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False Memory by Dean Koontz
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False Memory (original 1999; edition 2000)

by Dean Koontz

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2,367332,654 (3.63)21
Member:nicole2222
Title:False Memory
Authors:Dean Koontz
Info:Bantam (2000), Edition: 1, Mass Market Paperback, 784 pages
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False Memory by Dean Koontz (1999)

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English (31)  Dutch (1)  German (1)  All languages (33)
Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
So I’m not quite halfway through this book and still don’t know what to make of it. Yes, I’ve been on a bit of a Dean Koontz tear lately, and have enjoyed greatly the last few novels of his I’ve caught up on. Maybe I’m Koontzed out. But I think there’s more to it.

The book itself begins slowly, but before long you understand it has to do with hypnosis, and an evil doctor who uses his patients as playthings in some kind of gruesome game. I confess as well to being absolutely turned off by the realistic sadism revealed in parts of the book.

However, I think the major problem with the book is that it’s overwritten. Not overwritten like so many authors do, to pump up the word count, making lists of things, items, objects, and substances, to enhance the situations, affairs, and concepts, that the writer is trying to impart . . . you know what I mean. Though there is plenty of that in this book.

But what Koontz does here (and maybe has done all along and I’ve just never noticed) is that he says the same thing over . . . and over . . . and over again. Honest. It was on page 298 (of 751) when I had my epiphany after reading this:

“Who would have programmed Skeet? When? How? Where? For what possible purpose? And why Skeet of all people: self-admitted feeb, druggie, sweet loser that he was?”

Fascinating he was able to get the entirety of the newspaperman’s credo (who, what, where, when, and why?) into that passage. And don’t think I didn’t notice he used three adjectives to describe Skeet. But it was the next sentence that sealed it for me:

“The whole thing smelled-smacked-reeked of paranoia.”

Ya know, as someone who has tried his hand at fiction, who often has trouble finding enough words and plot points to flesh out an entire novel (generally thought of as 50,000 words or more) I never even thought of not selecting the most precise word for what I mean to say, but simply using all of them and letting the chips fall where they may.

As noted previously, it might just be that I’m Koontzed out. Nevertheless, I’m going to move on from this book and on to something else. I only hope I can return to both this book and to Koontz someday, and not suffer for having (perhaps) glimpsed the wizard behind the curtain.
  BrendanPMyers | Jun 23, 2014 |
So far, I've only read two novels by Dean Koontz (the other is "77 Shadow Street"), and I have not been able to read these books at night.

Koontz uses a very plausible scenario in this book that creates a very real feeling of horror in the reader. It is a fiction book, but the topic that is included is based on reality, and this adds to the horror feeling of the story.

The description of the book is very vague, but the title depicts the story very well. The term "False Memories" is an actual term in the field of psychology.

I enjoy the way that Koontz writes his characters. There is always enough backstory on them for the reader to fully know or understand the characters.

I really did not like the character of the villian in the story (which makes sense). I did skip a lot of the information dealing with this character because I didn't really want to know more about the character.

The story did have a good ending, with a nice resolution. I was very happy that there was no cliffhanger.




