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4.0 out of 5 stars Koontz Breathless
Up to Koontz' standard - a fast paced thriller, and an enjoyable read. I've enjoyed his other titles more, but that doesn't take anything away from "Breathless" - a good read!
Published on 7 Jun 2011 by Pattypops

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46 of 48 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Another very average Koontz story
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...
Published on 13 Jan 2010 by jonboy_


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46 of 48 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Another very average Koontz story, 13 Jan 2010
By 
jonboy_ (Bristol, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Breathless (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.

This is not a completely terrible book though, I found the varying plot lines to be quite intriguing and kept my interest as I read through the story, accordingly the first half of the book, as the separate stories develop is pretty good stuff. However it's pretty much downhill in the second half. If you've read a few of Koontz more recent novels you'll start to sink as you progress through the book, with no discernible link developing between the varying characters, you will realise that Koontz is going to suddenly clean-up all the plot lines, with a naff explanation and no real substance, in the last twenty pages or so, a characteristic of many of Koontz recent novels.

If your new to Koontz read his earlier stuff e.g. Watchers, Phantoms, Midnight, which are all brilliant. In my view Intensity was the last really great book Koontz did, which is probably going back ten years or more now.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A disappointing con, 29 Jan 2010
By 
L. Foster (Manchester UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Breathless (Hardcover)
I suspect that the media critics and I have been reading different books. Surely their comments cannot refer to a book of such little intellectual substance. I was seriously disappointed with this book, for quite a few reasons. The story line is thin, and Koontz introduces a couple of sub-plots which seem interesting at first but then it becomes apparent that they are purely for padding to expand the actual thickness of the book. I suspect that they were both drafts of ideas for different novels, but as he has become lost for ideas in Breathless he has clumsily tacked these into the plot. At the conclusion of the book neither of these sub-plots are fully linked into the conclusion of the main story-line. The main characters are two fluffy beings (which are first seen in the wild and then appear in a garden, rather ET-esque), which develop from being mischievous puppies to walking, talking Oracles and saviours of the 21st Century in a time-span of about 12 hours. And it isn't even a gradual transition; one minute they are drinking water from a bowl and the next they are making pseudo-profound statements.

There is another aspect to this book which is annoying and is a clear attempt to deceive the buyer. Upon picking the novel off the shelf one gets the impression of weight and substance; something which could keep you entertained for a good while. However, in addition to the padding of the story-line there is the physical padding of the book. The sentences are double spaced, the paper used is quite thick and needless paragraphs are given the status of chapters, allowing quite a bit of paper to remain blank. Although I am not pedantic enough to go and check, I suspect that these ploys have made the book one third to one half thicker than it actually needs to be. Given the numbers published this is not an ecologically sound practice, but it is also an insult to (and a deception of) the reader, who is persuaded to part with cash for a substandard item.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars NOT UP TO SNUFF..., 9 Feb 2012
By 
Lawyeraau (Balmoral Castle) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Breathless (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
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible :-(, 13 April 2011
By 
Martin Tapp - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Breathless (Kindle Edition)
I am a big fan of Dean and have read numerous books of his now. The last one prior to this was The Watchers an exceptional read; however this one was clearly a contract filler. I just got the feeling that Mr Koontz was meeting some deadline and just churned out this utter rubbish to meet it. The book finished before it got started. The main characters has the potential to be very good, but it just lacked effort and fizzled out.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Started Good, Ended Confusing and Way Too Fast, 27 Feb 2011
By 
A. E. Atkinson (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Breathless (Hardcover)
I enjoyed the book at the beginning, but as the story went on, I started saying, stop it stop it, STOP adding NEW characters with completely different side plots. I was hoping for a fantastic link between them all, but, oh no, only one or two had a faint link, others were totally off the main plot.

I didnt understand the book at all. the ending was rushed, the side plot about the tramp making no sense.

two characters had a "sense" which wasnt fully explained, too rushed, and didnt make any sense either.

I love his books, but this is a let down.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Typical Koontz, 30 Sep 2010
This review is from: Breathless (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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Needed to be longer......, 22 July 2010
By 
Kevin McIlroy (London) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Breathless (Paperback)
I've been a Koontz fan for a while too ... probably since the early 80's and have generally enjoyed everything he's written( even Frankenstein) Have moaned in the past about some early work being recycled as if it was new but overall that's a small gripe.

I got the feeling from this book that he started off intending it to be a lot longer ... but into the last third of the story it seemed as if we were reading the draft plot line - almost as if he was coming up to a deadline snd needed to finish the manuscript - or maybe the editor ws too heavy handed.

A decent enough read that kept me up a little longer than I wanted so I coudl finish it
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dont waste your money on this, 27 May 2010
By 
Mrs. A. Bhula "zaynab" (preston uk) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Breathless (Hardcover)
First, if may start by saying Mr Koontz used to be a fantastic author with a vivid imagination. Unfortunately for quite some time now the majority of his books have been awful and this one is sadly no exception. Personally i think when he was less known and less "loaded" his output was phenomenally better and it seems the trappings of wealth have caused his writing to degenerate into at best average reading fayre. In fact i believe, were it not for his 'name' this garbage may have never made it to the press. I doubt whether if any unknown aspiring authors had written and sent this book to publisers it would have ever seen the light of the day.
As for the story itself, its all too similar to previous Koontz books and in the present case its boring, unbelievable, repetetive and unnecessary. If you are considering buying this book, again, DONT WASTE YOUR MONEY. If you want a good read may i suggest you buy/beg/borrow/steal! the Mortal Engines quartet by Phillip Reeves. Now that is some original and gripping storytelling and even though it maybe aimed at a younger audience it is in any case unimaginably better than this tripe from Koontz.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very Poor, 19 Jan 2010
By 
Richard (Brighton, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Breathless (Hardcover)
I have been reading Dean Koontz books for over twenty years, and his recent work is deteriorating fast. Looking back to novels like "Strangers", he used to be able to write a decent story, but recently his books have been little more than a platform to evangelise his own religious and political views.

This latest book is no exception, and is probably the worst example to date. The story is merely a thinly disguised attempt to convince the reader that Intelligent Design is real, and is going to replace evolution as the accepted scientific theory.

Although this is a work of fiction, such blatantly wrong "facts" detract a great deal from both the story and the author's credibility. For example, claiming that there is no evidence to support evolution, or that it has been faked, and that all mathematicians agree that evolution is impossible, simply makes the author look extremely foolish.

Unless and until this author regains his ability to write compelling stories without resorting to such pseudo-scientific nonsense, I will not be purchasing any more of his books.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Time to Retire Dean, 25 July 2010
By 
Stephen Tomlinson "Loungefly" (Lancashire,England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Breathless (Paperback)
What on earth has happened to the genius that was Dean Koontz?

I own every book by Dean up to now but apart from a few bright moments with Frankenstein and Odd Thomas his books have been getting weaker and weaker.

This book wasn't awful but we've come to expect better from Dean's amazing imagination. Unless I see a future title get outstanding reviews I will not be buying any more of Dean's books.
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Breathless
Breathless by Dean Koontz (Paperback - 8 July 2010)
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