2020 Book Review: A Stir of Echoes by Richard Matheson

Richard Matheson has written one a book that became one of my favorite movies of all time, What Dreams May Come. I have yet to read that book; the film captured me so much, but it is one I’ll read down the road if I ever come across it. He wrote another one, the one for this review, A Stir of Echoes. Again, this is another book I was introduced to as a film first. The movie and the films always differ, I understand there’s technical reason, budget reasons sometimes, and I don’t know what the case was in this situation, but the book isn’t as good as the movie, in my opinion.

This is a classic ghost story. It’s dark, eerie, and creepy. I appreciate Matheson’s work. I’m not sure if it’s because I enjoyed the film so much, but the book is good–different, but good. I don’t enjoy writing about things I don’t like. I don’t want to bring attention to those things and rarely express a distaste publically, but in this review, I have to say if I had to compare, though the book is good I prefer the movie version better. I enjoy the story, the slow rolling out as if its fog coming into town, but the movie spoiled me. It didn’t ruin things enough for me I won’t read it again. I most likely will, but if you’re going to go into this expecting it to be exactly like the novel, don’t.

The book is best summed up as its own entity. I wish I could have enjoyed it more. I had trouble not comparing it to the movie throughout my reading and I believe I ruined my experience; this is the main reason I’ll return to it later. Perhaps in a few years. The writer is excellent. A great talent. He’s done a lot of movies and television work and I’ve wondered if working in books was harder for him or working in film as many writers, including myself, have described scenes we’re writing as a scene in our head we’re trying to describe into words. Sometimes we fail in the translation and sometimes we’re able to succeed in our attempts.


This review is a part of my 2020 yearlong self-challenge to read and review. I have reread some books for the purpose of reviewing them on my website whereas I have read others for the first time. Check out Book Reviews and Recommendations to find other book reviews, book recommendations, and more information about the books I’m reading, have read, or are sharing.

Have you read this book? What were your thoughts? Do you agree with me? Do you disagree? Let’s have a conversation about it.

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