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Lightning by Dean Koontz

Lightning (original 1988; edition 1989)

by Dean Koontz

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2,795382,089 (3.91)32
Authors:Dean Koontz
Info:Berkley (1989), Paperback, 368 pages
Collections:Your library, To read
Tags:1010, supernatural, aliens, suspense, owned, tbr

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Lightning by Dean Koontz (1988)



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Showing 1-5 of 39 (next | show all)
This year, along with my King reread, I'm delving into my top 10 Koontz books again. (Probably Top 12, just so I have a book for every month, but I'm having trouble picking two more.) I have a theory about Dean Koontz, and it goes like this: He's only written ten stories in his career, and he's been rewriting them ever since. This one is structured an awful lot like From the Corner of His Eye and the absolutely terrible Life Expectancy, which is the only Koontz book I've ever given a single star to, other than his money-grabbing short story tie-ins.

Lightning has everything I miss about Koontz. Coherent plot, a theme, no uber-smart dog character, and enough heart to choke a cannibal. It's a damn fun book, if a little... old fashioned where ideas are concerned. Let's completely overlook the concepts borrowed from the movie Terminator. Let's also overlook the fact that a man changes the future because of instalove. Let's furthermore overlook that there are two stalkers in this book: one's a secret admirer and the other is a "guardian", so that's okay. After all, what's the difference between a stalker and your boyfriend? Your boyfriend's hot.

(These are the jokes, fuckface. Deal with 'em.)

If we're to forgive all this, then we can safely enjoy the book. I'm willing to do that for nostalgia's sake alone. I'd hate to think that a younger version of me passed by these things without so much as a raised eyebrow, but he did. So, because I'm cutting that blind douchepickle some slack, I'll cut Koontz some slack, too.

In summation: I wish I could travel back in time and slap myself for enjoying this book so much, but I can't Paradox!, as Chris says, over and over and over... I get it. Doctor Who is a lie, and H. G. Wells was on that rock. I can dig it. Read it for a healthy dose of 1989. Because not being confined to a wheelchair is worth risking Hitler winning the war. Logic. Set. Match.

(This review is brought to you by Sarcasm. I received this book free of charge in exchange for puberty.) ( )
  Edward.Lorn | Feb 13, 2015 |
It wasn't a time travel book until about halfway through, then it became a suspense novel with a time travel twist. The reader is always hoping for a happily-ever-after outcome and history keep getting changed. Somehow, I hope that we humans never develop a time travel capability...fun to read, nasty to imagine for real. ( )
  buffalogr | May 11, 2014 |
Oh, Dean. The premise of this story is actually really good. With realistic, dynamic, three-dimensional characters, it could have been a great story. Alas, Koontz doesn't write those kind of characters. It's still a decent story--some suspense, some action...and some completely ridiculous stuff that will leave you shaking your head. Yes, even in a time-travel story. It's a mixed bag.

On a personal note--this was the first "grown-up" novel I read as a kid. I was eleven. Needless to say, I loved it unequivocally back then. I will say, as a kid that age, the situations that Laura finds herself in as a child were pretty harrowing, and that added a level of feeling that I can't quite recover twenty-five years later. But I'll always have a soft spot for it this book, and for a lot of Koontz's work, for that reason.
  jonwwil | Mar 6, 2014 |
The biggest problem is that the story takes a long time to explain the plot. The interesting half is the first, as Laura is growing up. The other half which I selectively amnesiaed was Stefan setting up explosives in some building, and watching the "gate". But we don't know why, who he is, or what he wants, besides keeping Laura from dying. This building of tension would be fine, if we knew what the stakes were. Plus the explosives never result in any consequences to the plot. It falls flat because there's no investment (and because it doesn't work). If I was writing this, I wouldn't have included any of Stefan before the halfway point.

I had no idea who he was until he says what he is. I guess Koontz kept it ambiguous for the big reveal. I also didn't remember how annoying the comedienne best friend was or the main character conveniently knowing someone rich up the ass AND an underground gun dealer working out of Chuck E. Cheese who has access to biological weapons. What I'm trying to say is that the book is more flawed then I remember. ( )
  theWallflower | Jan 20, 2014 |
Lightning was my first Dean Koontz book ever. I loved every minute of it! I love the way Dean Koontz describes the characters in his stories and keeps his readers guessing. I never imagined the ending in Lightning. If you haven't read it, you should. It's a definite must. ( )
  karen.tjebben | Jan 8, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 39 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dean Koontzprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brautigam, DonCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The wailing of a newborn infant is mingled with the dirge for the dead. --Lucretius
I'm not afraid to die.  I just don't want to be there when it happens.  --Woody Allen
Roller coast: 1) a small gravity railroad...with steep inclines that produce sudden, speedy plunges for thrill-seeking passengers. --The Random House Dictionary
To Greg and Joan Benford.  Sometimes I think that you're the most interesting people we know.  Then I alwas take two aspirin and lie down.  But the thought persists.
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A storm struck on the night Laura Shane was born, and there was a strangeness about the weather that people would remember for years.
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Book description
A storm struck on the night Laura Shane was born, and there was a strangeness about the weather that people would remember for years. But even more mysterious was the blond-haired stranger who appeared out of nowhere - the man who saved Laura from a fatal delivery.

Years later - after another bolt of lightning - the stranger returned, again to save Laura from tragedy. Was he the guardian angel he seemed? The devil in disguise? Or the master of a haunting destiny beyond time and space?

Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0425192032, Mass Market Paperback)

A bolt of lightning brings a blond-haired stranger into Laura Shane's life. But is he the guardian angel he seems? The devil in disguise? Or the master of a haunting destiny beyond time and space?

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:56:01 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Laura Shane's guardian angel, a mysterious stranger whose presence is heralded by a flash of lightning, saves her from various calamities. When lightning strikes twice, terror starts. The third time is worse!

(summary from another edition)

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