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.
"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)
I could NOT get past the beging 45 minutes or so. That was before I went camping and everyone left me awake. Captive listener out of bordom. This book was so silly, funny, over the top, and good. I will never look at a clown or high flier without remembering this book and wondering about the happy-v-psycotic idea. I really would love to hear the story of how this book got thought up!!
Weird characters that are totally unbelievable populate this work. They were so nutty that it was impossible to connect with them. The story moves ever so slowly. I didn't even bother to finish it; I just couldn't care about any of these characters.
From start to finish I couldn't stop listening to this book. This was one of the funnest, most engaging books I have listened to. The reader did an excellent job.
I hated this one to end!! It has been years since I have read a Dean Koontz book and I have to give this one 5 stars. I fell in love with the characters and I sure hope he writes a book about Roweena!! I also enjoyed listening because of John Bedford Lloyd. He was great! I drive about 30 miles to and from work each day in terrible traffic and this book made my drive enjoyable. A great mixture of suspence and humor.
While the plot is a little far fetched this book was nonetheless very entertaining. Written to capture your attention from the beginning it draws out many emotions - fear, laughter, sorrow, anger. The reader was wonderful. His many voices and accents created a rather believable set of characters. He made the book even more enjoyable. I would have give this book a five if the plot and action were a little more believable. However, I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Koontz style of suspense.
I'll admit I stopped about halfway through the tale, however, as the days counted on and the story bloomed, I was pleased with the story overall. I would recommend this one in audio format over the written format just for the reader's eerily accurate representation of the antagonist(s).
I've read Dean Koontz for years. This book (and others) is a strict departure from the ?older? Koontz novels. I LIKE his characters. The plot is a little ?over the the BIG top? but is engaging and fun. I think fun is the operative word. This book, like ?Odd Thomas? was, well, fun to listen to (read). Thanks, Dean.
My spouse and I listened to the first third of the book on a trip and it caught both of our interest. I finished listening to it by myself and I don't recommend my spouse bother to listen to the rest. Too much time is spent developing the first part of the story and too little is spent on the second half. Important events are not explained, they just happen. Some things that happen in the beginning don't go anywhere, as if Koontz forgot them or that they were edited out. The events leading up to the request to Punchinello are not well developed, and the last event involving Jimmy's son comes out of nowhere! Being a nurse, I also picked up on some incorrect medical terminology. I doubt if there are many internists who deliver babies as a matter of course. The events at the hospital in the beginning aren't believable. Are there only 2 nurses and one doctor in the entire hospital or are all the others deaf? I think Koontz could have done better. This reads like a first book, not one from a known writer.
I just finished listening to Life Expectancy in the house. That might sound silly but I almost never listen anywhere but the car. I had to bring this in to finish the last hour as I just could not wait till tomorrow. What a great story. The narrator is, as always, awesome, with his character voices. The plot had me riveted from the beginning and always on the edge waiting for the next twist. The humor threaded throughout kept me smiling and the "bad days" almost made me cry. I'm ready for more Koontz.
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