( )
  bookwormconfidential | Dec 27, 2013 |
Very interesting premise, and for the most part, very engaging. However, there were a few slow parts and it was simply too long. ( )
  bookwyrmm | Nov 22, 2013 |
On the cover of my copy of ‘False Memory’ is a quote about the author by The Times which states that the author Dean Koontz is :
“ Not just a master of our darkest dreams but also a literary juggler”
This is according to me the perfect analysis of not only the authors works in general but also with regard to the book ‘False Memory’. The novel wraps the reader in a web of literature which makes the reader tense & agog with the happenings……I won’t be exaggerating by saying that, the novel felt a lot like a 3D Film with all the special effects courtesy of Dean Koontz who makes the scenario so impressively real &….’happening’. It’s a fast paced thriller with enough of shocking material to make it a must read for any reader interested in a good mystery. What is more however, is the dark recesses of the human mind that Koontz allows his reader to get his or her teeth into. Koontz actually through this novel, has given us a glimpse of a very morbid side of the human brain which can stoop to the most gross business possible, just to feel POWERFUL or in control……the deep dark desire inherent in all of us to control & manipulate is seen in ‘False Memory’ & …….it is seriously frightening.
Dean Koontz has done something equal to an exorcist. He has managed to make the evil side of the imagination ‘talk’. The sordid nature of men in power who we trust with our lives at times (if not all the time) taking us for a ride…..turning us into puppets for their own disgusting pleasurable purposes is gruesome………but, it is real…….IT HAPPENS…….IT HAPPENED………..IT WILL KEEP ON HAPPENING ! As long as men are power hungry & human life is treated like a mere commodity, ‘False Memory’ can take place over & over again, across borders……….into the very depths of the human brain.
The story puts the reader on target at the very beginning itself in the usual Dean Koontz way, & an ardent Dean Koontz reader will know, the action always begins in the first chapter itself. In the story, we have four people who are connected in a very intricate way. There is Martie who is a well-balanced & great human being, until out of the blue she is diagnosed with autophobia (fear of oneself) ; there is her best friend Susan, who apparently also suffers from a serious phobia called agoraphobia (the fear of open places) & feels that she is being mysteriously sexually violated in her sleep….when there is no one in the house & the doors are bolted ; there is Dusty who is Martie’s ever caring & alert husband who is always out to help people, but who cannot get over the fact that he has been having some memory lapses ; then there is Skeet, Dusty’s wayward 23 year old brother who is an addict to drugs & suddenly one day plans on finishing himself by jumping off someone’s roof. All these incidents are neatly warped up in a maze of deceit & violence beyond ones imagination.
The characterization is excellent but, the character in the book that most intrigued me was the psychiatrist Dr. Mark Ahriman. He is shrouded in mystery although he is the real central character of this whole story & appears in every chapter after the first few three initial chapters. What I appreciate is the way Koontz brings out the terrible side of this man of medicine which results in dire consequences. The doctor himself was a child prodigy but who had a warped sense of living life that clouded his humanity & unleashed his thirst not only for the tears of his victims but also the power to control them. This character brought to my mind the various influential people in today’s modern world who have power in their hands…….but do we really know what’s really going on in their minds, its eerie & so is Dr. Ahriman.
The novel also brings to light corruption in the medical field where people with influence get away with murder or even child molestation……….or worse! (as in the case of the novel) Such practitioners instead of being on the edge, rather, enjoy themselves in style without the slightest trace of a conscience ; of course, sometimes insanity & warped mentalities does aid to obliterate all reason just like in the book ‘False Memory’.
There is a contrast of conscience however seen in the character of the ruthless doctor & in Martie , Dusty, Skeet & Susan ; the later four although not highly intellectual, are much better humans than not only Dr. Ahriman but also Dusty’s step father whose half crazed world of ‘ideas’ got the whole lot of characters into the mess in the first place. This novel proves that, what the world needs is not intelligent personalities, but people with hearts big enough to save even one life.
The way the author unravels the mystery through the person of the astute Dusty is pure genius & his descriptions are spooky enough to drive the reader into a frenzy if read at night.
Altogether, a very interesting thriller to possess in one’s library.
( )
  pathan.fiza | Oct 14, 2013 |
It's a fear more paralyzing than falling. More terrifying than absolute darkness. More horrifying than anything you can imagine. It's the one fear you cannot escape, no matter where you run...no matter where you hide. It's the fear of yourself. It's real. It can happen to you. And facing it can be deadly.

Fear for your mind.

### Amazon.com Review

Not a continuation of the *Moonlight Bay* series (*Seize the Night* and *Fear Nothing*) as many fans were expecting, *False Memory* is nonetheless just as powerful and compulsive as anything Koontz has written before.

Martie Rhodes is a successful young computer games designer with a loving husband, Dusty, and a seemingly normal life. Her best friend, Susan, however, suffers from agoraphobia, or a fear of open spaces, and relies on Martie to take her to weekly therapy sessions. Suddenly and inexplicably, Martie herself begins exhibiting worrying signs of a mental disorder, fearing herself capable of inflicting great harm on her loved ones. At the same time, Dusty's brother Skeet also succumbs to irrational mental behavior and tries to throw himself from a roof. It soon becomes clear that these four characters are involved in something much more than a sinister coincidence.

Koontz's great skill, as he demonstrates so well in this novel, is creating believable characters and thrusting them into seemingly impossible but--for the period of the story--completely plausible situations. The plot is as carefully layered as the most intricate orchestral compositions, and Koontz conducts the proceedings with almost unbearable tension. One of his greatest abilities as a writer, however, is tapping into the dark paranoia of society. As we approach the Millennium, and an age in which we are becoming increasingly desensitized to death and violence, Martie's fear of herself, known as autophobia, seems a terrifying warning that soon the only thing we will have left to fear is ourselves.

