The Face

Version: Unabridged
Author: Dean Koontz
Narrator: Dylan Baker
Genres: Fiction & Literature, Mystery, Thriller & Horror
Publisher: Random House (Audio)
Published In: May 2003
# of Units: 16 CDs
Length: 20 hours
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Acknowledged as 'America's most popular suspense novelist'(Rolling Stone ) and as one of today's most celebrated and successful writers, Dean Koontz has earned the devotion of millions of readers around the world and the praise of critics everywhere for tales of character, mystery, and adventure that strike to the core of what it means to be human. Now he delivers the page-turner of the season, an unforgettable journey to the heart of darkness and to the pinnacle of grace, at once chilling and wickedly funny, a brilliantly observed chronicle of good and evil in our time, of illusion and everlasting truth.

He's Hollywood's most dazzling star, whose flawless countenance inspires the worship of millions and fires the hatred of one twisted soul. His perfectly ordered existence is under siege as a series of terrifying, enigmatic 'messages' breaches the exquisitely calibrated security systems of his legendary Bel Air estate.

The boxes arrive mysteriously, one by one, at Channing Manheim's fortified compound. The threat implicit in their bizarre, disturbing contents seems to escalate with each new delivery. Manheim's security chief, ex-cop Ethan Truman, is used to looking beneath the surface of things. But until he entered the orbit of a Hollywood icon, he had no idea just how slippery reality could be. Now this good man is all that stands in the way of an insidious killer'and forces that eclipse the most fevered fantasies of a city where dreams and nightmares are the stuff of daily life. As a seemingly endless and ominous rain falls over southern California, Ethan will test the limits of perception and endurance in a world where the truth is as thin as celluloid and answers can be found only in the illusory intersection of shadow and light.

Enter a world of marvelous invention, enchantment, and implacable intent, populated by murderous actors and the walking dead, hit men and heroes, long-buried dreams and never-dying hope.

Here a magnificent mansion is presided over by a Scottish force of nature known as Mrs. McBee, before whom all men tremble. A mad French chef concocts feasts for the mighty and the malicious. Ming du Lac, spiritual adviser to the stars, has a direct line to the dead. An aptly named cop called Hazard will become Ethan's ally, an anarchist will sow discord and despair, and a young boy named Fric, imprisoned by celebrity and loneliness, will hear a voice telling him of the approach of something unimaginably evil. Traversing this extraordinary landscape, Ethan will face the secrets of his own tragic past and the unmistakable premonition of his impending violent death as he races against time to solve the macabre riddles of a modern-day beast.

A riveting tour de force of suspense, mystery, and miraculous revelation, The Face is that rare novel that entertains, provokes, and uplifts at the same time. It will make you laugh. It will give you chills. It will fill you with hope.

Reviews (40)

Written by lynn johnson on November 8th, 2016

  • Book Rating: 5/5

A lot of the reviews were not so great for the reader, but I disagree. I think the story and the teller are a perfect match! As usual, Dean Koontz does a great job spinning his web to snag his prey. And I the willing am grateful to be present at such a feast. Koontz again does a masterful job!


Written by Lisa on February 17th, 2010

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Until now, I haven't been a Koontz fan or even a fan of this genre, but I must say that "The Face" had me hooked from beginning to end. Yes, it does get wordy as other reviewers have noted, but that's part of the beauty of this book. Koontz is a master of detail and painter or word pictures. I especially loved his depiction of Elfrick, the 10-year old son on the never-to-be seen title characters. Also loved the way he lampooned so many folks in this book including Hollywood types, politicians and academics. Bravo Mr. Koontz. I'll be back for more!

The Face

Written by jiffer60 from Tampa, FL on June 25th, 2009

  • Book Rating: 3/5

The reason this gets a 3 is not so much that the story deserves it but the reader brings it down. The story, so far, is pretty good and Koontz is very descriptive. He uses great words and I am always trying to broaden my vocabulary so this is nice to listen to. However, the reader is drone and nasal and has very little enthusiasm. He really is ruining the story as a whole. I find that I have to keep rewinding because I've missed something due to my mind drifting off because the reader is just so boring. It's too bad because the story is quite interesting.

The Face

Written by Lili on March 4th, 2009

  • Book Rating: 5/5

A good story! Not long and drawn out, I love long stories as long as they are captivating. Dean Koontz hit it out of the ballpark yet again!


