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The City

(The City #1)

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3.83  ·  Rating details ·  10,429 Ratings  ·  1,356 Reviews
The city changed my life and showed me that the world is deeply mysterious. I need to tell you about her and some terrible things and wonderful things and amazing things that happened . . . and how I am still haunted by them. Including one night when I died and woke and lived again.

Here is the riveting, soul-stirring story of Jonah Kirk, son of an exceptional singer, grand
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Hardcover, 398 pages
Published July 1st 2014 by Bantam (first published 2014)
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Randy Hunt I found the first 100 pages very interesting. Koonts' lyrical prose and descriptive stage setting were very interesting to me. Some readers complain…moreI found the first 100 pages very interesting. Koonts' lyrical prose and descriptive stage setting were very interesting to me. Some readers complain about the depth of musical references. I found myself referencing my favorite search engine to gather details. The references are extremely accurate, the music of the artist mentioned is phenomenal and I find they add significant depth to the novel.(less)

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Patrice Hoffman
Jun 03, 2014 rated it it was ok
As I read this novel I kept wondering to myself what happened to the Dean Koontz I loved so many years ago. I was so excited to start The City and was even temporarily blinded by Koontz prose and wordplay that I almost forgot that I was bored out of my mind... almost.

The City is the story of Jonah Kirk as he recalls the days of his youth. Born to a beautiful songstress and a disappearing father, Jonah finds solace in his incredible ability to play the piano, note for note, after hearing the tune
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Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
I usually try to summarize the book before I write what I think about the book. This book...you know what...For a moment, I failed to see the point with this book. Eh anyway, I will give it a try; Jonah is a young black boy, a musical prodigy that thanks to visions and a woman called "Miss Pearl" will try to stop a criminal gang.

This book was not easy to read and it's not easy to write about, mostly because I found the books story lacking. It wasn't badly written, just not interesting. It's the
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*TUDOR^QUEEN*
Dec 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
I received this book as an advance copy for review via NetGalley.

I've never read one of Dean Koontz's books until now, but knew he was a bestselling author and that his books were a tad on the weird side. So, I embarked with keen interest on this journey through "The City."

At base this story is a heartwarming one about a young black boy who lives in an apartment building with both some colorful and precious neighbors. Jonah Kirk is a very smart, industrious, thoughtful and curious boy, an only s
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Karen’s Library
Thank you to NetGalley and Random House for giving me an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. This was an incredible honor for me as I have been a HUGE fan of Dean Koontz for “decades”!

The City is the story of remarkable young Jonah Kirk who, in his late-fifties, decides to tell the story of several years in his youth beginning when he was 8 years old. From the first line where Jonah gives his full name of Jonah Ellington Basie Hines Eldridge Wilson Hampton Armstrong Kirk, I was
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Elspeth
I have to say this is the worst Dean Koontz book I have ever read, mostly because throughout the whole story it didn’t feel like Koontz wrote the thing. The pace was slow, the story mostly boring, the characters bland, and most of it came across as a history slash music slash art lesson. It also has WAY more religious pressure in the book then I like in my stories. I don’t mind if the faith in stories, but please don’t try to convert me.

The book is set in the sixties, with a nine year old piano
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Robert
If points were awarded for style and having his way with the English language, then Dean Koontz deserves a solid 8.5 for THE CITY, where the prose sings soprano, and hits all of the high notes. But if you want to award an author for his plot and filling a novel with substance, instead of flowery language comprised of mums and daffodils and rhododendrons and roses, then he gets -7 in this arena, and that may even be a tad generous. I mean, this is the same man who takes the mundane and turns it i ...more
Kim
Jun 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to receive this eBook through NetGalley. Dean Koontz is one of my favorite authors; from the first moment I picked up my first book by him, Watchers, I was completely captivated. I find all of his characters fully developed. I even feel that the villains are portrayed with a depth that amazes me; as a reader I have come to appreciate and understand better the depths of them - even if I cannot relate personally.

I decided The City is reminiscent of earlier Koontz books I devoure
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Lisa
Feb 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book is available today!!! (and I just listened to the audio sample and it sounds great!)


I LOVED THIS BOOK.

Was this a perfect book? No. Were there maybe one or two (three?) plot holes? Yes. But I gladly threw down a plank and continued across the gaps. I didn't care. I loved the movement of this book, the story, the characters, and THE CITY. This prose was just so nice. I don't really have a better word than nice. It was just so nice to read this book.

I'm not sure how much experience Dean K
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Christine
Jul 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
Amazing! This book is one of the best books I have read by Koontz. I was hooked from the minute I started reading it. Jonah is a fantastic narrator and the characters that surround him are people you want to know from the very beginning. My favorite character was Mr. Yoshioka. His story alone is quite compelling. There really should be a soundtrack to go along with this novel.
Edward Lorn
Jun 16, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 52-in-52-2014
As with most Dean Koontz books released over the past decade, THE CITY is readable, which is to say it's not riddled with errors or clunky writing. And that's about all this novel has going for it.

