Newest Review: ... This is the main plot. 2. A man called Henry Rouvroy visits his estranged brother of 15 years, kills him and his wife then barricades ... more
Breathless, no. Witless, hapless and hopeless, oh yeah.
Breathless - Dean Koontz
Member Name: Stewwydablue
Breathless - Dean Koontz
Advantages: It could smash a window if thrown hard enough - useful if you get locked out.
Disadvantages: It sullies the good name of Dean Koontz
I like reading Dean Koontz's books, and am a bit obsessive when it comes to owning them all. My "Only from Charity Shops Koontz Quest" took a step nearer completion recently when I acquired "Breathless". I've got mixed feelings about this one, a bit like a dairy farmer that's just heard Asda will finally give him a fair price for his milk, only to discover that his herd has foot and mouth disease.
First of all - here's a synopsis of the plot (minus its culmination, naturally!) then please find my opinions after that.
The different elements of the plot are:
1. A chap called Grady Adams has two mysterious animals enter his house, he gets a vet friend involved called Camille Rivers (Cammie) to help him identify the animals. This is the main plot.
2. A man called Henry Rouvroy visits his estranged brother of 15 years, kills him and his wife then barricades himself into their house where strange things start to happen.
3. Dr Lamar Woolsey is a man that's hard to fathom. His speciality is the mathematics behind chaos, and he uses his knowledge to predict card sequences in casinos. Initially he seems like a good natured character as he gives his winnings away, but as his sub plot develops, a far more sinister side to his character is revealed.
4. Lastly, there is a sub plot evolving around a drunken vagrant named Tom Bigger who, after a strange experience on a beach sets off on a mysterious mission which Dean Koontz deliberately obscures until the end.
Somehow, all of these sub plots are combined with the main storyline (Grady Adams and the mysterious animals) at the book's climax. All makes sense, sort of, at that point.
Oh Dean, oh dear. I really wanted to be blown away by this book, in the end I only felt a slight draught as I threw the book down in disappointment at the ending. At first I was led to believe by what I was reading that I might have found another "Watchers", also by Dean Koontz, and is an absolute cracker. The encounter in the wooded hills with an unexplainable animal made me hope for this, but then quicker than an Ashley Young dive in the penalty area, the book nose dives and went like Boris Johnson's hair - all over the place and hard to take seriously.
I can see what Koontz was trying to do by joining up several different storylines in an attempt to deliver a megaton bomb of a finish (love him or not, Terry Pratchett is a master at combining several different threads at the end of a story and does what Koontz attempted here very well), but instead of an atomic climax, it's more of a clap by hands wearing thick wooly mittens. Considering how good Koontz can be, I found the ending very disappointing.
I'd recommend you read this book if: a. like me, you are compulsively driven to own all of his books, b. you've never read Intensity or Watchers (also both by Koontz) as you will find this crushingly poor if you have, and c. some sort of apocalyptic natural disaster has destroyed every other book on earth apart from this one and you've no other choice.
I'm really tempted to tell you how the book ends just to save you the inconvenience of having to read it yourselves. But I won't - I suffered, you shall too! A very rarely awarded one star from me.
Summary: Don't bother, unless you suffer from OCD when it comes to owning all of an author's work