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4.05  ·  Rating Details  ·  43,494 Ratings  ·  1,478 Reviews
"A gripping novel" from the #1 New York Times bestselling author-now in trade paperback for the first time.

In the midst of a raging blizzard, lightning struck on the night Laura Shane was born. And a mysterious blond-haired stranger showed up just in time to save her from dying.

Years later, in the wake of another storm, Laura will be saved again. For someone is watch
Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Published September 2nd 2003 by Berkley (first published 1988)
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Christopher Jones Don't know if this question has been answered for you but, yes an F bomb is dropped in the beginning by a junkie who is a pedophile.

It happens only…more
Don't know if this question has been answered for you but, yes an F bomb is dropped in the beginning by a junkie who is a pedophile.

It happens only once in the book that I can remember. (less)
Odd Thomas by Dean KoontzWatchers by Dean KoontzIntensity by Dean KoontzLightning by Dean KoontzLife Expectancy by Dean Koontz
Best Dean Koontz Books
4th out of 76 books — 762 voters
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey NiffeneggerOutlander by Diana GabaldonThe Time Machine by H.G. Wells11/22/63 by Stephen KingTimeline by Michael Crichton
Best Time Travel Fiction
34th out of 1,204 books — 3,877 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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LIGHTNING is one of my go to books. It is a book I read over and over again when I find myself in a reading slump...for a couple of reasons- 1) I have read it so many times- I don't have to concentrate very much to get through it again...and, 2) It gives me a warm fuzzy feeling. Why? It has two of my book boyfriends in it. What is a book boyfriend you may ask???....Or may not ask- but I will tell you anyways...A book boyfriend is a character I fell in love with at some point in my life.

I have b
Jul 16, 2014 Jamie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror-suspense
This novel is a combination of science fiction (time travel) and suspense, and the result is a book I was not be able to put down.

The story focused around Laura Shane. Starting from birth and to adulthood (around 30 I believe). The other main character is Stefan. A unknown “guardian” who keeps appearing throughout her life to save her. Both are well thought-out and well-written characters. Another character I liked in the story was Thelma (Laura’s childhood friend).

Laura goes through early lif
Ciarán West
Aug 21, 2012 Ciarán West rated it it was amazing
Why don't you read Dean Koontz? You probably have an answer. Mine was something like 'Jesus Christ this guy writes about forty books a year, and they all seem a bit rubbish.' I, like everyone else, first came across his novels because they were next to the Stephen King books in the library. Clever marketing, even if it is quite accidental. There were books with evil clowns on the front, books with scary kids on the front. It all seemed a bit Fiction-by-numbers to me, so I never picked any of his ...more
Jane Stewart
What a great story! I thought about it frequently afterwards.

At times it was a roller coaster ride, frightening, intense, and I didn’t want to stop reading until I got through the current crisis. The main story is Laura’s life from birth to adulthood. A strange man appears at critical times in her life to save her from disaster. Laura is not a wimp. She does smart things. This is one of the few books where I don’t want to say much about the story. It is sooo much better not to know. There is sus
Aug 06, 2007 Casey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I used to be a die-hard Koontz fan; I think some of his books in the past five years have fallen off a bit, but Lightning remains in my top ten. I still have my tattered copy, and look forward to reading it for the third time in the future. Like some of his other books (particularly Intensity), Koontz has created a strong lead character and a complex but easy to follow plot. There are Nazis. There's time travel. There are big guns. It may sound like a weird mix, but it works beautifully. I'm not ...more
Edward Lorn
Apr 08, 2015 Edward Lorn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of old Koontz and The Terminator School of Time Travel.
Recommended to Edward by: My younger self
This year, along with my King reread, I'm delving into my top 10 Koontz books again. (Probably Top 12, just so I have a book for every month, but I'm having trouble picking two more.) I have a theory about Dean Koontz, and it goes like this: He's only written ten stories in his career, and he's been rewriting them ever since. This one is structured an awful lot like From the Corner of His Eye and the absolutely terrible Life Expectancy, which is the only Koontz book I've ever given a single star ...more
Feb 01, 2008 Nicole rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
I absolutely love this book and remembered how much when I recently read it for the second time. Now, Dean Koontz can write some weird, if not, scary books, but this one was really good. Ultimately, it's a love story that crosses time barriers between the Nazi Germany era and present day. It spans the lifetime of a woman from her birth til she's about in her 30s and makes you see how people's lives can end up completely different just by the actions of one other person. It's a great read and I'd ...more
This was the third novel that I read by Dean Koontz, still at that time, I read the book in a Spanish translated version since I was still in the process to be able to read on English. This is another great novel of Dean Koontz that merges a lot of genres, not only horror / thriller that it's what you expect when reading a Koontz's book, but also fascinating concepts of science fiction, along with elements of military, espionage and romance too. The story shows the life of Laura Shane, since she ...more
Mike (the Paladin)
I gave it 3 stars, maybe should be 3.5. My wife really liked this book, I thought it pretty good, somewhat enjoyable. Time travel, reformed Nazi...will anyone save the day. That would be a spoiler. Like I said, not bad. I dropped it to 3 because I usually give a 4 to better books...hard to explain huh?

