Synopses & Reviews
In one of the most dazzling books of his celebrated career, Dean Koontz delivers a masterwork of page-turning suspense that surpasses even his own inimitable reputation as a chronicler of our worst fears and best dreams. In The Taking
he tells the story of a community cut off from a world under siege, and the terrifying battle for survival waged by a young couple and their neighbors as familiar streets become fog-shrouded death traps. Gripping, heartbreaking, and triumphant in the face of mankinds darkest hour, here is a small-town slice-of-doomsday thriller that strikes to the core of each of us to ask: What would you do in the midst of The Taking
On the morning that will mark the end of the world they have known, Molly and Niel Sloan awaken to the drumbeat of rain on their roof. It has haunted their sleep, invaded their dreams, and now they rise to find a luminous silvery downpour drenching their small California mountain town. A strange scent hangs faintly in the air, and the young couple cannot shake the sense of something wrong.
As hours pass and the rain continues to fall, Molly and Niel listen to disturbing news of extreme weather phenomena across the globe. Before evening, their little town loses television and radio reception. Then telephone and the Internet are gone. With the ceaseless rain now comes an obscuring fog that transforms the once-friendly village into a ghostly labyrinth. By nightfall the Sloans have gathered with some of their neighbors to deal with community damage...but also because they feel the need to band together against some unknown threat, some enemy they cannot identify or even imagine.
In the night, strange noises arise, and at a distance, in the rain and the mist, mysterious lights are seen drifting among the trees. The rain diminishes with the dawn, but a moody gray-purple twilight prevails. Soon Molly, Niel, and their small band of friends will be forced to draw on reserves of strength, courage, and humanity they never knew they had. For within the misty gloom they will encounter something that reveals in a terrifying instant what is happening to their world something that is hunting them with ruthless efficiency. Epic in scope, searingly intimate and immediate in perspective, The Taking is an adventure story like no other, a relentless roller-coaster read that brings apocalypse to Main Street and showcases the talents of one of our most original and mesmerizing novelists at the pinnacle of his powers.
"In 1975, the now defunct Laser Books issued Invasion by Aaron Wolfe, aka Koontz (who later expanded that novel into Winter Moon, 1994), a breakneck tale of alien invasion centered on an isolated farm. Koontz's new novel also concerns alien invasion, and a comparison of the two books offers insight into the evolution of this megaselling author's work. Invasion was mostly speed and suspense a brilliant if superficial exercise in terror. The new novel also features abundant suspense, as a couple in an isolated California home endure a phosphorescent rain and learn that, around the world, something is attacking humans and laying waste to communications. It's only when they drive to a nearby town that they learn of a global alien invasion; the tension ratchets as a weird fog descends and the aliens not only manifest physically but animate the dead. For years, however, Koontz has aimed at more than just thrills; today he is a novelist of metaphysics and moral reflection. His aliens are inherently evil as well as scary; standing against them are the human capacity for hope and the forces of goodness and innocence (here, as elsewhere, embodied in dogs), and near novel's end Koontz puts an overtly religious spin on his tale. Koontz's language has changed over the years, too, and not always for the better. While his care with words engenders admiration, his love of metaphor and alliteration can slow down the reading ('the luminous nature of the torrents that tinseled the forest and silvered the ground'). Also missing here is the wonderful humor that elevated his last novel, Odd Thomas, and some other recent work. Koontz remains one of the most fascinating of contemporary popular novelists, and this stands as an important effort, but not his best, though its sincerity and passion can't be denied. Agent, Robert Gottlieb at Trident Media." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Opening sequences come no creepier than this one, and the rest of Koontz's version of the extraterrestrial attack scenario...lives up to it....[A] gripping, blood-curdling, thought-provoking parable." Ray Olson, Booklist (Starred Review)
"[T]he amazing Koontz hits some brilliantly stylish pages...those among his best since 1995's Intensity." Kirkus Reviews
"In The Taking, Koontz continues his ongoing exploration of the capacity of human nature for hope, goodness, and innocence in the face of evil....Recommended..." Library Journal
"[A] narrative more audacious in intent than anything he's attempted to date. The plot is gripping, the pace nonstop and the prose, at times, poetic." Boston Herald
"Koontz has shown his ability to write solid, entertaining and thoughtful fiction in the past....But The Taking seems like two steps back and one step down." Denver Post
"The Taking draws one in, revealing itself as a novel not so much of horror as of revelations.....A definite must-read for Koontz fans." BookReporter.com
In Koontz's latest epic adventure, people in a small California mountain town find themselves being hunted by an apocalyptic force.
Epic in scope, searingly intimate and immediate in its perspective, The Taking delivers a novel of surpassing suspense and visceral terror, telling the story of a small town's encounter with doomsday.
In his latest "New York Times" bestseller, Koontz tells the story of a community cut off from a world under siege, and the terrifying battle for survival waged by a young couple and their neighbors as familiar streets become fog-shrouded death traps.
About the Author
When he was a senior in college, Dean Koontz won an Atlantic Monthly
fiction competition. He has been writing ever since. His books are published in 38 languages; worldwide sales are over 300 million copies.
Ten of his novels have risen to number one on the New York Times hardcover best-seller list (The Husband, One Door Away From Heaven, From The Corner Of His Eye, Midnight, Cold Fire, Hideaway, Dragon Tears, The Bad Place, Intensity, and Sole Survivor). Thirteen of his books have risen to the number one position in paperback.
Several of his books have been adapted into feature films and TV miniseries, including the highly rated “Intensity” on the Fox Network. The Husband is currently in development as a major motion picture by Focus Features/Random House Films.
The New York Times has called his writing "psychologically complex, masterly and satisfying." The New Orleans Times-Picayune said Koontz is "lyrical without ever being naive or romantic. [He creates] a grotesque world, much like that of Flannery O'Connor or Walker Percy ... scary, worthwhile reading." The London Times called him "a literary juggler," and Publishers Weekly recently stated in a starred review that Koontz "gives readers bright hope in a dark world. He is a true original."
Dean Koontz was born and raised in Pennsylvania. He graduated from Shippensburg State College (now Shippensburg University), and his first job after graduation was with the Appalachian Poverty Program, where he was expected to counsel and tutor underprivileged children on a one-to-one basis. His first day on the job, he discovered that the previous occupier of his position had been beaten up by the very kids he had been trying to help and had landed in the hospital for several weeks. The following year was filled with challenge but also tension, and Koontz was more highly motivated than ever to build a career as a writer. He wrote nights and weekends, which he continued to do after leaving the poverty program and going to work as an English teacher in a suburban school district outside Harrisburg. After he had been a year and a half in that position, his wife, Gerda, made him an offer he couldn't refuse: "I'll support you for five years," she said, "and if you can't make it as a writer in that time, you'll never make it." By the end of those five years, Gerda had quit her job to run the business end of her husband's writing career. Dean and Gerda Koontz live in southern California with their golden retriever, Trixie, who herself has written two successful books—Life Is Good and Christmas Is Good.