Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Mask.

Title/Author: The Mask by Dean Koontz.

Narration by: Natalie Ross.

Genre: Horror/Supernatural/Thriller.

Publisher: Brilliance Audio.

Source: Library.

Favorite character: Grace.

All in all: A bit predictable but with some excellent scary elements.

Synopsis: She appeared out of nowhere, in the middle of traffic, on a busy day. Paul and Carol were drawn to her-she was the child they'd never had. A dream come true. And then Carol's nightmares began-the ghastly sounds in the night...the bloody face in the mirror...the razor-sharp ax.

Most mothers would die for such a darling angel. And that's what frightened Carol most of all... ~Goodreads.

My Thoughts: This book was published in 1981, so it is a little dated but still stands up as a very creepy story.  As with a lot of Dean Koontz books, there is a bit too much telling for my tastes but The Mask redeems itself by being fairly short (only 7 audio cds) and also for the creepiness factor.  There is a lot of supernatural elements in the book to make the hair on the back of your neck stand up, demonic cats, ghostly incidents, strange dreams and a past mystery to tie everything up.  I thought Koontz did a great job in making all the spooky events relevant.

A lot of Koontz's romantic couples are too good to be true, but then again, we all know a couple or two like this, don't we?  The ones that you never see fight and seem extremely, blissfully happy and in love.  Of course, we don't see what goes on behind closed doors, but in Koontz's worlds we do.  Carol and Paul are one such couple, both successful, put together and madly in love.  Their banter is adorable and there is nothing wrong with them, but I felt a little at arms length from these characters.  There is a lot of background about Carol but even so, I couldn't connect with her.  The character I connected with most is Grace, Carol's mentor and the one who figures out what is going on behind the supernatural incidents that are occuring.  I think a lot of the reason is because the narrater brought her to life. 

Natalie Ross does a terrific interpretation and each voice is distinctive and distinguishable from each other.  It seems like there is no hesitation in her speech and performance so that she's so open as to elicit extremely natural personas.  I feel she is definitely better at portraying women than men, but she is still believable.  She even did some sound effects to great effect.  Her best performance in this audio book is Grace and I envisioned this character more than the others.   

The ending took me by surprise because it is a little abrupt, and could leave a reader feeling unsatisfied because the resolution wasn't truly shown, but I think it is implied that the resolution is there and will occur. 

The scary scenes and creepy events are The Mask's strength. It is not my favorite Koontz story, but I really loved the scary elements and as an audio book to pass the time it fit the bill. 

Other Editions:



fakesteph said...

I'm not a huge fan of Dean Koontz, but I like creepy and a good narrator can make all the difference in the world.

Midnyte Reader said...

He has his hits and misses. This one wasn't fabulous but it kept me interested and entertained.

Kate @Midnight Book Girl said...

Koontz is definitely hit or miss for me. The Odd Thomas series (perhaps you've heard me mention it?:) is amazeballs to me, and the first book I remember loving by him was Cold Fire. But for every good book of his there's at least one that just falls short (Your Heart Belongs to Me is easily one of those for me). And yes, he is an author that uses the same type of characters- perfect couple, precocious kids, magical dogs... but that's kind of what I like about him too. It's usually when he doesn't have these elements that I find the books lacking. Someday I need to read his Frankenstein series! I read The Mask a long time ago, but to be honest I can't remember how it ended, so now it's going to haunt me!

Midnyte Reader said...

@Kate - Yes, I think I may have heard you mention Odd Thomas...not sure though. I think Koontz just writes his stories and to hell with anyone's opinion. He writes because he wants to and I think that is cool.

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