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Life Expectancy

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Life Expectancy Cover

ISBN13: 9780553588248
ISBN10: 0553588249
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

With his bestselling blend of nail-biting intensity, daring artistry, and storytelling magic, Dean Koontz returns with an emotional roller coaster of a tale filled with enough twists, turns, shocks, and surprises for ten ordinary novels. Here is the story of five days in the life of an ordinary man born to an extraordinary legacy — a story that will challenge the way you look at good and evil, life and death, and everything in between.

Jimmy Tock comes into the world on the very night his grandfather leaves it. As a violent storm rages outside the hospital, Rudy Tock spends long hours walking the corridors between the expectant fathers' waiting room and his dying father's bedside. It's a strange vigil made all the stranger when, at the very height of the storm's fury, Josef Tock suddenly sits up in bed and speaks coherently for the frist and last time since his stroke.

What he says before he dies is that there will be five dark days in the life of his grandson — five dates whose terrible events Jimmy will have to prepare himself to face. The first is to occur in his twentieth year; the second in his twent-third year; the third in his twenty-eighth; the fourth in his twenty-ninth; the fifth in his thirtieth.

Rudy is all too ready to discount his father's last words as a dying man's delusional rambling. But then he discovers that Josef also predicted the time of his grandson's birth to the minute, as well as his exact height and weight, and the fact that Jimmy would be born with syndactyly — the unexplained anomal of fused digits — on his left foot. Suddenly the old man's predictions take on a chilling significance.

What terrifying events await Jimmy on these five dark days? What nightmares will he face? What challenges must he survive? As the novel unfolds, picking up Jimmy's story at each of these crisis points, the path he must follow will defy every expectation. And with each crisis he faces, he will move closer to a fate he could never have imagined. For who Jimmy Tock is and what he must accomplish on the five days when his world turns is a mystery as dangerous as it is wondrous — a struggle against an evil so dark and pervasive, only the most extraordinary of human spirits can shine through.

Review:

"Of all bestselling authors, Koontz may be the most underestimated by the literary establishment. Book after book, year after year, this author climbs to the top of the charts. Why? His readers know: because he is a master storyteller and a daring writer, and because, in his novels, he gives readers bright hope in a dark world. His new book is an examplar of his extraordinary work. Suspense is difficult to sustain; suspense that's buoyed steadily by humor, even as it deals with the most desperate of circumstances, is nearly impossible — yet Koontz manages it here. As in last year's brilliant Odd Thomas, Koontz writes again in the first person, employing a cleaner, more instantly accessible line than in some of his other work (e.g., this year's The Taking). His narrator is Jimmy Tock, a pastry chef in a Colorado resort town. On the day he was born, Jimmy's dying grandfather predicted five future dates that would be terrible for Jimmy; he might have mentioned, but didn't, the birth day itself, which sees a mass slaying by a bitter, deranged circus clown in the hospital where Jimmy is born. The bulk of the narrative concerns the first terrible day, about 20 years later, when the vengeful son of that clown takes Jimmy and a lovely young woman, Lorrie Hicks, hostage in the local library, with an eye toward destroying the town; Jimmy and the woman live to marry, but will they and their family survive the four subsequent terrible days? Like most of Koontz's novels, this one pits good versus evil and carries a persuasive spiritual message, about the power of love and family and the miracle of existence. As such it deals with serious, perennial themes, yet with its steady drizzle of jokes and witty repartee, it does so with a lightness of touch that few other authors can match. Koontz is a true original and this novel, one of his most unusual yet, will leave readers aglow and be a major bestseller. If the literary establishment would only catch on to him, it might be an award-winner too." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Koontz's third astonishing novel in 13 months....[A]n exuberant, prickly, ambivalent parody....[T]he story's fundamental ridiculousness doesn't prevent it from being emotionally powerful and thought-provoking." Booklist (Starred Review)

Review:

"[T]he suspense is minimal despite all the guns and dread....Readers will need all the suspense possible to keep them wading through the comedy lines. Koontz is a topflight suspense writer, but this error only the fans will love." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"What a pleasure it is to report that in Life Expectancy, Koontz takes risks. The book is not simply great fun; it dares to address a serious question: In an age of color-coded terror alerts, how are we supposed to live normal lives?" Los Angeles Times

Review:

"Mr. Koontz is a skillful storyteller....Life Expectancy offers a clear illustration of what he does right....[T]his is a book with 'Prepare to be enchanted' as an echoing motif." Janet Maslin, The New York Times

Synopsis:

In his latest "New York Times" bestseller, Koontz tells an emotional tale of five days in the life of an ordinary man born to an extraordinary legacy--a story that challenges the way readers perceive good and evil, life and death, and everything in between.

