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Publisher's Summary

Jimmy Tock comes into the world on the very night his grandfather leaves it. As a violent storm rages outside the hospital, Rudy Tock spends long hours walking the corridors between the expectant fathers' waiting room and his dying father's bedside. It's a strange vigil made all the stranger when, at the very height of the storm's fury, Josef Tock suddenly sits up in bed and speaks coherently for the first and last time since his stroke. What he says before he dies is that there will be five dark days in the life of his grandson, five dates whose terrible events Jimmy will have to prepare himself to face. The first is to occur in his 20th year; the second in his 23rd year; the third in his 28th; the fourth in his 29th; the fifth in his 30th.
Rudy is all too ready to discount his father's last words as a dying man's delusional rambling. But then he discovers that Josef also predicted the time of his grandson's birth to the minute, as well as his exact height and weight, and the fact that Jimmy would be born with syndactyly, the unexplained anomaly of fused digits, on his left foot. Suddenly the old man's predictions take on a chilling significance.
What terrifying events await Jimmy on these five dark days? What nightmares will he face? What challenges must he survive? As the novel unfolds, picking up Jimmy's story at each of these crisis points, the path he must follow will defy every expectation. And with each crisis he faces, he will move closer to a fate he could never have imagined. For who Jimmy Tock is and what he must accomplish on the five days when his world turns is a mystery as dangerous as it is wondrous, a struggle against an evil so dark and pervasive, only the most extraordinary of human spirits can shine through.
©2004 Dean Koontz (P)2004 Random House, Inc.
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Critic Reviews

"Emotionally powerful and thought-provoking." (Booklist)
"Of all best-selling authors, Koontz may be the most underestimated by the literary establishment....A master storyteller and a daring writer....Koontz is a true original and this novel, one of his most unusual yet, will leave readers aglow." (Publishers Weekly)
"Mr. Koontz is a skillful storyteller....His new Life Expectancy offers a clear illustration of what he does right." (The New York Times)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By MarDin on 09-05-05

New life for Koontz

After listening to Frankenstein and finding the writing way too narcissistic, I was very pleasantly surprised to listen to this book. I can only assume one of these books was either not written by Koontz, or this author is a man of multiply diverse styles. This book was a complete joy! It was one of those books that made me feel like I had a new friend and that the book was written for me... that is to say, i wanted to listen to it at every available moment and was sorry when it was over. It was filled with intelligent humor, witty and always captivating. Mr. Koontz, if you are out there, can you please explain to me how you can write in such an enveloping manner in one book, and lose it (IMHO) in the other. This book had none of the overt need to impress the reader with the author's grasp of the dictionary...this book was not filled with irrelevant detail like the other. For a mystery novel, this does all I expect the genre to provide. Bravo.

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19 of 19 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Nicholas on 12-20-04

Not my favorite Koontz, but still engaging...

I normally rate audiobooks based on whether or not I can fall asleep to them. I found the characters and plot of this book good enough to keep me up til morning on two different nights. Not only was the story suspensful, it had a finely honed humorous edge to it. The twists of the second half of the story were very unexpected, which was a delight to me since I normally predict them. I'm glad to see that Koontz is still in top form.

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46 of 52 people found this review helpful

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