Deeper meanings aside, this is easily one of his best thrillers. The prose moves at a breakneck speed, and the denouement will leave you with a pounding heart and chills up and down your spine. Koontz delivers exciting, boundary-breaking fiction better than anyone else in the game, and *False Memory* (though at times shocking and disturbing) is a perfect example of a master author in top form. *--Jonathan Weir, Amazon.co.uk*

### From Library Journal

Koontz's latest novel should please his longtime fans but probably not newcomers. Martie Rhodes takes her best friend, Susan, to therapy sessions twice a week. Susan suffers from agoraphobia, a fear of crowds, which leaves her afraid to leave her apartment. Getting Susan to therapy is hard enough, but on this particular day it gets even harder. Earlier that morning, Martie looked at herself in the mirror and found she was terrified of her reflection. She has developed autophobia, a fear of self. With the vilest villain Koontz has created, the truth behind their phobias will be more horrible than Susan or Martie can imagine. False Memory could have been trimmed by 200 pages and not lost any impact. Still, the characters are rich, and the main story is compelling. Though it is not great Koontz, good Koontz is still better than most and should be added to general fiction collection.
*---Jeff Ayers, Seattle P.L. *
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. ( )
  Hans.Michel | Sep 13, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dean Koontzprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lang, StephenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
AUTOPHOBIA is a real personality disorder. The term is used to describe three different conditions: (1) fear of being alone; (2) fear of being egotistical; (3) fear of oneself. The third is the rarest of these conditions.
This phantasm
of falling petals vanishes into
moon and flowers . . .
-Okyo
Whiskers of the cat,
webbed toes on my swimming dog:
God is in details.
-The Book Of Counted Sorrows
In the real world
as in dreams,
nothing is quite
what is seems.
-The Book Of Counted Sorrows
Life is an unrelenting comedy.
Therein lies the tragedy of it.
-Martin Stillwater
Dedication
This book is dedicated to
Tim Hely Hutchinson.
Your faith in my work,
a long time ago
-and now for many years-
gave me heart
when I most needed it.
And to
Jane Morpeth.
Ours is the longest
editorial relationship
of my career,
which is a testament to
your exceptional patience,
kindness, and tolerance for fools!
First words
On that Tuesday in January, when her life changed forever, Martine Rhodes woke with a headache, developed a sour stomach after washing down two aspirin with grapefruit juice, guaranteed herself an epic bad-hair day by mistakenly using Dustin's shampoo instead of her own, broke a fingernail, burnt her toast, discovered ants swarming through the cabinet under the kitchen sink, eradicated the pests by firing a spray can of insecticide as ferociously as Sigourney Weaver wielded a flamethrower in one of those old extraterrestrial-bug movies, cleaned up the resultant carnage with paper towels, hummed Bach's Requiem as she solemnly consigned the tiny bodies to the trash can, and took a telephone call from her mother, Sabrina, who still prayed for the collapse of Martie's marriage three years after the wedding.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0553580221, Mass Market Paperback)

Not a continuation of the Moonlight Bay series (Seize the Night and Fear Nothing) as many fans were expecting, False Memory is nonetheless just as powerful and compulsive as anything Koontz has written before.

Martie Rhodes is a successful young computer games designer with a loving husband, Dusty, and a seemingly normal life. Her best friend, Susan, however, suffers from agoraphobia, or a fear of open spaces, and relies on Martie to take her to weekly therapy sessions. Suddenly and inexplicably, Martie herself begins exhibiting worrying signs of a mental disorder, fearing herself capable of inflicting great harm on her loved ones. At the same time, Dusty's brother Skeet also succumbs to irrational mental behavior and tries to throw himself from a roof. It soon becomes clear that these four characters are involved in something much more than a sinister coincidence.

Koontz's great skill, as he demonstrates so well in this novel, is creating believable characters and thrusting them into seemingly impossible but--for the period of the story--completely plausible situations. The plot is as carefully layered as the most intricate orchestral compositions, and Koontz conducts the proceedings with almost unbearable tension. One of his greatest abilities as a writer, however, is tapping into the dark paranoia of society. As we approach the Millennium, and an age in which we are becoming increasingly desensitized to death and violence, Martie's fear of herself, known as autophobia, seems a terrifying warning that soon the only thing we will have left to fear is ourselves.

Deeper meanings aside, this is easily one of his best thrillers. The prose moves at a breakneck speed, and the denouement will leave you with a pounding heart and chills up and down your spine. Koontz delivers exciting, boundary-breaking fiction better than anyone else in the game, and False Memory (though at times shocking and disturbing) is a perfect example of a master author in top form. --Jonathan Weir, Amazon.co.uk

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:30:24 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

It?s a fear more paralyzing than falling. More terrifying than absolute darkness. More horrifying than anything you can imagine. It?s the one fear you cannot escape no matter where you run no matter where you hide.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 9 descriptions

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