A Stir of Echoes

A Stir of Echoes - Richard Matheson While different from the movie of the same name with Kevin Bacon, this is a fine story about a man who acquires an psi ability and the way it uproots his world in the days following. The language and situations might be a bit outdated in areas, but the story overall still has a strong sense of resonance and it's more suspense than it is a horror (so please don't misjudge the book by thinking it's going to scare you at every turn, because it's not that kind of book). I wouldn't say it's so much an experience that scares you as much as it makes you on edge as you follow the story.Tom Wallace is a loving husband and father (which makes him all the more endearing to follow) who attends a gathering at his neighbor's house, and ends up hypnotized. At first the event seems like something that he's willing to shrug off, until he realizes that not only does it affect how he sleeps, but also gives him the ability to read minds and predict events before they happen. I honestly found myself on the edge many times when I followed Tom's intuitions, and it's refreshing that Matheson explores how the ability helps and hurts Tom, in his personal life and his relationships with others.There may be a few ramblings in here that are tell tale of the time (i.e. there's one passage in the middle of the book where Tom and his neighbor rant about women that made if feel a bit odd), but I wouldn't have guessed this was a book from the 50s. It feels like it could happen in the present time, the characters are well-rounded, and the prose is very easy to follow.I listened to the audiobook of this story, as read by Scott Brick (who captures the emotion perfectly among the cast of characters) and thought it was beautifully interpreted.Overall, I really enjoyed this and would love to read/hear it again.Overall score: 4/5