A Stir of Echoes by Richard Matheson

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This eerie ghost story, from Richard Matheson, the award-winning author of Hell House and I Am Legend, inspired the acclaimed 1999 film starring Kevin Bacon.

Tom Wallace lived an ordinary life, until a chance event awakened psychic abilities he never knew he possessed. Now he's hearing the private thoughts of the people around him-and learning shocking secrets he never wanted to know. But as Tom's existence becomes a waking nightmare, even greater jolts are in store as he becomes the unwilling recipient of a compelling message from beyond the grave!

“Everyone has something to hide. And if they couldn't hide it the world would be in a lot worse mess than it is.”

It’s hard when you’ve seen the movie a few times, and the movie has so many different things the book doesn’t, but the book on it’s own was also great with how it set up its plot. A lot of changes were made to bring this on screen.

When Tom is hypnotized at a party, he has to deal with other consequences besides annoying relatives and awkward family get-togethers. Tossing in the paranormal with a man who likes to keep things simple and straight-forward is a nice touch, kind of like Chief Brody having to battle in the water when he fears it. If this ability had come upon a more open-minded character, it wouldn’t have been nearly as interesting.

Matheson has a powerful writing style that sucked me into the story, and the fascinating paranormal vibe with the surreal confusion was addicting. I love how the characters are typical, blue-collar type of workers living in an average neighborhood with neighbors who are quirky enough not to be too quirky.

It’s a ghost story, but it’s more about the mystery of the past and the present secrets kept in their little suburb of harmony. There are even a few scenes of creepiness to help the plot along. A few twists tossed in that I didn’t see coming keep it layered.

Unfortunately the ending felt incredibly abrupt, but I’m happy it ended on a happy, peaceful note.

Book Quotes

“Everyone has a secret place in his mind. Otherwise relationships would be impossible.”

Cover Gallery

Movie Trailer


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