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One Door Away from Heaven

3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  16,875 Ratings  ·  550 Reviews
Dean Koontz virtually invented the cross-genre novel, and in One Door Away from Heaven he mixes an action thriller with post-X-Files alien paranoia to remarkable effect. Micky Bellsong is a young woman at a crisis point in her life, using a stay at her Aunt Geneva's to sort things out. Then the precocious and deformed Leilani Klonk walks into her life, telling stories of h ...more
Hardcover, 606 pages
Published December 26th 2001 by Bantam (first published 2001)
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Edward Lorn
Aug 22, 2015 Edward Lorn rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Koontz virgins
Shelves: hardcover
DNF @ page 159.

I normally do not give ratings and in-depth reviews to titles I do not wish to finish, but this one is remarkable in so many ways that I could not ignore placing a detailed warning up on Goodreads.

If you're not well-versed in Dean Koontz, you might actually finish this book. If you can get past the rambling pretension of the prose, you might even have fun. My problem begins with the writing, though. This is the most overwritten Koontz book I've read. Page after page of author intr
Mike (the Paladin)
Nov 04, 2009 Mike (the Paladin) rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
The one about the little boy alien and the dangerous young mutant.

I like this book it's one of my favorite Koontz books. I'll say this, you won't find this exact plot elsewhere. It draws you in and gets you involved with the "participants". It's between a 4 and a 5...but I figure it tipped the scales and went on to a 5. As I said a favorite among Koontz's work for me...I've read it several times.

What else can I say? Not much without spoilers. There's a bit of laughter here, a dose of tears and
One Door Away From Heaven (2001) - spoilers...but do you really want to read it ?

This is basically a 700 page long borefest - formulaic characters, formulaic stories, formulaic preaching (The goodness of dogs and the evil of bioethics)

To kick off this brillian review, I'll start with the characters - they are of course scripted, which makes them unrealistic and idiotic and renders the reader unable to feel anything for them - do you care for a bunch of dolls running around ?

There's a girl, Leila
Thomas Strömquist
DNF at 44 %. That's a bit long to read and realize nothing much has happened and that you stopped wishing that something would...

So, quite close to half of this rather long book, we are told three different stories with no converging in sight. None of these stories are going anywhere and quite a few of the chapters I've managed through could have been dropped with very little missed. Or replaced by a couple of sentences, then nothing at all would have been lost. We have an extremely precocious y
Salman Shariff
May 30, 2012 Salman Shariff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I remember exactly where I was when I read this one. I was in the federal transfer center at Oklahoma City. This is where they temporarily keep prisoners when they are moving from one prison to another. They only have two carts of books for about 150 inmates. THat's about how many are in each pod. On top of that, most prisoners—myself included—keep books from these two carts in their rooms so they're available when we finish the book we're currently reading. So new books show up on the cart when ...more
I've been thoroughly enjoying Koontz of late, and "One Door Away from Heaven" is no exception. I liked it best of any of the books outside of the Odd Thomas series.
In "One Door," a variety of unlikely characters are brought together to rescue a disabled 9 year old girl with highly disfunctional parents and an even odder 10 year old boy with some interesting...powers. Central to the plot is the subject of "bioethics," or rather "bio-non-ethics" as it ought to be called. This increasingly influen
Sarah Kirk
Jun 13, 2010 Sarah Kirk rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
I read this when I was in my early teens and loved anything vaguely horror/thriller-like. And I LOVED Dean Koontz. Until I read this book. I never realised before how much he is completely and utterly obsessed with dogs. If a character is ever cruel to one you can be sure that they won't be around long before some kind of terrible justice befalls them. I like dogs but he seriously takes it too far. That is the only thing I can say of interest about this book as it is long-winded, badly written a ...more
Dustin Crazy little brown owl
I have the phrase "One Door Away from Heaven" tattooed on my left arm.

As a mutant myself and sharing a birthday with the main character, this story means a lot to me. One Door Away From Heaven is in my TOP FIVE of favorite books by Dean Koontz. I would say FRIENDSHIP is the dominant theme in this novel - the kindness, understanding, acceptance and help of genuine friends.

A Few of Many, Favorite Quotes:

The world is full of broken people. Splints, casts, miracle drugs, and time can't mend fractu
Dean Koontz has a gift for lyrical description that sometimes tumbles into purple prose. It should also be noted that the most original character in this novel, 9-year-old Leilani Klonk, sounds more like a precocious 14-year-old. In the end, though, neither criticism matters, because what Koontz has written succeeds on its own terms as a story of unexpected psychological depth.

