Book info

One Door Away From Heaven (2002)

One Door Away from Heaven (2002)
Author
Rating
3.92 of 5 Votes: 2
ISBN
0553582755 (ISBN13: 9780553582758)
languge
English
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publisher
bantam
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One Door Away From Heaven (2002)
One Door Away From Heaven (2002)

About book: This book made me feel all soft and squishy inside. As this wasn't normal, I figured something was horribly amiss with my internal workings, so I went and had a lie down. I dreamed about being attacked by thousands of liliputian puppies who swarmed all over me and licked and drooled over my face and panted their stinking street- carnivore breath all over me. They were covered in mud, feces and other unmentionables. It was a horrible experience.Dean Koontz. What to say? He's obviously a family man. He loves dogs. Every sensible woman carries a gun or three in her purse. The good people of the world are unreservedly good, cleaned up their bad habits due to "hard love", and of course they also love dogs. The bad people probably watch exploitation movies, listen to heavy metal and love cats, and they go to or teach at liberal universities. I'm not even sure Koontz knows what bio-ethics really is, because he seems to believe the whole field is out to prove, as a concerted and well-honed body, that it is ok to kill disabled people; that it's ethical because you'd really be doing them a favour. I must confess to having not really enjoyed my university bio-ethics class and that I probably spent most of it talking to girls or reading novels, but I feel that he's indirectly doing my poor professor an injustice and that this really wasn't the gist at all. Maybe Koontz's bio-ethics teacher was Joseph Mengell? He has no excuse though; now a million shrill housewives and bored truck drivers will be going around yelling about bio-ethics, thinking that's really what it's all about and Mr. Koontz has got it pegged!These mainstream "genre" books are funny. Inevitably I suspect the vast majority of their readers would not touch fantasy, science fiction or horror from some smaller press, and would scoff if you tried to discuss the plots of such books with them. "Unrealistic"!, "childish!", "space cadet stuff!", they might say. Well, let's try the JM Casey Version of the dust jacket blurb for this Koontz potboiler, then:An adorable little nine-year-old girl with a leg brace and a genius IQ is being kept in a motor home with her drugged-up mum and her sinister professor boyfriend, named Dr. Doom. A cool lady of the late twenties persuasion and her nice auntie, who makes great apple pie, are going to be her surrogate parents, once they decide what a treasure she really is. But can they lead her away from Dr. Doom and the raving druggie? Meanwhile, an innocent and good extra-terrestrial shapeshifter is on the run from criminal and bad extra-terrestrial shapeshifters, and finds time to Love a Dog and befriend wacky Vegas showgirls with guns, and find out what it means to be human. Also also, what will happen to the alcoholic ex-cop and his braindead sister? Will he exact vengeance on the fan club of the evil bio-ethicists and their heinous creed? Read the book and find out! And Love Dogs!Finally, the ending. Oh gosh, the ending. Somebody pulled the three dangling plot threads into some kind of pulsing knot with a dog tongue in the centre of it. It made a yapping noise and suddenly a lady who only appeared on page 30 or so showed up to give everyone a fat load of cash so they could start up some kind of squealy squishy dog-loving survivalist community. There's lots of rolling around and squealing and Praise the Lord-ing and Dog Damn it all, I can't believe this guy sells books. Oh, I guess I can, with a sigh.P.S.: I really do like dogs, just not as much as Mr. Koontz does. I'm going to sit around with my blood-thirsty cat and watch Faces of Death now. Muahahahahaha.