Written by Monica G. from Barberton, OH on January 13th, 2009

  • Book Rating: 5/5

The very first books from Dean Koontz I had bought and listen to was "Drangon Tears" it left me just wanting more of Dean Koontz. So I went to the libracy and Pick up the "Face" WOW what a book I could not get out of my car driving in circle just to listen what would happen next. Once I was done I couldn't stop talking about the book so I passed it to my co-worker, who was also under Dean spell, and it began: we started a audio book club at work. there was about 5-6 of us but we were in love just passing books and then chatting about them at lunch. Our Audio Book club lasted 5 yrs then we all started to move on to other jobs and having withdraws what we do now we have gone on we pick up book and tell someone they need to get it so on and so on. Now I found this web site and I am in love all over again. I just cant wait to tell my friends. Thank you for this get idea. Monica G. :)~

The Face

Written by Anonymous on March 22nd, 2008

  • Book Rating: 4/5

This is a memorable mystery even though it seems a little "drug out". I liked the story.

The Face

Written by Anonymous on December 17th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 5/5

A very good book. Not at all what I had expected and I like when an author can do that. The ending blew me away.

Nausea of the Face

Written by Anonymous from Livermore, CA on September 25th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 2/5

Plot was somewhat interesting, but unabridged version was long and tedious to the point of nausea. Made me think the author was getting paid by the page or by the word (and got bonus points for prolific use of a Thesaurus). Unabridged version may be better, but actually I've decided to strike this author from my rental list entirely based on this one book.

Nothing new under the sun

Written by Cyndie Browning from Tulsa, OK on August 21st, 2007

  • Book Rating: 2/5

Some of Dean Koontz's books are awesome, and others, not so much. Alas, "Face" is one of the latter. For one thing, the "Face" of the title never actually appears in the book, and for another, all the elements of the plot have been done before. I waded through the entire story (all 16 disks of it) and was only too glad when it was finally over. If you're just lookin' to kill time, go ahead and rent this book; otherwise, pick somethin' else.

Unusual StoryLine, Undercurrent

Written by Colleen on July 4th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 3/5

unusual book so far. so unique that I anxiously await the last of the CD's.

Author Details

Author Details

Koontz, Dean

Dean Koontz grew up in desperate poverty under the tyranny of a violent alcoholic father (Koontz's father served time in prison for trying to murder him). Despite his traumatic childhood, Koontz put himself through Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania (then known as Shippensburg State College), and in 1967 went to work as an English teacher at Mechanicsburg High School. In his spare time he wrote his first novel, Star Quest, which was published in 1968. From there he went on to write over a dozen more science fiction novels.

In the 1970s, Koontz began publishing mainstream suspense and horror fiction, under his own name as well as under several pseudonyms; Koontz has stated he used pen names after several editors convinced him that authors who switched genre fell victim to "negative crossover": alienating established fans, while simultaneously not picking up any new fans. Known pseudonyms include Deanna Dwyer, K. R. Dwyer, Aaron Wolfe, David Axton, Brian Coffey, John Hill, Leigh Nichols, Owen West, and Richard Paige. Currently some of those novels are sold under Koontz's real name.

Koontz's breakthrough novel was Whispers (1980). Several of his books have reached #1 on the New York Times bestseller list.

Koontz is renowned for his skill at writing suspenseful page-turners. His strengths also include memorable characters, original ideas, and ability to blend horror, fantasy and humour. Koontz has been criticized for his tendency to include too many similes and therefore to drag out descriptions, his frequent use of similar plotting structures, and a tendency to moralize heavily.

Koontz's protagonists,with the exception of Odd Thomas,arm theirselves with guns to do combat against the various monsters and madmen,and Koontz gets all the technical details right.There are no mistakes(functions and capabilities of different types of guns.)

Arguably, most of Koontz's work can still be classified as science fiction, as he tries to create plausible, consistent explanations for the unusual, fantastic events featured in most of his novels.

Koontz also has a very interesting way of adding his own little quirks to his novels, such as adding simple quotes from a book by the name of The Book of Counted Sorrows. Counted Sorrows was originally a hoax, like the nonexistent Keener's Manual Richard Condon cited for epigraphs he wrote himself. Eventually Koontz put together a poetry collection of that name, using all the epigraphs; it was printed as a limited edition in 2003 by Charnel House and as an eBook by Barnes & Noble. His more recent novels, starting with The Taking, have no verse by Koontz; rather, they have quotes by other authors (in particular, The Taking uses quotes from T. S. Eliot, whose works figure in the plot of the novel).

Koontz has long been a fan of Art Bell's radio program, Coast to Coast AM. He appeared as a guest after a fan reported to Bell that one of Koontz's novels featured a character describing a paranormal event as an "Art Bell moment."

Koontz currently resides in Newport Beach, a city in Southern California (as such, most of his novels are set in Southern California) with his wife Gerda and their dog Trixie Koontz, under whose name he published the book, Life is Good: Lessons in Joyful Living, in 2004. Trixie is also often referenced in his official newsletter "Useless News".

Dogs often figure heavily in Koontz's novels, as he is an avid dog lover. Watchers, Dark Rivers of the Heart, and One Door Away from Heaven are prime examples. However, lately he has seen fit to include cats as characters, most notably the smart cat Mungojerrie in the Christopher Snow novels.