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Dean Koontz's Frankenstein: Prodigal Son (Frankenstein #01)

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Dean Koontz's Frankenstein: Prodigal Son (Frankenstein #01) Cover

ISBN13: 9780553587883
ISBN10: 0553587889
Condition: Standard
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Excerpt

Chapter One

Deucalion seldom slept, but when he did, he dreamed. Every dream was a nightmare. None frightened him. He was the spawn of nightmares, after all; and he had been toughened by a life of terror.

During the afternoon, napping in his simple cell, he dreamed that a surgeon opened his abdomen to insert a mysterious, squirming mass. Awake but manacled to the surgical table, Deucalion could only endure the procedure.

After he had been sewn shut, he felt something crawling inside his body cavity, as though curious, exploring.

From behind his mask, the surgeon said, “A messenger approaches. Life changes with a letter.”

He woke from the dream and knew that it had been prophetic. He possessed no psychic power of a classic nature, but sometimes omens came in his sleep.

In these mountains of tibet, a fiery sunset conjured a mirage of molten gold from the glaciers and the snowfields. A serrated blade of Himalayan peaks, with Everest at its hilt, cut the sky.

Far from civilization, this vast panorama soothed Deucalion. For several years, he had preferred to avoid people, except for Buddhist monks in this windswept rooftop of the world.

Although he had not killed for a long time, he still harbored the capacity for homicidal fury. Here he strove always to suppress his darker urges, sought calm, and hoped to find true peace.

From an open stone balcony of the whitewashed monastery, as he gazed at the sun-splashed ice pack, he considered, not for the first time, that these two elements, fire and ice, defined his life.

At his side, an elderly monk, Nebo, asked, “Are you looking at the mountainsor beyond them, to what you left behind?”

Although Deucalion had learned to speak several Tibetan dialects during his lengthy sojourn here, he and the old monk often spoke English, for it afforded them privacy.

“I dont miss much of that world. The sea. The sound of shore birds. A few friends. Cheez-Its.”

“Cheeses? We have cheese here.”

Deucalion smiled and pronounced the word more clearly than hed done previously. “Cheez-Its are cheddar-flavored crackers. Here in this monastery we seek enlightenment, meaning, purpose . . . God. Yet often the humblest things of daily life, the small pleasures, seem to define existence for me. Im afraid Im a shallow student, Nebo.”

Pulling his wool robe closer about himself as wintry breezes bit, Nebo said, “To the contrary. Never have I had one less shallow than you. Just hearing about Cheez-Its, I myself am intrigued.”

A voluminous wool robe covered Deucalions scarred patchwork body, though even the harshest cold rarely bothered him.

The mandala-shaped Rombuk monasteryan architectural wonder of brick walls, soaring towers, and graceful roofsclung precariously to a barren mountainside: imposing, majestic, hidden from the world. Waterfalls of steps spilled down the sides of the square towers, to the base of the main levels, granting access to interior courtyards.

Brilliant yellow, white, red, green, and blue prayer flags, representing the elements, flapped in the breeze. Carefully written sutras adorned the flags, so that each time the fabric waved in the wind, a prayer was symbolically sent in the direction of Heaven.

Despite Deucalions size and strange appearance, the monks had accepted him. He absorbed their teaching and filtered it through his singular experience. In time, they had come to him with philosophical questions, seeking his unique perspective.

They didnt know who he was, but they understood intuitively that he was no normal man.

Deucalion stood for a long time without speaking. Nebo waited beside him. Time had little meaning in the clockless world of the monks, and after two hundred years of life, with perhaps more than that ahead of him, Deucalion often lived with no awareness of time.

Prayer wheels clicked, stirred by breezes. In a call to sunset prayer, one monk stood in the window of a high tower, blowing on a shell trumpet. Deep inside the monastery, chants began to resonate through the cold stone.

Deucalion stared down into the canyons full of purple twilight, east of the monastery. From some of Rombuks windows, one might fall more than a thousand feet to the rocks.

Out of that gloaming, a distant figure approached.

“A messenger,” he said. “The surgeon in the dream spoke truth.”

The old monk could not at first see the visitor. His eyes, the color of vinegar, seemed to have been faded by the unfiltered sun of extreme altitude. Then they widened. “We must meet him at the gates.”

Salamanders of torchlight crawled the ironbound beams of the main gate and the surrounding brick walls.

Just inside the gates, standing in the open-air outer ward, the messenger regarded Deucalion with awe. “Yeti,” he whispered, which was the name that the Sherpas had coined for the abominable snowman.

Words escaping him on plumes of frosted breath, Nebo said, “Is it custom now to precede a message with a rude remark?”

Having once been pursued like a beast, having lived two hundred years as the ultimate outsider, Deucalion was inoculated against all meanness. He was incapable of taking offense.

“Were I a yeti,” he said, speaking in the messengers language, “I might be as tall as this.” He stood six feet six. “I might be muscled this solidly. But I would be much hairier, dont you think?”

“I . . . I suppose so.”

“A yeti never shaves.” Leaning close, as if imparting a secret, Deucalion said, “Under all that hair, a yeti has very sensitive skin. Pink, soft . . . quick to take a rash from a razor blade.”

Summoning courage, the messenger asked, “Then what are you?”

“Big Foot,” Deucalion said in English, and Nebo laughed, but the messenger did not understand.

Made nervous by the monks laughter, shivering not only because of the icy air, the young man held out a scuffed goatskin packet knotted tightly with a leather thong. “Here. Inside. For you.”

Deucalion curled one powerful finger around the leather thong, snapped it, and unfolded the goatskin wrapping to reveal an envelope inside, a wrinkled and stained letter long in transit.

