on selling dogfood... no this analogy has gone all wrong. Just don't do it again Dean. Please.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 22 October 2013
I have only ever read Breathless and I enjoyed it. I recently started reading this book and it wasn't too bad to start with. There were some weird goings on and for a change it's not about ghosts. But I've got half way through the book and I'm disappointed and bored.I thought the idea itself is good but nothing is happening.
The same sightings just with different characters. Halfway through the book I expect an increase in suspense until the thrilling climax, but I've read on and it's the same pace throughout the rest.
The same things are happening. They sight something and that's it, then it moves on to another character and what they see and when we go back to the other character nothing has happened to them.
I've only read half the book and I don't want to waste my time reading more. This has put me off reading any of this writers books.

The other thing that I was getting fed-up with is the constant viewpoint change. After leaving the book for a day or so (it's THAT riveting) I'd forget who was who. It gets interesting and then the viewpoint changes, I know that this is a technique to get you to read on but I did and nothing has happened! I just had no interest in the characters to want to read on. Some might not mind this but I prefer to stick with the same characters and follow them throughout the book.

So: it's slow, the same things happen, the viewpoint keeps switching and there is no tension. There is nothing to engage me and make me want to read on, except to find out what happens next. I have better books to read.

I was looking for another writer as good as James Herbert as I've read all of his books (but one) and was disappointed again. Another boring writer who has good ideas but makes me bored.
Don't waste your money. Borrow it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 30 August 2013
A really disappointing novel compared to his other stories, it's so boring I'm skimming and skipping over paragraphs! Don't waste your money!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 11 June 2013
My daughter bought this hard back copy for me knowing that Dean Koontz is one of my favourite authors.

The premise is good, the layering is good, the characters are intially good, but oh, how everything soon falls into banality. A promise of a real good story, but never fulfilling the expectation from a master (Koontz) of horror, mystery, suspense and or supernatural.

Nothing seems to happen, but the prospect that something might happen just around the corner, is going to! There are so many empty 'hooks' that just don't materialize that in the early stages keep you reading.

Sorry, but there are so many characters in this, (no one is the main one) that the reader cannot feel any empathy with any and you don't feel any emotion for any particular character. It's so empty. I found myself speed reading and not giving a toss who gets killed off or meets their fate however they are dispatched, by whatever means, by different forces or entities.

I kept reading hoping it would get better, but unfortunately it doesn't. I'm not giving the ending away, but when it does eventually come - oh, how weak.

If you are new to Koontz, this might be okay for you, but this is not up to his usual standard.

Buy with caution.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 21 November 2012
Like many I have every book Dean Koontz has written, which was the only reason I bought this one. His novels have grown increasingly paralysed with detailed description at the expense of storyline or plot. This is a prime example of this.
I yearn for the old Dean that had a few engaging characters and brilliant twists. 77 Shadow Street starts slow and gets slower, with more and more repetative scene setting so I found myself counting the pages until it was over.
Come on Mr Koontz, You're better than this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 27 November 2012
This was just completely average in my opinion. It had its good bits, butit was a bit slow and there were was a lot of character development and background that was left undone. He could have done with fewer characters so the story could go further for the ones that remained. It wasn't bad, and considering he is becoming a bit of a churner now, just churning out book after book it was very readable but nowhere near one of his best. Not even one of his best in the last few years.

When Dean Koontz writes well, he is amazing and I end up missing the characters when the book has finished and really wishing I could know more about them. After I finished this I would have been hard pressed to name most of the characters. It's not bad but it's not great either.

I really think DK should slow down and put his talents to writing a few, excellent, nail biting, edge of your seat books instead of just rolling out book after book of quite good fiction. It IS worth a read but don't expect former glory to shine in this book.
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