Book Review: The City by Dean Koontz

I’ve been a fan of Dean Koontz for over thirty years ever since I was given a copy of Phantoms by my uncle. However I’m not a sycophant with his books. I will say if I don’t think they hit the mark. Sometimes, like Stephen King, his books are needlessly long, and some of his books are probably best left staying published under a pseudonym, for example, The House of Thunder by Leigh Nichols. I recommended a couple of Dean’s books to my lovely wife, who doesn’t generally enjoy horror, sci-fi or the paranormal, but she thoroughly enjoyed Watchers, his best book. The City was one book that Helen bought but struggled with, so I gave it a go.

Set in an unnamed city, the story is told through the eyes of a dying musician as he looks back upon his youth. Jonah is a prodigious pianist, with a mother who is a talented singer and her father who is also a pianist. While this seems important, looking back I realised that this is incidental to the story. When Jonah is ten he meets a woman who is the embodiment of the city, and she guides and aids Jonah as his father forms an alliance with a group of murderous thieves.

My thought on the book was that at times I had to work at it, almost plow on through it. The book would benefit from losing at least 100 pages from the first half and losing an additional 50 pages from the second half. Mr Koonts also uses one of his favourite tropes for the climatic ending with a thunder storm. I gave it three stars on Goodreads and one for the fans only. There is also a prequel called The Neighbor, which unless I stumble across it in a charity shop or the free little library on the next street, I will probably give it a miss.

You can find all of my Dean Koontz reviews here.

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