The protagonist in this Dean Koontz story is a mansion named Belle Vista, which was built in the late 1800’s on a site named Shadow Hill, a site relev...moreThe protagonist in this Dean Koontz story is a mansion named Belle Vista, which was built in the late 1800’s on a site named Shadow Hill, a site relevant to the native Indians who lived in the area for generations prior to Europeans arriving. The mansion was re-named the Pendleton in the 70’s, when it was converted to 22 condominiums, in honor of the wealthy man who originally built it.
The Pendleton has a horrid past made possible by it’s even more retched future. Koontz blends haunted house horror with a smidgen of thriller in the vein of science fiction. It is horror based on modern technology innovated in the name of good, making it one of the most interesting twists on the classic “good versus evil” I have ever read, because the good and the evil are not represented in people, but rather ideas. If I say any more than that, I’ll spoil it for you!
In addition, there is no “hook” or “climax” as you might have come to expect from reading other stories in similar genres (be it science fiction, horror, or thriller). Rather than bringing the reader to a spectacular climax, Koontz chooses instead to drop clues throughout the text like bread crumbs on a trail. The reader is provided plenty of data to figure it out along with the brave and determined residents. But taking the time to ponder what Koontz is telling us requires some patience and thoughtful consideration. The intent of 77 Shadow Street is not to just entertain, but to get us thinking more broadly.
However, Koontz also drags us through the minute details of every resident in the Pendleton and had he focused the minutiae on the one or two more interesting resident characters and left us guessing for the others, it would have been a less tedious read.
Opening Line: Bitter and drunk, Earl Blandon, a former United States senator, got home at 2:15 A.M. that Thursday with a new tattoo: a two-word obscenity in blue block letters between the knuckles of the middle finger of his right hand.(less)
I always believed that the toughest point in a story for an author to maintain momentum through is the 2/3's mark. The real test of an author is keepi...moreI always believed that the toughest point in a story for an author to maintain momentum through is the 2/3's mark. The real test of an author is keeping the reader interested into the final third of their book.
I stopped reading at the end of the 1st third. I couldn't finish it. This wasn't the only book I couldn't finish in the last few years, but it was the one I read the least. I didn't care about Bella. I knew what was going to happen. The fantasy of the boy who loves the girl despite of who he is seems so 1970's to me.
I know this book was very popular, but it was truly one of the worst written (very flat prose) books I've ever read. It concerned me a great deal that so many could love this book despite the bad writing, as if that were some prophecy of the dumbing down of America.
I left the book at my local Goodwill and I hope someone found it and read it and truly enjoyed it.(less)