Review: Stir of Echoes by Richard Matheson

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!

Stir of Echoes by Richard Matheson. Narrated by Scott Brick. Published by Blackstone Audio, February 2009. Original published in 1958. Run time is 6 hours and 44 mins.

I have always enjoyed the 1999 movie Stir of Echoes. I had never read anything by the legendary horror author, Richard Matheson. So I felt it was about time I got around to reading this one!

While the movie mostly focuses on the ghost part of the story, the novel focuses half on the ghost and half on a multitude of psychich abilities. Things such as mind reading and premonitions. The book really dives deep on how these new abilities begin to seriously interfer with Tom’s day to day life and how his family feels about what is going on.

The book also shows more about the idea of people keeping secrets. Not only that, but how people are so worried about needing to appear normal and ordinary. Stir of Echoes focuses on how you never really know anyone and you should be careful of the things people might be hiding. You never really know what people, when pushed, are capable of.

This wasn’t a super scary book, but it is a pretty suspenseful- ghostly- murder mystery. Lots of red herrings and a great final twist! Did not anticipate who the killer turned out to be! Entertaining and super quick to read. Pacing felt very balanced between every day life and the paranormal. It’s not super action packed by it never felt too slow either.

I really like both the book and the movie. While they are different, the movie keeps the same over all vibe of the novel. An entertaining story and I’m very happy to have finally read the 1950s Stir of Echoes. The book still holds up very well and was a very enjoyable read.


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