There are some odd moments and a few "duh" moments. There are some questionable decisions by the characters but all in all not a bad book. I'm not sure why some get very involved (as my wife did) a
Adam Light
Twenty years after the first reading of Lightning, I found it just as fun and gripping as it was back then. Was it dated? Um, yeah! But that was part of what made it so pleasant this time around. This is Koontz whn he still had some gas in the tank. Fast paced, witty, and uncluttered by tons of flowery prose, this is definitely a must for anyone who wonders what the big deal with Koontz was all about back in the eighties. Sorry, his last umpteen books have left me rolling my eyes and wondering j ...more
Jan 14, 2008 Michele rated it it was amazing
I adore this book. It is one of my all time favorites. I can't really explain without giving things away, but this was my first Koontz book and it just grabbed hold of me.

I love most of Koontz' work, despite the fact that he has about 3 or 4 formulas that his work fits into, they still entertain me and they are books I can't put down once I start them.
I heard much good about "Lightning"; so when I spotted an used hardcover I bought it immediately and began to read.
It didn't meet my expectation though. I propably would have loved it ten years ago, but now? Not much.

Lightning made me think about the Koontz phenomenon. He has been a bestselling writer since the mid 80's, around the publication of this book he gained real popularity. Which is interesting, because the reader can easily see the glaring problems in his fiction - mostly it's his bad,
Bark's Book Nonsense
Nov 23, 2009 Bark's Book Nonsense rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook, suspense
I originally read this way back when it was released and I was still a teen but have held on to it ever since. I'm going to finally set it free but will reread it first to see what I think now that I'm a wee bit older ;)

Comments on the reread:
As is typical of many of Koontz novels, this one starts out with mysterious men conducting experiments of a nefarious nature. A baby named Laura is born, her mother dies in childbirth and she's raised by her loving dad and watched over by a mysterious "guar
Tom Nittoli
Aug 23, 2012 Tom Nittoli rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
If you ask me in years to come which Dean Koontz book featured a half-assed time traveling segment, mixed with a heartfelt appearance from Winston Churchill, several dimensions, and Nazi's.... I'd probably tell you my brain hurts trying to recall. As I continue to plummet into my own demise of reading every D.K. book in chronological order, which manifested upon realization that over the years a younger more ambitious version of myself, took it upon himself to collect ALL the author's books, wit ...more
David Brian
Dec 09, 2015 David Brian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As I've mentioned a few times recently, I took a lengthy hiatus from the writing of Dean Koontz. While never once doubting the man's ability to weave a fine picture with his words, nevertheless, with a plethora of stock characters and situations, it did at times become a bit tedious. And there were even a few novels that bordered on abysmal. Then along came 77 Shadow Street, and I found my interest in Dean Koontz's writing reignited.

