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Sole Survivor Mass Market Paperback – April 4, 2000

3.8 out of 5 stars 346 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Joe Carpenter, the hero of Dean Koontz's newest novel, Sole Survivor, is a man nearly paralyzed by grief. One year earlier, his wife and two children had been among the 230 victims of a plane crash that left no survivors. So when Joe encounters a woman who claims to have been aboard that plane and survived the catastrophe, and then she almost immediately disappears, he is understandably riled up. In the course of trying to track this woman down, Joe finds himself entangled in a web of shadowy conspiracy and perilous secrets.

In this latest book, Koontz pumps up the volume and gives his readers what they've come to expect from him: an expert mix of cover ups, cults, bizarre suicides, and a shocking twist at the end that keeps Sole Survivor racing along from one improbable but undeniably thrilling event to the next. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

YA. Joe Carpenter's life stops with the deaths of his beloved wife and two young daughters in an airplane crash surrounded by mystery?350 dead and no survivors. Marking the first anniversary of the disaster with a visit to their graves, Joe encounters a young woman taking pictures of their tombstones. She tells him her name is Rose and that she survived the crash that killed his family. Before Joe can continue the conversation, they are attacked by two gunmen. As Rose flees for her life, Joe knows he must discover the truth of what happened to the fatal flight and the reason for the cover-up. His search leads him to relatives of other crash victims?most of whom commit bizarre suicides and all of whom have been contacted by Rose. His investigation reveals that Rose was in possession of government secrets that could change the world once she exposed them. Koontz has readers so totally involved that even Joe's impossible dream, that a member of his family may have survived the crash under Rose's protection, seems possible. A spellbinding novel.?Katherine Fitch, Lake Braddock Middle School, Burke, VA
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; Reissue edition (April 4, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553582941
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553582949
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (346 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,196,566 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
If anyone were to try and describe this book as a bore, I couldn't conceive any reason why. This book held me completely spellbound. The book starts off with Joe experiencing these unusual chain of events on the one year anniversary of his wife and childrens plane crash. As the days progresses he comes into contact with families who had also lost their loved ones on this devestating flight, but as soon as he does come into contact with them, they begin to parish themselves due to unexplainable suicide and deaths. So what secrets does this "Sole Survivor" have? And will Joe feel these answers justify his loss? I know this book kept me captivated right down to the last page, and Joe's last decision.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I recently picked up this book for four reasons:

1. It was on sale

2. I'd just finished reading "The Husband"

3. I needed light entertainment for a long flight

4. I was in a hurry and it was conveniently stacked near to the register

It was only during the boarding process that I glanced at the back cover, and discovered my faux pas, which did not escape the notice of a literate cabin attendant who gave me "the look".

Okay, maybe a novel about a plane crash is not ideal for a five hour flight, but I'm not superstitious that way (knock wood). Unfortunately, this is a typical Dean Koontz book - it starts off smoothly, gains momentum, takes off and gets moving at high speed, and just when you're enjoying the flight, it suddenly goes crazily off course, crashes and burns.

A crime reporter loses his wife and two daughters in a bizarre plane crash that kills everybody on board. A year later he's still in depression, but then he meets a woman who apparently survived the crash. He starts tracking her down, and relatives of the other victims suddenly start committing suicide under very strange circumstances. When he eventually finds her, things get even weirder, and we're back to secret labs, mad scientists and illegal experiments, mixed with cults, conspiracies and magic pictures.

Enjoy the ride while it lasts, but beware of the sudden stop.

Rated: 3.5 stars

Amanda Richards, August 30, 2006
9 Comments 49 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I relished this book the way one would relish a good chocolate bar...reading and letting it soak into my soul. This is one of the few books I've read that actually draws you into the scenery. You don't know if it's the reality of the characters or Koontz's talented, yet subtle description of places and situations. When he's sitting on the beach, you can feel almost hear the waves and smell the sea salt. When he's on the run from dangerous people, you almost feel like you're there in the passenger seat beside him.

I finished this book, put it down and just said, "Wow..."

<u>Is there life after death?</u> That's the question this book tackles...and while the journey to this answer is spell-binding, I think we, the readers, wanted more elaboration into this question. If only Koontz knew all the answers!

I'm surprised at the negative reviews, but I can see why some wouldn't like this. Unfortunately, many Koontz readers aren't true lovers of his literary genius. Koontz books are usually prominently displayed in the grocery store's best-seller section...a convenient buy for readers not looking for a read from someone with enormous talent, but rather something that will entertain with a good plot but no supporting filler or depth.

If you're not a serious reader, but a poolside one, this might not be the book for you. The glory of Koontz's writing is in the details and the ending isn't written for the poolside crowd that want to see the impossible happen. There's no swell of trumpets and bringing back of the dead. The ending is tremendously satisfying, but I wish it was elaborated on with as much detail as the rest of the story.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I love Sole Survivor for the simple reason that it's well-written and displays the human spirit at its best! Joe Carpenter has lost his wife and two little girls in a catastrophic plane crash. No one survived. Or so he believes, until he's visiting his family's gravesite one day and encounters the 'sole survivor'! Rose Tucker is that person. Petite, with an ethereal beauty, you wouldn't expect her to possess the strength of will she demonstrates in this story. The mystery is set, the chase begins, and Joe is racing toward a denouement that will blow his mind, AND the readers'minds as well. Koontz at his best. By the way, I saw the FOX network miniseries. It was good. Intensity is still my favorite miniseries, but that didn't take anything away from my enjoyment of Sole Survivor. Now I'm hoping that Mr. Koontz will do Lightning as a theatrical release. Years ago, when I read Lightning, it was my opinion that Rutger Hauer would make a wonderful Stefan, the anti-hero in Lightning. Now, I'm thinking Russell Crowe...An idea worth putting out there!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
In my review of Dean Koontz's "Dark Rivers of the Heart," I set forth the basic elements of the Koontz formula. "Sole Survivor" doesn't stray far from that formula, with the exception that there really isn't a love story. But like many of his works, the main character is an emotionally tortured male who encounters something unusual -- in this case, although his wife and two daughters died in a plane crash, a woman on that same flight seems to have survived, and with one of his daughters to boot. Thus begins a chase within a chase, where Joe Carpenter desperately seeks the woman and child, thereby leading to being chased by those who do not want him to succeed.
Along with the way, Koontz's fertile imagination spins a horrifying (though not in a repulsively gross way) scenario of Science Gone Wrong, involving genetic experimentation.
"Sole Survivor" gets by on a pretty compelling plot, but it doesn't have the depth of characterization and emotional resonance of his best works ("Dark Rivers of the Heart," "Watchers," or "Lightning").
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