THE CITY is a betrayal, plain and simple. Not the content of the story, but the story itself is a piece of false advertising. Not even the title makes sense once you've read the book, because the MC doesn't truly reflect on the city, doesn't go for walks as the cover would have you believe, and, in tru
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Melinda
May 19, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arc
Jonas Kirk shares his history. A musical prodigy, Jonas finds music comforting, his personal saving grace. Jonas tells his life story to his long time friend Malcolm explaining events and people aiding and abetting his metamorphose into a 'whole' man, as opposed to 'half' a man as his estranged and deserter father.

I found The City mediocre. For me it lacked a spark, the characters, the narrative were flat, lifeless. I didn't 'feel' anything reading this story, rather I felt as if I read mere
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Rick Slane
Very light historical-fiction and art-appreciation. I finished this on an airplane so it is not difficult and not as good as The Goldfinch or Boy's Life.
Branwen Sedai *of the White Ajah*
Jul 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: thriller
After you have suffered great losses and known much pain, it is not cowardice to wish to live henceforth with a minimum of suffering. And one form of heroism, about which few if any films are made, is having the courage to live without bitterness when bitterness is justified, having the strength to persevere even when perseverance is unlikely to be rewarded, having the resolution to find profound meaning in life when it seems the most meaningless.


Despite my outward enthusiasm about starting this
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Gina Burgess
Jun 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I can hear a lot of you saying, "But Koontz is not a Christian fiction writer!"

You are correct. But I really like the way Koontz writes so I asked to review this book and the publisher graciously gave me permission.

This is not typical Koontz. You know everything will be okay in the end because the beginning is actually the end. The City reminds me a lot of The Prayer of Owen Meany. I really liked that novel, too.

You are quickly whisked back to last century (around the 60s) to the life of one ni
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LORI CASWELL
Jun 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2014
The city changed my life and showed me that the world is deeply mysterious. I need to tell you about her and some terrible things and wonderful things and amazing things that happened . . . and how I am still haunted by them. Including one night when I died and woke and lived again.

Here is the riveting, soul-stirring story of Jonah Kirk, son of an exceptional singer, grandson of a formidable “piano man,” a musical prodigy beginning to explore his own gifts when he crosses a group of extremely da
...more
Dean
Jun 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It has blown me away!!!!
One of the best mystery novel that I have read for this year….
Characters development, suspense, narrative deep, a surprising plot with unexpected turns and not the last, the incredible creative imagination from a living legend at his highest and top ability!!!!

Jonah Kirk, a nine years black boy with passion for music is visited by an enigmatic person called "the city" to be warned….
He will be haunted by prophetic dreams and puzzling nightmares!!!
Surrounded by vicious enem
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Judy Collins
Without a doubt, THE CITY is the most powerful and complex book I have ever read. I am speechless! Dean Koontz writes like no other. Brilliant, profound, and eloquently written.

A literary work of art!

THE CITY by Dean Koontz, is a rich, multi-layered gripping story that moves back and forth across decades and generations, as a gifted musician relates the horrible and beautiful events that began in his city in 1967 when he was ten.

Told in the first person, a story of musical prodigy, Jonah Kirk –
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Marvin
Jun 03, 2014 rated it liked it
Dean Koontz’s The City will probably not be well received by his hoard of fans. Koontz has established a very popular niche in the mainstream sci fi/supernatural thriller genre. From the appearance of Watchers and on, it can be argued that he practically invented the sub-genre. There is no doubt Dean Koontz is a talented and imaginative writer but many readers, myself included, came to feel he was writing a formula and sometimes a very tired one at that. But it seemed to be what his regular read ...more
Carol
Nov 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
The Hook – It’s Dean Koontz so I know what I’m going to get. Stop, maybe not! I’ve read a few reviews that fault Mr. Koontz for not sticking with his usual mode of operation, whatever you call the genre he writes; suspense, thriller, horror. I’ve never really liked his books that depict machines gone crazy. Where I think he shines is in those where I>evil, the evil that man inflicts on man, is central to the plot. No disappointment here.

The LineI’d rather live the now then talk about the
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Monnie
Jul 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
If for no other reason than writing that is eloquent, even exquisite, this book deserves to be read. It is, IMHO, story-telling at its absolute best (and if I could give it 10 stars, I would). Basically, it's a tale of lifelong friends, Jonah Kirk and Malcolm Pomeranz, that takes place in New York City and begins in the 1950s and ends when Jonah, who relates most of the story as a recollection of life-altering events, is 57.

Actually, it begins with The Neighborhood, a short story and prequel to
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Terri Wino
Feb 15, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: year-2017
Another Dean Koontz formulaic work:
take a young protagonist, add in some bad people or events coming for them, mix in a dash of supernatural elements helping said protagonist along, and throw them in the blender and presto! You've got a Dean Koontz book. The only thing missing from this one is the token dog that's usually part of the story or the faithful companion to said protagonist.