So, now you know where I'm coming from, I'll begin: Lig
Dustin Crazy little brown owl
I love time travel! I think Lightning is among Dean's best. Although Lightning is not ranked as one of my top 5 favorite Dean Koontz books, the novel surely has a home among the top 10 :-) Lightning is a beautiful story about the power each of us has to influence history in some small way.

Lightning was written in 1988 when the Also by Dean R. Koontz list included only the following titles:

Of course, this was before Koontz revealed his hidden
Apr 24, 2012 Jean-marcel rated it liked it
I'll be brief, and I'll probably never say anything about this writer on Goodreads again. I read a number of his books over a period of about three years, starting with this one, when I was about eleven. I loved it then, and I suppose if I was forced into a position of recommending Dean Koontz to anyone, I would suggest that they read Lightning. You could almost say, "Time Travelling Nazis!", and leave it at that. The plot basically seems to run itself and everything just sort of flies along bre ...more
Jason (RawBlurb)
still sick.. bear with me if my grammar and such sucks today…

on a recent trip to california for a wedding, jenn and i decided to spend the whole trip not talking to each other. no no no, it wasnt because of bad stuff, it was because audiobook goodness was going to make the long car drive easier.

12+ hours of audio, the unabridged audiobook of Dean Koontz “Lightning”.

Lightning is the story of a woman, Shane, who’s destiny is altered repeatedly by a stranger. at key points of her life a pale strang
Angela S.
Mar 12, 2011 Angela S. rated it really liked it
This book is an all-nighter, thoroughly engaging, enchanting, riveting, thought-provoking, heart-wrenching, and heart-racing. This one keeps you guessing throughout with many unexpected surprises and witty humor.

Koontz is dealing with the here and now, on the border between real and science-fiction. Some of his concepts are not easy to grasp but the powerful, enticing and mind-boggling suspense will keep your eyes glued to the pages.

This is a clever story of time travel and romance, of a Germa
Laura (Kyahgirl)
Feb 07, 2016 Laura (Kyahgirl) rated it really liked it
3.5/5; 4 stars; B+

Dean Koontz has been hit and miss for me but this book was a definite hit. He manages to mix good mystery with a bit of paranormal and come out with a kind of weird but compelling story. I appreciate an author who can write a good standalone book and that is what this one is. I recommend it.
Christopher Lane was an excellent narrator.
Oct 03, 2007 Nathan rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Disillusioned Stephen King fans.
Shelves: fiction
Dean Koontz's Lightning is one of the first "adult" books I remember reading. It was certainly the first adult novel I read for leisure. This book came to me when I was, as a child, graduating from juvenile fiction on to something more substantial. It is the first such book I remember reading that wasn't assigned for school, and as such, it has a special place in my memory as a book that helped kick off my life-long love affair with reading. The story centers around time travel and one man's des ...more
Mar 27, 2012 Amy rated it it was amazing
How did I miss this one? I thought that I had read everything by Dean Koontz (some more than once) and I stumble upon Lightning, copywrited 1988.

Scientific advances that we have only dreamed of exist within the pages of lightning, as is so true in many of Koontz' books. His characters are ordinary people, put in extraordinary circumstances, and evolve into extraordinary people. His characters are so relatable - they could so easily be one of your friends, or neighbors, or even you. That's the dr
Υπέροχο βιβλίο επιστημονικής φαντασίας με πολύ αγωνία, περιπέτεια, συναίσθημα. Ο συγγραφέας μας ταξιδεύει μπρος-πίσω στο χρόνο, μέσω μια μηχανής του χρόνου, που είχαν εφεύρει οι Ναζί κατά τον Β' Παγκόσμιο πόλεμο, ώστε να μπορούν να ταξιδεύουν στο μέλλον και να προμηθεύονται όπλα και πληροφορίες, για να μπορέσουν έτσι να νικήσουν, αλλάζοντας το ρου της ιστορίας. Σε ένα τέτοιο ταξίδι ο Στέφαν, ένας Ναζί, γνωρίζει τη Λόρα στην Αμερική και από εκείνη τη στιγμή προσπαθεί να την προστατεύσει από κάθε ...more
While I don't read him anymore, I read a lot of Dean Koontz in my late teens/early twenties, and this had to be one of my favorites. Loved the time-travel angle. Koontz offers a unique and thoroughly engaging spin. For a rip-roaring yarn, you can't do much better than this one.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 13, 2015 puppitypup rated it it was ok
Shelves: thriller
Thriller Great plot

