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Life Expectancy

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  21,084 ratings  ·  1,246 reviews
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 a...more
Paperback, 476 pages
Published October 25th 2005 by Bantam Books (first published June 1st 2000)
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Watchers by Dean KoontzOdd Thomas by Dean KoontzIntensity by Dean KoontzLightning by Dean KoontzLife Expectancy by Dean Koontz
Best Dean Koontz Books
5th out of 69 books — 678 voters
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. RowlingThe Kite Runner by Khaled HosseiniThe Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsHarry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
Best Books of the Decade: 2000s
290th out of 4,887 books — 23,530 voters

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Community Reviews

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Life Expectancy is probably my favorite book of all time. It was so different than any book I had ever read, and was much different than I expected. It flows so perfectly from the first person point of view, and the characters are unforgettable. Plus, it has clowns...
It will make you laugh, it will make you cry, it will make you question all good looking men.
Edward Lorn
LIFE EXPECTANCY Review I'm about to spoil the hell out of this piece of garbage in the hopes that you run screaming from its pages as if the longevity of your genitals depended on it.

The Good: This book is readable. Meaning, you can read it. Moving on.

The Bad: The synopsis is terrific: engaging, intriguing, enticing, everything a book description should be. So why isn't this up there with The Good? Because the synopsis fucking lies like a rug under a steam roller. You see, Jimmy Tock's grandpapp...more
♥ Marlene♥
This is what I wrote reading this book........

This is the second time I am trying to read this book.

I am a huge Koontz fan but this book really disappointed me.

It is so far, not exiting or scary at all, because the main characters are not frightened.
They are constantly making funny (not) remarks and it is just not realistic.

You are a hostage and you are constantly cracking jokes!!! No way.

I have read 170 pages of the book and am really struggling (again!) to read more.

And that is really an excep...more
I love this book! It's very likely that eventually I'd have to take it out from my "Favorites" shelf, but not because I don't like it, just since I already have "Phantoms" in that shelf and I want to keep it to maximum 10 books there, it would have to be 2 books from Dean Koontz and if I have to choose, I'd choose "Phantoms". However I do love this book, "Life Expectancy". It's one of the best books that I ever read. It has all, horror, humor, romance, etc... Even it's not your typical horror bo...more
Dustin Crazy little brown owl
"Some lives, conducted with grace, are beautiful arcs bridging this world to eternity."

"No one's life should be rooted in fear. We are born for wonder, for joy, for hope, for love, to marvel at the mystery of existence, to be ravished by the beauty of the world, to seek truth and meaning, to acquire wisdom, and by our treatment of others to brighten the corner where we are."

"No one can grant you happiness. Happiness is a choice we all have the power to make."

Ever since first reading this book 20...more
This book was a strange book. I don't know how else to describe it. When my husband told me it was a weird one but he thought I would like it, I really I was almost sure I didn't want to read it. I almost pasted it up, but I am glad I didn't. I never knew where it was going to go next. I never even tried to make predictions like I normally would. It also was filled with so much dry humor that you just had to laugh. The entire time I was reading this one, I couldn't help but think that the author...more
Larry James
I absolutely loved the book!The humor was surprising and the story was as good as anything I've ever read. I could not put this one down, and it thrilled me from beginning to end.!
Jane Stewart
3 ½ stars. Tongue in cheek mystery suspense.

I was disappointed when I saw this was first person. Sometimes it works, but usually it’s not as good for me, and in this case first person did not help. The plot premise was odd. It didn’t draw me in as much as other plots. When the book begins, we are told something disastrous will happen five times during Jimmy’s life. It feels like a scavenger hunt. The first day comes and we watch a disaster which Jimmy survives. Then we wait a little and watch th...more
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This is my first Dean Koontz book. I expected a horror story, but this book was actually quite funny. I just grabbed it off the paperback section of the library to take to the beach, and I was pleasantly surprised. Initially, I found the main character, Jimmy, a little like Ignatiuos Reilly from "Confederacy of Dunces," but he actually had a great deal more sense. I think it was more in Koontz's writing style. The characters were so likeable, that I wanted to be friends with them; except for the...more
Apr 23, 2008 Jack rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: only bored die-hard Koontz fans
Recommended to Jack by: a crazed clownish friend
Dean Koontz reigns as the Henry Ford of novelists. Ford invented assembly line production, a way of mass-producing automobiles. Ford out produced other automakers and at the same time delivered a quality product. His Model T remains perhaps the most successful automobile ever made. Ford Motor Company occasionally made mistakes; the Edsel of the mid-1950s was its most glaring and infamous. Dean Koontz, like Ford has developed a method of cranking out novels at an amazing pace, over 60 in the spa...more
Wow! This book totally blew me away. Best Koontz book I've read yet, and I thought Odd Thomas would be a tough act to follow. I may have to pick up a copy of this book for own PC bookshelf so I can let hubby and all my other non-BC friends read it too. :)

