"" Writer's Wanderings: Books for the Road--Life Expectancy

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Books for the Road--Life Expectancy

Every so often you need a Dean Koontz story to make you realize life isn't as crazy as it may seem. How would you like to live with a "birthmark" that prophesizes five terrible, awful, catastophic days in your life and gives you the dates so you can anticipate them? In Life Expectancy, that's exactly what happens to Jimmy Tock. His grandfather dies the same day he is born but not before giving out five dates that will shroud Jimmy's life.

I have to believe that Koontz wrote this tongue-in-cheek because the chief protagonist is a baker and the chief antagonist in the story is a clown and much of the humor, mostly puns, centers around baking and clowns. Humor? In a Koontz novel? Oh yes. Example: "Alone and imperiled, Lorrie needed Davy Crockett. Instead, all she had was me--a hairy-chested Julia Child." He gets a little carried away sometimes and there are some groaners but he tells a suspenseful tale with characters that use humor for their own survival. As each dreadful date approaches, you'll wonder what could possibly go wrong next. It's exciting and a page-turning read.

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