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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 (869 )
5 star
 (351)
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4.2 (230 )
5 star
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1 star
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Story
4.4 (224 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Sandra Monroe, NC, USA 01-15-05
    Sandra Monroe, NC, USA 01-15-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    157
    ratings
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    5
    3
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    0
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    "No stars for this one"

    After reading the other reviews I am truly shocked. Am I the only listener who found Koontz' attempts at humor redundantly lame?
    As one star is the lowest rating possible, I guess that's my score, but it truly deserved a -0 in my opinion.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L. Brigance Hong Kong 12-30-04
    L. Brigance Hong Kong 12-30-04 Member Since 2014

    Smokeyut

    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    118
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "Great mixture - Great listen!"

    I am normally just luke-warm on Koontz's book even though I enjoy them. This was his absolute best. A bit of humor mingled with a lot of suspense. I had a hard time putting my ipod down! A definite read/listen! The reader was good as well.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Raymond Brewer, Maine 02-02-05
    Raymond Brewer, Maine 02-02-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    22
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    35
    5
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    Overall
    "Bring in the clowns!"

    Most people, at least I, seldom laugh when alone. Life expectancy evoked several loud, spontaneous bursts from me that would have been embarrassing if others had been present. Surprise and suspense are part of DK's verbal tool chest and he included plenty of both in Life Expectancy. Nice people, evil people switch back turns and twists kept me awake behind the wheel the whole way through. This book rates right up there with Odd Thomas.

    3 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeffrey P. 04-14-05
    Jeffrey P. 04-14-05 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    144
    2
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    0
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    Overall
    "BAD!!"

    I have loved or at least enjoyed the other Dean Koontz titles through Audible, but this one was pretty bad. The narrator was not a good pick, he seemed to push the voices plus he kind of droned on. Second the story was really lacking. The characters did things that were just plain stupid. Without giving away much if you were told that you would have 5 bad days, you would be pretty cautious by the 5th one right? Not this guy, he just takes his wife and walks right into a bad situation. Really dumb. If you haven't listened to Odd Thomas get it instead of this mess.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Harold Crawford 05-01-11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    21
    1
    Overall
    "Unsatisfactory Review"

    This book uses sex to sell. I plan not to buy any more books from this author.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    penwen 01-20-09
    penwen 01-20-09
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    45
    1
    Overall
    "SLOW"

    THE BOOK STARTED REAL SLOW, I THOUGHT I HAD MADE A MISTAKE, BUT IT THEN REALLY TAKES OFF. ALL IN ALL IT WAS ONE GOOD READ.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 09-19-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    24
    ratings
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    11
    2
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    0
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    Overall
    "disappointed"

    Not one of his better stories.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    April Tallahassee, FL, USA 04-18-05
    April Tallahassee, FL, USA 04-18-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    49
    ratings
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    27
    5
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    Overall
    "Not One of His Best"

    I love Koontz, but this one was definately not one of his best. I felt embarrased for the narrator's rendition. Most of his characterizations sounded just like Deputy Droop Along. Horrible! The five days, although exciting, became boring...they all had the same theme, and left the reader feeling... Disappointed.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eileen Tinley Park, IL, United States 02-02-05
    Eileen Tinley Park, IL, United States 02-02-05 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    294
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    125
    54
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    10
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    Overall
    "Evil clowns??"

    I wasn't too sure about this book when I first got into it. We're talking about evil clowns here which creeps me out enough thanks to good ol' Stephen King. Unlike SK's ability to make you BELIEVE it, I, at first, was skeptical and even laughed at some of the bizarre situations that set up this book.

    HOWEVER, I will say that I continued on and I did enjoy this book quite a bit more than I would've believed when I first started. The characters of Lori and Jimmy (and Jimmy's hilarious family) were very endearing. The storytelling reminded me a bit of "Odd Thomas" which I LOVED, by the way.

    Koontz pulls one out with this book, and I would recommend it. While I have read other books by him I liked more ("Odd Thomas" being one), it wouldn't prevent me from telling my friends to check it out. It was entertaining, suspenseful, and had some really great twists that made me audibly gasp. I sometimes can see things coming far in advance, but not with this book.

    If you're like me and hate clowns anyway, that should give you enough creep-factor to get started. Just don't get distracted in the beginning with the over-the-top storyline. I promise, it gets better fast.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cynthia Normal, IL, United States 01-25-05
    Cynthia Normal, IL, United States 01-25-05 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    122
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    96
    27
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    9
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    Overall
    "Life Expectancy"

    Entertained by angels, unaware; prepare to be amazed.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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