on December 26, 2000
I avoided Dean for a few years - couldn't get into the sun-sensitive guy. But "From the Corner of His Eye" is horrific and spiritual all at once. You will not believe how the evil guy is finally vanquished. And yet, after reading the whole book, you might.
"From the corner of his eye" refers to God's attention on us all. The book deals with alternate realities and how we just might be able to redeem ourselves in other, very closely aligned worlds, if not in this one.
And in Dean's vision, some are able to cross over - very briefly, very slightly - until the end, when a full-fledged visit is finally possible.
This book's a lot of fun, full of the very sympathetic and lovable characters for which he's known. He's trying to share something special with us here. I'm, for one, open to it.
on January 2, 2001
With much misgiving I approached this new Koontz, since the last few were disappointing. Well, this one more than makes up for the gap. In this book Koontz uses his skill with characterization and gives us a jumble of characters, all realistically drawn, yet just a touch of fantastical, even magical realism to some of them.
It's a genuine book, not an "bad Army" or "bad government" book, and is quite definitely a 625 page page-turner. When the book ended I wanted more.
The only negative for this book is his scrunched ending chapters. We have come to care for these people, and he jumps ten years in about 15 pages. Even though most of the ending is pre-ordained, it would have been nice to see the characters grow.
Warning -- do NOT read the blurb on the book jacket, or it spoils a pivotal surprise. It's still exciting when it happens, but it would hae been nice to have the surprise tickle my soul.
BUY THIS BOOK! It is as wonderful as Strangers and Lightning, in a totally different sort of way, but reminiscent as strangers come together and build their community, the Koontz way.
on January 1, 2001
Dean Koontz's "From the Corner of His Eye" is probably the best book ever written by a man who has had more than his share of great reads. Rare is the storyteller who excels not only at spooking us, but also at making us realize how beautiful the world and its inhabitants can be. I recommend this book whole-heartedly. Much like his other steller works, such as "Intensity" and "Lightning," Koontz takes us into the mind of an absolutely diabolical madman. However, at the other end, there are characters whose goodness makes them impossible not cheer for and care about. This novel ultimately deals with good versus evil, but other themes are present as well: dealing with loss and rediscovering faith just to name two. This may seem like too much for one novel, but Koontz weaves the story in a way that ties all ends together in a unique and interesting way. There is also a neat bit of science fiction in the novel dealing with quantum machanics. This should come as no surprise to longtime Koontz fans, as his novels have dealt with time travel in the past. ("Seize the Night" for example). However, here there are no headaches from trying to understand any theory. Koontz explans the theory in a simple and easily understandable way, as much of the explaning comes from the precocious three year olds in the novel. Again, it seems like alot, but Koontz's touch is brilliant. As I finished the book, I thought about how amazing it was that someone could think of, much less write, such a complicated story and make it smooth and endearing. Koontz quite simply has a beautiful mind. Many critics call Koontz "a poor man's King," referring to Stephen King. It should be noted that King reads and adores Koontz's work. This book shows why.
This book is an interesting melange of genres. It is at once mystical, suspenseful, horror filled, part sci-fi, and tinged with the supernatural. Add to this a little boy with beautiful eyes, who is a child prodigy, gifted beyond his years, and capable of entering parallel universes or realities; a child who can literally walk in the rain without getting wet. Add yet another unusually gifted child prodigy named "Angel" who was conceived out of a violent rape. Mix in the rapist, who is also a socio-pathic killer, a priest turned cop who is aware of the existence of parallel or alternate realities, because he has the ability to send inanimate objects there, and stir in a woman whose goodness is almost legendary. What do you have? You have a best seller on your hands!
The book is a very quick, easy read. You won't want to put it down. The only real criticism is the fact that about twenty five years are crammed into the last dozen pages. It is as if the author had a limit on how long the book could be and had to have it end before it exceeded the limit. Having taken about six hundred pages to get to a certain stage, it was a little jarring to go at warp speed for the last dozen pages. Still, all in all, it is a good read.
I often wonder from what odd corner of the brain come the plots for books by writers such as Dean Koontz. The characters and the situations in his works scare the heck out of me, and how he dreams them up is just amazing. This latest book is a typical example. It grabs the reader from the first page, and the interest and excitement doesn't let up until the end. I was so interested in finding out how the work ended that I slid over huge chunks of description, and some of the dialogue, just so that I could keep pace with the story line. There are a lot of impossible things happening, but I will credit the author with tying everything up fairly neatly at the end. Ah, the end! It's been a long time since the ending of this type of book gave me such a good feeling. Usually by the end of a thriller type work I was worn out with excitemnt. This time, I felt exhilarated, happy and hopeful, and it's a tribute to the willing suspension of disbelief that Koontz brings to his book that I was able to feel this way. Read this book, and be prepared to be frightened along the way, but redeemed by faith at the end.
on December 26, 2000
Dean Koontz has done it again. Just when you think that all the ways to twist and turn a story have been used.....He twists it again. Junior Cain is as unnerving as Edgler Vess. Bartholomew is as complex as any character Koontz has brought to life. I usually take several days to read a book, but with this one, two sittings. I couldn't put it down. 'From the Corner of His Eye' is a must for all suspense fans.
on February 21, 2001
I have read all Mr Koontz's work, including that published under other names. I have never found Dean Koontz to be a flashy or extremely immaginative writer. What I have found him to be is absolutely reliable. He just tells a good readable story from the beginning to the middle to the end. I have never once regretted the hardcover purchase price of a Dean Koontz book. And that is high praise indeed.
