Manda's Reviews > One Door Away from Heaven

One Door Away from Heaven by Dean Koontz
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's review
Dec 05, 2009

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bookshelves: read-in-2009
Read in December, 2009

** spoiler alert ** I enjoyed this book very much, but I have some qualms about the subject matter. I really don't like reading about children in peril, or hurt, so a lot of this book was difficult for me to read.

I also have qualms about the ending. I'm all for upbeat endings, but this was upbeat and sugary sweet. And yet.

The book deals with bioethics - bioethics deals with the ethical problems raised by technology. Ie, we can now keep pre-term babies alive from a much younger age, but given the disabilities that most very pre-term babies live with, should we? Koontz says in notes to the book that he is terrified by the implications of bioethics - by the extreme edges of it, where some people argue that disabled people take up to many resources and so should be euthanised. I find it difficult to reconcile the suggestion that Koontz is trying to educate people about the dangers of bioethics when his story mixes bioethics with aliens.

I also find that I cannot be scared by bioetics. Not as presented in the book. The bioethic champion in the book is the caricature of an evil man. I was very interested with the status that Koontz gioves dogs in the story, and given that the purported wishes of bioethical supporters seems very like how caring owners treat their dogs (putting them down when they are terminally ill and in pain) I wondered how Koontz copes with the inplied conflict. Of course in the book there is no conflict. Koontz does not have his bioethics supporter kill anyone who is in terrible pain or anquish and who wants death.

My mother raised us telling us that she was going to kill herself as 60 to avoid ever being a burden on society, and relatives died slowly, begging family to help them end their suffering, so perhaps I am only too aware of the other side of the ethical argument.

I would read more Koontz quite happily however.

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Reading Progress

11/20/2009 page 40
11/28/2009 page 482
70.78% "Really enjoying this book, but I have to have a breather from the tension."
12/03/2009 page 546
80.18% "Looks like their might be bloodshed ahead."
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