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Breathless Hardcover – 7 Jan 2010


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; First Edition - First Printing edition (7 Jan. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007267622
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007267620
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 3 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 606,002 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I was born and raised in Pennsylvania where I graduated from Shippensburg State College (now Shippensburg University). When I was a senior in college, I won an Atlantic Monthly fiction competition and have been writing ever since. My first job after graduation was with the Appalachian Poverty Program, where I was expected to counsel and tutor underprivileged children on a one-to-one basis. During my first day on the job, I discovered that the previous occupier of my position had been beaten up by the very kids he had been trying to help and had landed in the hospital for several weeks. The following year was filled with challenge but also tension, and I was more highly motivated than ever to build a career as a writer. I wrote nights and weekends, which I continued to do after leaving the poverty program and going to work as an English teacher in a suburban school district outside Harrisburg. After a year and a half in that position, my wife, Gerda, made me an offer I couldn't refuse: "I'll support you for five years," she said, "and if you can't make it as a writer in that time, you'll never make it." By the end of those five years, Gerda had quit her job to run the business end of my writing career. Gerda and I live in southern California with their dog Anna, and the enduring spirit of their dog Trixie in southern California.

Dean Koontz is an international household name whose hugely entertaining parables for our times have been bestsellers in many countries, selling seventeen million copies each year.

Product Description

Review

Praise for Dean Koontz:

‘Odd Thomas is certainly a page-turner – this is a read-at-a-sitting novel – with a terrific final twist’ Observer

‘A terrific pursuit story … clever, up-to-the-minute, and riveting’ Guardian

‘There’s surprise after surprise, including a killer finale … a read-in-one-go novel’ Independent on Sunday

‘Velocity hits its pace from the first page and races through to a suitably climactic ending’ Sydney Sunday Telegraph

‘Dean Koontz is not just a master of our darkest dreams, but also a literary juggler’ The Times

‘Psychologically complex, masterly and satisfying’ The New York Times

About the Author

Dean Koontz is an international household name whose hugely entertaining parables for our times have been bestsellers in many countries, selling seventeen million copies each year. Born and raised in Pennsylvania, he lives with his wife Gerda, their dog Anna, and the enduring spirit of their dog Trixie in southern California.


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Customer Reviews

2.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 50 people found the following review helpful By jonboy_ on 13 Jan. 2010
Format: Hardcover
Having been reading and collecting Dean Koontz books for the last 15 years or so I very nearly didn't buy this latest book from Koontz, his recent novels have ranged from being pretty mediocre to very poor. Additionally having read the reviews on the US Amazon website, a large number of which are very negative, I was dreading that this was going to be on the same level as Koontz recent very poor efforts, namely 'Your Heart Belongs to Me' and 'The Darkest Evening of the Year'. In my opinion Breathless is not quite as bad as those two novels, however it is yet another below average Koontz book.

Firstly I found this to be a very strange novel, not the story, but the way it has been written. Early in the book three separate plot lines are introduced, there is the main plot, a guy and his lady friend who find two strange fluffy creatures in the woods, they are typical Koontz characters, both are incredibly nice people with tragic pasts. They also have a very nice dog. A second plot line involves a psychotic killer, and a third involves some guy out gambling in casinos. Halfway through the book another couple of sub plots are introduced, involving an alcoholic hermit / tramp and another psychotic killer. Now you would assume that all of these different story lines are somehow going to gradually link into each other as the story progresses, some of them do eventually, although in a very limited way, and some literally don't link in at all. My only assumption is that most of these side plots were put in as padding by Koontz who didn't have enough material for the main plot. Having said that without the sub plots there would be no menace or nastiness to the book at all, it would simply be a story of fluffy cute animals running around.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lawyeraau HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 9 Feb. 2012
Format: Paperback
This book gets off to a good start. There are some interesting, though somewhat formulaic plotlines woven throughout, and some of the characters start off as intriguing. Then the book begins to spiral downward ever so slowly, and the author becomes positively self indulgent.

Clearly, the author has some very strong opinions with respect to governmental agencies, defense attorneys, elected officials, and so on. The author makes his rants part of the story but, somehow, it feels like...well...rants by a survivalist or far right wing ideologue of some kind.

Still, the story does have some steam. It revolves around two strange, white furred creatures that come to earth and are discovered by a reclusive man who lives with his Irish wolfhound in rural Colorado. So, this does grip the reader's imagination. After all, what are they? What do they want? Why are they here? Unfortunately, the reader will never really know.

Add to this the fact that that the characters, while initially intriguing, seem to be one dimensional. They are either god's angels on earth or the devil's spawn. There is no in between. Thematically, the book seems to be about good and evil, but it never really finds its groove.

Still, none of these shortcomings are what eventually torpedoes the book. It is the race to the finish line and the unsatisfying end to the story that does it in. A reader may endure some of the shortcomings along the way to the finish line but will feel decidedly cheated by the rushed feel of the ending and the lack of some rhyme or reason as to why some characters were included in the first place. The book has an almost nonsensical ending that is decidedly unsatisfying.

I am a fan of the author, so I was quite disappointed and let down by the turn the book took, as I know that the author is capable of delivering more than he did. In the final analysis, I did not like the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By O. Southwood on 30 Sept. 2010
Format: Paperback
Breathless fits the standard Koontz pattern that seems to have become a template for all of his fiction now. Heroes who are sugary sweet, loving and kind, with a dog, and a tragic past. Villains who are psychotic and deranged, yet strangely likeable. A pseudo-scientific mystery driving the story forward and making the reader yearn for an explanation. Eventually, the explanation comes, in the space of about two pages, and then the novel ends abruptly. It's almost as if he gave up on the story half way through and thought, yeah whatever, they all lived happy ever after, the end.

I enjoyed reading Breathless because it felt like 4 different stories, some only vaguely linked, some not linked at all. I liked trying to guess how they would be linked. I was disappointed by the weakness of the links, or absence thereof, but still, it was a fun ride.

The pseudo-scientific mystery of Breathless is the discovery of two strange creatures in the woods. We are left wondering, are they aliens? Genetic experiements? Or what? And good old Dean Koontz does not let us down with his fascinating explanation. Unfortunately, he kills off the novel soon after the revelation, just as all sorts of possibilities open up.

Breathless is not a thriller; it's more of a thinking novel, seemingly written to provoke philosophical and scientific debate in the way that Michael Chricton used to. I don't think Mr. Koontz will ever achieve that with his novels, but he will always entertain and fascinate.
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