Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Life Expectancy” as Want to Read:
Life Expectancy
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Life Expectancy

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  31,101 ratings  ·  1,927 reviews
In the dazzling new thriller from the master of dark suspense, the hand of fate reaches out to touch an ordinary man with greatness. So long as he is ready. So long as he is, above all, afraid.

Jimmy Tock comes into the world on the very night his grandfather leaves it. As a violent storm rages outside the hospital, Rudy Tock spends long hours walking the corridors between
Paperback, 476 pages
Published October 25th 2005 by Bantam Books (first published 2004)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Life Expectancy, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Donna Try Velocity. Brilliant and fast paced. I love all of Koontz books. Life Expectancy is my favourite but I'm sure Velocity will get you going. Relentle…moreTry Velocity. Brilliant and fast paced. I love all of Koontz books. Life Expectancy is my favourite but I'm sure Velocity will get you going. Relentless is also another fantastic story! Enjoy!(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.01  · 
Rating details
 ·  31,101 ratings  ·  1,927 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Life Expectancy
Dec 06, 2007 rated it it was amazing
My second favorite Koontz' novel!!!


I love this book!!!

This novel isn't featured in my virtual shelf of "Favorites", but not because I don't like it, just since I already have Phantoms in that shelf and I want to keep it to maximum 10 books there, it would have to be 2 books from Dean Koontz and if I have to make the hard choice, I'd choose Phantoms.

But, Life Expectancy is a REALLY CLOSE second favorite book by Dean Koontz.

It's one of the best books that I ever read.

Feb 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Life Expectancy is a pretty fun read. It was so different than most books I've read in the genre, and was much different than I expected. It flows so perfectly from the first person point of view, and the characters are unforgettable. Plus, it has clowns...
Oct 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing
It will make you laugh, it will make you cry, it will make you question all good looking men.
J.K. Grice
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I realize Koontz is absurdly prolific, but I really liked LIFE EXPECTANCY. It was a fun premise with great characters. I love the family that keeps "baker's hours" and I still remember that Jimmy Tock had a Dodge Daytona Turbo just like the one I bought in 1988. And, who could forget the evil Conrad Beezo? This is a great read.
Edward Lorn
Mar 03, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
LIFE EXPECTANCY Review I'm about to spoil the hell out of this piece of garbage in the hopes that you run screaming from its pages as if the longevity of your genitals depended on it. 
The Good: This book is readable. Meaning, you can read it. Moving on.
The Bad: The synopsis is terrific: engaging, intriguing, enticing, everything a book description should be. So why isn't this up there with The Good? Because the synopsis fucking lies like a rug under a steam roller. You see, Jimmy Tock's grandp
Dustin Crazy little brown owl
"Some lives, conducted with grace, are beautiful arcs bridging this world to eternity."

"No one's life should be rooted in fear. We are born for wonder, for joy, for hope, for love, to marvel at the mystery of existence, to be ravished by the beauty of the world, to seek truth and meaning, to acquire wisdom, and by our treatment of others to brighten the corner where we are."

"No one can grant you happiness. Happiness is a choice we all have the power to make."

Ever since first reading this book 20
♥ Marlene♥
This is what I wrote reading this book........

This is the second time I am trying to read this book.

I am a huge Koontz fan but this book really disappointed me.

It is so far, not exiting or scary at all, because the main characters are not frightened.
They are constantly making funny (not) remarks and it is just not realistic.

You are a hostage and you are constantly cracking jokes!!! No way.

I have read 170 pages of the book and am really struggling (again!) to read more.

And that is really an excep
RM(Alwaysdaddygirl) Griffin (alwaysdaddyprincess)
I borrowed this book from a library. It is my second time reading it.

Update: 5-21-18
I finished it! I might do a review. This is something very personal.
Jun 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
This is my first Dean Koontz book. I expected a horror story, but this book was actually quite funny. I just grabbed it off the paperback section of the library to take to the beach, and I was pleasantly surprised. Initially, I found the main character, Jimmy, a little like Ignatiuos Reilly from "Confederacy of Dunces," but he actually had a great deal more sense. I think it was more in Koontz's writing style. The characters were so likeable, that I wanted to be friends with them; except for the ...more
Evelina | AvalinahsBooks
Never going to finish this one. The very fact that I've tried to do it for four years probably tells you that it drives me insane with how boring, dragging and not fun it is to read.
Larry James
Oct 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved the book!The humor was surprising and the story was as good as anything I've ever read. I could not put this one down, and it thrilled me from beginning to end.!
Apr 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Wow! This book totally blew me away. Best Koontz book I've read yet, and I thought Odd Thomas would be a tough act to follow. I may have to pick up a copy of this book for own PC bookshelf so I can let hubby and all my other non-BC friends read it too. :)

Great character development, suspense, the kind of book I didn't want to put down. At times, I was so anxious to know how a particular situation would turn out that I'd find myself skipping ahead a couple of chapters, and then immediately scoldi
Jane Stewart
3 ½ stars. Tongue in cheek mystery suspense.