About the Author

Dean Koontz is the author of many #1 New York Times bestsellers. He lives with his wife, Gerda, and their dog, Trixie, in southern California.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 6 comments:

seldombites, October 22, 2013 (view all comments by seldombites)
Like most first person novels, it took me a little while to get into this book. However, once it gets going, this is a highly entertaining read. One of Koontz's better novels, this is a book that is well worth reading.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
DOLORES HAILEY, January 30, 2013 (view all comments by DOLORES HAILEY)
This book has a great plot and is completely UNPREDICTABLE. It is rich in humor and is a wonderful jolting love story. I could not put it down .
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
CattleDogMom, June 26, 2012 (view all comments by CattleDogMom)
This is Dean Koontz at his BEST! This delightful tale had me laughing out loud and quoting passages to my husband -- I know... not what you expected to hear about one of the masters of horror, right? This is not your usual horror book, "prepare to be amazed"! The characters - both good guy and bad - are rich, deep, dark, loving and just downright fascinating. The story is unlike any I've read - so entrancing, you completely lose track of time! Buy it. Read it. Then pester your friends and family to read it, just so you'll have someone to talk to about it!!
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(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 6 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780553588248
Author:
Koontz, Dean R
Publisher:
Bantam Books
Author:
Koontz, Dean R.
Author:
Dean Koontz
Subject:
Psychological
Subject:
Suspense
Subject:
Fathers and sons
Subject:
Terminally ill
Subject:
Psychological fiction
Subject:
Suspense fiction
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Thrillers
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Mass market paperback
Publication Date:
October 25, 2005
Binding:
MASS MARKET
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
496
Dimensions:
6.98x4.18x1.07 in. .53 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Horror » General
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Popular Fiction » Suspense
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » A to Z

Life Expectancy Used Mass Market
0 stars - 0 reviews
$3.50 In Stock
Product details 496 pages Bantam Books - English 9780553588248 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Of all bestselling authors, Koontz may be the most underestimated by the literary establishment. Book after book, year after year, this author climbs to the top of the charts. Why? His readers know: because he is a master storyteller and a daring writer, and because, in his novels, he gives readers bright hope in a dark world. His new book is an examplar of his extraordinary work. Suspense is difficult to sustain; suspense that's buoyed steadily by humor, even as it deals with the most desperate of circumstances, is nearly impossible — yet Koontz manages it here. As in last year's brilliant Odd Thomas, Koontz writes again in the first person, employing a cleaner, more instantly accessible line than in some of his other work (e.g., this year's The Taking). His narrator is Jimmy Tock, a pastry chef in a Colorado resort town. On the day he was born, Jimmy's dying grandfather predicted five future dates that would be terrible for Jimmy; he might have mentioned, but didn't, the birth day itself, which sees a mass slaying by a bitter, deranged circus clown in the hospital where Jimmy is born. The bulk of the narrative concerns the first terrible day, about 20 years later, when the vengeful son of that clown takes Jimmy and a lovely young woman, Lorrie Hicks, hostage in the local library, with an eye toward destroying the town; Jimmy and the woman live to marry, but will they and their family survive the four subsequent terrible days? Like most of Koontz's novels, this one pits good versus evil and carries a persuasive spiritual message, about the power of love and family and the miracle of existence. As such it deals with serious, perennial themes, yet with its steady drizzle of jokes and witty repartee, it does so with a lightness of touch that few other authors can match. Koontz is a true original and this novel, one of his most unusual yet, will leave readers aglow and be a major bestseller. If the literary establishment would only catch on to him, it might be an award-winner too." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Koontz's third astonishing novel in 13 months....[A]n exuberant, prickly, ambivalent parody....[T]he story's fundamental ridiculousness doesn't prevent it from being emotionally powerful and thought-provoking."
"Review" by , "[T]he suspense is minimal despite all the guns and dread....Readers will need all the suspense possible to keep them wading through the comedy lines. Koontz is a topflight suspense writer, but this error only the fans will love."
"Review" by , "What a pleasure it is to report that in Life Expectancy, Koontz takes risks. The book is not simply great fun; it dares to address a serious question: In an age of color-coded terror alerts, how are we supposed to live normal lives?"
"Review" by , "Mr. Koontz is a skillful storyteller....Life Expectancy offers a clear illustration of what he does right....[T]his is a book with 'Prepare to be enchanted' as an echoing motif."
"Synopsis" by , In his latest "New York Times" bestseller, Koontz tells an emotional tale of five days in the life of an ordinary man born to an extraordinary legacy--a story that challenges the way readers perceive good and evil, life and death, and everything in between.
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