A misnamed dog looms large in this story (anyone familiar with this author's work could have seen that coming), but so
Aug 01, 2010 Johnny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 14, 2012 Jean-marcel rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book made me feel all soft and squishy inside. As this wasn't normal, I figured something was horribly amiss with my internal workings, so I went and had a lie down. I dreamed about being attacked by thousands of liliputian puppies who swarmed all over me and licked and drooled over my face and panted their stinking street- carnivore breath all over me. They were covered in mud, feces and other unmentionables. It was a horrible experience.

Dean Koontz. What to say? He's obviously a family ma
Jul 30, 2014 Greg rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is quite a remarkable read. At times the prose is poetic and hugely effective in reminding us of the beauty of our world and the universe we find ourselves in, and at other times, you find yourself gripping the book so hard that your hands are cramped at chapter's end with fear your soul and those of the characters that you are reading about.

This is not a light read. There are several plot strands running parallel to each other at book's beginning, and of course it is not long before
Nov 07, 2011 Dawn rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, horror
I really don't like Koontz. He tells way too much, while at the same time withholding information from the reader to make himself look clever.

The worst thing about this book, however, was that he felt he needed to browbeat the reader with his hatred of utilitarianism throughout. It was pretty clear to me he didn't even have a basic understanding of utilitarian philosophy, and he was classifying some nutcases under the banner as typical examples.

Among philosophical methods, utilitarianism is ge
Michael Jones
In terms of some good action sequences and character development, I enjoyed many parts of this.

As a polemic for utilitarian bioethics, while he does cause you to think about the issues, I think the characters and some of the horrible things they did were overdrawn. It just isn't all that winsome if you are trying to convince a utilitarian. Most utilitarians are not nearly this extreme, but the story does show where these things could go under the worst of circumstances.

Some parts are gross and d
Carol Brannigan
I've come to the conclusion that Dean Koontz is a good writer with everything except for endings. This book is no exception.

The ending wasn't "bad" but it wasn't great and was a little lackluster considering the rest of the story.

The main story had me completely enthralled and kept me up a few nights. I really liked the characters and felt that the ever so tidy ending wasn't completely suited to the rest of the atmosphere.

All in all- the story I give 4 stars and the ending I give 2 stars and si
Aug 02, 2012 Theron rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I liked the characters in this book a lot, but it felt like the book was in slow motion for the first three quarters and then rushed for the last section. When things all came together it was so much, so fast, that you wondered if the characters would be able to remember each other's names, let alone know or trust each other. Also, it was pretty dark in parts for the emotional/literary payoff. Read if you are a fan, otherwise, I'd find something else.
Aug 04, 2013 Mark44 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I wish I could give this book a negative rating. One star seems far more then it deserves. Terrible, terrible book. Made me finally realize how much I hate Dean Koontz as a writer. I've bought so many of his books at second hand stores, because I used to think he was good. Maybe there's a reason so many people give away his books. Seems like every book now has either dogs as a main storyline. Or his other plotline, A single man or woman who is rich, (or soon to become rich because of some blosso ...more
Wendy Joyce
The story is about a rescue...a rescue of two unrelated kids. While I DO enjoy Koontz's scene setting and character depictions, the story itself, hmm, not so much. Koontz CONSTANTLY interrupts the forward flow of the story to lecture his viewpoint and to TELL readers how his characters "feel." Constantly and continuously...right to the very end. When the story is reaching the height of action, the culmination of all prior events, (and you're certain, CERTAIN, he must be done intruding by now) th ...more
Rebecca McNutt
Aug 11, 2015 Rebecca McNutt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really fantastic book, it follows a journey unlike any other with originality, fast-paced excitement and friendship.
Oct 25, 2012 Ronna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
How to review a book by such a superb writer? Dean Koontz has taken three story lines of such divergent subjects to parallel lengths where they diverge at an ending that tells us that only through the goodness of everyone working together can life be worth living. It's at once a theists against the bioethics of perfection and a fast passed thriller. But to describe how he does this only seems to demean his work. He has a deformed 9 year old girl, living with her drug addled mother and her murder ...more
Karen San Diego
CRAP.Didn't do me any justice.I'll say nothing more.Just didn't satisfy
me and my expectations(more the latter). It probably won't satisfy you as well,so don't even bother taking a peek inside this book.It sucked.Really,Mr. Koontz,you have to learn how to make better endings,better conclusions,because that's your biggest flaw.I gave it 1.5 stars because like other Koontz books,it builds up suspense in every page,raises tension well to capture interest,but then the ending...damn the ending...And t
Karen B.
Aug 07, 2015 Karen B. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Truthfully, I can't remember how many times I have reread this book but this time definitely wowed me. Koontz is truly a master and this book was one of his most masterful. He gives his characters life and blends them together so well. He teaches lessons about life without actually teaching. I love the spirituality of this book without a single bit of religion or preachiness. Through his eyes I see the beauty in the simplicity of life. The main characters are neither wealthy nor necessarily "suc ...more
Feb 14, 2016 Jodi rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: No one
Was Koontz high when he wrote this book? It is so disjointed and reads like a bad acid trip - not that I would know but what I assume one would feel like. The book jumps all around with a poor conclusion to his attempt at a build-up in the story. He comes up with all kinds of nicknames for his characters throughout the book - why?!? This could have been an amazing and page-turning read. Instead it feels like he was in a rush to get a paycheck and slapped this together while doing some heavy drug ...more
Diane Lynch
Aug 03, 2015 Diane Lynch rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Awesome book. Dean Koontz brings three completely unrelated stories into one. Each story by itself is filled with suspense. You become vested in each one. Obviously the three intertwined is the awesome part. This book has it all. Suspense, thriller, sci-fi, but at the very end it boils down to a horror.
Jun 26, 2016 Joan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Not exactly my kind of book - characters were too unbelievable to be plausible and I'm not a great fan of alien stories. Bits of it were OK but I must admit to skimming quite a lot. Even so, took me quite a long time to actually finish reading. I know Dean Koontz is a popular author so will try another of his books sometime just to be fair!
Bryan Satalino
Feb 06, 2008 Bryan Satalino rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Terrible. Simply terrible.
There was a time, when I was a college student, that I used to love Dean Koontz's books. I used to hunt them down in second hand bookshops and literally devour them once I got home.