The return address was in New Orleans. The name was that of an old and trusted friend, Ben Jonas.

Still glancing surreptitiously and nervously at the ravaged half of Deucalions face, the messenger evidently decided that the company of a yeti would be preferable to a return trip in darkness through the bitter-cold mountain pass. “May I have shelter for the night?”

“Anyone who comes to these gates,” Nebo assured him, “may have whatever he needs. If we had them, I would even give you Cheez-Its.”

From the outer ward, they ascended the stone ramp through the inner gate. Two young monks with lanterns arrived as if in answer to a telepathic summons to escort the messenger to guest quarters.

In the candlelit reception hall, in an alcove that smelled of sandalwood and incense, Deucalion read the letter. Bens handwritten words conveyed a momentous message in neatly penned blue ink.

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

dspack, January 7, 2010 (view all comments by dspack)
Great book. Every one of Dean Koontz's are very good, but this one is one that kept me up all night reading. Bet ya can't put it down.
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beadmahn, October 28, 2008 (view all comments by beadmahn)
This is a series that may never be finished - know that before you ever begin the book. But also know that if you enjoy the writings of Dean Koontz you may not care that it never gets beyond book two. This is another classic tale from Koontz's very fertile imagination. The characters are crisp, the storyline is many layered, the conflict is clear, and the action is fast. Once again, Koontz delivers with a great story extremely well told.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780553587883
Contribution:
Anderson, Kevin J.
Publisher:
Bantam
Contribution:
Anderson, Kevin J.
Contribution:
Anderson, Kevin J., Jr.
Author:
Koontz, Dean R.
Author:
Dean Koontz
Author:
Anderson, Kevin J.
Author:
Dean Koontz and Kevin J. Anderson
Subject:
Scientists
Subject:
Suspense
Subject:
Monsters
Subject:
Horror - General
Subject:
New Orleans (La.)
Subject:
Horror fiction
Subject:
General Fiction
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st
Edition Description:
Mass market paperback
Series:
Dean Koontz's Frankenstein
Series Volume:
01
Publication Date:
January 25, 2005
Binding:
Trade-only material
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
512
Dimensions:
6.9 x 4.1 x 1 in .5625 lb

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Horror » General
Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » A to Z
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Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » A to Z

Dean Koontz's Frankenstein: Prodigal Son (Frankenstein #01) Used Mass Market
0 stars - 0 reviews
$1.95 In Stock
Product details 512 pages Bantam Books - English 9780553587883 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In this grisly thriller, the first in a new series by bestsellers Koontz and Anderson, Dr. Frankenstein has survived into the 21st century, masquerading as biotech tycoon Victor Helios. Helios wants to replace flawed humanity with his New Race, people born and fermented in pods, their personalities programmed by him, their imperfections removed in the lab. But at least one of his creations has become a serial killer, trying to assemble the perfect woman from parts of many. Like expert plate-spinners, the authors set up a dizzying array of narrative viewpoints and cycle through them effortlessly. These include one of Victor's creations who suffers from autism and is trying to understand it; a cloned priest who serves as a clandestine member of Helios's army; Helios's custom-made wife, unique among his creations in that she's allowed to feel shame; and, tying it all together, a classic buddy-cop set of homicide detectives who slowly come to understand that the butcher they're chasing isn't quite human. The odd juxtaposition of a police procedural with a neo-gothic, mad scientist plot gives the novel a wickedly unusual and intriguing feel. The familiarity of the Frankenstein myth makes much of the story arc predictable, but it's still a compelling read, with an elegant cliffhanger ending." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , This first title in the mesmerizing four-book paperback original series — Dean Koontz's Frankenstein — is a brilliant re-imaging of the classic story that only world-renowned and New York Times bestselling author Dean Koontz could conceive, bringing the two hundred-year-old "monster," a literate, mysterious loner, to modern day New Orleans on the trail of his creator and the serial killer he has spawned.
"Synopsis" by , A brilliant re-imagining and updating of the classic Frankenstein story that only Dean Koontz could conceive, Prodigal Son is the first volume in a four-book series that opens with the "monster" — Deucalion — coming to modern-day New Orleans, where he will join forces with a street-smart police detective and her partner on the trail of a macabre serial killer...a serial killer spawned, Deucalion will discover, by his own creator, Dr. Victor Frankenstein, now Victor Helios.

Deucalion has survived for two centuries, given near immortality by the furious lightning storm that brought him to life. But he is no monster — not anymore. While he carries a quiet mystery about him, Deucalion is literate, intelligent, and very much in control of himself, almost as if he has an inner peace. For two hundred years Deucalion has thought himself alone among men, an aberrant creation of an evil mind. Now he will find that his fellows are legion...that they live among us at every strata of society...and that his nemesis, Victor Frankenstein, has survived the centuries as well...and dreams of seeding the earth with his creations.

Loosely based on Dean Koontz's Frankenstein, the national network television series scheduled to begin airing on USA at Halloween, and co-authored with Kevin Anderson, subsequent volumes in the series will continue Deucalion's pursuit of Victor Helios and his unnatural army, in partership with two tough, bemused New Orleans cops, and will move back and forth in time as well, unspooling Deucalion's story from the time the original story closed. Rich, suspenseful, heartbreaking and terrifying, Dean Koontz's Frankenstein will explore as only "the master of the psychological drama" (Larry King, USA Today) can, the heights to which we might aspire, the depths to which some may fall, and what, in the end, it means to be truly human.

"Synopsis" by , The "New York Times" bestselling author brilliantly re-imagines the classic story in a mesmerizing original four-part series that brings the 200-year-old "creature," a literate, mysterious loner, to modern day New Orleans on the trail of his creator and the serial killer he has spawned.
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