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4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  40,435 ratings  ·  1,341 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 January 1st 1988)
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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
4th out of 72 books — 723 voters
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey NiffeneggerOutlander by Diana GabaldonThe Time Machine by H.G. WellsTimeline by Michael Crichton11/22/63 by Stephen King
Best Time Travel Fiction
33rd out of 1,103 books — 3,567 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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
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
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 4 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
Feb 01, 2008 Nicole rated it 5 of 5 stars
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
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.
Bark's Book Nonsense
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
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,
Tom Nittoli
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
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.
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
Oct 03, 2007 Nathan rated it 3 of 5 stars
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
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.
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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
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
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
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
Sean Lockley
Forgive me for waxing paradoxical, but Lighting walks a tightrope between compellingly mundane and mundanely compelling, falling often on either side.

Koontz has a gift for lightweight, readable prose, so even when he spends far too much time on less exciting details, the pages flip by quickly until you're back into the meat of the plot. Unfortunately, the most believable aspect of Lightning's plot is the scientifically hazy, yet still ludicrous time travel. Be prepared to turn on your suspension
I adore this book. It knocked my socks off and I've read it at least four times. It follows the story of a man from Nazi Germany working on technology called "The Lightning Road." A very well hidden secret, the road is used to travel into the future and discover the outcome of WWII and try to orchestrate circumstances for a Nazi victory.

This man, during one of his journeys, sees a woman at a book signing event and he is overcome by the strength she has shown in the midst of a life of adversity.
Tammy K.
Two stars for it was "ok".
I read this book because it was the BOTM for the Pro-Active Destruction.
I have read reviews stating that this was a five star - one of Mr Koontz best works. I guess that just show that we all have a different idea of what makes up a five stars book.
The characters are cookie cutter flat.
The plot is also cookie cutter flat.
The twists are predictable and frankly not that exciting.
The only reason that I found this read enjoyable was because of the book discussion, which w
Dean Koontz is a good novelist for his genre. There's no denying his ability to spin a yarn as entertaining as anyone. "Lightning", however (one of his older books I picked up simply because of all the thunderstorms we've been having here in the south) is the written equivalent of "Jumping the Shark" as they say in the TV biz. The story of a SS Komandant jumping back and forth in time (using a time machine) and saving the human race and, in the process, saving the love of his life from getting m ...more
Every time I read a book by Dean Koontz, I have an expectation of grandeur for some reason and I always wind up disappointed. Maybe it's his long-windedness or the fact that his books are so out there that when I finally come to the point where the reader is going to find out how everything ties together, he throws in something ridiculous like time travel or a "hole" in the universe. Give me a break!! Make it more realistic! I know he's probably trying to make his novels "different" from every o ...more
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Why did Stefan have to end up with Laura? 19 99 Sep 11, 2014 06:06AM  
Pro-Active Destru...: Completed - Lightning by Dean Koontz 120 13 Aug 08, 2014 06:11AM  
The question is: why? 9 63 May 01, 2014 07:39PM  
Action/Adventure ...: November Random Group Read: Lightning by Dean Koontz *Spoilers* 15 32 Nov 26, 2013 05:27AM  
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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
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