Written By: Dean Koontz

Narrated By: Ariadne Meyers

Date: May 2004

Duration: 9 hours 30 minutes


In one of the most dazzling books of his celebrated career, Dean Koontz delivers a masterwork of page-turning suspense that surpasses even his own inimitable reputation as a chronicler of our worst fears—and best dreams. In The Taking he tells the story of a community cut off from a world under siege, and the terrifying battle for survival waged by a young couple and their neighbors as familiar streets become fog-shrouded death traps. Gripping, heartbreaking, and triumphant in the face of mankind’s darkest hour, here is a small-town slice-of-doomsday thriller that strikes to the core of each of us to ask: What would you do in the midst of The Taking.

On the morning that will mark the end of the world they have known, Molly and Niel Sloan awaken to the drumbeat of rain on their roof. It has haunted their sleep, invaded their dreams, and now they rise to find a luminous silvery downpour drenching their small California mountain town. A strange scent hangs faintly in the air, and the young couple cannot shake the sense of something wrong.

As hours pass and the rain continues to fall, Molly and Niel listen to disturbing news of extreme weather phenomena across the globe. Before evening, their little town loses television and radio reception. Then telephone and the Internet are gone. With the ceaseless rain now comes an obscuring fog that transforms the once-friendly village into a ghostly labyrinth. By nightfall the Sloans have gathered with some of their neighbors to deal with community damage...but also because they feel the need to band together against some unknown threat, some enemy they cannot identify or even imagine.

In the night, strange noises arise, and at a distance, in the rain and the mist, mysterious lights are seen drifting among the trees. The rain diminishes with the dawn, but a moody gray-purple twilight prevails. Soon Molly, Niel, and their small band of friends will be forced to draw on reserves of strength, courage, and humanity they never knew they had. For within the misty gloom they will encounter something that reveals in a terrifying instant what is happening to their world—something that is hunting them with ruthless efficiency. Epic in scope, searingly intimate and immediate in perspective, The Taking is an adventure story like no other, a relentless roller-coaster read that brings apocalypse to Main Street and showcases the talents of one of our most original and mesmerizing novelists at the pinnacle of his powers.


  • Judy Pettigrew

    I loved this book! Koontz did an excellent job of "wrapping everything up" in the end. I was almost afraid that I would be left guessing on why it all happened. I listened to it in my car & I found myself driving a little more than I should have. Maybe not a good idea since gas prices are so high these days!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • ALadyJett

    I read a lot of reviews on this and I really loved it. It kept me interested from the start wasn't a place in the story that dragged along. I thought the whole thing was great from start to finish.

  • Anonymous

    I enjoyed this book alot. Koontz has a way of using words and describing things that is almost poetic. Who is to say how the end of the world will look when it is hear.

  • Anonymous

    I remember liking this book better when I read it. I didn't think the reader did much for the book as her "guy" voice was distractingly bad. I'd suggest trying to read this book if you are a Koontz fan... but if you must listen, it will still put a scare in you.

  • Barbara

    The Taking was a wonderful book. I would reccomend this to all readers. Wonderful just wonderful.

  • jonathan

    this particular koontz book was very different. I liked the idea of the story but the narrator wasn't very good and the story seemed to drift a lot. there were times i had to back up and re-listen to parts of the story. In the end it all made sense. but getting thru the middle of the book was tough.

  • Anonymous

    I just could not get into this book. I tried for two discs, but in the end, sent it back. I would tell you "not this one."

  • Anonymous

    I have come to enjoy Dean Koontz and his writing, but this book was just plain ridiculous. I don't agree with the other reviewers who disliked the reader, I think she was fine, it was just the whole plot line that was horrible in my view. I do not recommend this book. If you are a Koontz fan, beware, this title is not like his others, it is just plain bad.

  • R M

    Wow... the reviews of this book were all over the place but I took a chance and really enjoyed it. Koontz did go a wee bit overboard on the wordage though. The reader has been bashed on as well but I found her right on target for the "tone" of the book. I normally shy from female readers... I know not why... I just do, but I found her enjoyable. Almost everyone I have ever met, and every culture I have ever studied seems to have a little voice of someday doom. Nice work on blending sci-fi with a grain of religion to spell out our last days.

  • Robert Weidman

    One of my favorite Dean Koontz's stories. Unfortunately the reader's delivery distracts from the story. Her monotone delivery leaves you fretting over her reading instead of enjoying a well written book. My wife has the same opinion of the reader.

