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Down in the Darkness

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Short story from Horror Show magazine (Summer/Jul 1986), anthologized in The Architecture of Fear (1987) and collected in Strange Highways (1995)


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Short story from Horror Show magazine (Summer/Jul 1986), anthologized in The Architecture of Fear (1987) and collected in Strange Highways (1995)

30 review for Down in the Darkness

  1. 4 out of 5

    Casey Carlisle

    Actual Rating - 2 and 3/4 stars. This was a random pick from Dean Koontz’s back catalogue. I like to occasionally choose something from a favourite author without knowing anything about the title and flying by the seat of my pants. ‘Down in the Darkness’ was the perfect choice; I had an afternoon to kill and this novella filled the time perfectly. It reminded me of Ronald Dahl, something dark, something with a twisted sense of righteousness. And sufficiently spooky. An old fashioned campfire tale Actual Rating - 2 and 3/4 stars. This was a random pick from Dean Koontz’s back catalogue. I like to occasionally choose something from a favourite author without knowing anything about the title and flying by the seat of my pants. ‘Down in the Darkness’ was the perfect choice; I had an afternoon to kill and this novella filled the time perfectly. It reminded me of Ronald Dahl, something dark, something with a twisted sense of righteousness. And sufficiently spooky. An old fashioned campfire tale about a supernatural cellar door. Mexican couple, Carmen and Jesus “Jeff” Gonzalez with their three children (Stacy Heather and Joe) buy a new house. But Jeff is the only one to see the mysterious door to the basement, neither the real estate agent nor his family catch the apparition when it appears. Upon investigation, Jeff feels a foreboding, flashing back to his two year internment at a prison camp. In the almost tactile shadows down many flights of stairs behind the door he senses an entity that knows all. That would punish all it consumes for eternity. Jeff is faced with a number of choices: dish out justice for the corrupt and greedy landlord of his family restaurant; and his prison camp torture master returned from the past… was the door bringing about these opportunities? Would you embrace the darkness? Just merely acknowledging its existence leaves its hooks in your soul and it wields you like a tool, collecting the souls of those it wants. Which journey will Jeff take when he knows his soul is in the balance? A great moralistic tale in the style of Koontz I’ve come to know and love. Fantastic diverse characters, interesting backstories… even though this is one of his earlier works, it has all the creepiness and sophistication that I enjoy in his writing. I believe it is now only available in a bind-up called ‘Strange Highways’ and guess you can expect many bite sized Koontz goodness, so if you are new to this author or this genre, it might be a good place to start before you jump into some of his lengthier works. Even with the amount of fun I had reading ‘Down it the Darkness,’ having been exposed to many other titles of Dean’s, I found it a little simplistic; and, even though I was sufficiently wigged out, I’ve been scared much worse in other titles.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth (Elzburg)

    This is the best thing we've read in English this year so yay. I really love horror, and where this was not horror it did have some spook factor which I still appreciate. It was pretty predictable in which way the story was going, but it was still an interesting read. This is the best thing we've read in English this year so yay. I really love horror, and where this was not horror it did have some spook factor which I still appreciate. It was pretty predictable in which way the story was going, but it was still an interesting read.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Suby

    Simply great! Koontz has studied the human mind. He tells us the ethics. Most probably many of us would not have even thought about the topic Koontz has on display!!

  4. 5 out of 5

    George Poulakis

  5. 5 out of 5

    Andis

  6. 4 out of 5

    Alex

  7. 4 out of 5

    Beth (FebruaryFilly)

  8. 4 out of 5

    Megan

  9. 5 out of 5

    Bex

  10. 4 out of 5

    Alex

  11. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl Blackwell

  12. 4 out of 5

    Rahim Balakishiyev

  13. 5 out of 5

    Nika

  14. 4 out of 5

    Gin Hunt

  15. 5 out of 5

    Joseph Williams

  16. 5 out of 5

    Brian Skerritt

  17. 4 out of 5

    Stasha Rankin

  18. 4 out of 5

    Suzan

  19. 5 out of 5

    Robin

  20. 5 out of 5

    Weslynne Smith

  21. 5 out of 5

    John Frew

  22. 5 out of 5

    Carol

  23. 5 out of 5

    Tony Gillespie

  24. 4 out of 5

    Criss

  25. 4 out of 5

    Izzy

  26. 4 out of 5

    Nick

  27. 4 out of 5

    Zoë Godaert

  28. 4 out of 5

    Rasmus Teglgaard

  29. 5 out of 5

    Nicola Attwood

  30. 4 out of 5

    Mary White

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