Books & Magazines


The House of Thunder by Dean Koontz

Pros: thoroughly held my interest
Cons: inappropriate romance angle

It’s been a long time since I so enjoyed a book!  I’m talking about Dean Koontz’s The House Of Thunder.  Completely engaging, it kept me guessing the entire time.  And filled me with a sense of terror I rarely get from any book!
Imagine waking up in a hospital bed.  No memory of how you got there.  You come to find out you’d been in a terrible accident, and have been in a coma for several weeks.  And while there are definite holes in your recent memory, a terrible memory from over a decade ago is clear as can be.  Worse, it seems like it’s coming back to haunt you all over again.  The people who hurt you back then have returned.  Even the ones you thought were dead.  But there they are – in the hospital – coming to you when no one else is looking, and threatening you all over again.  And worst of all, the doctors and nurses keep telling you “it’s all in your head”.   A result of your recent coma.  Yet, when these nightmares appear, it all feels so real. What’s real?  What’s in your imagination?
This is what happens to Susan Thorton.  And she’s terrified.  Not sure which would be worse – to find out these things are a result of brain injury, or to find out they’re actually real.  Neither is a pleasant explanation.  And no matter which way the clues point her, there’s always another clue pointing in the opposite direction.

I admit truly wondering what was really going on.  I’m an avid reader in this thriller genre and I was able to concoct several explanations in my mind.  And yet, the story twisted and turned and I was left scratching my head until it was all finally revealed.  And what a story it turned out to be!
The only part of the book that disappointed me was the character of Susan’s main doctor, and the inappropriate relationship that developed between them.  Personally, the thought of getting involved, romantically, with the physician who’s treating me in the hospital really does not sit right with me.  In fact, it’s pretty gross.  I’m pretty sure I would have bolted the first time my doctor tried to kiss me.  But Susan stays, and even entertains ridiculous notions of love for the doctor she just met.  I could have done without all of that.
Originally published in the 80’s, The House Of Thunder does show its age.  Today, the story would play out quite a bit differently, I think.  But don’t judge the story by its age, just put yourself back in the 80’s and enjoy the ride.  I couldn’t put it down, I bet you’ll feel the same!