Resonance's Reviews > Life Expectancy

Life Expectancy by Dean Koontz
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U_50x66
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May 20, 09


I was starved for something to read this last weekend and happened upon this book. Horror isn't my usual genre but I've read a few Dean Koontz books in the past and liked them, so I thought I'd give this one a spin.

It's got an interesting enough plot -- as a child is being born, his grandfather makes a set of deathbed prophecies about him (the first of which are shortly proven true as they relate to his birth) which culminate in an exact prediction, to the day, of five individual days he will endure between 20 and 30 that pose a dire threat to him, and that he must prepare for each one. No details on the danger itself, just the dates.

It starts fairly strongly but deteriorates as the book goes on. There are side plots and supporting characters which, well, definitely are original as far as I'm concerned, and hover somewhere between amusingly absurdist and grotesquely ridiculous. (Picture evil clowns plotting to rob a bank and blow up a town because their ringleader imagines the town has been co-opted by his cruel archrival, the leader of a troupe of acrobats). But Koontz mostly swings and misses after the first of the five dates -- he does various writing tricks to play with the reader's expectations, but things go anticlimactic rather quickly and sort of degenerate into farce. The book almost seems to mock itself, which isn't really a horrible trait for some writing, but didn't really work for me in the context of a suspense novel.
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