Well written novel, with one glaring exception - it was emotionless. The only character I connected with at all was Thelma, the best friend.

It is rare that I embrace the manner in which male authors write their female leads, and this book, sadly, is no exception.

Laura is stunningly beautiful, of course, and a huge success as a novelist. She can do no wrong, and men can't help but fall in love with her at first sight, or at first read.

I typically hang out in romance, so it's
Mar 27, 2012 Cheryl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I went to the library a couple of days ago in search of something new and came across this. I don't normally read thrillers, but I did read this book 25 years ago and remember that I enjoyed it. I thought that I'd found the best of both worlds... a book I knew I would like, but couldn't remember at all.

I thought the story was not only well written, but exciting. I won't go into the plot because trying to figure out what's happening is part of the fun of reading it. It was a thriller so it had it
Christopher Jones
Oct 29, 2011 Christopher Jones rated it it was amazing
Between 2008 and the summer of 2010, I'd spent a great deal of time wondering what was so great about Koontz. He was a bestseller, people raved about him on Amazon. But the first book I'd read from him, The Husband was bad. Short sentences. Short paragraphs. Short chapters. Vivid descriptions of natural scenery while violent altercations were solved in less than half a page. Villains were stupid and underdeveloped. Koontz insists Evil exists with a capital E (fair enough) but doesn't say what th ...more
Jan 15, 2013 Kim rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
When I was like 13 or 14, I thought this was the greatest book ever, and I devoured every Dean Koontz book that wasn't stamped with an "A" for Adult at the library. But recently I have read (or started to read) newer Koontz books and have found them incredibly disappointing. So I decided to go back to this one, just to see if Koontz suddenly became a terrible writer or if I just had terrible taste back then. I'm not sure if either of those are completely true, but I guess the second one is a lit ...more
Feb 26, 2012 Frank rated it it was amazing
This was my first exposure to Dean Koontz and one I still like best of all his writings, as I read it a second time. Maybe it is the idea that someone is watching over us and suddenly shows up to help us in a tough situation that makes it so appealing. It you want to feel a warm fuzzy feeling even if during a suspenseful read, this I think is the one that will give you that (maybe the second read of Lightning is even better than the first). Granted it is not clear if this strange appearance of s ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Please add/update details 4 17 Mar 13, 2016 07:40AM  
Koontzland - Dean...: LIGHTNING (Group Read - November 2015) 112 32 Dec 01, 2015 07:59PM  
Koontzland - Dean...: Lightning (Group Read - March 2010) 173 110 Oct 03, 2015 10:13AM  
2016 Reading Chal...: Lightning by Dean Koontz 2 12 Oct 02, 2015 10:16AM  
Why did Stefan have to end up with Laura? 19 106 Sep 11, 2014 06:06AM  
Pro-Active Destru...: Completed - Lightning by Dean Koontz 120 14 Aug 08, 2014 06:11AM  
The question is: why? 9 66 May 01, 2014 07:39PM  
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  • The Dean Koontz Companion
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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 about Dean Koontz...

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“She was fascinated with words. To her, words were things of beauty, each like a magical powder or potion that could be combined with other words to create powerful spells.” 364 likes
“Envy, envy eats them alive. If you had money, they’d envy you that. But since you don’t, they envy you for having such a good, bright, loving daughter. They envy you for just being a happy man. They envy you for not envying them. One of the greatest sorrows of human existence is that some people aren’t happy merely to be alive but find their happiness only in the misery of others.” 77 likes
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