This book is quite a remarkable read. At times the prose is poetic and hugely effective in reminding us of the beauty of our world and the universe we find ourselves in, and at other times, you find yourself gripping the book so hard that your hands are cramped at chapter's end with fear your soul and those of the characters that you are reading about. This is not a light read. There are several plot strands running parallel to each other at book's beginning, and of course it is not long before the alert reader begins to wonder how and when they will all become linked. But early on, the reader is having too much fun being scared and enjoying the sense of wonder each page brings them to care. The book is 681 pages in length. At once, Mr Koontz has convinced us to care about a young boy running for his life away from the men who murdered his parents before his eyes. We soon learn of a young dog he befriends - and that the boy in question is so young and so naive that he does not even realise the dog in question is female. A small point, you may think - and you would be right - but given the God-like nature the boy had appointed to his mother, it is interesting to discover this about the dog. After a close shave and exciting escape from the bad guys in a remote diner, it is the dog which helps him at last to find short term freedom and once again lead the boy to salvation. Turn the page and the next chapter focuses in a plethora of characters, each of which have their own troubled pasts. At once Mr Koontz focuses on a young girl who claims her stepfather is a UFO obsessed mass murderer, and whose mother is a drug raddled psychiatrically distressed lunatic who does not have a good word to say about anyone. Keep reading and the young girl in question has developed an amazing talent for assisting others, and the adult in this group is suddenly being emotionally and psychologically analysed by the young girl sitting opposite her in a caravan. Keep reading and (taken from page 133 of this amazing tale) you learn the town is suffering a major power failure, and the chapter is closed with words of stunning beauty and a feeling of impending doom: "A butterfly flutter of light, a sibilant sputter, a serpent of smoke rising lazily from the black stump of a dead wick: One of the three candles burned out, and darkness eagerly pulled its chair a little closer to the table." Needless to say, i like this book. I am stunned at the beauty of the writing, and also the frequency at which the reader is presented with such gifts. The plot sizzles along at a decent pace and the characterisation is awesome. Given the glorious size of the tome, you will find yourself reading just one more chapter, and then another, and then just one more to see if any of the parallel threads the book starts with show any hint of merging. Not this chapter? Oh well, maybe the next one! Full marks for this amazing effort. BFN Greggorio!
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Reviews
Cynthia McGrath
CURTIS The space boy/Savior of our world!I don't know exactly know what to say about this book! It has left me in awe. I is one of the best books I've read lately. I just loved it. It is one of those they hate to end. I'll read it again. The characters are so alive that you find yourself becoming one of them. CURTIS is running from creatures who want to destroy our world. CURTIS has been sent to save us and they chase across the country. Then the FBI gets involved because they are trying to find the drug cartels. CURTIS has to keep moving so they don't catch him. THere are so many people in this story that I could never do it justice. I just say if you're a Dean Koontz fan and you haven't read it you're missing one of his best. It leaves you feeling good and gives you hope for our future. He is a master WITH words. Sometimes I have to look up the meaning. so I have. increased my vocabulary. Can't wait to start his next book. I hope this makes sense.h
Julie Davis
#89 - 2010.Reread it and was captivated as ever.“Geneva, even if the girl isn’t making up all this stuff, even if she’s in real danger, you can’t take the law into your hands.” “There’s lots of law these days,” she interrupted, “but not much justice. Celebrities murder their wives and go free. A mother kills her children, and the news people on TV say she’s the victim and want you to send money to her lawyers. When everything’s upside down like this, what fool just sits back and thinks justice will prevail?” This was a different woman from the one with whom he had been speaking a moment ago. Her green eyes were flinty now. Her sweet face hardened as he wouldn’t have thought possible. “If Micky doesn’t do this,” she continued, “that sick b*****d will kill Leilani, and it’ll be as if she never existed, and no one but me and Micky will care what the world lost. You better believe it’ll be a loss, too, because this girl is the right stuff, she’s a shining soul. These days people make heroes out of actors, singers, power-mad politicians. How screwed up are things when that’s what hero has come to mean? I’d trade the whole self-important lot of ‘em for this girl. She’s got more steel in her spine and more true heart than a thousand of those so-called heroes. Have another cookie?"UFOs, aliens, an empathetic dog, a crippled girl, and a host of supporting characters overcoming past traumas to reach out to others all are combined by Dean Koontz in a book that is the most compelling statement I have ever seen made about the right to life, no matter what one's condition. As always with his novels, few things are what they seem.Two basic plots run parallel before their heroes find themselves coming together to fight off a very evil villain. "What is one door away from heaven," is a question that one character has asked another since her childhood. The answer, along with the overall theme of the book, is enough to make us all examine our lives more carefully ... and be thankful that Koontz's writing reflects his beliefs so honestly. A favorite for rereading and that's what I'm doing now ... rereading!
Martin
One Door Away from Heaven is classic Dean Koontz! There are dogs & children, aliens, murderers, detectives and big RVs and he weaves it all together into a fantastic tale of adventure, hope & redemption.If you’re expecting average science fiction with space stations and pressure suits you’re in the wrong book. Once again Dean Koontz has brought all that science fiction and some of what religious faith has to offer down to earth.The characters are really well done. Some will make you smile while others will make you cringe while still others will make you want to absolutely choke them! When a book can bring characters to life that well then it’s a winner. The ending was somewhat anticlimactic but truthfully I wouldn’t have had it any other way. This book is well worth the time.
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