Gabby's Reviews > The City

The City by Dean Koontz
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Jun 04, 2014

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bookshelves: arc, fiction, 2014, net-galley

I received an ARC for **The City** by *Dean Koontz* from NetGalley.com in exchange for an honest review.

When **The City** begins, Jonah Ellington Basie Hines Eldridge Wilson Hampton Armstrong Kirk is 9 years old. When he was 8, he was visited by a woman he called *Pearl* who told him she was The City, by which she implied she was familiar with all the ways in which the people of this particular City interact with each other. She was to visit Jonah several times throughout the story, and each visit centered around a significant incident in Jonah's life. At least part of her point seemed to be that for every bad person who exists within The City, there are many, many more who do not subscribe to the kind of bad behavior and destructive influence exhibited by the few.


Jonah has a very close relationship with his mother and his grandfather. His father is no longer a factor in the family, although the man does pose a threatening presence now and then. Jonah knows enough about his father to understand he is someone to be feared. Jonah also develops relationship with Mr Yoshioka, another tenant in the building where Jonah lives; Malcom, a boy Jonah's age; Malcom's sister; and Mrs Lorenzo, also a tenant in Jonah's building. Once these people have all become acquainted, Koontz throws everything from terrorism to memories of World War II to Sophie Tucker at them to move the story along. This is where Koontz's talent for storytelling is most obvious. Never mind that the incidents he creates often have nothing to do with each other and fracture the story rather than give it any sense of cohesion. So long as Jonah is the focal point for all the action, Koontz keeps grinding out new situations to add to the story.

The biggest problem I have with Koontz's books is his inability to be original. His ideas, for the most part, come from someone else's creativity. At first, Koontz just wrote as a Stephen King wannabe; now he has picked up on an idea prominent in someone else's story and tried to make it his own. He didn't disappoint me in this book. There is an object featured in this story which comes right out of another very successful, very popular storyline used elsewhere. After all the books Koontz has under his belt, I think it's pathetic that he continues to rely on this ruse. That is why I continue to read Koont's books. I want to see what he has copied this time. As I said, he never disappoints.

I would recommend this book to Koontz's many hardcore fans because they will probably enjoy his latest attempt to throw everything at the wall and see what sticks. To everyone else out there who thinks like I do, stick with the master... Read King.
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Reading Progress

June 4, 2014 – Started Reading
June 4, 2014 – Shelved as: arc
June 4, 2014 – Shelved
June 4, 2014 – Shelved as: fiction
June 4, 2014 – Shelved as: 2014
June 4, 2014 – Shelved as: net-galley
June 4, 2014 –
10.0% "Interesting characters; off to a great start"
June 6, 2014 –
90.0% "Typical Koontz; still a King wannabe but doesn't make the grade"
June 19, 2014 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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message 1: by Ruth (new)

Ruth Turner I haven't read a Koontz book in years. I think that sometimes you just outgrow authors.


Gabby My older daughter keeps trying to convince me that Koontz is the best author since God gave Moses the 10 Commandments, so every now and then I read another of his books to see if my opinion that he's nothing more than a King wannabe still stands. I do admit the guy can write, but there's just too many flaws for me to overlook. It isn't really a contest with King and Koontz for me any longer. I think Koontz simply can't cut it whether or not King ever publishes another book in his life. BTW, thanks so much for your comments. I value your opinion and look forward to what you have to say.


message 3: by Ruth (new)

Ruth Turner Gabby wrote: "My older daughter keeps trying to convince me that Koontz is the best author since God gave Moses the 10 Commandments, so every now and then I read another of his books to see if my opinion that he..."

Thanks, Gabby. I'm not at all articulate so I don't comment often, but I love reading your reviews. Does your older daughter read King as well?


Gabby Yes, she does read King, and it's what saves her from literary disgrace because she likes him too. In fact, when we're together, we carefully avoid stepping on storm drains. LOL!


message 5: by Ruth (new)

Ruth Turner Gabby wrote: "Yes, she does read King, and it's what saves her from literary disgrace because she likes him too. In fact, when we're together, we carefully avoid stepping on storm drains. LOL!"

Scary, isn't it? I'm re-visiting Derry at the moment. I've just started listening to 11/22/63.


Mike Marsbergen Are you referring to The Goldfinch? If so, given the closeness of the release dates—October 22nd, 2013 for The Goldfinch and July 1st, 2014 for The City—it's unlikely there was any legitimate theft of ideas going on. Books typically take over a year to get published after completion, even with a big name like Koontz.


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