by Dean Koontz

A long (630 pages) suspense novel told by God about a group of people in different parts of the country who all develop phobias and have panic attacks over the span of a few weeks. Person A has attack #1. Next chapter person B has attack #1. Next chapter person C has attack #1. Then D #1, A #2, B #2, C #2, E #1, D #2, F #1, A #3, and on and on. When you think after 300 pages some of the characters will finally meet and share their stories, he introduces yet another character or two who also have panic attacks. Some of their nightmares and phobias begin to have similarities: the moon, black leather gloves, men wearing helmets with visors that cover their faces. Some of the people begin to learn the names of some of the others and take steps to establish contact. Then more new characters with phobias are introduces only to commit suicide. After about 500 pages the people begin to meet each other. They assemble at a motel in the wilderness of Utah. They learn that they were together here two summers agony for a few days and that they experience something and then has their memories of it blocked and covered by false memories. The truth is breaking out in various forms among them, but we still donít find out what happened to them until the end. The title refers to the fact that they were mostly strangers to each other, although the couple who run the motel and the couple who run the diner across the street already knew each other. It also could refer to the people who brain-washed them and to the creatures they saw and were made to forget. As usual, the government is not to be trusted and the people have to solve their own problems, but they do it as a team working against the military. The book is good, but too long.

Year Read: 2005

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