I was disappointed when I saw this was first person. Sometimes it works, but usually it’s not as good for me, and in this case first person did not help. The plot premise was odd. It didn’t draw me in as much as other plots. When the book begins, we are told something disastrous will happen five times during Jimmy’s life. It feels like a scavenger hunt. The first day comes and we watch a disaster which Jimmy survives. Then we wait a little and watch th
C.P. Cabaniss
May 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I read this book for the first time in August or September of 2011, which started my love of Dean Koontz novels. Now, five years later, I've finally read this book again. And it's just as enchanting as I remember.

The events of this novel don't seem like they would make a compelling story, and yet they do. It's filled with a cast of varied and realistic characters, the struggle between good and evil, and the message that there is always a reason to hope.

Koontz has a beautiful style that has me
Jan 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This book was a strange book. I don't know how else to describe it. When my husband told me it was a weird one but he thought I would like it, I really I was almost sure I didn't want to read it. I almost pasted it up, but I am glad I didn't. I never knew where it was going to go next. I never even tried to make predictions like I normally would. It also was filled with so much dry humor that you just had to laugh. The entire time I was reading this one, I couldn't help but think that the author ...more
Christopher Owen
Sep 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Simply put, this novel is nothing short of incredible. Highly original, darkly amusing and almost (ALMOST) too clever for it's own good.

For me the mark of a good book is the inability to put it down. Getting so caught up in the story and the characters that you think abouto it even when you're not reading it.

I'll try to avoid spoilers, but my favorite thing about this novel is how evrerything is connected. It's obvious that Koontz had every detail planned in advance. One thing leads to another
Mar 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, own-it
This is one of my favorite Dean Koontz novels. It has all of the elements you would expect to find in a DK novel!
Jenn Sadai
Jul 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Dean Koontz never disappoints. So many unexpected twists and turns. Gripping and imaginative story that reminded me why I used to read his books every chance I got.
May 23, 2007 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: only bored die-hard Koontz fans
Recommended to Jack by: a crazed clownish friend
Dean Koontz reigns as the Henry Ford of novelists. Ford invented assembly line production, a way of mass-producing automobiles. Ford out produced other automakers and at the same time delivered a quality product. His Model T remains perhaps the most successful automobile ever made. Ford Motor Company occasionally made mistakes; the Edsel of the mid-1950s was its most glaring and infamous. Dean Koontz, like Ford has developed a method of cranking out novels at an amazing pace, over 60 in the spa ...more
Divine Anas
This is such a weirdly wholesome book. And by far MY FAVORITE BOOK OF THE YEAR (AND OF DEAN KOONTZ). Picture this:
• Killer Clowns so bent on screwing your life in 5 pivotal days
• Syndactyly, Indefatigable optimist, Baker hours

I LOVE DEAN KOONTZ AND THIS BOOK JUST MADE ME REALIZE AGAIN WHY I BECAME A READER IN THE FIRST PLACE. (Koontz have been an influential author to me since high school). GAHD. I JUST. OHMYGOODLERD. Full coherent and (hopefully) eloquent RTC (I NEED TO JUSTIFY
Mar 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a book!

‘Five Terrible Days’

Enjoyed this book so much - the best I’ve read by Dean Koontz!

What terrifying events await Jimmy on these five dark days? What nightmares will he face? What challenges must he survive? a struggle against an evil so dark and pervasive only the most extraordinary of human spirits can shine through!

Oct 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
William Dalphin
Sep 05, 2007 rated it it was ok
I am going to use my review of Dean Koontz's Life Expectancy to discuss a matter that seems of great importance in most of Koontz's work, mental illness. Koontz often simplifies his antagonists' motivations to the basic idea, "This person is insane." "Why is that?" you may ask. Well, I'll tell you. It's because labeling a character as insane means that Koontz can throw logic and rationality right out the window. Why does this person kill entire families, collecting trophies of his murders? Becau ...more
Dec 30, 2007 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Koontz fans, fans of thrillers with a dash of the supernatural
Shelves: finished
This one took me a couple weeks to read, but I did finish it (good sign #1) and by the time I was done, I didn't feel like I'd wasted my time (good sign #2).

