I had the privilege of reading an advanced copy of Dean Koontz’s new book The City a few weeks ago. And with publication date quickly approaching I can now publish my review!
The City, by Dean Koontz
Bantam, July 1, 2014
This was undoubtably one of the best modern quasi horror, suspense novel I have read in a while. The story unfolds at a quiet pace slowly building to a terrifying climax that was nothing short of brilliant. This was so well done that I sat on the review for about a week, not entirely sure what to say other than Wow.…
I generally don’t like stories that make me cry, but this one was so filled with hope that despite tragedy the sentiment of “It will all work out in the end” kept me reading. I love historical fiction and this book takes us to the heart of the counter revolution of the early 70s. But this tale is not one of protests, and riots, though those happen viewed through t.v. or newspaper, but one told through music, and a family of African American Musicians. The story is a sort of memoir from the point of view of Jonah Kirk looking back on his life and three important years as the first page states,
“When I was eight, I would meet the woman who claimed she was the city…”
So this story is about an 8-11 year old Jonah, but also the City, and the folks who live within her. It is a story about what connects us to others, and what makes a community.…The good and the bad. There is an element of magic and mystery that threads through the whole novel and through it all there is music. All the songs are real, and for younger readers, I encourage you to find a recording and listen while you read. Mr. Koontz threads a fictional family through very real history and does it with perfect pitch.
This offers a magical, mysterious, terrible, horrible, murderous, wondrous look at life in The City.
And Yes, I did pre order a signed copy of the book. That is how much I liked it!
I highly recommend this book to both teens and adults. There is a lot that could be discussed, but mostly it is just a brilliant tale. There is violence, but not graphic, there is cussing, but not much. There is death, natural and not. But compared to most modern teen (and adult) novels I can’t see much in it that would be a problem.
For discussion questions about his book see: http://deankoontz.com/reading-group-guide-for-the-city