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Publisher's Summary

There are millions of stories in the city - some magical, some tragic, others terror-filled or triumphant. Jonah Kirk’s story is all of those things as he draws listeners into his life in the city as a young boy, introducing his indomitable grandfather, also a "piano man"; his single mother, a struggling singer; and the heroes, villains, and everyday saints and sinners who make up the fabric of the metropolis in which they live - and who will change the course of Jonah’s life forever.

Welcome to The City, a place of evergreen dreams where enchantment and malice entwine, where courage and honor are found in the most unexpected corners and the way forward lies buried deep inside the heart.

©2014 Dean Koontz (P)2014 Recorded Books

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.9 out of 5.0
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    578
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    108
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    77

Performance

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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    164
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    52
  • 1 Stars
    38

Story

  • 3.8 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    512
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    365
  • 3 Stars
    246
  • 2 Stars
    113
  • 1 Stars
    91
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Dean Koontz is back!

Would you listen to The City again? Why?

I hesitated to buy this book because Koontz has shall we say, "lost his touch" in some of his latest books. But hey, it's Koontz and I have to try because maybe I'll find the magic of Watcher's, or Strangers, and not the boredom of Darkest Night of the Year. In the city, I found it. This wasn't really a horror story as much as it is a story of surviving adversity. The supernatural is subtle but still drives the story. I really loved all of the characters and found myself whispering, "Don't let anything happen to this one." frequently throughout; I just had to know what happened next. The narrator portrayed each person clearly so that you always new who was speaking. The ending was perfect for the story. I loved this book.

29 of 30 people found this review helpful

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Simple but profound coming of age story

It's very difficult for me to pin point why I enjoy Koontz's writing so much, but I thoroughly enjoy every book of his that I have read. It's the way he turns a phrase, and seven words are actually better than one word in his writing. He takes simple thoughts and makes them sound profound. He makes me think with just the simplest statements. For example, in THE CITY, he says numerous times, "no matter what happens, everything will be all right in the end.". For most people's belief systems, this is very true, but I never thought of it in such a straight forward way.

THE CITY is basically the coming of age story of a young African American boy, Jonah Kirk, born in the late 40's. He tells his life story around the events of the day. He's a musical prodigy from a musical family. Though his father had left the family when Jonah was very young, circumstances happen where his father's actions actually have a profound affect on Jonah's life.

It's difficult to say any more about this story without giving spoilers, so I'll just say that Koontz still remains one of my favorite authors and I think that it's definitely worth any serious reader's time to enjoy the style and stories of Koontz. I listened to this on Audible which I believe enhanced this story because it seemed as though Jonah was actually talking about his own life.

17 of 18 people found this review helpful

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Great story once you wade through the beginning..

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

It's Dean Koontz ! Would always recommend a Dean Koontz for a great read.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

Kept my butt in my seat the whole way through but certainly experienced some great moments.

What does Korey Jackson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Having a black man actually read the book instead of some white guy trying to sound black was a great touch.

Any additional comments?

The book was slow to get into. Too much telling and not enough doing. However, it is part of reading Dean Koontz to get a lot of character thinking. Not exactly preaching, tho I think Koontz would make an excellent preacher. But, a lot of "rambling" about the the same themes of love and acceptance, our place in the world, etc. portrayed as the hero's thoughts sometimes seems to drone on. A little talking goes a long way Rambling with those subjects works against them. Those are subjects best lived out by example. As a Koontz fan I know it's coming tho and wade through to enjoy the full rich story he always brings.

16 of 17 people found this review helpful

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How exactly a 2-star review with 4 hours???

Any additional comments?

How is it anyway possible to give a two star review for a 13-hour audiobook that just CAME OUT 4 HOURS ago??? The answer? Its' not.<br/>Audible needss to fix this system. Once again, here is another book that gets low reviews within just HOURS of release. THere is no one on the planet that can truly give a complete, fair, knowledgeable review in that amount of time!<br/>It is unfair to the other buyers, who many like myself, depend on the reviews of others before using precious credits on a audiobook! IT is also unfair to the publishers, writer, etc.<br/>Plus who would BUY an audiobook period when they already know that is only worthy of one or two stars??? Kinda fishy if you ask me...<br/><br/>Note - In order to support what I've said above, I will edit and give FULL review after I finish the novel...but otherwise this rating system is severly flawed (as are the people who don't take it seriously)

177 of 199 people found this review helpful

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What is the story about?

