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The Darkest Evening of the Year (original 2007; edition 2007)

by Dean Koontz

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2,116793,104 (3.36)64
Member:KimberliRey
Title:The Darkest Evening of the Year
Authors:Dean Koontz
Info:Bantam (2007), Edition: 1ST, Hardcover, 368 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
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The Darkest Evening of the Year by Dean Koontz (2007)

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Review: The Darkest Evening of the Year By Dean Koontz.

Like a lot of Dean Koontz books, evil is one of the attractions to keep the reader curiosity to the end. Dean Koontz loves golden retrievers so much he places a lot of these dogs within his novel. So, if you’re a dog lover you’ll enjoy this book. Plus, I heard Dean Koontz own golden retriever, Trixie died not long after he started writing this novel. So you know he put his whole heart creating this book while it was helping him through the grieving process of Trixie.

This is a smooth read that has some complex connections but for the most part follows a simple plot moved on by the conflict between the bad actions of a few characters with the well-prepared inspired reactions of the good characters. Several sociopaths, anarchist characters provide the antagonistic angle of the story that threatens the protagonist dogs and two human characters, Amy and Brian who were dog rescuers.

Koontz seems to really set out to accentuate two positives in his book. One is the intrinsic value and uniqueness of golden retrievers. The second point Koontz makes is the value of Down’s syndrome children… This is a heart-warming theme in his story.
( )
  Juan-banjo | May 31, 2016 |
Started off pretty good, then I lost interest. It got pretty funky with the little nerdy kid and his experiments. I wouldn't read it again, or recommend it. ( )
  Don_Mega | Dec 18, 2015 |
This was better than Relentless, but not by a lot. It had characters with complex and tragic back stories and had supernatural elements. The supernatural just felt hokey to me, again, as it did in Relentless. It did have some enjoyable descriptions of Golden Retrievers. The view of individuals with a disability is distorted and it is implied that people with such disabilities have some other super abilities that we don't understand.

Mr. Koontz has had many books published and could be said to have a successful career. I wish him continued success, but this will be the last of his books I attempt. ( )
  karmiel | Aug 22, 2015 |
This story starts out really funny; had me laughing a bit. I must admit, I have two Shepherd mixed-breed dogs, so the ploy was intriguing. The story was well done, the writing was good and a coupe of paragraphs were, to me, philosophically intriguing. Characters well-developed and storyline kept you interested to find out what is actually going on. I must admit, however, that the ending seemed a bit too fanciful and, in my opinion, abrupt - anticlimactic - but Koontz redeemed himself in the last paragraph, which I found to be descriptive of the way of the world.

This is a good read and not exactly "horror," at least, from my perspective. Just a good story with a flavoring of "spirituality". ( )
  atdCross | Aug 19, 2015 |
In my humble opinion ... not one of Koontz's best. More of an ode to the golden retriever. But since Koontz's Einstein is one of my favourite "characters" ever ... I forgive him.
( )
  ChristineEllei | Jul 14, 2015 |
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Epigraph
The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
--Robert Frost, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
Dedication
To Gerda, who will one day be greeted jubilantly in the next life by the golden daughter whom she loved so well and with such selfless tenderness in this world. And to Father Jerome Molokie, for his many kindnesses, for his good cheer, for his friendship, and for his inspiring devotion to what is first, true, and infinite.
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Behind the wheel of the Ford Expedition, Amy Redwing drove as if she were immortal and therefore safe at any speed.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0553804820, Hardcover)

Amazon.com Exclusive:
The Darkest Ice Cream of the Year by Dean Koontz

I once said writing a novel is sometimes like making love and sometimes like having a tooth pulled--and sometimes like making love while having a tooth pulled. I arrived at one of those joyful yet excruciating moments while working on The Darkest Evening of the Year.

Because I am obsessive about the revision of each page--the word fussbudget is embarrassingly apt when I am brooding over whether to use a comma or a semicolon--I have more than once held on to a manuscript until the drop-dead date for delivery. When that date rolled around for this book, I had written everything, but I was unwilling to send all of it to my editor. I withheld the last fifty pages for another four days, causing a quiet panic in those at my publishing house who are responsible for meeting production deadlines.

Although the book was done, I felt that something was wrong with Chapter 63. The action worked, the characters were in character, the mood was sustained...but something felt wrong with it, some fine point of the villain's motivation. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, I worked 12-hour days, trying to identify the source of my doubt, but couldn't specify it to my satisfaction.

Nothing like this had ever happened to me. Previously, my worst struggles with a story had come in the first two-thirds, and the final third had been, if not a sweet swift toboggan run, at least a sleigh ride.

Sunday, I got up at 6:00 and set to work, revising, looking for the thorn I could feel but couldn't see--and ended up working 22 hours, eating at my desk, before tumbling to the problem at 4:00 a.m. Monday morning. "Eureka!" I cried, but I was so weary and my voice was so weak that my shout of jubilation came out as a squeak.

The revisions required to Chapter 63 were minor, but after working 58 hours in four days, after having passed a night without sleep, I was unable to focus sharply enough to get them done in the little time that remained before the production schedule would be derailed. In desperation, I turned to that source of creative energy and literary enlightenment that is without equal: ice cream.

I shuffled to the kitchen and snared a Dreyer's Slow-Churned Vanilla Almond Crunch bar from the freezer. I devoured this sweet-and-creamy muse, and felt the scales lift from my eyes; inspiration sparkled between my ears. I finished the revisions and e-mailed the final version of Chapter 63 to my editor with not a minute to spare. Although the American Heart Association will take issue with me, my advice to young writers stuck on a scene is to stop worrying about your arteries and give your wheel-spinning imagination what it needs to find traction: a tasty shot of fat and sugar.

--Dean Koontz, October 2007



(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:21 -0400)

(see all 9 descriptions)

Amy Redwing has dedicated her life to the southern California organization she founded to rescue abandoned and endangered golden retrievers. No one is surprised when Amy risks her life to save Nickie, nor when she takes the female golden into her home. The bond between Amy and Nickie is immediate and uncanny. Even her two other goldens, Fred and Ethel, recognize Nickie as special, a natural alpha. But the instant joy Nickie brings is shadowed by a series of eerie, ominous, and invasive incidents.--From publisher's description.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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