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Life Expectancy | [Dean Koontz]

Life Expectancy

Jimmy Tock comes into the world on the very night his grandfather leaves it. As a violent storm rages outside the hospital, Rudy Tock spends long hours walking the corridors between the expectant fathers' waiting room and his dying father's bedside. It's a strange vigil made all the stranger when, at the very height of the storm's fury, Josef Tock suddenly sits up in bed and speaks coherently for the first and last time since his stroke.
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Publisher's Summary

Jimmy Tock comes into the world on the very night his grandfather leaves it. As a violent storm rages outside the hospital, Rudy Tock spends long hours walking the corridors between the expectant fathers' waiting room and his dying father's bedside. It's a strange vigil made all the stranger when, at the very height of the storm's fury, Josef Tock suddenly sits up in bed and speaks coherently for the first and last time since his stroke.

What he says before he dies is that there will be five dark days in the life of his grandson, five dates whose terrible events Jimmy will have to prepare himself to face. The first is to occur in his 20th year; the second in his 23rd year; the third in his 28th; the fourth in his 29th; the fifth in his 30th.

Rudy is all too ready to discount his father's last words as a dying man's delusional rambling. But then he discovers that Josef also predicted the time of his grandson's birth to the minute, as well as his exact height and weight, and the fact that Jimmy would be born with syndactyly, the unexplained anomaly of fused digits, on his left foot. Suddenly the old man's predictions take on a chilling significance.

What terrifying events await Jimmy on these five dark days? What nightmares will he face? What challenges must he survive? As the novel unfolds, picking up Jimmy's story at each of these crisis points, the path he must follow will defy every expectation. And with each crisis he faces, he will move closer to a fate he could never have imagined. For who Jimmy Tock is and what he must accomplish on the five days when his world turns is a mystery as dangerous as it is wondrous, a struggle against an evil so dark and pervasive, only the most extraordinary of human spirits can shine through.

©2004 Dean Koontz; (P)2004 Random House, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Emotionally powerful and thought-provoking." (Booklist)
"Of all best-selling authors, Koontz may be the most underestimated by the literary establishment....A master storyteller and a daring writer....Koontz is a true original and this novel, one of his most unusual yet, will leave readers aglow." (Publishers Weekly)
"Mr. Koontz is a skillful storyteller....His new Life Expectancy offers a clear illustration of what he does right." (The New York Times)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (858 )
5 star
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4.3 (223 )
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4.4 (217 )
5 star
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2 star
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Performance
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  •  
    roz79 02-12-15
    roz79 02-12-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Thumbs up!"

    Great book. Good job Dean Koontz. Filled with sarcasm, humour, mystery, a sprinkle of super-natural and a dollop is psycho......very enjoyable. The narrator did an excellent job, I was quite pleased with his performance.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. Clark 09-10-12
    C. Clark 09-10-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    15
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    "Love the performance"
    Where does Life Expectancy rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I've never read Koontz before and I've been told this is not his normal work. The humor is what really made this book for me.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    The end is a little hokey, but the ridiculous humor of the entire plot makes up for it.


    What about John Bedford Lloyd’s performance did you like?

    One of the better readers that I've listened to. He has a way of really expressing each character to you in a way that's believable.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I laughed all the way through the first AND second time I listened to this book.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jane Chicago, IL, United States 07-09-12
    Jane Chicago, IL, United States 07-09-12 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "3 ½ stars. Tongue in cheek mystery suspense."

    I was disappointed when I saw this was first person. Sometimes it works, but usually it’s not as good for me, and in this case first person did not help. The plot premise was odd. It didn’t draw me in as much as other plots. When the book begins, we are told something disastrous will happen five times during Jimmy’s life. It feels like a scavenger hunt. The first day comes and we watch a disaster which Jimmy survives. Then we wait a little and watch the second disaster. I did not enjoy the formula. It felt staged - contrived. It was hard to identify with.

