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Sole Survivor

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3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  20,059 ratings  ·  461 reviews
A catastrophic, unexplainable plane crash leaves three hundred and thirty dead -- no survivors. Among the victims are the wife and two daughters of Joe Carpenter, a Los Angeles Post crime reporter.

A year after the crash, still gripped by an almost paralyzing grief, Joe encounters a woman named Rose, who claims to have survived the crash. She holds out the possibility of a
...more
Mass Market Paperback, 416 pages
Published April 4th 2000 by Ballantine Books (first published January 1st 1997)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Johnny
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bark's Book Nonsense
Joe Carpenter is a man paralyzed by grief and anger. On the one year anniversary of the plane crash that killed his beloved wife and daughters he visits their cemetery and spots a woman taking pictures of their grave marker. He approaches her and sets off a series of events that make him question if the death of his family and 300 others was the intentional work of officials attempting to cover up something that could possibly change mankind for all time. As he digs for the truth he witnesses an ...more
John
Definitely on the short list of Koontz's best work, SOLE SURVIVOR is a wildly entertaining thriller with surprisingly ambitious emotional and spiritual underpinnings. Not only does it contain one of the most powerful hooks I've ever come across, but, in between scenes of grisly murders and exciting chases, Koontz aims to teach readers a little something about life. For a suspense novel, however, it all feels a bit overwritten. Koontz tries to imbibe SOLE SURVIVOR with the trappings of "serious l ...more
Jennifer Shevchik
Well my second Dean Koontz was not as good as my first experience.

I was disappointed with this story. I felt for the main character, however, I was just bored with the entire story. The ending was not what I was hoping it would be. Not only that but they didn't tie up any loose ends, it just ended. He takes the time to explain things that do not matter that much in great detail, but then doesn't wrap up the story. Blah.
Carrie Luciano
I was really enjoying this book. Koontz as usual can develop wonderful characters that you really care about. It moved at a break neck speed for much of the book but I thought it petered out and was somewhat anti climactic in like the last 20 pages.
Cheri
I certainly wasn't expecting this to turn into a preachy bs book.

Oh well.
Mike (the Paladin)
I discovered once I got into this book that I remembered the movie based on it (very loosely based). My daughter tells me I actually tried to read it once before and laid it aside.

I can sort of see why.

For a long, long (long,long,long,long) time this book does try the patience. Our protagonist is in despair over the sudden loss of his family in a plane crash. The event is a year in the past but Joe Carpenter is still shattered.

And he tells us about it...he loses control, he creeps out strangers
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David jones
This book is good. I think that the plot was excelent, the characters were really well developed and the book, overall, was great. This is the first Koontz book I have actually completed, after having read half of dark rivers of the heart, and he is a fairly good writer. He is no Stephen King, but the book was real good. It took me by surprise several times. When the I read the back of it I thought it would be an action book, and it is, in a sense, though there is really not much action. It is m ...more
Natalie
I can't quite put my finger on what turned me off to this book. I think it's probably how depressing most of it is. The main character has lost his wife and both his children in a plane crash. This horrible experience is even worse for him because of the fact that he lost all belief in God as a young man. For most of the book, we experience his adventures from the point of view of a grieving husband and father without the comfort of a knowledge of what comes after this life. The strange experien ...more
Sarath Krishnan
The sky is deep, the sky is dark.
The light of stars is so damn stark.
When I look up, I fill with fear.
If all we have is what lies here,
this lonely world, this troubled place,
then cold dead stars and empty space...
Well, I see no reason to persevere,
no reason to laugh or shed a tear,
no reason to sleep or ever to wake,
no promises to keep, and none to make.
And so at night I still raise my eyes
to study the clear but mysterious skies
that arch above us, as cold as stone.
Are you there, God? Are we alo
...more
Jonathan
“Sole Survivor” is more of a mystery book than an action or horror novel. Koontz introduces you to Joe Carpenter, an investigative journalist who is trapped in despair after a commercial plane crash takes his wife and children. It is clear that something is being covered up, but neither you nor Joe have any idea what that is. The book is a roller coaster ride as Joe strives to reveal the facts. What is being covered up about his family’s deaths? Why does it appear that someone is still trying to ...more
Ed
I've read quite a lot of Dean Koontz books, predominantly when I was a lot younger. After I had ran out of Stephen King and James Herbert books I picked up on Koontz and thoroughly enjoyed many of his novels. Midnight and Twilight Eyes are irrepressibly brilliant. Watchers, The Bad Place and Lightening quite superb also. Icebound a well crafted take on Alistair McLean's Ice Station Zebra.

Unfortunately Sole Survivor is none of these things. It doesn't start badly at all and although it develops s
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Rissy
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Mark Souza
Sole Survivor was the first Dean Koontz novel I'd ever read. If only they were all this good. I was in working in Germany at the time and found it on a desk I was using temporarily. I had a lot of down time so I started reading. I was quickly sucked in. I got very little sleep from the time I started till I finally finished a few days later. It didn't hurt that the story was set in my home town of Seattle.

