Relentless is filled with humor, suspense and intensity making it a fast paced thriller and a speedy read. For me, reading Relentless was By the LightRelentless is filled with humor, suspense and intensity making it a fast paced thriller and a speedy read. For me, reading Relentless was By the Light of the Moon meets Life Expectancy - these are two of my most favorite by Dean Koontz and so naturally, I really like this book! I must say, my expectations were pretty low after reading Your Heart Belongs to Me (2008), but with this one Koontz has redeemed himself.
In a way, Relentless is similar to Velocity but I prefer Relentless. When I was reading Velocity, I was annoyed because it really wasn't clear whether it was all in the main character's head and I was also annoyed that he did not go to the police. In Relentless, it was explained why the family could not go to the police and with the three characters sharing their experience, it was clear the acts of Shearmann Waxx were not just imagined. I did find myself yelling at the characters in Relentless a few times, saying things like "tell your son, let him help you", "don't open that door, sheriff!" or "Just shoot him while you've got the chance!".
As the story opened it seemed to me that Dean had used himself and his wife Gerda in the main roles of Cubby and Penny. I loved all the characters that were created for this story the Booms were dynamite and Mr. Waxx, well he was simply an enema.
I don't read fast but it only took me 4 days to get through the 356 pages of Relentless. While (view spoiler)[I don't understand much about intellectual extremists or why Penny would ever put a gun to Cubby's head, (hide spoiler)] I would definitely rank Relentless as one of Koontz best.
Some of my favorite passages/quotes from Relentless include:
"I'm small, I'm young - and I'm so different. You've always respected that difference, and you've always trusted it. Trust me now. There's a reason I am the way I am, and there's a reason I was born to you. There's always a reason. We belong together." - Milo
"If the three of us don't know what we're looking for and we look for it together, we'll find it or we won't find it quicker than you would or wouldn't find it on your own." - Penny
"I'm going in, and I'm going to pretend you came with me, while you can sit here and pretend I stayed with you, so then we'll have gone in an not gone in together." - Milo
"In spite of where we were, how we had gotten here, and why we had come, I felt that at this moment of our lives, this was exactly where we belonged. We were not drifting but rising, rising toward something right and of significance." - Cubby
"That was interesting, riding in the trunk," Milo said, "but I wouldn't want to do it again."
"Fire, ice, asteroids and pole shifts are bogeymen with which we distract ourselves from the real threat of our time. In an age when everyone invents his own truth, there is no community, only factions. Without community, there can be no consensus to resist the greedy, the envious, the power-mad narcissists who seize control and turn the institutions of civilization into a series of doom machines."["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
Everything is more than it seems, but nothing is as mysterious as it appears to be. -Chapter 6
Reality is what we carry in our hearts.... - Chapter 9 Everything is more than it seems, but nothing is as mysterious as it appears to be. -Chapter 6
Reality is what we carry in our hearts.... - Chapter 9
I liked this the second time around better than the first, and even more the third time :-) Originally read in 2009 and re-read when Tick Tock was chosen as the October 2012 Group Read for for the Koontzland - Dean Koontz group. Re-read in October 2014.
I loved the character of Deliverance Payne especially and thought the book was really fun. ...more
A Big Little Life ranks among my top 10 personal favorites by Dean Koontz. This one of Dean's rare non-fiction books and offers great insight into theA Big Little Life ranks among my top 10 personal favorites by Dean Koontz. This one of Dean's rare non-fiction books and offers great insight into the personal life of Dean and how one dog changed his life.
