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A Stir of Echoes  By  cover art

A Stir of Echoes

By: Richard Matheson
Narrated by: Scott Brick
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Publisher's Summary

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.

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

©1986 Richard Matheson (P)2009 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Perhaps no author living is as responsible for chilling a generation with tantalizing nightmare visions." ( The New York Times)
"One of the most important writers of the twentieth century." ( Ray Bradbury)
"Matheson is one of the great names in American terror fiction." ( Philadelphia Inquirer)

What listeners say about A Stir of Echoes

Average Customer Ratings
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Damn you, David Koepp!

I first knew of this when I watched the film as a child. It immediately became a favorite. After finishing this book, I realize that the film massively missed the mark. The film is so narrow sighted and pointless by comparison.

Matheson is a master of the spine tinglers. A champi9n of suspense, and a grest one to make you think about life, society, and humanity in different lights. This book was deeply emotional, relatable in many ways, and a damn good read. One hell of a roller coaster, and worth every second spent on it.
I highly recommend it.

37 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Clever title for an eye-rolling character development.

I had such great hopes during the first part of this book! The husband’s unexpected “gift” of reading minds and seeing spirits and the contrarian wife who borders on breakdown coming to terms with it grows tiresome LONG before the plot is allowed to develop any further. Then when it finally moves along, it’s over and you’re left with... REALLY?

Great reader performance and meh story.

13 people found this helpful

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Better Than The Movie

This is an extremely well written story and quite different from the movie. I found the book to be far better. The narrator was very effective and it was hard to stop listening. I will not hesitate to listen to this again.

11 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Horribly repetitive

This book hurt my head to keep fighting through. I think I spent half the book rolling my eyes. You could listen to the last hour and a half and get the gist of the whole book and possibly enjoy the ending that way.
Performer did a good job. But he couldn't save the horrible writing

9 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Story good. Performance bad.

The narrator reads like a Vincent Price wannabe reading an Allen Poe story. Everything is dramatic and intense. Even the simple task of returning milk to the refrigerator, somehow warrants dramatization. I could not finish the book because it too took much effort to separate the narrator’s over the top intensity from the actual story being told. From what I heard, it was similar to the movie with a few insignificant changes. This book would be much better read instead of listening to

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Matheson is excellent

One of the subtle things I loved most about "Echoes" is how this starts to affect this man in his everyday life and his family/wife. And the unexpected turns things take. Twists and turns have become in a way cliche, but this is done well and predates so much of this "genre" of "esp" story. And you can see the groundwork for things like King's Dead Zone etc. Looking forward to more Matheson.

9 people found this helpful

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Great story

Narrator is perfect. Story was really good! S.King says this author influenced his own writing, after reading this I could feel the similarities. I recommend.

7 people found this helpful

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The book and movie are NOT the same!

Tom is a regular guy with an active social life. His life is very interwoven with his neighbors and he has a sweet little family.
The book was written in 1958 and it shows in fun little ways like the neighbors knowing all of each others business whether they want to or not, and other little social norms like the husband going to the grocery store for his wife, and all the meals are home cooked .
Sigh, makes me wish I could visit. But not say. Because only white males really had such a fantastic deal in those days, and I'm pretty sure my homemaking skills would get me beat on a regular basis much like one of the women in the book... but anyways back on track.
Tom is your everyday likable guy with a wife and baby who adore him and another baby on the way. One night, at a party at his brother in laws house, he allows his brother in law to hypnotize him for the groups entertainment.
But something must have gone wrong, because now Tom is seeing things, knowing things, that he shouldn't.
There was a movie with this title that came out in the late 90's and the two do have a lot in common. However, the book and the movie are different enough that I still recommend trying the book even if you've seen the movie.
The narrator, Scott Brick, did an excellent job. 5 stars

7 people found this helpful

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best Matheson book I've read yet

I've read three of Richard Matheson's books so far and this is my favorite. It might be personal preference but I like the mix of 50s Suburban Noir with ghost stories and Victorian Sensational mysticism.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Could not get through it!

I wanted to like this book and maybe if I had been reading the hardback version instead of listening to the audio version I would have liked it better. The narrator's performance was just too over the top. It seemed like everything was exaggerated. It just was not enjoyable for me.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-17-14

Scott Brick's brilliant narration of a Great Story

Would you consider the audio edition of A Stir of Echoes to be better than the print version?

Only seen the movie and listened to this

What did you like best about this story?

The descriptions of losing your mind to another power

What about Scott Brick’s performance did you like?

Excellent character voices and superb use of temprement and tone
and very good at first person narrative

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes it is one of the best stories in the ghost story genre

Any additional comments?

I consider the author to be one of the greatest writers.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Daniel James Chapman
  • 09-15-21

Brilliant.

Every book I read, I always compare it to Richard Matheson. Another classic from the writer that always leaves you wanting more.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Ms. K. C. Cooper
  • 09-26-21

Good story

Good story but the narrator read it with too many long slow pauses. I did enjoy the book and wanted to finish it .

2 people found this helpful

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  • Natalie_1973
  • 08-04-21

Stick with it

Started off great but then I found my mind wandering about 2/3 way through. But stick with it.
Enjoyed the full story and the narrator does an excellent job.

2 people found this helpful

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  • dan smith
  • 10-28-21

Classic well paced ghoststory

i enjoyed this more than I thought. pacing is great characters are good. very accessible. some people might find it boring but it surprised me. cant go wrong with scott brick narrating.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-24-21

Loved it!

I went in with an open mind and was really surprised. I love the film, (Kevin Bacon crush), and thought the book would be similar. No! The book has more characters and more scenes that would have been great on screen. The narrator was a little dull at first. Obviously finding his feet with the voices. Stuck with him and sure enough.....he got good 👍

1 person found this helpful

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  • dee
  • 10-17-21

Interesting period piece.

I Am Legend is a favourite of mine, (I read it long before the Will Smith film and have seen all the film versions). I have also read and enjoyed other Matheson stories, including the Incredible Shrinking Man, so I was looking forward to this. However, it's not in the same league.

The typical Matheson hero, morally upright, (by 1950s American standards), isolated, but refusing to give up, whilst ploughing a lonely furrow, is front and centre here. However, whilst his other heroes have had me rooting for them, I found the agonising of Tom intensely irritating, as is the behaviour of his wife. I found the story dragged somewhat and the 1950s misogyny was hard to take.

The narrator was OK, but I found his voice irritating. Speeding up the delivery to 1.10 helped a bit.

If this was the only Matheson book I had encountered, I wouldn't have bothered with any others. If new to his work, don't start here. Die-hard fans may enjoy this, for me it was more of an interesting period piece rather than gripping and engaging.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Daniel Lee
  • 03-22-22

Loved it!

Scott Brick is as excellent as always. Such a great book, and well worth a listen.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • STEVEN
  • 02-16-22

Narrator totally annoying and over dramatic.

probably a good read, I really tried to stick with it but the tone of the narrators voice, intending to express despiration and tragedy was, in the end, unbearable.

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  • Patricia Davidson
  • 11-21-21

A reading worthy of the story

I enjoyed the film with Kevin Bacon but this spoken version is worthy of an Oscar.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-20-21

Well done.

The story was good and narration was good. I did find it hard to stay interested however. This may have been due to the fact that I kept falling to sleep every time I listened to it but I got through it in the end.

1 person found this helpful