  • Kathy B

    The first part of this book was suspenseful and interesting, and you could almost feel the ominous presence of 'the taking' of the earth. What could have been a very interesting twist on a plot similar to War of the Worlds and Invasion of the Body Snatchers evaporated into an almost ridiculous series of events. Although I am a great lover of words, some words were used in an almost ridiculous fashion and I came very close to giving up on this book toward the end.

  • Toni Osbon

    I kept waiting for something exciting to happen or at least for the narrator to spark it up but it never did. I determined it was a horror story but so far fetched and not really plausible. Alien creatures in the form of mushrooms..ewww! I would not recommend to anyone. His analoglies were so out there and I felt he was throwing theories around to make himself (the author), seem smart. I am no rocket scientest but the end of the world could've been written with a little more imagination. The ending was so cliche including the sunset. The sequel could be the baby's she bears looks like the mushroom creatures.

  • Dalida Jongsma

    This was an interesting book, I don't usually like Dean Koontz. The story is about alien life forms taking earth over. fairly entertaining if you like his genre.

  • Robert Lanois

    This was the first Dean Koontz book I have read. At first I felt that it proceeded too slowly using language above normal readers. But as the book went along I became used to it and the story opened up and drew me inside. There were times where I felt that I was part of the story in the dark of night on the highway. With out telling the ending I will say it was quite enjoyable and think that many people would enjoy it. Since I have not read any other books by him I cannot compare but as a stand alone review the story did have many elements that were quite enjoyable. The realistic characters had depth and life and the reader did a wonderful job from character to character. The book is highly recommended by me. Enjoy a great tale.

  • Michael Scott

    Average fare for Dean Koontz. It wasn't one of his best, but it was far from one of his worst. What knocked my rating down was a rather abrupt and (IMHO) shoddy ending. Still.... it was entertaining, and I'm glad I read it.

  • Brenda

    This was by far the worst Koontz book ever. From the very beginning I found myself not even listening to the story. After about the second disc, I skipped to the last few chapters at the end, because I couldn't take anymore, just to see if the ending was good. It wasn't. The reader was horribly monotone except when she was lowering her voice to sound deep and gravelly when speaking for the husband who was in his late 20's. The voice sounded more like a 60 year old who has smoked for 50 of those years. I felt like I was sitting in a circle in kindergarten, waiting to be shown the pictures. Koontz should stick to writing what he writes best, this wasn't it.

  • Dan Pressley

    The book started out really well. It had me hooked. Then it started to unravel and seemed like Koontz just got tired of writing and wanted to wrap it up. So just as easily as everything started, it finished as quickly. He is capable of far better than this.

  • Anonymous

    Dean Koontz is one of my favorite authors, and his stories are usually so believable despite being science fiction. Not so in this case. The Taking was unlike any other Koontz book I've read -- just plain ridiculous and idiotic and not worth the time spent listening to it.

  • Loretta Hand

    Was a little disappointed with the story. Felt like it could have been told without the blood and guts part, just left me with a feeling of something missing.

  • Troyellen

    Loved this book. It kept you wondering what was going to happen next throughout. I want to see this one in a movie, it would be a smash hit.

  • Lou Lafrate

    The book stearted out very well but ended disappointingly quick. It was not one of Koontz's best inmy opinion. An OK listen / read but I would not put it high on the list.

  • Anonymous

    I love Dean Koontz but this book was so far from left field you couldn't even see left field. It is gruesome, to the point of being disgusting, and it has no point, there was no real story, I could not follow the book at all. It was worse than a B movie. I would not recommend this book to anyone. Dean Koontz disappoints on this one.

  • Sabrina Lightfoot

    This book was very wordy and a high level read for most, but it was also very well done and a great storyline. I enjoyed it and I am a big Koontz fan. Well done.

  • Anonymous

    I love Dean Koontz books. He hasn't let me down yet!!!! Keep up the good work..smiles.

  • William Morgan

    I definitely disagree with most of the negative reviews about this story. Koontz style is mysterious and dark, and this follows suit. The end of the world as we know it is a common theme but Koontz gives it a fresh look in this book. While much is left unexplained, the ending brings clarity to much that happens. As someone else wrote, curl up by the fire on a raining night and listen to this one. It will make you think!

  • Christy

    I had to review this because I didn't agree with the harshness of the other reviews. I'm a huge Koontz fan, and this one just blew my mind. I loved every second of it. He tells a great story that climaxes to an ending you would never guess. Trust me,give yourself to this story, and it will scare the hell out of you. Rent or buy this one, wait for a nice rainy night, and go listen in the dark. Great stuff.

  • Melissa Maurice

    This was not my favorite - chilling imagery but the plot was hard to follow at times. It seemed the author was having trouble decided which plot elements to follow at certain places. It was difficult to get through for me, seemed to science fiction heavy for my tastes. If you enjoyed War of the Worlds, this one might appeal to you.