Great character development, suspense, the kind of book I didn't want to put down. At times, I was so anxious to know how a particular situation would turn out that I'd find myself skipping ahead a couple of chapters, and then immediately scoldi...more
Jan 13, 2008 ayrdaomei rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Koontz fans, fans of thrillers with a dash of the supernatural
Shelves: finished
This one took me a couple weeks to read, but I did finish it (good sign #1) and by the time I was done, I didn't feel like I'd wasted my time (good sign #2).

It's written in the first person, which works better here than in Koontz's The Taking, but not as well as it did in Odd Thomas. The premise of the story is a fun one: on the night of Jimmy Tock's birth, his dying grandfather predicts the time of Jimmy's birth, his weight, a physical ailment...and that Jimmy will suffer five terrible days in...more
This is one of my favorite Dean Koontz novels. It has all of the elements you would expect to find in a DK novel!
Jimmy Tock is probably my favorite of all of Dean Koontz characters - and that's a lot considering one of Koontz' strengths is character development. Jimmy was born on the day his grandfather died. Before his grandfather died and the minute of Jimmy's birth, his grandfather sat up in bed and stated that Jimmy would have five horrible days. He listed the dates in question. Jimmy's family didn't know what to make of Jimmy's grandfather's prophesy until the first of the dates arrived and Jimmy, ind...more
I tend to avoid authors with huge shelves of published work (Danielle Steele, Piers Anthony, etc.) because I tried and found them incredibly unreadable. Mr. DK isn't bad, though - very entertaining, humor, twists.

This story centered around a young man who, at his birth, had ominous predictions of 5 horrendous (or was it terrible?) days in his future. He got through it with family support, practicality, blahblahblah. The circus is involved. And there's implied sex crime. The twist at the end seem...more
Christopher Owen
Simply put, this novel is nothing short of incredible. Highly original, darkly amusing and almost (ALMOST) too clever for it's own good.

For me the mark of a good book is the inability to put it down. Getting so caught up in the story and the characters that you think abouto it even when you're not reading it.

I'll try to avoid spoilers, but my favorite thing about this novel is how evrerything is connected. It's obvious that Koontz had every detail planned in advance. One thing leads to another...more
Jason gave me this book for Christmas - he had listened to it as book on tape and really liked it, and thought I might like it too. I didn't - I LOVED it!! Laugh out loud funny at times, and yet also reflects on what makes a good life, relationship, and family, all in a suspenseful story!

I loved the characters - the main one, Jimmy Tock, but also all the supporting cast of characters. Each one was fleshed out and real. There was a unique banter amongst his family that I both recognized my own fa...more
I am going to use my review of Dean Koontz's Life Expectancy to discuss a matter that seems of great importance in most of Koontz's work, mental illness. Koontz often simplifies his antagonists' motivations to the basic idea, "This person is insane." "Why is that?" you may ask. Well, I'll tell you. It's because labeling a character as insane means that Koontz can throw logic and rationality right out the window. Why does this person kill entire families, collecting trophies of his murders? Becau...more
Martin Maher
LOVED this book! This was my first Dean Koontz novel & I must say that I was really impressed by it. The story centers around the charcter Jimmy Tock, who arrives into the world the same day as his grandfather dies. But before he dies he makes 10 predictions about Jimmy`s life, the first 5 about his birth, which are dead on. The other 5 however tell of 5 particular dates which are to be particularly dark days in Jimmy`s life. Because of his accuracy with the first predictions, the family tak...more
My second favorite Koontz novel~Life Expectancy!