This latest book, From the Corner of His Eye, is not Mr. Koontz's finest. Good and evil are too finely drawn with no in between fuzzy area where I might have felt comfortable. The evil vilian Junior Cain, a pyscho/sociopath serial killer, is so evil the only way to humanize him was to have funny things happen to him after he killed somebody. Imagine a man so rotten his own digestive system doesn't like him. The rest of the characters are so good, they are perfect, even the batty Issacson brothers pull themselves (sort of) together out of love for their sister Agnes and her astounding child Barty.
Read this book. I'm probably nitpicking here. This is a better story and Dean Koontz is a better writer than about ninety eight percent of what is out there.
on October 21, 2004
A psychotic killer who's interested in self-improvement is on the loose, and is bent on killing various gold-hearted characters, while evading the old-school PI who's on his case. The gold-hearted characters include a black woman who is raising the offspring created by her dead sister's rape, a pair of quirky brothers who fixate on different genres of mass human death, a latino maid with adorably bad English, the saintly and philanthropic "Pie Lady," and a young boy who has the ability to travel between parallel dimensions. The killer seemingly kills the detective, but is then haunted by what he thinks is the ghost of the murdered man.
The Good and the Bad:
Usually, the deciding factor of a good Dean Koontz novel is whether the schmaltz outweighs the interesting plot points and supernatural occurrences. This book fails miserably, with the corny sentimentality completely overwhelming any of the potential interest in an intriguingly powerful boy. The power, incidentally, is a rehash of the power of Shep in By the Light of the Moon. The ghostly detective is interesting, but less so after we get an inside look at the ruse being pulled. We would prefer a supernatural explanation to the events; the mundane "reality" is, ironically, less realistic than a little hoodoo would have been. The death-obsessed brothers are completely unbelievable, and therefore boring. Plot threads seem pointless or undeveloped. Finally, the villain seems at a significant disadvantage, and this is never a good thing-how can one psychotic mortal hope to overcome the combined efforts of a supernatural boy, a cadre of protective adults, and a team of detectives that is closely monitoring his every move?
The good in this book is nearly completely confined to the character of the villain, whose villainy is revealed to us in a shocking and completely thrilling way. His reasoning is at once chilling and funny, and the book flows only when he the focus. The supernatural events that plague him are also fairly powerful until they are revealed as a sham.
on December 19, 2011
NOTE: I am a HUGE Dean Koontz fan, but I'm also objective. Within the horror/suspense genre, Koontz generally writes two types of novels: 'government conspiracies', or 'madman chasing an innocent man/child/woman/dog/couple/ all of the above.' The gov't ones are fine, as a matter of fact, it was "Strangers" that got me hooked on DK. But there's only so much you can do with 'black ops' and 'the government within the government.'
While "From the Corner of His Eye" DOES have a madman chasing innocent people (WHAT? no dog?), it's a very different type of Koontz novel. If you read the cover notes, you pretty much have most of the 'life and death suspense' figured out. You've been told, within the first couple of chapters,almost everything (but not quite) about who's going to die and who will live on.
But for ME, that was okay, because in THIS novel, the story of the characters--each beautifully written and fleshed out--IS the journey. "From the Corner of His Eye" is far more than suspense (and there IS still plenty of it)...it is a deep, powerful SPIRITUAL book.
The characters are some of Koontz's best. The villain is deliciously loathsome, yet such a sociopath that you almost feel...not SORRY for him, but just find yourself saying "what a pathetically deluded creep!"
When I read customer reviews, I always find it helpful when people list their favorite Koontz novels, so--for reference-- here are mine: Watchers, Life Expectancy, and From the Corner of His Eye. I think that's because Koontz CAN be very formulaic (which is usually very comforting)...and these three have the best CHARACTERS.
I'm a Koontz junkie, I've read ALL his books, and I STRONGLY recommend "From the Corner of His Eye".
on July 7, 2002
While I understand the critical reviews by other readers, I believe the issue stems from the fact that this novel is simply not typical Koontz. In my view, it is superior to his other endeavors. The main difference is this book is very spiritual. It raises many interesting and profound questions, brings to life a set of extraordinary, intriguing characters (who the reader is much better off having met), and these things take precedence over suspense and a thrilling plot.
In short my recommendation is that if you are looking for an easy thrill (not at all a bad thing to be after in Koontz) this isn't the book for you. However, if you're interested in being brought into a world of profoundly rich characters and perhaps challenged in your perceptions of the world, I strongly advise you to purchase this novel.