Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Life Expectancy

Life Expectancy by Dean Koontz

I used to be a devout reader of Dean Koontz's books. The first couple that I read were Watchers and Intensity and I really enjoyed both. In fact, Intensity, is probably the most intense book I've ever read. Go figure, huh? I then went on and read several more of his books, but none of them ever reached the bar set by those first two. In fact, as time went on, I began to lose interest in reading his books and would only occasionally pick one up off the discount rack at the bookstore to give it a try. A few years ago I read The Taking, which was horrible and led me to stop buying his books altogether. But I still had this one left on the bookshelf which I inexplicably felt compelled to eventually read.

Life Expectancy was awful. It confirmed for me the wisdom in not buying or reading any more of Koontz's books. The plot was ridiculous and the dialogue was painful. As I suffered through it, the dialogue repeatedly reminded me of the solitary lifestyle I think most authors must live. I would imagine some of them don't get out much and interact with other human beings. I'm almost positive now that Koontz hasn't left his home in over a decade and doesn't own a phone or a television. No one talks the way he made his characters talk in this one.

It's about a man named Jimmy Tock, whose grandfather, on the day Jimmy was born and he himself died, predicted five dark dates in his grandson's life. As Jimmy goes through his life, and those dates approach one by one, sure enough something terrible happens. Here's the kicker, all those dates involve a homicidal, maniacal clown. Eat your heart out Dickens, that's true literary brilliance.

Inexplicably, the majority of the Amazon reviews of this one give it five stars. I don't know whether it's me or everyone else that's wrong, but I'm leaning toward it being everyone else.

★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

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