It's written in the first person, which works better here than in Koontz's The Taking, but not as well as it did in Odd Thomas. The premise of the story is a fun one: on the night of Jimmy Tock's birth, his dying grandfather predicts the time of Jimmy's birth, his weight, a physical ailment...and that Jimmy will suffer five terrible days in
Chloe Heins
Aug 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’ve inherited plenty of things from my mother (looks, laugh, sense of humor, mannerisms), and among those is a predilection for mystery novels, Dean Koontz, and plot twists. This book contains all three of these things.

If you’re craving a book with action that starts right away, and a plot that surprises you at every page-turn, this is a book for you.

If you enjoy relatable, humorous characters that provide a personable narration, this is a book for you.

If you like short chapters (another thi
Jan 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Jason gave me this book for Christmas - he had listened to it as book on tape and really liked it, and thought I might like it too. I didn't - I LOVED it!! Laugh out loud funny at times, and yet also reflects on what makes a good life, relationship, and family, all in a suspenseful story!

I loved the characters - the main one, Jimmy Tock, but also all the supporting cast of characters. Each one was fleshed out and real. There was a unique banter amongst his family that I both recognized my own fa
Aug 26, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: babble-added
I tend to avoid authors with huge shelves of published work (Danielle Steele, Piers Anthony, etc.) because I tried and found them incredibly unreadable. Mr. DK isn't bad, though - very entertaining, humor, twists.

This story centered around a young man who, at his birth, had ominous predictions of 5 horrendous (or was it terrible?) days in his future. He got through it with family support, practicality, blahblahblah. The circus is involved. And there's implied sex crime. The twist at the end seem
Mar 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Jimmy Tock is probably my favorite of all of Dean Koontz characters - and that's a lot considering one of Koontz' strengths is character development. Jimmy was born on the day his grandfather died. Before his grandfather died and the minute of Jimmy's birth, his grandfather sat up in bed and stated that Jimmy would have five horrible days. He listed the dates in question. Jimmy's family didn't know what to make of Jimmy's grandfather's prophesy until the first of the dates arrived and Jimmy, ind ...more
The Face of Your Father
Aug 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“Prepare to be enchanted.”

Upon the birth of Jimmy Tock, his dying grandfather made five predictions for the arriving infant. Five terrible days will occur between his twentieth and thirtieth years of life. What lies ahead for the Tock family as doomsday approaches on the calendar?

‘Life Expectancy’ is a tongue-in-cheek mystery suspense story that possesses the qualities of absurdist comedy. It shouldn’t work, but it does.

It is a dazzling read. Koontz has rarely been whimsical in my opinion, yet
Saniya Ahmad
Life Expectancy by Dean Koontz is a book about Jimmy Tock who enters this world as his grandfather is leaving it. His grandfather,l Josef Tock, in his dying moments, has declared and named 5 days that will be extremely dark and terrible for Jimmy. With the end of this declaration, he hiccups and dies.

Rudy, Jimmy's father, believes this is utter crap. But minutes before this prediction, Josef had also predicted that his grandson will be called Jimmy (something he could not know since the gender o
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Bad Place
  • Relentless
  • The Door to December
  • Icebound
  • 77 Shadow Street (Pendleton, #1)
  • The Mask
  • The Eyes of Darkness
  • The Face of Fear
  • The House of Thunder
  • If It Bleeds
  • Twisted
  • The I.P.O.
  • The Servants of Twilight
  • As Our World Ends (Cyber Apocalypse #1)
  • The Pain Colony (The Colony #1)
  • Days 357 to 364 (Mass Extinction Event #12)
  • Vineyard Stalker (Martha's Vineyard Mystery #18)
  • Brain Child
See similar books…
Acknowledged as "America's most popular suspense novelist" (Rolling Stone) and as one of today's most celebrated and successful writers, Dean Ray Koontz has earned the devotion of millions of readers around the world and the praise of critics everywhere for tales of character, mystery, and adventure that strike to the core of what it means to be human.

Dean, the author of many #1 New York Times bes

Articles featuring this book

  Dean Koontz has been a long-time master of the suspense, with his bestselling Odd Thomas and Jane Hawk series as well as his many standalone...
37 likes · 24 comments
“Where there is cake, there is hope. And there is always cake.” 276 likes
“No one's life should be rooted in fear. We are born for wonder, for joy, for hope, for love, to marvel at the mystery of existence, to be ravished by the beauty of the world, to seek truth and meaning, to acquire wisdom, and by our treatment of others to brighten the corner where we are.” 270 likes
More quotes…