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Why Sooooo Long?
One Door Away from Heaven - Dean Koontz
Member Name: samueltyler
One Door Away from Heaven - Dean Koontz
Disadvantages: Far Too Long, The Same as many Koontz Books
‘One Door’ follows three distinct tales before they merge later into one. Firstly, we have Micky, a beautiful, but lazy young women who is happy to spend her life living in her Aunt’s trailer until a young girl called Leilani comes along and needs her help. Secondly we have Noah, a private detective with a conscience. Finally, we have the most Koontz-esque storyline of a young boy whose parents have been murdered by mysterious beings and is being chased across America. How do these stories connect and what will happen to the various characters? Find out slowly over the next 700 and odd pages……
For a book to be worthy of an exceedingly long length it has to have some sort of spark that means you want it to last forever. The action or the characters have to have a pace or an attraction that makes you want to read just 10 more pages before you go to sleep. Recently I read the excellent ‘Power of the Dog’ by Don Winslow that came in at a hefty 500+ pages but I wish it went on forever. So much happened and the twists made it one of the best books I have ever read. ‘One Door’ had none of this magic.
To be honest I perhaps should have guessed this may have been the case as I have read several Koontz books already. His earlier novels are short but feels amateurish. Its his later work that has began a trend of too much length, perhaps because he makes so much money that is editors are too scared to say anything to him. I just managed to crawl through ‘From the Corner of His Eye’ because, despite its length, the central good and bad guys were intriguing. This can not be said of this book.
I quite liked the characters of Micky and Noah as they are sympathetic. It’s just that their scenes move so slowly. I am not exaggerating when I say that by page 200, when many books are reaching their conclusion, nothing of merit had happened. Koontz spends far too much of these pages being twee and describing inane things we do not care about. Add to this the final story of the runaway boy and you realise that this is just the same story that Koontz has written at least five times before but stretched so thinly over 700 pages that its like the tissue paper thin skin that Nicole Kidman has on her forehead (Botox anyone?)
I just feel that Koontz is either taking the Michael out of his fans or that he has become ignorant of their needs. Does he think that it is acceptable to produce the same novel over and over again and actually make the experience even more mundane by increasing the size of the book? The problem probably lies as much with Koontz’s editors as with the author as they should have the guts to tell him that he has gone too far. I can imagine that it’s a hard job to tell a multi-million selling author that his work has got out of hand.
Before I write off Koontz’s entire back collection I have to say that things are not all that bad. Like his hair, Koontz does come miraculously back from beyond the grave (have you seen the photos of him in the 80s and now? Where did his full hair come from?). I have read books that have been written by him after this one and have to say that they are amongst his best work. In particular ‘Odd Thomas’ is worth a read. It seems that during the late 90s and early 2000s Koontz did go through a period of over writing but maybe he is past this now. So in essence, I’m trying to say that although this book is awful and only useful as a rather chunky doorstop, don’t let it put you off reading some of his shorter and better novels.
Author: Dean Koontz
Price: amazon uk - £6.39
play.com - £5.99
Summary: Avoid this book by the author and try one of his better efforts