Wednesday, January 06, 2010
Breathless by Dean Koontz
Breathless by Dean Koontz
Grady Adams and his Irish Wolfhound, Merlin, are out for a walk on a Fall afternoon. He comes out in a meadow and sees two beautiful white creatures cavorting together in play. Creatures he's never seen before...and then they run off.
A local veterinarian, Camillia Rivers, goes to a horse farm on a job and she and the family watch in awe as all the horses, dogs, cats and goat stare in a trance at what? They don't know.
Meanwhile Henry Rouvroy goes to visit his twin brother, Jim, and his wife, Nora, on their farm. The visit has an evil motive and Henry walks an exact opposite path of Grady Adams and Camillia Rivers.
Dean Koontz always has a bit of the supernatural in his books and if you don't like that, don't read him. But I really like his writing. His "good" characters have such redeeming characteristics.
Grady Adams has a bad past and so does Camillia Rivers, and, yet, they are the "good characters" in this tale. Henry Rouvroy, who had a life of privilege and wealth, is the "evil character" in this tale. From horrible things come good people. From wonderful things come bad people. The circumstances of our pasts can make or break people no matter how good or bad they were. All of us have seen people like this and I thought Koontz used this as the linchpin of his story.
I also like how he contrasted the "good" characters versus the "bad" characters with even the little things. For instance, the story starts with Grady Adams and Merlin walking from the dark of a forest into a golden, light dazzling meadow to see 2 wonderful, new creatures. At the same time, Henry Rouvroy walks from the sunny afternoon into the huge dark barn to kill two wonderful creatures. Another time, Grady Adams is sitting quietly in his kitchen with the lights off and staring out the window drinking his cinnamon flavored coffee. At the same time, Henry is sitting in the kitchen in the dark staring inwardly at the cellar door drinking bad wine.
It's just little details that heightened the comparison. And he inserts some nice turns of phrase:
"he sometimes seemd to be a shadow, too, but one not tethered to its source."
"Henry Rouvroy picked up shotgun-shattered fragments of his face from the bathroom floor...He paused repeatedly to study reflections of his stare in the silvery shards before throwing them away. He saw nothing in his eyes, ..."
"As much as he loved the law and money and himself, he loved nothing more than pulling people's strings. He was born to be the master of his universe...Preoccupied with the details of universe management and with thoughts related to the oncoming changes in his life, he was all but oblivious of the beauty of the forest." (A little Tom Wolfe, Bonfire of the Vanities.)
I recommend this book to anyone.
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