Being a Dean Koontz fan since his Odd Thomas series, I have to admit that I’ve been trying to read this book for years now. I normally get so far in, and then stop. This is truly an unusual characteristic for me, as I love stories and books and especially page turners. I’ve tried to decipher my problem with this book, and it’s difficult as it truly is a masterpiece of beautiful artistic flowing words, and leads you down the path of three individual and yet titillating stories. If asked to rate the book I would have to give it five stars across the board for character development, story development and as I said, beautiful artistic flowing words.
I found myself following three distinct stories, each captivating in their own right and yet each time I was caught up in the story line I was immediately transferred to another captivating story with another character. I would at times have to go back and read the end of the chapter on the first story prior to going forward on that story as my mind was caught up in the story I’d just read.
Are the stories good? Yes. I found myself totally immersed in the problems of Michelina Bellsong and Leilani. And then totally immersed in young Curtis Hammond and his flight from killers, as well as his tagalong partner, Old Yeller. Anyone who knows me knows that the story of Old Yeller has always been my favorite, and the fact that young Curtis named his dog Old Yeller only endeared that story to me more. And then there’s Noah Farrell, a burned out former police officer now turned detective with his own deep, dark burdens of guilt. All three fascinating stories that up through Chapter 28 have absolutely nothing to tie them together. I know that’s coming, but I’m on page 214 of 606, and truthfully tired of trying to follow three distinct stories that I love individually and keep the pages turning and the story line flowing.
Can a book be too eloquent? Possibly. As I’m reading it’s almost as if each paragraph was written individually. Not that they don’t tie together in the individual stories, they do. But each paragraph offers its own descriptive eloquence that sometimes leaves you thinking too much about the words you’re reading, and then losing the story line. Once again, there have been many times I’ve had to back up and reread. And miss a day reading a chapter, well I’m totally lost on which story I’m following and where the character has been and where they’re going.
As I stated in the beginning, I’ve been a Dean Koontz fan for years, and I loved “False Memory”, “Fear Nothing”, “Hideaway”, “Midnight”, “Watchers”, “The Key to Midnight” and the “Odd Thomas” series. His style is truly unique, and his characters always masterpieces of literary genius. I did something today, though, that I rarely if ever do with a book. I went to the end and read the last page. Why? I guess I wanted to know if the stories ever truly came together. They do, and perhaps someday I’ll finish this book. I hope so, because I learn so much from Mr. Koontz’s writing. But life is simply too short, and I have so little time to read, that I feel I must once again move on to something else. I will miss my travels with Micky and Leilani and with Curtis and Old Yeller, and I’ll even miss Noah Farrell, but with almost 400 pages in front of me to finish, I think I’ll leave it for another time period in my life when I can snuggle up with a good cup of hot chocolate and hopefully make my way through to the very end.