This is my first encounter with Dean Koontz, an author I’ve always been wary of because of his popularity as well as his prolificness. If his other books are anything like this one, I feel completely justified for my hesitation.
I couldn’t put this book down, which says a lot more about Koontz’s use of cheap literary tricks than it does the quality of the writing. This is disappointing, because the premise is interesting – a baby’s grandfather dies on the same night the baby is born, and predicts five dates in the baby’s life that will be terrible. These five days are made a living nightmare by a family of circus clowns. Really, how can you go wrong with that as your plot?
Koontz manages to do it.
The people who forced this book on me swore up and down that it was hilarious. One of the reviews in the front of the book compared it to Dave Barry. However, I think they’re confusing random with funny. I didn’t laugh a single time, and trust me, I have a sense of humor. I’m reduced to giggles on a regular basis, but breaking the narrative to define words and make cultural references aren’t enough to make me laugh, I’m sorry.
What really drove this mediocre book into two-star territory, however, were the last few chapters. There’s a disconcerting shift at the end, and the book concludes by trying to make a gooey, sugary point about how to live your life.
I don’t think I’ll be taking life advice from the same book that features homicidal circus performers and shamelessly manipulates its readers. Thanks, but no thanks.