In each little life, we can see great truth and beauty, and in each little life we glimpse the way of all things in the universe. If we allow ourselves to be enchanted by the beauty of the ordinary, we begin to see that all things are extraordinary. -Dean Koontz, A Big Little Life, Chapter One...more
What a ghost story! I love the use of music, dogs, and state names. There is a beautiful redemptive aspect in this novel. I should read Horns and TwenWhat a ghost story! I love the use of music, dogs, and state names. There is a beautiful redemptive aspect in this novel. I should read Horns and Twentieth Century Ghosts....more
"Calling all Stupids!" Stanley shouted. Mrs. Stupid, Buster Stupid, Petunia Stupid, and the Stupid's wonderful dog Kitty all crawled out from under the"Calling all Stupids!" Stanley shouted. Mrs. Stupid, Buster Stupid, Petunia Stupid, and the Stupid's wonderful dog Kitty all crawled out from under the rug. "The Stupids are stepping out today," said Stanley . . . "Let's go upstairs and get ready," said Mrs. Stupid The two Stupid children climbed onto the banister. "Up we go!" squealed Petunia. They did not move. They wondered why.
........................... Above is just a taste of this Stupid adventure. While I can't rate it 5 stars and call it "Amazing", this Stupid story continues to humor me and I continue to pick it up, smile, chuckle and then do it all again several months later. After reading this today, I requested the two Stupid follow-up books from the library: The Stupids Have A Ball and The Stupids Die. I look forward to seeing this Stupid Family in these other Stupid books. ------
2012 re-reading - here is another fun passage to share - Meeting Grandma and Grandpa Stupid:
"Where's Grandmother Stupid?" asked Petunia.
"Where she always is," said her grandfather.
"She's in the closet."
"Hello children," Grandmother sang out through the keyhole. "How nice of you to come and see me."
It was a lovely visit.
"We must be off now," said Stanley.
"Come again," said Grandfather Stupid at the door, "whoever you are." -Pg 20 of The Stupids Step Out ...more
2015 Update: While I don't see Watchers ever being on my list of personal top 10 favorite Dean Koontz novels, I can see why this book is so beloved an2015 Update: While I don't see Watchers ever being on my list of personal top 10 favorite Dean Koontz novels, I can see why this book is so beloved and I have enjoyed re-reading the book. A Koontz Classic.
2014 Update: I like this book better every time I read it :-) Interesting how some books can affect us differently at different times. This was my third and most enjoyable reading. This is the essential classic Koontz. Dean's most popular & beloved novel (Odd Thomas being a close second). Watchers is very charming and the character of Einstein is genius - standing the test of time.
2010 Reading: Not one of my favorites. Einstein was a great character, but my favorite creation in this story was actually "The Outsider". Watchers was the very first book I read by Dean Koontz. After reading Watchers the first time, it took me a full year before I tried another book by Dean Koontz. The book I read in 2005 that really hooked me into being a Dean Koontz fan was Velocity(mind you, velocity wasn't as good on second reading but it was a lot faster-paced than Watchers). Watchers was chosen for the January 2010 group read in the Koontzland-Dean Koontz group. I started the book on January 1st and finished at the beginning of April....more
2007 Thoughts:Enjoyed the book very much. This book was very personal for Koontz as his Golden Retriever, Trixie passed away and the novel features a2007 Thoughts:Enjoyed the book very much. This book was very personal for Koontz as his Golden Retriever, Trixie passed away and the novel features a Golden Retriever hero named Nickie. Koontz had his usual disability representative - this time a little girl called Hope who has Downs Syndrome. A great story in Koontz's trademark style of good vs. evil and profound thoughts on life. Better than The Good Guy - great ending, beginning and everything in between. 4 stars.
2012 Thoughts: The Darkest Evening of the Year, in which we worship the Golden Retriever. I was getting really sick of this story but luckily it picked up about mid-way, still TDEOTY does not rank among my favorites. 3 stars.
My favorite quotes:
"For some, the past is a chain, each day a link, raveling backward to one ringbolt or another, in one dark place or another, and tomorrow is a slave to yesterday." - Opening page
"Maybe I've got a secret admirer."
"Has someone been sending you candy and flowers anonymously?"