  • Anonymous

    The story idea was a great hook! The narrator just about put me to sleep. The book dragged on & on.

  • Bonnie

    Koontz is really impressed with himself. I guess he just wanted to impress us, too. This begs for abridgement. Otherwise, I enjoyed it.

  • Gary Douville

    Mr. Koontz is obviously in love with his ability to use three dollar words (and use them repeatedly - "cacophony" was used at least three times, if I'm not mistaken) to tell a ten cent story. The title of this book should be "Taken" since you have been if you've bought or rented this book.

  • Jill Gurrola

    I couldn't even finish this book. I'm a huge Koontz fan, but I couldn't get into the story, or care in the least for any of the characters, which is unusual for me with his books. And the female narrator's voice for Niel and the other male characters was so annoyingly low and flat that I couldn't stand listening to it. Maybe reading this one might be better.

  • Karen McHugh

    I loved this book...didn't want to ever get out of my car but stay and listen to more! The narrator was excellent...had the horror in her voice at all the right moments! If you like the unusual, and unsuspected...great choice.

  • Anonymous

    I had a real hard time getting into this book. Way too wordy for me!

  • Anonymous

    Verbose beyond belief..I nearly stopped listening by disc two. Did Mr Koontz want to test us in vocabulary? Moved unbearably slow, only my persistence got me though the whole book

  • Anonymous

    This one took me a while to get into - maybe 4 discs - but once the second set arrived, I was hooked. The last disc does a nice job of wrapping up a story that could have gone in a lot of different directions. Excellent narrator!

  • Jenifer Moore

    Loved it - second renting of it. Reader was excellent.

  • Anonymous

    Dean Koontz took me on a roller coaster with Taking. Between aliens, looters, weird animal behavior, and escaped mental patients, I read page by page and thank god it was the weekend! To hear the audio book was another level to a very good book!

  • Anonymous

    Very creepy. Not very good for listening in the car. Graphic violence.

  • Anonymous

    I'm through the first set of CD's and can't wait for the rest to arrive!

  • Anonymous

    Awesome. You will never see the rain the same again!

  • Charles Barone

    I was excited to hear this book after seeing all the high reviews. I am an avid science fiction fan and love apocalyptic scenarios the most. The narrator did an excellent job, but that could not save this book. It was over exaggerated, yet was able to contain no real storyline or plot at all times. If you are a Sci-fi fan stay away.

  • LIN

    Koontz gives such strong clues as to what is going on you might be tempted to wonder why it takes the characters so long to figure it out. Of course living this terror would be a completely different thing, so it's believable that they don't. All of the author's trade marks are here in full measure - the triumph of good over evil, the heroism of ordinary people, the nobility of dogs (and cats too this time!) with a lot more thrown in. This book isn't just a horror/fantasy/scifi/thriller - it is all that and more - listen carefully for clues and you will enjoy it even more. The last chapter brought tears to my eyes and has me wishing for a sequel. If you haven't read Koontz before, add some of his others to your list, he's the best writer of thrillers out there.

  • S.K.

    Really enjoyed this book. Kept you wondering what would happen next. I didn't want to get out of the car after driving home from work and couldn't wait to get back into the car in the morning.

  • Anonymous

    Koontz is much easier to read than listen to because his prose tends to be bit cumbersome at times but this book kept up a good pace and the reader did an excellent job of switching voices without being overly dramatic. The ending is great and Koontz was a master of foreshadowing throughout the book, allowing you glimpses so you would not think the ending unbelievable.

  • Anonymous

    Kept my interest throughout!! Would definately read again.

  • Long Distance Driver

    This is my first book by Koontz. Its a great story that kept me listening and wanting more. Koontz is a little heavy in the metaphor and description department that takes a bit away fom the story somtimes. But no doubt I will rent another Koontz soon.

  • Anonymous

    This was a creepy story. It was a bit confusing, as you are required to really just take in information and add it to the big picture without much explanation. I think it genereally put me in a bad mood because it is a story that seems to have no possible happy ending. Some things were never explained but I suppose if it had happened in real life, that would be exactly how you'd feel when it was all over. It kept my interest! but was creepy 100% of the time.

  • Steve Sorge

    I really enjoyed this book. I ripped through all 8 CDs in a few short days! The narrator was different as her range of voices were different than other narrators. However, I found her style entertaining and captivating. The message in the story can be debated for a long time. Koontz does deliver a picture using the english language like it should be used. Beautiful work.

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by Dean Koontz

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