    BUT, because the author is such a talented writer, there were many parts I enjoyed. I laughed or chuckled several times - especially at Lorrie’s comments. If you’re new to this author, don’t start with this book. Try Watchers, Lightning, or Intensity - my favorites so far.

    The narrator John Bedford Lloyd was great. I was pleased that he used a soft, feminine voice for Lorrie without sounding like an effeminate gay guy.

    Genre: mystery suspense.
    Ending: happy.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tracy L. Walters Erda, UT, United States 04-26-12
    Tracy L. Walters Erda, UT, United States 04-26-12 Member Since 2002

    bubbles

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I LOVED THIS BOOK!!!...."

    ....When you think of Dean Koontz you don't associate 'laugh out loud....funny....make you smile' type of books. Well this one.....while having some really intense events and some heartbreaking moments.....was really humorous. I loved that aspect of the book. Jimmy Tock has a crazy wonderful life as a baker but because of the events surrounding his birth.....he will have a lifetime of angst and danger and fear weave in and out of his everyday routines. His parents and grandmother are wonderful and the FOOD they enjoy is incredible....I'm salivating at this moment thinking of all the goodies they enjoyed. Jimmy's wife, Lori was amazing in her wit and strength and together they were a grand married couple who took on parenthood with zeal and worked around all the 'bizarre' happenings that fell upon them. Conrad Bezo was a freak of a dark character and sometimes the storyline was a bit out there.....and of course, having a creepy clown in the story line always will cause you to shudder a bit.

    I loved this book for the fact that it looked upon family as the most important part of life and made you feel that they treasured it. I feel that way about my family and it was great to see this among the Tock's. It was very different from Dean Koontz's other books but I definitely enjoyed it 100%!....

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    brian cedar rapids, IA, United States 12-24-10
    brian cedar rapids, IA, United States 12-24-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "surprised"

    I had never read a book from this author until now. I heard that this one was a bit on the quirky side....and I felt I needed to read something a bit light hearted. I was really enthralled by this book! It was fun, sad, and a joy to read. I'm going to read more of his books now!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sherif chicago, IL, USA 11-13-06
    Sherif chicago, IL, USA 11-13-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Awesome"

    I'm a fan of Koontz. All I can say is that this book is marvelous and was up to my expectations (or expectancy :) ), it's worth the time and money. John Bedford Lloyd is a great narrator. Clear and changes his voice and tone professionally according to characters. He could give me 100% understanding of the book though English is not my native language. Thanks to both of them.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Hull 10-31-06
    S. Hull 10-31-06

    el magnifico

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Creative and Worth your time"

    Not generally a fan of narrative style stories, but this is amazing! funny and edge of your seat gripping storytelling. get it, you won't regret it!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leslie Taylor Ayala San Clemente, CA USA 08-23-05
    Leslie Taylor Ayala San Clemente, CA USA 08-23-05 Member Since 2014
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    "Enjoyable, but long winded in places"

    I enjoyed this book and the reader, but there were certain places I just really wanted to get to the action. Koontz could have picked up the pace a little. Very nicely done wiht the twists and surprises, though!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gregory Garland, TX, USA 07-06-05
    Gregory Garland, TX, USA 07-06-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great book"

    After Odd Thomas, this was the second Koontz novel I either listened to or read. Like Odd Thomas, this story is both witty and suspenseful. I recommend it highly. Sadly, the other Koontz novels I've listened to or read subsequently (Velocity, The Taking, Dragon Tears, Mr. Murder and Cold Fire), while good (except The Taking, which was a major disappointment) just don't compare.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Geraldine Horse Cave, KY, United States 05-31-05
    Geraldine Horse Cave, KY, United States 05-31-05 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Just plain good"

    Dean Koontz fans seem hesitant to give this book a full five, although most say they liked it. I liked the life attitude--sure, some believability had to be suspended, but isn't it always when you read fiction? If I wanted dramatization, I'd listen to David McCullough.
    Any book that is so good that it keeps you up two nights straight deserves five stars. Any book that is so good it delays my morning coffee is also worth five stars. This book is that good.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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