Then, about 15 years ago, I lost interest. All of his more recent books became more and more simialr and seemed to lack the originality and life that his earlier works had.

When I came across 'One Door Away From Heaven' I decided to give it another shot and maybe capture some of that lost interest.

Boy, was I wrong! Thi
Alex is The Romance Fox
Dean Koontz is a wonderful writer and I have read a lot of his books.
What I loved about this story _

The incredible characters, some which will stay with you for a very long time. They pulled me in and I became totally involved in their stories.
For me, Leilane and Curtis were the ones who struck a “chord” in my heart. Such inner goodness in both. Both struggling to overcome the dark evil that surrounded them but never ever managed to get inside their hearts.

It’s about acceptance, kindness, under
Julie Davis
May 11, 2010 Julie Davis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
#89 - 2010.

Reread it and was captivated as ever.

“Geneva, even if the girl isn’t making up all this stuff, even if she’s in real danger, you can’t take the law into your hands.”

“There’s lots of law these days,” she interrupted, “but not much justice. Celebrities murder their wives and go free. A mother kills her children, and the news people on TV say she’s the victim and want you to send money to her lawyers. When everything’s upside down like this, what fool just sits back and thinks justice w
Sirena Solange
Ok so this book, well honestly...was not a fan. Here's the dish. I have previously read other Koontz novels and have enjoyed them. This one..not so much. I was half way through the book and I still wasn't sure what the f**k was going on. There was so much character build up I wasn't sure what I was even reading about. I feel like this was Koontz's personal stance against bioethics with some alien shit thrown in. Which really by the way, is not necessary. Little alien Curtis did not really factor ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Please add/update details 3 12 Mar 13, 2016 07:45AM  
Koontzland - Dean...: One Door Away From Heaven (Group Read - August 2015) 85 30 Aug 31, 2015 09:09PM  
Koontzland - Dean...: One Door Away From Heaven (Group Read - July 2011) 71 88 Jul 03, 2015 11:52PM  
The ending 3 53 Apr 05, 2014 10:54AM  
Bookworm Bitches : NOVEMBER 2013: ONE DOOR AWAY FROM HEAVEN 1 18 Oct 29, 2013 02:01PM  
  • The Voice of the Night
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  • Predators
  • Nevermore
  • The Homing
  • Dean Koontz: A Writer's Biography
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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“When we make our own misery we sometimes cling to it even when we want so bad to change, because misery is something we know. The misery is comfortable.” 74 likes
“Change isn't easy. Changing the way you live means changing the way you think, means changing what you believe about life. That's hard.” 70 likes
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