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Publisher's Summary

In a dusty trailer park on the far edge of the California dream, Michelina wants to change the direction of her troubled life but can't find her way. When a new family settles into the rental trailer next door, Micky meets the young girl who will change her forever.

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.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall

Koontz outdoes himself

This book was so interesting I had trouble putting it down, then I didn't want it to end. Skillfully told, bringing many separate factions together, it is magically woven.

18 of 18 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
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"Ding, ding, ding,ding, ding"

We have a winner! A great novel with a well executed plot and expertly developed characters. In this novel, Koontz brings strong female characters to the front, two of which are eccentric and have incredible depth. A 10 year old girl's life is salvaged by two women. This child's character has a unique humor, as well as talents, that helps to offset the actions of her worthless parents. Great ending.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

We all depend on other people !

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.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Cynthia
  • Normal, IL, United States
  • 12-28-07

One Door Away From Heaven

Dean Koontz' One Door Away From Heaven is beautifully written. This work is more poetry than prose and you may find yourself lost in a siren's song, unaware of its lyrics. The main storyline is a step through the looking glass and a hourney with only shadowy ilumination of mysteries encountered. It is certainly one of my top five Koontz favorites.

24 of 27 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

How does he do it?

Dean Koontz, “One Door Away from Heaven”, great read and re-read!!
I have re-read the last chapter about 5 times…..
He never lets me down….a truly amazing mind…..the way he weaves stories with facts and fiction….amazing!
Totalitarianism, utilitarian bioethics…aliens….right vs wrong…good vs evil….
WOW

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

I'm sorry to report that I am thoroughly disappointed by this audiobook.

This audiobook could have been really good but, in my humble opinion, the entire book simply dragged and dragged and dragged. It's hard for me to explain effectively. The storyline could have been really great. It has good characters (by that I mean interesting) but they just don't seem to come together effectively and expeditiously.

I don't know, I'm even lost on how to explain exactly what I mean. I kept on listening thinking surely it would get better, and it did for a short while. Unfortunately from getting better to becoming worse the story rambled on back and forth finally ending in a bizarre way.

This didn't really seem like a Dean Koontz book.

I hope if you decide to listen to it that you totally disagree with me and that you thoroughly enjoy it from start to finish. Maybe it's just me, but that's just not how the experience unfolded for me. St any rate, Happy Reading (or listening )!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Weak

A decent story ruined by one of the most inane endings in literary history. Worse, the ending is copied almost exactly from Sole Survivor, published only four years prior. As you might guess from the title, One Door Away From Heaven gets much too religious. Finally, the title of the book is a reference to a riddle which Koontz teases us with the whole book. His teasing insistence leads one to believe the answer must be brilliant, maybe life changing, but his answer is a giant pile of nothing, incredibly disappointing.

The narrator is one door away from terrible, never using the appropriate tone for what she's reading. Everything comes out in the same drolling monotone.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Michael
  • Walnut Creek, CA, United States
  • 09-24-08

Great characters so-so story

This book has one of the most memorable heroines of all of Koontz's work. Unfortunately the story is not as good as the characters. The story drags, which is pretty unusual for Koontz. The antagonists are not as compelling as in better Koontz. Overall, I am still very glad I read it, for I enjoy my memories of the young heroine.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Troy
  • Riverton, UT, United States
  • 05-04-08

A Stark Possiblility

I really enjoyed the book and I didnt find it slow just anticipation was ongoing and hard to enjore:). Love it and would recommend it.
The girl remminded me of JUNo way beyond her years.
Thanks for a good read

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Cathy
  • San Jose, CA, USA
  • 07-28-08

Starts out good but I had enough after a while

The main characters had well quirky personalities and I enjoyed them very much. They showed great humor in the face of poverty and violence. The overall story grew tiresome after some time. Maybe it should have ended sooner. Maybe i'm just not into aliens...or maybe it was the narrator?

9 of 11 people found this review helpful