I just don't understand what the book is about. Nothing made since to me. I am a die hard Dean Koontz fan and I have read a few books I'm not all that impressed with and this is one of them. the story rambles on and on and never actually makes you like the characters at all. I usually have a connection by the second chapter. although I do like the main character I'm just not impressed with anything he does which really is nothing but you are supposed to believe he is special. I never did see anything. not one of he's best by far. I wish I had could have skipped this one but because I read everything he writes the bad comes with the good.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Michael
  • Walnut Creek, CA, United States
  • 07-10-14

Weak Start, Decent Finish

This is a good Koontz, but far from his best work. This seems targeted to young adults more than most Koontz books, thus it is a bit less intense, has less graphic action, has adult themes greatly muted, and even less intricate prose.

This was so sweet as to severely challenge my suspension of disbelieve (which is always necessary in this genre, yet generally less so with Koontz). I don’t meet many ten year old catholic black jazz prodigies that cross themselves every time they say “geeze”.

The narration was quite good and augmented the story well.

I did not at all regret reading this, but I will not read it again, and would not strongly recommend it, even to young readers.

10 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • Netaw
  • PUYALLUP, WA, United States
  • 07-16-14

I can't believe the review i'm giving for a Koontz

Would you try another book from Dean Koontz and/or Korey Jackson?

I love Dean Koontz novels. I have most of them in Hardback, Paperback, and Audio. This one however was a struggle to get through.

What was most disappointing about Dean Koontz’s story?

It took several days for me to force myself through the book. When you get to the end there are redeeming qualities, you really get a grasp of what Koontz is trying to get across, but getting there is a painful journey. I don't mind that kind of journey in life, but it shouldn't be in a novel.

Have you listened to any of Korey Jackson’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No, I did enjoy his voices, and performance.

Was The City worth the listening time?

No, not really, the book was a struggle to get through.

Any additional comments?

Koontz is a wonderful author. I have enjoyed the majority of his Novels and I still think he is the best. Unfortunately this is not one of the best.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Dissapointing

When I first started Audible, I devoured all of the Dean Koontz novels that were available. I was excited to see a new book by Dean Koontz. in fact, I read (listened to) and enjoyed the prequel novella to "The City." But "The City" itself was disappointing. It couldn't keep my interest for whatever reason. It rambled too much I think, but also, it didn't have the same appeal as other Koontz books. I found myself rewinding several times to listen again to parts I had missed as my mind had wandered. It wasn't all bad, and the story reached a satisfactory conclusion, but overall I was expecting better from one of my favorite authors.

The reader did an acceptable job. It was not outstanding narration, but just about average.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Nope!

What would have made The City better?

A better grip in the beginning. We bought this book for a 12 hour car ride. We listened for 2 hours and could not listen anymore. It was boring. There wasn't any typical Dean Koontz "pull" or engagement early enough in the book to keep us interested. No suspense. We all love traveling with Koontz, but this one wasn't a good road book. We were very disappointed.

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

More of a hook in the beginning for the listener.

What does Korey Jackson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I wouldn't read this book.

What character would you cut from The City?

I couldn't tell you. I don't remember any of the characters as I couldn't engage.

Any additional comments?

Sorry, Dean. This one isn't a keeper. :(

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Come on! Koontz!

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

To raise this to a 4 or 5 star level Mr. Koontz would need to quit trying to redefine himself. I bought book after book from him as I loved what he did as an author. If suddenly your favorite restaurant started remaking your tastiest meal in unpleasant ways would you be pleased or miffed? Mr. Koontz had success with the whole Odd thing but he needs to get back to making those delicious main courses we have grown to rely on.

What do you think your next listen will be?

Perhaps something from author Peter Clines. I really enjoyed "14" by him.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

My issue with the narration was that this was told by a 57 year old character from a 10 year old's perspective. I kept waiting for the kid to grow up so the story could start. It just got more and more ridiculous. Especially due to the fact that the narrator kept speaking like a surprised little boy using a vocabulary that could cause a scholar to stumble.

What character would you cut from The City?

Maybe the obvious Urkle character named Malcolm. The author even managed to sneak the name Urkle into the story in a way that did not amuse.

Any additional comments?

So disappointed. I might as well read Icebound again. I love Dean Koontz. I just can't stand when he tries to get out of his scary little box.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • scottie
  • 03-24-17

Best book he has done in 10 years

This is probably the best book koontz has done in 10 years!!

Slow start but keep with it

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Julja
  • 09-19-14

Out of my comfort zone but worth a read

Would you listen to The City again? Why?

No.

Would you be willing to try another book from Dean Koontz? Why or why not?

I love Mr Koontz. This was a bit of a departure from his normal fare. Interesting and engaging.

What does Korey Jackson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Nicely narrated.

Any additional comments?

My gut reaction was to dislike it but it turned out better than I was expecting. Worth persevering with!

2 of 6 people found this review helpful