Koontz’s Brave New World
“Like the cold and fragile ectoplasm of summoned spirits, the gossamer architecture pressed against their faces, and much of it clung tenaciously to their clothes that even in the gloom, they began to look like the risen dead in tattered gravecloth.”
Thus begins the latest novel from bestselling author Dean Koontz, who has brought us such great tales as Fear Nothing, Watchers, Intensity, and Dark Rivers of the Heart. In From the Corner of His Eye Koontz transcends his revered storytelling, reaching a new and higher plateau, both in narrative style and plot. From the Corner of His Eye becomes a story that one wants to keep, both in their hears and on their shelf, to return to often.
The novel uses a casts of fantastically strong characters, each with their own unique and complex lives that the reader learns about in turn. The main character, Bartholomew Lampton, is a young boy who is almost a miracle birth, the mother having suffered a near-death accident on the way to the hospital. Early on, Barty appears to be a prodigy of a new dimensions, excelling in all fields to a shocking degree. Approaching the age of four, he develops a rare form of retinal cancer; the only solution is to have the retinas removed. For the next ten years of his life, Barty is blind, dealing with this deformity and coping just fine. Then one day, through powers both mystical and supernatural, Barty gains his sight.
Each of the other characters forms part of a beautiful circular puzzle, where Barty is at the cent, the rest accompanying pieces. The reader is taken on journeys into the minds and lives of these characters, orchestrated by the great puppet master, Mr. Koontz, from one character to the next, from this chapter to that.
Koontz lays such a solid groundwork with From the Corner of His Eye that one is left hoping for possible sequels with this wonderful setting. The book concludes with a satisfying end, opening up the reader’s narrow mind to a world of impossibilities made possible and events – ruled not empirically possible by scientists – to reality and fruition.
“Through the mind, odd and disconnected thoughts rolled like slow, greasy eye-of-the-hurricane waves on an ominous sea.” Koontz’s words broach the realm of poetry with their imagery, making the story not only compelling and spellbinding but outright charming and exquisite. When one begins reading From the Corner of His Eye, it will be unlike any book ever read by anyone. The tale is magnificent, the pace strong and continuous, the characters unique and incomparable to any others. The power is like a charging, one-manned train, where Mr. Koontz is the driver and the reader is the only passenger, where he or she will remain belted into the sea, reading paragraphs and turning pages, until the very last, collapsing in an exhausted heap; then rising after recuperation, hoping for a sequel.
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Originally published on March 26, 2001 ©Alex C. Telander.
Originally published in the Long Beach Union.