Summary and book reviews of False Memory by Dean Koontz

False Memory

by Dean Koontz

False Memory
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  • First Published:
    Dec 1999, 640 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 2001, 640 pages

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Book Summary

A tale of madness, suspense, love, and terror from a startling and true-life psychological condition so close to home it will stun even his most seasoned readers: autophobia--fear of oneself.

Just when you thought he couldn't top himself, Dean Koontz has done it again with a novel that will chill you to the bone and demonstrate why he has earned the distinction "America's most popular suspense novelist" (Rolling Stone). A Dean Koontz novel is not just an unforgettable read--it is a life-changing experience. As anyone who has ever read one of his novels knows, he creates atmospheric settings, believable characters, and all-too-plausible situations through which he explores the terror that we all suspect lurks just out of sight in our ordinary lives. In this unforgettable novel he weaves a tale of madness, suspense, love, and terror from a startling and true-life psychological condition so close to home it will stun even his most seasoned readers: autophobia--fear of oneself.

Martie Rhodes is a young wife, a successful video game designer, and a compassionate woman who takes her agoraphobic friend, Susan, to therapy sessions. Susan is so afraid of leaving her apartment that even these trips to the doctor's office become ordeals for both women--but with each trip a deeper emotional bond forms between them.

Then one morning Martie experiences a sudden and inexplicable fear of her own, a fleeting but disquieting terror of...her own shadow. The episode is over so quickly it leaves her shaken but amused. The amusement is short-lived. For as she is about to check her makeup, she realizes that she is terrified to look in the mirror and confront the reflection of her own face.

As the episodes of this traumatic condition-- autophobia--build, the lives of Martie and her husband, Dustin, change drastically. Desperate to discover the reasons for his wife's sudden and seemingly inevitable descent into mental chaos, Dusty takes Martie to the renowned therapist who has been treating Susan, and tries to reconstruct/he events of recent months in a frantic search for clues. As he comes closer to the shocking truth, Dusty finds himself afflicted with a condition even more bizarre and fearsome than Martie's.

No fan of Dean Koontz or of classic psychological suspense will want to miss this extraordinary novel of the human mind's capacity to torment-- and destroy--itself. In False Memory, Dean Koontz has created a novel that will stay in your memory long after the final page is turned-- a story not only of gripping fear but also of the power of love and friendship. Once more Koontz reveals why he has, as People put it, the "power to scare the daylights out of us."

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. Throughout, she remained upbeat--even enthusiastic--about the day ahead, because from her late father, Robert "Smilin' Bob" Woodhouse, she had inherited an optimistic ...

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Reviews

Media Reviews

Kirkus Reviews

Koontz leaves his competitors buried in the dust.

The Times (London)

Dean Koontz is not just a master of our darkest dreams, but also a literary juggler.

The Times (London)

Dean Koontz is not just a master of our darkest dreams, but also a literary juggler.

Reader Reviews

Tara

Very Good!
Just read my first Dean Koontz book. I was amazed at how great it was! The twists and turns, and don't forget the ending. Who knew, right? I definitely will be reading more of his books. They are great, and worth reading.

Sky

Great Book-Must Read
As a fan of Koontz for over 10 years, I highly recommend this book..the twists and suspense throughout the story had me reading well into the night wanting to see what would happen next to the characters..The relationship between Skeet and Dusty is ...   Read More

Emily

Oh my God.
Three words to describe how I feel about this book: Oh, my, and gosh. So entertaining; I literally had trouble putting the book down. I'm not even kidding when I say that there were multiple times while reading that I uttered... no, yelled, certain ...   Read More

Amanda

omg
I loved this book so much like wow. I made all my friends read it! This has to be one of my favorite books of all time. Not even kidding omg.

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