The story starts with a reporter unable to cope with the deaths of his wife and daughter i
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Hyejung
This is the worst of his books that I have read so far. As with most of his books, there is an interesting concept - cloning. However, the story, itself, was drab. I thought the main character was annoying and dumb. Of course, I understand his desire to find the daughter he thinks is alive, but the way he acted really frustrated me and I never really felt any sympathy for him except in the beginning when I didn't know his character well enough. I could actually say that I almost skimmed this who ...more
Steve Lee
Perhaps it is just me, but this book ultimately seemed to be little more than the preaching and proselytising of a religious fundamentalist. At one stage in the book, a prominent biologist even goes to lengths to condemn evolution in the manner that only a creationist lunatic would. It was almost like reading the AIG website or a Jehovah Witness Watchtower pamphlet.

I am currently reading another of his novels (The Taking) and find that this, too, is interjected with out-of-place statements and
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Duncan Mandel
SUMMARY: A catastrophic, unexplainable plane crash leaves three hundred and thirty dead -- no survivors. Among the victims are the wife and two daughters of Joe Carpenter, a Los Angeles Post crime reporter.A year after the crash, still gripped by an almost paralyzing grief, Joe encounters a woman named Rose, who claims to have survived the crash. She holds out the possibility of a secret that will bring Joe peace of mind. But before he can ask any questions, she slips away.Driven now by rage (ha ...more
03 Dawson B
The main issue of the book is that Joe Carpenter's wife and two daughters die in a plane crash that he knows hardly anything about. He meets this woman Rose and finds out more things about the plane crash and what really happened. This book is intended for young adults and adults. The setting cannot be changed that much at all because it really only has one setting to it. Joe Carpenter is a protagonist. He is very intelligent, but very depressed. Rose is a antagonist, she is very strong and very ...more
Adam Czarnecki
After "Odd Thomas," I thought I'd give Dean Koontz another try with something that sounded pretty intriguing. It WAS intriguing, but that's about it. The characters are so dull and lifeless, I could not care what happened to any of them. Things seemed to rush along just for the sake of plot, with "Joe" (the main character) often having spur-of-the-moment revelations that went along with whatever direction the plot needed.

Really, really stupid.
Pheebz
You meet Joe Carpenter. a journalist and crime reporter who lost his wife Michelle and two little girls Chrissy & Nina in the fatal crash of Flight 353, No survivors 350 dead including the two pilots.I has been almost a year since the crash.
While Joe is paying his respects at his family's grave sites, He notices a woman taking pictures of the headstones.She introduced herself as Rose Tucker and that she has something to tell him, and handed him a slip of paper.Rose had told him "Your not rea
...more
Sam
Just reading the premise of the story sent shivers down my spine!
The story started off brilliant and intense, I kept doing the 'just one more chapter routine' until I was almost half way into the book.
At this point it raises so many questions as to what exactly happened to the plane, but in the last few chapters it is all explained in what feels like a mash of two different stories.
At first everything is so believable as it's well written you are very involved in the story which is why the end
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Hannah
This is my first Dean Koontz book. I knew that he dealt with the supernatural but other then that I didn't know anything about the book. The book is about Joe Carpenter whose wife and two daughters die in a plane crash along with everyone else on the flight. Joe has a horrid year and on the anniversary he goes to their graves. There he encounters Rose. She claims to be the sole survivor of the plane crash and she has information for him. And then scary guys jump out of a van and Joe's whole life ...more
Mystic Valraven
This has to be one of the best Dean Koontz books that I have read to date. This was a beautiful story with tragedy, drama, tenderness, action, suspense and a lovely ending that leaves you believing that there is something wonderful waiting for us after this life.
Becky Seabaugh
I'd like to give this book 4 stars, but it was a little too weird. 3 1/2 stars from me.
Kelly
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tina
Not my favorite Dean Koontz novel. He builds really great suspense and hooks you in, but like so many other of his novels, the "explanation" for the mysteries was so off the wall. He also left some threads of the story hanging in this one.
Michael
My favorite Koontz book in a while. I was a little concerned when there were only about 20 pages left and the story didn't seem nearly wrapped up, but the ending was satisfying enough. I do agree with some other reviewers that it is as if he was planning on a longer novel but needed to finish up quickly. This one was quite the thriller, and I was thinking that it could make a good screenplay. Google showed me that it's already been a TV miniseries with middling reviews. Too bad - I think this on ...more
Robin Schiff
One of those books I had trouble putting down.
Tara Kable
Fantastic book! Loved it!
Angela
This is the first book I have read by Dean Koontz and I'm afraid to say that I didn't find it to be all that good. I have heard such great things about his books and was hugely disappointed. The main character, Joe Carpenter, was depressed after losing his family in a plane crash and I could sympathise when he was holding on to the hope that somehow one of his daughters had escaped death, even though experts had stated that the way the plane had crashed ruled this out. It was depressing and rath ...more
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9355
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
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More about Dean Koontz...
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“Only the human spirit can act with volition and consciously change itself; it is the only thing in all creation that is not entirely at the mercy of forces outside itself, and it is, therefore, the most powerful and valuable form of energy in the universe. For a time, the spirit may become flesh, but when that phase of its existence is at an end, it will be transformed into a disembodied spirit once more.” 0 likes
“Once, when cornered by a pinwheel-eyed man who insisted that the mayor of Los Angeles was not human but a robot controlled by the audioanimatronics department at Disneyland, Joe had lowered his voice and said, with nervous sincerity, “Yes, we’ve known about that for years. But if we print a word of it, the people at Disney will kill us all.” He had spoken with such conviction that the nutball had exploded backward and fled.” 0 likes
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