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One Door Away from Heaven - Dean Koontz
Member Name: Tracy_1127
One Door Away from Heaven - Dean Koontz
Advantages: see review
Disadvantages: none for me
One Door Away From Heaven by Dean Koontz is one of his books that I bought years ago and one that I've kept and read again a few times.
Troubled Michelina Bellsong (Micky) has just been released from prison and has gone to stay with her Aunt Geneva in her trailer when they meet a disabled girl from next door called Leilani Klonk. Leilani talks tough and has a great sense of humour but some of the things she tells them about her drug fuelled mother and her stepfather, the infamous Preston Maddoc who believes in survival of the fittest to the point of "helping" the less fit on their way, start alarm bells ringing. When Leilani mentions her brother was killed and buried in the mountains and she's sure she will go the same way by her next birthday Micky and Gen start to worry. Preston has convinced Leilani's mother that aliens will collect her at that point and heal her leg she wears a brace on and her hand that doesn't have proper fingers so they travel around searching for genuine alien activity with that day moving ever closer. The following day after this revelation the Maddocs have moved on, changing Micky's life forever.
Curtis Hammond isn't really Curtis Hammond. Curtis Hammond is dead and the boy who is using his identity is not of this world. With the authorities chasing him along with others similar to his kind he races across the country to try and stay free. His companion, Old Yellow, is a dog that once belonged to the real Curtis Hammond and together they try to evade capture and death.
Will Micky be able to outwit the cunning and deadly Preston Maddoc before he murders Leilani and will Curtis Hammond be able to stay free with dangerous people and aliens after him and his lack of social skills letting him down at every turn?
This book is old style Koontz and as such a big long read. That in my opinion is a good thing, he used to write hefty books that kept me going for a few days but recently his stories have become alot shorter and that means a day, two at most, for me now. In this book we start to see his humour that is now very prevalent but wasn't back then. He uses this to give Leilani depth as a tough kid and to give Aunt Gen her likeable craziness due to being shot in the head years before.
The subplot of the alien pretending to be Curtis Hammond makes this a fascinating read and the first time I read it it took me a while to realise what was going on there. The people Curtis comes across as he tries to escape are a mixed bunch and his lack of social graces constantly gets him into trouble but in a humourous way.
The other characters in this book are suitably Dean Koontz weird and oddballs and all bring a little bit more to the storyline. The storyline itself is of course not something you can imagine happening, not the alien side of things anyway. But these are the kind of books that made Koontz as popular as he is today, the dark and wonderful world of people combined with supernatural events.
I must have read this book 4 times over the years, I read it every so often when I'm in the mood and it never fails to amuse me and have me thinking how good it is even though I can usually remember most of the plot. It's a cross between his original Watchers and his more recent dabble into goodness and humour and I like the fact that practically all the characters in the book are flawed in some way and nowhere near the pure characters we find in his books these days. It's classic Koontz.
I bought a hardback copy but it is available to buy in paperback now from Amazon for £5.99 new or used on Amazon Marketplace for 1p. I strongly advise buying it rather than borrowing it because it's such a long and complicated story you will forget bits and re-read it. This is the point where Dean Koontz was the Dean Koontz, master of darkness, that we all loved and not the author we see today who seems to have lost his way a bit.
Thoroughly recommended and I love this book.
Summary: Excellent read