"Secret admirers don't do that anymore, Renata. These days, they kidnap you, rape you, and kill you with power tools." - Ending to Chapter 15
In the clockworks of Amy's heart, the key of terror wound the mainspring past the snapping point, and the scream that came from her was silent, silent, her lungs suddenly as airless as the world around her seemed to be, a vacuum in a vacuum. - Chapter 57
Bad people succeed and good people fail, but that's not the end of the story. Miracles happen that nobody sees, and among us walk heroes who are never recognized, and people live in loneliness because they cannot believe they are loved.... - Ending lines of the book
"...upon completion of her business, the dog went directly to the back porch, up the steps, and to the door." - Chapter 8
"Each time Amy dropped the leashes to blue-bag the poop, Nickie respected a sit-and-stay command as reliably as did Fred and Ethel." - Chapter 15
I waited and waited for an audiobook to become available through the Boulder Public Library. I listened on audiobook while walking in Boulder - I enjoI waited and waited for an audiobook to become available through the Boulder Public Library. I listened on audiobook while walking in Boulder - I enjoyed the story, even if it wasn't one of my favorites. Recently, The Daily Camera (Boulder's Newspaper) did move it's operations from Downtown, just like the book said, I guess I should be watching for a new multi-use building :-)
A lot does happen in this story to affect Alan Gregory's family: new neighbors and thoughts of moving from Spanish Hills. Looks like book Nineteen will also be taking place in Boulder (many stories take the characters on investigations away from home). Book Nineteen will likely be released in the Fall of 2011.
There were a lot of penises in this book, but I guess that's to be expected - Is the rock formation "Devil's Thumb" or "Devil's Dick" ? It's all in the way you look at things - some people can look at the same thing and see differently. Personally, I always thought of the formation as a snag tooth :-)
If you love reading Stephen White's Alan Gregory Series, come join us in the Stephen White - Alan Gregory Group on Goodreads. I'm the moderator....more
"How can you be alive when every choice you make breaks the world into a thousand filaments, each careless step branching into long tributaries of alt"How can you be alive when every choice you make breaks the world into a thousand filaments, each careless step branching into long tributaries of alternate lives, shuddering outward and outward like sheet lightning." -You Remind Me of Me
I think Await Your Reply is better, but I really enjoyed this story also. Dan Chaon writes in a way that gives me so much to think about.
I love the way the story opens with Jonah playing in the bathtub with the dog named Elizabeth: (view spoiler)[ The first bite was one of the worst. The long front tooth, the canine, sank into the skin just below Jonah's left eye and tore a line through his cheek to the edge of his throat. Blood shot up and stippled the window. The bottles of shampoo on the edge of the tub clattered as Jonah's feet kicked in a surprised spasm. When he jerked away from her, Elizabeth bit down on his ear and pulled a piece of it off.(hide spoiler)]
I love the way the the characters are connected in Dan's novels and the way the timeline jumps around.
(view spoiler)[He had remembered something that his mother once told him. "When I die, I want you to bury me under the floorboards," she had said. he'd been something like ten or eleven years old at the time, but even then he had known that this was her idea of a joke. "Cut me up in little pieces and put me in the crawl space," she said. " I want to haunt the shit out of whoever lives in this dump after we do."(hide spoiler)] ______________________________ My favorite praise for You Remind Me of Me found on the cover and before the novel begins:
"Chaon writes with a deep, dreamy evocativeness....A lovely, insinuating book." - The New York Times
"In You Remind Me of Me, [Chaon] proves once again he's a writer worth watching." - USA Today
"Delicately hypnotic...haunting...a lovely, insinuating book with a special staying power." - The New York Times
"Beautifully disquieting....This novel, his first, has elements of Stephen King's Cujo, Alice Munro's Friend of My Youth and Lucy Grealy's Autobiography of a Face all at the same time...Emotionally complex and disturbing....Chaon's achievement...is to rescue his characters from oblivion and make their lives seem as real as our own." -The New York Times Book Review
"With deep insight and a fluid style that never calls attention to its considerable beauty...Chaon is writing about the irreducible mystery of human nature." - The Christian Science Monitor
