Drebbles's Reviews > The Taking

The Taking by Dean Koontz
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Oct 07, 09

bookshelves: 2006
Read in January, 2006

"The Taking" is Dean Koontz's version of the end of the world. It focuses on a young couple, Molly and Neil Sloan, who wake up early one morning to a strange rainfall. Turning on their television, they soon realize that the whole world is under attack and they head into town to find other survivors. Along the way they encounter zombies, unnaturally large bugs, other unknown creatures lurking in trees, dolls that self-mutilate, UFO's, and a fungus that threatens to overtake everything. Molly determines that she was left alive to protect the surviving children, so she and Neil, along with the help of a dog that seems almost human, set out to find the children and start a new world, if they survive.

"The Taking" is the written equivalent of a B movie - you know it's really bad, but you can't stop reading it. Koontz focuses on one character - Molly - and consequently the other characters, including Neil, are nonentities and readers don't care what happens to them. It's hard to feel sympathetic for characters that are killed because you know nothing about them. And Molly herself is a one-dimensional character.

The reason the characters are so one-dimensional is Koontz's writing. He spends too much time telling readers what is going on instead of showing them. A perfect example is what happened between Molly and her father when she was eight years old. Instead of bringing readers into the classroom with Molly and her father (which would have been a terrific way to open the book) Koontz tells readers what happened halfway through the book, in alternate paragraphs, as Molly encounters her father as an adult. The scene where Molly and Neil listen to the astronauts being attacked in space should have been especially frightening, the reader should have been able to imagine the horrors along with Molly and Neil but it just didn't work.

Finally, Koontz didn't seem to know how to end the book. The last few pages seem rushed. The aliens simply leave and he glosses over the setting up of a new civilization by having all the corpses mysteriously disappear and mentioning that there was enough canned food to last for years. Conveniently enough, all the survivors were in useful professions - doctors, dentists, nurses, engineers, architects, carpenters and mechanics - all chosen for their talent. No policemen or firefighters are mentioned - Koontz seems to have created a perfect world.

The description on the back of the book made the book sound really interesting, but the description was the best part of the book.
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message 1: by Checkman (new)

Checkman No policemen or firefighters are mentioned - Koontz seems to have created a perfect world.

Guess that would make me one of those folks taken away. Darn.


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