Despite her deformed left leg and withered left hand, nine-year-old Leilani Klonk radiates a buoyant and indomitable spirit that inspires Micky. Beneath Leilani's effervescence, however, Micky comes to sense a quiet desperation that the girl dares not express. Leilani's mother is little more than a child herself, and her stepfather, Preston Maddoc, is educated but threatening. Slowly, ever more troubling details emerge in Leilani's conversations with Micky. Most chilling is Micky's discovery that Leilani had an older brother, also disabled, who vanished after Maddoc took him into the woods one night and is now "gone to the stars".
While the child-protection bureaucracy gives Micky the runaround, the Maddoc family slips away into the night. So Micky sets out across America to find them: for the first time living for something bigger than herself. One Door Away from Heaven is an incandescent mix of suspense and humor, fear and wonder, a story of redemption and timeless wisdom that will have listeners cheering.
©1991 Dean Koontz; (P)1991 Random House, Inc.
How to review a book by such a superb writer? Dean Koontz has taken three story lines of such divergent subjects to parallel lengths where they diverge at an ending that tells us that only through the goodness of everyone working together can life be worth living. It's at once a theists against the bioethics of perfection and a fast passed thriller. But to describe how he does this only seems to demean his work. He has a deformed 9 year old girl, living with her drug addled mother and her murdering bioethics father; two wounded women trying to make a better life for themselves; a burnt out detective; and a young "extra-terrestrial" boy and his dog. Put these together and you have a strangely wonderful thrilling story.
Koontz is probably the best writer than I know. He can take four beautiful sentences to describe someone's eyes, and rather than sounding wordy, every word feels necessary. I would say that this is my favorite Koontz book but then I read another one and that becomes my favorite. Just read this book. You won't be sorry. He makes very important points is convincingly beautiful stories.
Absolutely LOVED this story AND the "reader" - this was so synchronistic - storyline and reader. More like this one would be relished! Definately a HIGHLY PRIZED work in my 'collection' and recommendations
Best Book Ever!
Small disclosure; I read this book when I was young and it was THE book that encouraged me to read. The plot of the story was something I could relate to because I had a twisted childhood as did some of the characters.
This was my favorite book for YEARS until I read Bryce Courtenay's Power of One. This was the first book I ever read by Dean Koontz and I was just discovering an interest in political issues as a kid, and I loved how he incorporated that twist into the book in a way that wasn't overbearing. I immediately bought all of his books I could get my hands on thinking they would be the same way (like Jodi Picoult's style of writing) but I was pleased to end up with a slew of type horrors books which led me to discover Steven King.
Bought the book without credits, because I wanted to see if the book was really that good, or if I glamorized it in my mind. I was blown away again by how much I loved the book. I loved all of the main characters and the way they interacted.
The book has a few eccentric characters, and part of the reason I bought the book again was to see how those parts would be read. She read it just as I imagined as a kid and I loved it.
This is not his best by far but its better than many. It kept me interested but because I've experienced so much of his work I think I'm getting a little tired of his format. Regardless, It kept my interest and turned out to be a "page-turner."
I was an avid reader of books before my work took most of my time so now I listen to Audible books when I'm exercising or walking my dog. I like mystery and thriller novels, particularly good serial killer novels. I'm a writer and a psychotherapist.
I've slogged part one and almost all of part two and it's as bad as it was in the beginning. I know that Koontz sometimes takes awhile to get off the ground so I made myself keep listening. It is beyond boring, with the boy who is either an idiot or an alien, the dog who gives driving directions and three different stories that have yet to converge, and I just can't go on listening. I give! The narrator is excellent but even her terrific reading can't rescue this dog.
This is the first book of this author I've tried to read/hear, but unfortunately I gave 32 chapters of oportunity to grasp my interest and it didn't happened , jumping back and forth in between 2 main stories leaves a huge gap on interest and follow through.
I am giving it back.
Too many jumps and hoops, too elaborated, but without grasping my interest, a great book is the one I can't leave, had to read, sleepless nights, this one I forced myself to read, but after 32 chapters decided to drop it and give my attention to a better choice.
disappointment and confusion
Dean Koontz is the Master of fright! He is a fantastic Wordsmith who weaves intricate and absorbing tales with a wonderful balance of menace and humor. His writings often draw attention to current affairs or situations of concern or interest.
One door away from Heaven parallels three lives successfully which finally merge together as one. His love of dogs clearly shines through in this interesting tale of the bizarre and sinister.
Anne Twomey reads this book very well and in no way detracts from the story or irritates in any way.
Worth a listen!
Definitely uses language to paint characters well
Gentle, not hurried
Look out for the outcasts of society and the weak.
In terms of some good action sequences and character development, I enjoyed many parts of this.
As a polemic for utilitarian bioethics, while he does cause you to think about the issues, I think the characters and some of the horrible things they did were overdrawn. It just isn't all that winsome if you are trying to convince a utilitarian. Most utilitarians are nearly this extreme, but the story does show where these things could go under the worst of circumstances.
Some parts are gross and disgusting and go on too long being gross and disgusting.
I did enjoy the author's portrayal of Curtis and Leilani who really were interesting young characters.
This author definitely loves dogs!
I am 36 years old. Married with 3 kids - 2, 4, 13. I work at night, my wife during the day. I don't have time to read, so I listen at work.
The narrator, its not like she was a flat computer syntax voice but she didn't put the flair and emotion in the characters voices. How does Anne Twomey expect one to believe the boy is crying when he talks like he is having a normal conversation.
I'm drawing a blank on comparisons.
Put a little emotion into it. That's about it.
No, I don't think I would.
I found the idea of a little girl who was not only smart, but street wise, able to interpret adult innuendos and understand and manipulate an adult on the psychological sub-conscience level not only repulsive but for me it almost tanked the entire book. She knows what a child diddler is but she can't get away from her step father.
Keeps you guessing
When I decided that the boy is an alien. I can't wait until the book brings the 2 stories together.
She's a great narrator, not distracting.
This book kept in a state of expectation, waiting to find out what is next.
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