Three short, simply worded sentences in I found myself thinking, I can deal with murder, mayhem, and treachery but please don't kill off the dog. Whether or not Harley would make it to the end was enough suspense to keep me turning the pages. And this isn't a story about the dog.
The real suspense involves a "feral" boy of 12, Crispin, who lives in the wilds of a large city and guided by the dog is attempting to outrun his mother and stepfather and the memories that make the deviltry in "Rosemary's Baby," seem almost benign.
No kid should be exposed to what Crispin witnessed three years earlier involving his younger sister Mirabell and brother (also named) Harley. Now he's running for his life, in flight from the supernatural and living by his wits and daring.
This is the first I've read from Koontz in several years and I remember now how he manages tells a story simply and builds suspense incrementally slipping easily into a world at once as ghostly as it is real. At times you feel as if you're reading a fairy tale. "Yet life is good. Oh, it is grand. The children eat only what they like. They go to bed only when they wish. Each rises to his or her own clock."
The story accelerates as the suspense builds and Koontz delivers, as usual, an ending that is powerful, cathartic and noisy. Crispin is living in a world out of harmony with itself and his determination to uncover the nature of truth and reality is as strong as his will to survive. As for the fate of the dog? You'll need to find that out on your own.
on December 6, 2011
I literally could not put this juicy little story down. Like many other fans, I have been a Dean Koontz reader since way back in the day. He's evolved considerably, and I even went through a period where I couldn't finish his books because of the endless details that went nowhere, but this is such an enchanting blend of the best of his styles. He's got engaging main characters, spooky evil parent figures, nice supernatural touches, and (of course) an awesome dog. DEAN: If you are reading this, PLEASE continue this story! I read the preview for the new novel and it doesn't seem like it has anything to do with Crispin. I love this character. Can't wait to read more. BRING IT ON!
on November 30, 2011
First let me start by saying I have been a Dean Koontz fan for 25 years. I was a Dean Koontz fan before he made the best seller lists and had millions of fans. I've read every book the man has ever written as well as his biographies. Stalker? No- I don't know his address- but I am and will always be a die-hard Dean Koontz fan. THAT being said, this was the first and only thing I have ever read from Koontz - to include all interviews and dialogues recorded anywhere- that was actually disappointing and not funny. Koontz, the master of suspense, horror and comedy all rolled into one- what happened????
Seriously, the book was so bad I wondered if Koontz really wrote it at all or did he just allow someone to do short story for him and he pinned his name to it? The book just doesn't make sense. Phantom avatars you put in your pocket? Really? The protagonist walking out of a burning building with the sprinklers going full blast and the he doesn't get wet- even though the other people do- AND THERE'S NO EXPLAINATION AS TO WHY? (You'll get it when you read it why this is so annoying). Koontz is always so methodical about explaining the unexplainable, about weaving a tale so wonderfully complex and amazing, and no matter how utterly insane the plot gets IT MAKES SENSE in the end. There's no "he found the keys, but he doesn't know when he learned of them (the keys) or if he ever did". THE KEYS being the ones that allow the protagonist to enter the room in an attempt to save his brother's life- yet when it was his little sister being murdered all he could do was pound on the door.
Was Koontz on medications when he wrote this? Perhaps someone kidnapped him and wrote under his name. I can only hope. Regardless of this disappointment, I am still a die-hard Dean Koontz fan. Everyone has their off days. This is the first one he's ever had as far as I'm concerned. Even though his style has changed dramatically from his Phantom and Intensity days (Intensity being my all-time favorite book- I even have a black Doberman named Chyna for those of you who've read the book), I still loved- love- every single one of Dean Koontz books except this one. Ech. I don't think I'll ever read it again. :(
However, I cannot diss on my favorite-author-of-all-time without cringing (I'm so sorry Koontz. Seriously, did you really write this book?). However the books before this one "Frankenstien" and "What the Night Knows" were freaking awesome. I think I'll go back for a re-read on those. While I may still by the hard copy of this book - if it becomes available- it will be the only Dean Koontz book that will not be re-read by me ever again (Okay, well I am going to read it again one more time just to make sure it was as horrible as I thought the first time I read it. If I change my mind I'll update my review.)
on November 28, 2011
Not the Koontz, I grew up with, certainly, but a mighty leap from lackluster tales like From the Corner of His Eye, False Memory and One Door Away from Heaven (all worthy novels, just not Koontz level in my mind). While it is just a short precursor, it goes a long way to getting me help me make the determination to pick up this new novel as soon as it's released.
Creepy and atmospheric, this tale is wonderful reading from a chilly winter's night. A novella truly deserving of the Koontz name.
on December 16, 2011
To begin with, let me say I love Dean's work. I always have.
This book was a disappointment however. I had settled in for a nice long read with a well crafted storyline about Crispin and his dog Harley venturing alone in the city under the most unusual of circumtances.
Told partly in present tense and partly in flashback, this story addressed some aspects of the background but not others. In fact, some things were left largely to the imagination of the reader and only implied. I was sure it was building to a great climax where all of my questions would be answered. Abruptly, it was over!
The ending seemed very rushed, more like homework thrown together at the last minute before it was due to be handed in. I found myself wondering what the rush was? This is not Dean's usual standard.
This story could have been developed into so much more and it's disappointing that time and effort wasn't taken to do so. Why Dean has chosen to build to a potentially great climax and then walk away from it is beyond speculation.