It's not often that you, literally, laugh out loud in this genre...but THIS book--I promise--will make you laugh, because the characters are clever, lovable, funny and you'll root for them the whole time.

Don't misunderstand me, you'll be chewing your nails and turning pages as fast as you can-- it's quite a thriller-- but I found it hard to believe it was Dean Koontz...there was humor throughout.

From Jimmy Tock to Grandma 'Weena, you'll love the fa...more
My advice? Read it, read it, read it. If you have ever liked or thought you might like Dean Koontz, if you have a taste for strange characters, fun twists, witty dialogue, and suspense sprinkled with fantasy (or have no idea how that combination can happen but are intrigued by the concept), pick up a copy. It's an odd combination of sadness and horror and love and inspiration and ridiculousness and clowns and trapeze artists and baked goods and extra-sensory perception and simply decent writing...more
I'm suspending my book snob criteria of saving 5 star ratings for "great literature." I loved this book. It was pure entertainment. I haven't read Dean Koontz in a long time and I may have been missing out. This book is funny, clever, suspenseful and best of all full of maniacal circus clowns. The plot is too over the top and intricate to explain, but the main character is a pastry chef and his family are a bunch of foodies. The descriptions of pastry and food alone, make this a four star book....more
Ricardo Jasso Moedano
Prepare to be enthralled!

In a word, sublime. If I could, I would fain give this book 50 stars. The only snag about it was that I had to sneak to the loo at work every hour, pretending tummy complications, and shut myself up in a stall for a while to read another chapter, but then, after I returned to my desk, I grew anxious again and just couldn´t focus on any task, totally stunned by the twists along the story. While humour is the backbone of this volume, it´s also draped with suspense and dra...more
Turned out to be better than I expected, especially towards the end. Recommended.
I was starved for something to read this last weekend and happened upon this book. Horror isn't my usual genre but I've read a few Dean Koontz books in the past and liked them, so I thought I'd give this one a spin.

It's got an interesting enough plot -- as a child is being born, his grandfather makes a set of deathbed prophecies about him (the first of which are shortly proven true as they relate to his birth) which culminate in an exact prediction, to the day, of five individual days he will e...more
Alan Marchant
feel-good horror story

With Life Expectancy, Dean Koontz takes on the challenge of writing an entirely wholesome horror story. Many readers may not care for the mix of creepiness, humor, and schmaltz. But I found it refreshing.

Life expectancy is the life story of a young baker, Jimmy Tock, and his wife, told in first person. They are happy, optimistic, family folk. Therefore their story is virtually free of profanity or gratuitous nastiness. But they are also blessed with "interesting lives" that...more
Probably a 3.5. After being peer-pressured into reading this, I was initially disappointed by how long it took to get going. The opening story (about the prophesied five terrible days and the killer clown at the hospital) is definitely a gripping way to start. But then the family's witty banter at the dinner table discussing how to get ready for the terrible day (while entertaining) doesn't seem to match the seriousness of the tone and makes you wonder if we're actually supposed to be dreading w...more
Life Expectancy is a good book. It is another suspense novel from the famous Dean Koontz, and he does everything he can to keep the suspense going throughout the book. These suspenseful novels from Dean Koontz have caught my eye in the past and I plan on reading all of his books, so I decided to read this one after I bought it at a book sale. The main character is James Tock, but everyone calls him Jimmy, and he was born on a very odd night in Colorado. His grandfather, Josef, died in the same h...more
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I loved it 13 81 Mar 11, 2014 02:11AM  
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This book made #10 on TOP 10 THRILLER NOVELS... 1 53 Apr 02, 2009 08:30PM  
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Acknowledged as "America's most popular suspense novelist" (Rolling Stone) and as one of today's most celebrated and successful writers, Dean Ray Koontz has earned the devotion of millions of readers around the world and the praise of critics everywhere for tales of character, mystery, and adventure that strike to the core of what it means to be human.

Dean R. Koontz has also published under the na...more
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“No one's life should be rooted in fear. We are born for wonder, for joy, for hope, for love, to marvel at the mystery of existence, to be ravished by the beauty of the world, to seek truth and meaning, to acquire wisdom, and by our treatment of others to brighten the corner where we are.” 228 likes
“Where there is cake, there is hope. And there is always cake.” 224 likes
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