"Chaon deftly reveals the quite suffering of ordinary people in a way that an be uncomfortably realistic but is always compelling." -People
"A moving story of fate and family" -The Oregonian
"Meticulous pacing... controlled nuance...a quietly ambitious novel." -Time Out New York
"Three lives viewed through a kaleidoscope of memories and secret pain assume a kin d of mythical dimension in Chaon's piercingly poignant tale of fate, chance and search for redemption....Chaon's clarity of observation, expressed in restrained, nuanced prose, coupled with his compassion for his flawed characters, creates a heart-wrenching story of people searching for connection." -Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Finely crafted...cogent and suspenseful." -Booklist
"In his masterly first novel, Chaon tells an absorbing tale of fate and the struggle for recovery and human connection. His greatest strength is the ability to intertwine multiple stories while neatly showcasing the tangled threads of each character." -Library Journal
"You Remind Me of Me doesn't belong on the shelf with the sentimental heart-warmers of the book world. It's made of sterner stuff.[Chaon] is a solid storyteller...He keeps the reader enthralled...In his book, character counts." -Newsday
"You Remind Me of Me is one of the strangest, most beautiful, most compelling books I've read in a long time. Unnerving and real, intricately plotted, wonderfully written, it's a Chinese box of a novel, full of hidden pleasures and surprises." -Elizabeth McCracken
"Dan Chaon's beautiful, effortless prose commands the reader from sentence one, steering us from prickling unease to wrenching pathos, tunneling inside his characters' minds and worlds with such authority that everything else seems to disappear. It's almost frightening to be in the hands of so gifted a writer." -Jennifer Egan
"Beautiful,painful, and sure-footed, You Remind Me of Me tracks the delicate connections between a handful of lost and poignant lives, in the process giving them the radiance of a stained-glass window. What a writer! Dan Chaon is going to have a breathtaking literary career." -Peter Straub
"You Remind Me of Me is nothing short of brilliant. The novel is haunting me, and I can't stop thinking about it - both as a reader and as a deeply admiring writer. I wish I had a better adjective than superb." -Caroline Leavitt ____________________________
A Conversation with Dan Chaon (from the back of the Reader's Guide Edition) Q:One final quick question - how do you pronounce your name?
Q:No - your last name.
DC:I'm just messing with you. It's pronounced "shawn" - much easier than it looks.
I picked this up from the library - saw it was only one hour long and couldn't resist. Stephen King reads this short story before an audience. The majI picked this up from the library - saw it was only one hour long and couldn't resist. Stephen King reads this short story before an audience. The majority of the story is laugh out loud funny and then takes a darker turn toward the end. Enjoyed it - my biggest problem with reading Stephen King is his books tend to be very long so this little story was great....more
In an effort to return to the "Old Cornwell" (before Blow Fly changed everything), this story is told in first-person narration. The view is from KayIn an effort to return to the "Old Cornwell" (before Blow Fly changed everything), this story is told in first-person narration. The view is from Kay Scarpetta, something we haven't seen since The Last Precinct (until Blowfly, the series was always in first-person Scarpetta voice). I enjoyed the story, even with all the drama, but I still like Scarpetta the best from the more recent post-Blowfly novels. I would have liked to see more of Lucy in this one, but maybe next time :-) and I didn't know Kay had such a soft spot for dogs, maybe I missed that in the other books. ...more
This was the February 2011 Group Read in the Koontzland - Dean Koontz Group My second time reading the book.
A favorite quote: "Even as a child, she hadThis was the February 2011 Group Read in the Koontzland - Dean Koontz Group My second time reading the book.
A favorite quote: "Even as a child, she had preferred night to day, had enjoyed sitting out in the yard after sunset, under the star-speckled sky listening to frogs and crickets. Darkness soothed. It softened the sharp edges of the world, toned down the too-harsh colors. With the coming of twilight, the sky seemed to recede; the universe expanded. The night was bigger than the day, and in its realm, life seemed to have more possibilities."...more