While the storyline was a great read, the ending left me dissatisfied and unhappy. I was glad I hadn't spent regular retail price for this in hard copy and while I will continue to buy his books, I am definitely hoping for a better result with the next book.
on January 7, 2012
I like a great deal of Dean Koontz novels, but I am really getting tired of this same old story, crazy/evil/abusive parents and hero/loyal dog. The book isn't bad, just feel like I have read it many times over.
on December 2, 2011
I am a Koontz fan and this story is right up to par with his recent work. I loved it as a great pre-read to the upcoming novel. Crispin is the big brother who has just enough intelligence and intuitive spark to know that the dream-come-true world he and his brother and sister have entered when his mom marries the rich step-dad is not what it should be. A home of shadows explodes into macabre adult deceit and murder. This is a fairy tale that just glitters under the winter moon, as brave Crispin faces his past, accepts he did the best he could, which may have not been enough. He has escaped this overwhelming evil to grow up a fugitive on the streets, and, finally, when the magic signals, he returns to wreck revenge one snowy night. The Koontz trademark faithful dog, Crispin, and his secret fugitive street-teen friend angel make their final nail-biting crusade. Your enjoyment depends on the ability to accept the rules of Grimms brothers in this modern Hansel and Gretel replay. Why not 5 stars? My only beef, it was too short and wanted more resolution...can't wait for the next book.
on April 5, 2013
I have been a diehard fan of Koontz for twenty years or so. But lately, around the time the Odd Thomas books began coming out, he has not been the same Koontz who could thrill me. This book and its sequel (77 Shadow Street, I think it's called) were, in a word, lame. This and the Shadow Street books put me to sleep, were so badly written, the story lines so unbelievable, that I had to ditch SS after about a third of the way through. If Moonlit Mind had been a full-length novel, I would have done the same with it. I managed to slog through only due to its merciful brevity. What happened to the clever, twisty, believable plots that Koontz is known for? It's as if his latest books have been ghostwritten.
I can't believe it's that he has run out of ideas, since there will ALWAYS be ideas around. I think poor ole' Dean has run out of steam. I'll keep giving him a chance with every new book. Keep hoping his next is classic Koontz.
on September 10, 2013
Not going to proofread this, so bear with me....
This is my second read of The Moonlit Mind, by Dean Koontz. Without question, Mr. Koontz' s novels are my favorite...despite reading every genre of fiction and non-fiction as well. I have owned 77 Shadow Street since it was published, but had taken a break from the suspense/horror/paranormal/Sci-Fi genre to read simpler, less-intense novels (i.e. romance...all versions, biographies and memoirs).
Finally ready to enter Mr. Koontz' s world again and read 77 S. S., I chose to reread this Novella...The Moonlit Mind...a precursor to 77 S.S.
The Moonlit Mind is Dean Koontz at his finest. From sentence one I was jerked into the suspension and often terror of Crispins world. Nothing written or portrayed on "the big screen" scares me or causes that adrenaline rush of fear, horror and suspense anymore. Yet despite having previously read this Novella, I was immediately aware of my heart rate increasing and a knot forming in the pit of my stomach. YES, I was THRILLED. As with all his novels, this Novella was a suspense ride from beginning to end. It has Koontz' s signature animal with above average...perhaps paranormal...intelligence. Every scene was not spoon fed to the reader, but rather painted with words so descriptive and well written that you are aware you are seeing exactly what Mr. Koontz wants you to see, not something your own mind creates for lack of good writing.
ONE of the things I love most about this and all Koontz' s novels is that he uses little to no foul language (not that I'm opposed) and still creates a tremendous amount of suspense. In addition, unlike authors such as Stephen King, he isn't constantly pushing his political agenda, nor does he show a complete disdain for Christians the way King does. Additionally, while Koontz characters are not perfect, they have a definite goodness about them, making his stories a true battle between good and evil. And the imagination of Mr. Koontz...just WOW!
I would recommend this Novella to anyone above the age of twelve who likes a truly imaginative, yet relatively clean, story... and to those who are willing to ignore the rest of the world for hours at a time as this story and his others are so very difficult to put down.
If he keeps writing them, I'll keep reading them!!! THANK YOU DEAN KOONTZ!
SIDE NOTE: At the age of 12, I forced my eldest son to read "Sieze the Night" and "Fear Nothing", causing him to become a lifelong fan of Koontz as well. In fact, as I loaned my two shopping bags
full of Koontz books out to friends, my son purchased his own set of STN and FN!
on December 11, 2011
I began reading Dean Koontz at 'The Bad Place' and followed him sporadically through the Odd Thomas Series. Some of the books were unstoppable and brilliant - some I just could not get into. With 'The Moonlit Mind', he has blown me away. I found nothing about it difficult to understand. It was full of metaphors and allegory, of insight into the world as seen through the eyes of a 9-year-old child. Glimpses of good and evil that none of want to admit exist, but surely do. I have seen this evil. If you read this novella, you will see it, too - in a way you never thought (indeed, never wanted) to see it. I pray he brings Crispin back and continues this story.
Koontz himself is back with his lyrical, haunting prose - his astute analysis of the state of mankind: "Only the moonlit mind allows wonder, and it is in the thrall of wonder that you can see the intricate weave of the world of which you are but one thread, one fantastic and essential thread." - Crispin, 'the Moonlit Mind'. Bravo, Mr. Koontz.
I'd have paid full book price to read this brilliant piece of work.