Despite this formula, I still find myself reading and, for the most part, enjoying his books. I liked the chara
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Ryan Dejonghe
Jun 20, 2014 rated it it was ok
“The City is simultaneously an interesting and a boring book” – Rabindranauth
“[W]hat happened to the Dean Koontz” – Patrice Hoffman
“[T]he worst Dean Koontz book I have ever read” – Elspeth


These are some of the quotes from folks at Goodreads. I get it. I get what Dean Koontz was trying to do in THE CITY. And for the most part I can handle strange, queer, and imaginative. Not so much the rambling. That’s what makes this so different.


I bet the reviews would be better if Koontz wrote this under a ps
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Olga Kowalska (WielkiBuk)
Sep 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars, almost 5 for one of the most intriguing, most beautiful and powerful stories about coming of age, about responsibility and destiny. It would be almost perfect if only Koontz let go of some secondary plot and focus on the secret soul of the city. Also, I found a strange resemblance to Donna Tartt's "Goldfinch", especially at the end. Nevertheless - it is worth your time!

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Wzruszająca opowieść o dojrzewaniu, dorastaniu i godzeniu się ze swoim przeznaczeniem. Dean Koontz umiejętnie żong
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Jolene
**Thank you Bantam and Netgalley for providing this in exchange for an honest review**

This was my first Koontz, and I have to admit, it was a bit of a let down. My sister is a huge fan of the author. She has been telling me for years how "creepy" his books are and how they "make her stay up all night" so she can finish reading them. When I saw this on Netgalley, I couldn't resist requesting it. I was looking forward to all the awesomeness my sister has been talking about for years.

This is a hist
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Lori L (She Treads Softly)
Jul 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The City by Dean Koontz is a very highly recommended coming-of-age story about love, friendship and loyalty.
"In our lives, we come to moments of great significance that we fail to recognize, the meaning of which does not occur to us for many years. Each of us has his agenda and focuses on it, and therefore we are often blind to what is before our eyes."

As a much older Jonah looks back on his family and the events that happened during 1967 when he was 9 to 10 years old. It was a year that would c
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Ronna
May 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
It's very difficult for me to pin point why I enjoy Koontz's writing so much, but I thoroughly enjoy every book of his that I have read. It's the way he turns a phrase, and seven words are actually better than one word in his writing. He takes simple thoughts and makes them sound profound. He makes me think with just the simplest statements. For example, in THE CITY, he says numerous times, "no matter what happens, everything will be all right in the end.". For most people's belief systems, this ...more
Paul
Mar 17, 2015 rated it it was ok
I remember enjoying Koontz novels. a long time ago, lately his books IMO aren't published to tell stories but to print money. not that he needs it, but the writing suffers when story isn't an important detail of the novel. and here although his writing was clearer and less of o metaphorical laden mess than in some of his recent books there were some passages that were way more confusing or clumsy then they should have been considering Koontz has published dozens of novels and is not a first time ...more
Julie Davis
Aug 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
A Good Story #120. Julie (or Julianne, but never Jules) and Scott (or Scotty, but never Scooter) discuss The City, an excellent Dean Koontz novel.

==========


Recommended by my daughter, the voice in this book reminds me of Odd Thomas in its sweetness and innocence. However, this is narrated by a 10 year old instead of a grown man.

The 10-year-old is a skinny, black, musical prodigy named Jonah Kirk. The time is the mid-1960's when chaos reigns in America. The place is a mysterious City which, as
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Irshad
Sep 23, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: library-books
I'd rate this book 1.5 stars out of 5.

The City is a story of a man named Jonah Kirk, aged 57, who shares about his past when he was a boy. Jonah grew up being a musical prodigy with his grandpa being his main inspiration, his idol. He grew up without his dad for most parts of his life and his mom was his main supporter throughout. Jonah explains the events that occurred in his life that led him to become a man of honor unlike his dad.

Whilst reading this book, I felt that the plot focused too
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Mike (the Paladin)
Jun 23, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror, thriller
Well....okay I put this on my "horror shelf" but it's only "sort of" horror. As a matter of fact this book would be on the "sort of" end of a lot of shelves. It can't seem to make up it's mind. Is it a coming of age story? Is it a mystery? Is it a commentary on music history? Is it the story of a bad marriage and a poor father? Is it a political or crime thriller? Is it the "magical story" of "The City" and the power in multiple souls who live there and have lived there? ("Megapolisomancy")

Yeah,
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I would like to ask what you think of this Quote? 12 28 Apr 27, 2018 03:52PM  
Koontzland - Dean...: The City (Group Read - July 2014) 97 199 Dec 30, 2014 08:20AM  
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22,717 followers
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 R. Koontz has also published under the na
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Other books in the series

The City (2 books)
  • The Neighbor (The City, #0.5)
“After you have suffered great losses and known much pain, it is not cowardice to wish to live henceforth with a minimum of suffering. And one form of heroism, about which few if any films will be made, is having the courage to live without bitterness when bitterness is justified, having the strength to persevere even when perseverance seems unlikely to be rewarded, having the resolution to find profound meaning in life when it seems the most meaningless.” 16 likes
“In our lives, we come to moments of great significance that we fail to recognize, the meaning of which sometimes does not occur to us for many years. Each of us has his agenda and focuses on it, and therefore we are often blind to what is before our eyes.” 13 likes
More quotes…