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What the Night Knows: A Novel Mass Market Paperback – October 18, 2011
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“Deliberate, highly supernatural . . . one of Koontz's weightiest performances.”—Booklist (starred review)
“You’ll find yourself genuinely unnerved. . . . On a dark winter’s night, what more do you need?”—Richmond Times-Dispatch
“Satisfyingly spooky and unrelentingly foreboding.”—USA Today
About the Author
Dean Koontz, the author of many #1 New York Times bestsellers, lives in Southern California with his wife, Gerda, their golden retriever, Elsa, and the enduring spirit of their goldens, Trixie and Anna.
- Item Weight : 13.1 ounces
- Mass Market Paperback : 608 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0553593072
- ISBN-13 : 978-0553593075
- Product Dimensions : 4.21 x 1.42 x 7.51 inches
- Publisher : Bantam; Reprint Edition (October 18, 2011)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #191,223 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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The main character, John, a homicide detective dealing with the killer, returns home to a self involved family. They seem not real at all. Rather they come across as plastic and I had a very difficult time identifying or getting involved with them. All their needs as a perfect little upper middle class life is in place. The three children are also bright and perfect. The artistic wife; the same Her perfection revolves around making a small fortune selling her artwork. She is the perfectly attractive woman, as well. Their dog is even perfect, as is the two person house staff. The main character is the husband who is terribly emotionally scarred. Some 20 years earlier, as a boy, his family was slaughtered as well. They seem to need never leave the perfect little world under the roof. It's just not a real setting. I almost closed the reading there.
The plastic family is in touch with the outside, it seems, only when neccessary.
There are chapters given to the antagonist, psychotic murderer who seemingly re-surfaces after a long hiatus. There are excerpts from his journal which delve into his early life. I found those to be the most interesting parts of the novel. Though, when he re-surfaces, to begin his crimes anew a little less supernatural would have done well.
The family itself and their dealings with him really never waiver far from their "Perfect" status and become truly boring.
Wholly, the book is so-so. The ending is nothing special at all. It's just there. The saving grace is Koontz writing style, which is good given the book is not.
Kindle readers beware. The novel ends at around 88%. The remainder is given to a preview of another Koontz book.
Koontz wrote a solid case for Blackwood's disturbingly sick nature through a slew of journal entries within the novel. I'll give him that. Very twisted, still believable stuff. But, when Koontz really turns over the angst card, throwing in the complications regarding the supernatural powers, somewhere along my reading journey, the suspension chain of believability was broken, tarnished beyond repair. I get that whilst reading we're supposed to let go of everything we know, open up our minds to ideas we never thought possible (especially in a novel such as this), but it all became way too much to take in. I think this is because (for me, at least) it didn't feel 100% supernatural to begin with. Either way, as I continued to read on, certain scenes and such continued to ring false, overdone.
Up until around the two-hundredth or so page, the pacing was all-consuming. I thought I was going to give myself a nervous breakdown due to how fast I was grinding through the novel. In classic Dean Koontz fashion, the literary master of words had me pining to find out what was going on. But, sadly (dead smack in the middle or the story, no less), the tale all but came to a complete standstill. It's as though it branched off from Calvino (which whom I must note I dug immensely--he reeked true detective), to the rest of his family members: the artsy wife, his three kids, etc. At one point I was waiting to hear about Grover, the family dog. The story and all its beautiful tension lost its way, the plot doing nothing but riddling my mind with confusion. From there on, the book never gripped me the way in which it did in the first half, never quite gave me the same deep, terrifying bone-shivers it initially did in the opening scenes.
Nonetheless, Koontz rallies toward the finish line, eventually bringing everything full circle in an overall satisfactory read. This is a book in which I believe "most" Koontz followers will enjoy. That said: someone new to him might not be as generous.Though this one wasn't a true winner for me, I'll forever remain a fan of anything in which Mr. Koontz puts out into the universe for me to enjoy.
Top reviews from other countries
Want to know what the night knows? Here it is (don't worry this huge revelation will not ruin the story for you in any way):
Everyone was born to die. Sex was death. Death was sex. Being a predator was better than being prey. Hell must exist because there was an urgent and abiding need for it.
- From the journal of Alton Turner Blackwood in chapter 48 of What The Night Knows by Dean Koontz.
but luckily.... "What the heart knows trumps what the night knows." The End.
The last few I've read haven't been very good therefore this was a welcome change.
Yeah, the family are a little "too good", I'm not sure if a family as wholesome, quirky, good natured and respectful actually exists but maybe I'm just being cynical! The best character by far is the youngest daughter, Minnie, who is wise well beyond her years.
It's certainly not one of Dean's best novels, and I may have been generous with the stars as a result of it being far better than any of the recent stuff I've read of his however for the current price of 99p, it's well worth a go.
The spirit of a dead murderer is possessing people and using them to kill their own families. We join the story when it has possessed a 14-year-old boy and used him to brutally kill his own family. The "hero" of the book is a detective who is the one who actually killed the murderer in the first place after he killed the detective's own family back when he (the detective) was a child. Now all the signs point to the fact that the ghostly murderer is going to possess a member of the detective's own family to exact its revenge on its killer. The way that Dean writes is vary interesting and I found myself actually caring for one particular member of the detective's family (his 13-year-old son whom it appeared was the ghost's next victim) I almost did not want to turn the page in case I read that he was brutally murdered too. I won't give any more away. :-P
So, a highly recommended book which carries the reader along with its rollercoaster journey.
A note on the Kindle version; perfect! No proplems whatsoever with formatting or typos.
Fans of this type of genre may well appreciate this book but personally I thought it was well over the top and to bloodthirsty for me.
I normally pass my books to the missus but I will not pass this book on as I am confident that she would not appreciate this book at all.