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Innocence [Paperback]

Dean Koontz
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)
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Book Description

17 July 2014

Heart-stopping supernatural thriller from the master of suspense. Addison Goodheart is not like other people…

Addison Goodheart lives in solitude beneath the city, an exile from a society which will destroy him if he is ever seen.

Books are his refuge and his escape: he embraces the riches they have to offer. By night he leaves his hidden chambers and, through a network of storm drains and service tunnels, makes his way into the central library.

And that is where he meets Gwyneth, who, like Addison, also hides her true appearance and struggles to trust anyone.

But the bond between them runs deeper than the tragedies that have scarred their lives. Something more than chance − and nothing less than destiny − has brought them together in a world whose hour of reckoning is fast approaching.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Harper (17 July 2014)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 0007518048
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007518043
  • Product Dimensions: 19.2 x 12.8 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,732 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


Praise for Dean Koontz:

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

‘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

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

About the Author

Dean Koontz is the author of more than a dozen New York Times No. 1 bestsellers. His books have sold over 450 million copies worldwide, a figure that increases by more than 17 million copies per year, and his work is published in 38 languages.

He was born and raised in Pennsylvania and lives with his wife Gerda and their dog Anna in southern California.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
What a change of direction for Dean Koontz. I'm really rather surprised with his romantic central plot and enquiries into human nature.

This is the story of Addison Goodheart a man who has suffered horrible abuse, more or less since birth, because of his "differences". Addison has had to battle against what's considered normal society merely in order to survive and it would appear one glimpse of his face is more than enough to produce a murderous rage when viewed by other people. As an outcast from normality Addison has had to find himself a safe place of refuge but; it's a place of isolation and shadows, almost a mirror image of his own inner feelings, and you can't remain hidden forever.

Much of the novel is focused upon Addison's journey into self imposed exile and then his eventual attempt to return to what he fears the most - normality.

I found the inclusion of the female love interest, Gwyneth, a girl every bit as detested and cast out as Addison, cleverly worked. Not only does their relationship add emotional warmth but there are many contrasts between the two of them which adds texture and allows the reader to see the situation from both a male and female perspective. Placing the two key characters, and much of the plot, inside a library works well and the themes of old buildings and books allow for a Gothic atmosphere to develop as Addison begins to prowl out of his lair and secretly approaches Gywneth.

Innocence isn't a complex story, in fact it's quite simple, and asks one central question of it's characters; angel or devil?
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Astounding 1 Feb 2014
Having previously read only one Koontz novel well over ten years ago - and not being overly impressed with it - when I picked up this book, I was taken in more by the eloquently fluid turns of phrase and less by the reputation of the author. Who, if I am to be honest, I sort of regarded as a hack, just another popular author churning out meaningless fluff for the masses.

Foot, meet my mouth.

This is a difficult book to describe in terms of genre, though there are distinct tinges of horror, a genre I usually stray from because it tends to tap into the mundanities of life and glorify that, despite the extraordinary events that take place in their pages. Aside from the breathtakingly beautiful writing, I noticed early on that this somehow transcends those aforementioned mundanities, so while the places and time may be familiar, reading 'Innocence' was almost like being transported into another world. The same can be said of Addison Goodheart, the main character/narrator, who is depicted as an outcast for reasons that will not be made clear until the ending, as his insight and luminous mind seem to separate him from ordinary humanity surely as does his "deformity".

Koontz weaves a captivating tale of Addison and the seemingly troubled Goth girl, Gwyneth, whose lives are somehow connected, and who he must help and protect at all costs from the man responsible for her father's murder. While the plot was light in certain instances, much of the book revolves around how Addison's past is leading him to their present life together, and the crumbs of supernatural the author throws for us are shiver inducing and spellbinding.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars loved this story! 18 Jan 2014
By Gorly
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
i have been reading dean koontz since i was a teenager so was very excited about this new book, and i wasnt disapointed.
i would recomend you read the prequell to this story first as this sets the scene nicely.
this book was different from deans usuall storys, halfway through the book i was still unaware how addison the main charachter was "different" it keeps you guessing till the end and the ending was very thought provoking indeed.
if you love dean koontz you wont be disspointed.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Never saw the twist in the end coming 18 Jan 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Addison Goodheart, the hero of this novel, is another one of Koontz' typical protagonists. The problem in his life is that, for some unfathomable reason, anyone who so much as claps eyes on him (from his birth, quite literally, onwards) is stricken with murderous rage and attempts to kill him.

Addison thinks this is due to some horrible deformity or monstrousness of expression in his face, eyes, hands, entire body, but he cannot understand why this would provoke so severe a reaction. Nevertheless, for his own survival, he has to remain anonymous and hidden from all chance of human contact.

So he ends up living underneath the city (which is not named as such, but which strikes me as, New York). Distinct echoes here of the 80s TV series "Beauty and the Beast" or even the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The adventure proper begins when, on his nightly forays into the city, he meets a young woman being pursued by a man trying to kill her.

If I said anything more, I'd be telling you the plot, so you have to read it for yourself to find out what happens next.

I wondered how Koontz would handle the revelation of exactly how or why Addison is seemingly so deformed that he inspires revulsion in normal people, such that even cops or preachers fly into a killing frenzy when they see him or others like him. This is always a tough matter to accomplish for a writer; you can only go along hinting at 'but it is indescribably awful' so long before you have to try and describe it or give up.

I was expecting some kind of genetic syndrome or condition where Addison was twisted and maimed and the like. That's not how it's explained, and I never expected what Koontz pulled out of his bag of auctorial tricks.
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