When I saw such mixed reviews of praise, ridicule, "so-so", and most quotes on the cover by no mainstream critics, I knew it would probably be a disapWhen I saw such mixed reviews of praise, ridicule, "so-so", and most quotes on the cover by no mainstream critics, I knew it would probably be a disappointment. But this also meant that if it was not, it would be a favorite. All I can say now...Thank you, Mr. Koontz!
In this book Koontz takes the stories of several different characters dealing with, or avoiding, their pasts, futures, or both and interweaves them in a way that is too significant to ignore, yet not too extreme to accept. But this description is not only applicable to how all the plots work together. The characters themselves have fears, hopes, and memories that twist around each other...the beliefs and/or morals of each character constantly conflict with those of the next...even the humor can come from some of the most disturbing concepts.... But, most importantly, even though the answers we get at the end seem complete at first, they still leave more mysteries for us to ponder. This drives the novel's purpose home, and made it one that will definitely be in the back of my mind of a long, long time.
This book may not be the full-on suspense novel the covers make it out to be, but with characters this simple and complex, a plot so multi-layered in both storylines and allegory, and a meaning so important in our time that it could send most screaming in retaliation, it grabbed me better than any cliffhanger could even dream....more
To make it clear, I only give this above 3 stars because of how enjoyable the majority of the story was. As many others have mentioned, I loved readinTo make it clear, I only give this above 3 stars because of how enjoyable the majority of the story was. As many others have mentioned, I loved reading it until it was reaching its conclusion (to be honest I will read it again because I feel I must have missed something). Mainly two things bugged me at the end...
First, what I enjoyed most came to be the novel's final reconing in my list. I was thrilled as soon as I saw the cover because I knew Koontz was going in a direction much different than his norm. It gave the setting and the story a way of pulling me in. And it went beyond my expections. Then, near the end, everything takes a quick 180 and goes back to what I've read so many times before. It then spends far more time in it than necessary as though a weak editor is only making it a crowd pleaser.
Then comes the true problem: the twist. For me, it was not much of a twist. Koontz only answers the "what" and "who" questions (which I had a general idea about from about a quarter of the way through the story). What he only hints at there being an answer to (an answer he never even starts to explain) are the "how" and "why" which are much more important given what the "twist" is. It makes any purpose the story had hollow. The tone and story needed to give those answers, or end as a complete tragedy. instead, it ends in what I see as a camouflaged tragedy, with a message that no one in our world is meant to hear or able to apply.
I know I'll read it again, but, unless I somehow skipped five or more pages, this is one of those fun books I will always feel should have been among my favorites. ...more
Though I am giving this 4 stars, on a more personal level, it is definitely a 5 star on my list. At too many times, I felt as though I was reading myThough I am giving this 4 stars, on a more personal level, it is definitely a 5 star on my list. At too many times, I felt as though I was reading my own journal.
I could rave about how clever the story is, how interesting some of the characters are, the perfect pace of the revelations and extra mysteries, etc... but I feel the only way I can give any good advice is to simply mention a few things I was not as pleased with. First, though there are great characters, there are not enough scenes with any characters (aside from Christopher Snow and his dog)to really have them developed as fully as they could be. This is partly due to the fact that the book was much shorter than it could have been.
Another problem that might bother some, but I felt sometimes fits the story and its themes, is that the ending leaves most of it wide open. A lot of questions are unanswered. Only one problem is solved (though not necessarily completely solved). Some of the thematic elements seem to be left unsettled.
Lastly, because of the concept of the story, in the end there is room for doubt as to who can be trusted (this goes for every single character). This does seem to fit and could lead down some interesting roads, but I felt that it went slightly too extreme.
If these things don't sound like a real problem to you, I would definitely suggest it. However, with a book of this nature, its hard to make a final decision on where I would rank it until I read more of Snow's story....more
2/5 stars: The first rating is a more "objective" critique of the novel. And that is the first problem. The boI put 3 stars for two different ratings.
2/5 stars: The first rating is a more "objective" critique of the novel. And that is the first problem. The book says that it is a novelory. However, the chapters do not all work well as individual stories. It's simply a novel with a few places that have large gaps in time. In this, it is not the kind of book that will really pull into the story. Also, many of the themes, and what the story seems to say about them, often appear to contradict, and in the end remain hollow without anything to motivate the reader to consider it more closely. This makes it feel like a novel that can't decide what to say or what story to tell.
4/5 stars: The second rating is a much more about my personal opinion. The only reason I don't give it five is simply all the politics (possibly my least favorite subject). Other than that, it is a wonderful look at epilepsy and its affects on who we are. I have had temporal lobe seizures since I was 6 or 7. However, unlike the character in the novel, I have had very few (less than ten out of hundreds/thousands...?) that went beyond the temporal lobe. So mine rarely caused convulsions. For me it was amazing to feel the connection between the character's views of her epilepsy and my own despite the differences in their form. It was encouraging to find that I was not the only one who could not determine if it was friend or foe.
In the end, if you are epileptic or trying to understand someone who is, this is a great book to read. If you have no connection to epilepsy or an epileptic and only want a well-crafted, original story, it probably won't have the same effect....more
I just finished reading this collection, and really enjoyed it. I am also epileptic and write a bit of poetry as well, but, usually, I have temporal lI just finished reading this collection, and really enjoyed it. I am also epileptic and write a bit of poetry as well, but, usually, I have temporal lobe seizures which are much different, but I have had my share of grand maul seizures as well and thought this had some clever descriptions. The only drawback I found was the repetitiveness. That does fit given the topic, but I felt the repetition went a little far using every aspect (form, words, metaphors, etc.) ...more
I did love some of what was said in this book, but there were many things I found pointless. However, I cannot be certain given that I can't expect toI did love some of what was said in this book, but there were many things I found pointless. However, I cannot be certain given that I can't expect to understand what cultural "interpretations" I do not know about. Also, though I did enjoy some of the poems, I personally did not like Adonis's style as well. All I can really say is that this is a good read to simply broaden one's perspective....more