OVERVIEW and SUMMARY of Strange Highways by Dean Koontz
Category: Books Genre: Suspense Author: Dean Koontz
This is my first Dean Koontz book. A collection of short strange stories he wrote.
These are short stories that shows the variety of what Dean K. is capable of writing…
I had fun reading Koontz’s short stories and specially his comical notes to the readers part. A compilation of Koontz’s strange stories.
Strange Highways - 5/5
1995: A story about a man named Joey Shannon who returned home to attend the funeral of his father. He dreaded going back to his hometown in Asherville. While staying alone at his childhood home, he decided to stay sober till the funeral and began “hallucinating” and “dreaming” about a blond dead woman without eyes and bloody fingers. When the funeral was over, he decided to go back to Las Vegas right away and on his way he encountered a “strange highway”, the road not taken and he was warped back to 1975.
1975: The night that changed his life. As the night went on his fate and his future would change. He was allowed to replay and rewid this part.
I like the way it ended. It has suspense and some twists. I like the tense psychological suspense he weaved throughout his story and the able-to-rewind-the-past part.
The Black Pumpkin-4/5
This one is a short story. Reminded me of Goosebumps or the Are you afraid of the Dark series.
It’s about a boy named Tommy who has a mean-spirited brother named Frank and parents who never cared about him.
Tagline: “You get what you give”
Somehow, in the end… the family got what they gave. More like sowing and reaping thingy. Creepy. Basically more like a story for kids.
Miss Attila the Hun - 5/5
This one is a story about an-alien-thing called Seed who wanted to take over the world in a very weird way. It wanted to get inside all the humans and control everyone and then when the Day of Release came, where every human being can gain control of their own selves half of them would go crazy while the others would stand by on their sanity and finally lose it on the end.
Miss Attila the Hun here is a teacher who is married to a writer who cannot walk.
Anyhow, I like the message with this story. How love can overcome everything and how it overcome the control from Seed.
Down in the Darkness-3/5
This one is about a couple who owns a restaurant and recently bought a house at Laguna Beach from a Vietnamese refugee. The husband named Jess (originally Jesus because he is a 2nd gen Mexican living in America) discovered a door near the kitchen which leads ten-stories below, but nobody can see it not even her wife only him.
The door leads to a place so dark, it can swallow the light. A place so dark, that it looks like a murk below, as if the lower part was filled with a pool of oil.
Good, creepy story.
Ollie’s Hands - 4/5
This is about a guy who has a powerful hand. Hands that can heal, and seems like it can do magic. Such hands. But this great gift of hands seems like a curse to him and he doesnt want anybody to find out, because he has been hurt before because of the gift.
Nice but sad at the same time.
Snatcher - 3/5
This is about a “snatcher”. He treats “snatching” not as a living or out of desperation but more on because it is his pleasure. One time, he snatched a big, heavy purse from an old woman. The purse contains a devil.
Seems more like “down in the darkness” with the emphasis of someone who has the “gift of hands” like Ollie’s in a different way.. and that is “snatching”.
Trapped - 4/5
This one is a story about an experiment going mad. Biolomech Labs is involved in an intelligence-enhancement experiment.This experiment, seeks to discover if lower species, like rats for example could be genetically altered to breed other rats with increased brain power, and hoping to discover how to use it and enhance human intelligence.
Now, here’s the sitch: The rats were soo smart…. they organized their own escape. The rats despite their intelligence, were hostile. Its now up to the Biolomech team to recover and kill the rats before they breed and outnumber the human race.
I kinda liked the story… havent read anything about lab-rats-gone-mad. Too bad it’s a short story.
Bruno - 4/5
This one is somehow like back-to-the-future thingy…but it’s the future who visited the 90’s timeline and it’s somehow like some private-eye .
Bruno is a bear, and not a little Teddy but he is 6 feet four coming from another timeline or what Bruno calls “probability”. In Bruno’s timeline, shortly after world war two, washing out a lot of people, but science survived. In order to survive the race they have to stimulate human intelligence and dexterity to lower species - like bears for that matter.
In Bruno’s timeline, Spielberg is the father of space travel, Disney are gun makers (and creating amazing guns at that), Smith&Wesson the gun makers of the timeline were breadmakers. How cool is that, or should I say funny ?
Bruno is after Graham Stone, considered to be very dangerous. Graham Stone is not from another timeline but in fact an out-of-the-earth thing - an alien. Bruno is a probability police and his mission was to eradicate Graham Stone.
Nice story. Fun. Unique. Thrilling.
We Three - 3/5
This one is about the 10yearold triplets who killed the entire human race including their parents claiming they are the new species of new culture, new emotions, new rules, new hopes, new dreams and all that.
Pretty weird.. and hanging.
Hardshell - 3/5
Some cop-villain story but it would surprise you in the middle because it turned out the cop and the villain are both out-of-this-world species.
Kittens - 4/5
Kittens was said to be Dean Koontz’s first short story to be sold, it was written when he was in college and won awards.
This story is about a girl who had a female cat who gave birth to a litter of kittens…. and one day the kittens disappeared.
Twisted…. better read it…. but somehow a predictable ending.
The Night of The Storm - 3/5
This is about a time when robots ruled the world and humans were just myths to them and nothing more.
Twilight of the Dawn - 3/5
This is about a man named Pete Fallon who is an Atheist and he tried to raise his kid Benny without ever introducing or accepting any religious thought in the house.
This is about his struggle of being against religion…. and never succumbing and treats it like a disease….
When his son… got bone cancer… and eventually died….. he is about to realize that life has a meaning, a purpose and that there is an afterlife as well.
Chase - 4/5
This one is a novel-length story about a man named Ben Chase who was awarded a Medal of Honor when he returned after Vietnam.
But there are deeper reasons why he remained to be the way he is….until he become another-hero-of-the-day and stopped one murderer from killing a girl in the woods.. and his life began to change…