The City by Dean Koontz

The City - Dean Koontz

Full review on my blog.

The City is the first book by Dean Koontz I have ever read. I hadn’t read great reviews of this book, but I gave it a try and I liked it a lot.

The cover of The City, although not a remarkably unforgettable one, is OK. I don’t feel it is the perfect cover for this story as I didn't picture the setting that way in my mind, but it gives you an idea of a dark story.

One little detail, I don't know if it's just me or if someone else feels the same, but the title gets lost in the picture. Koontz's name is too big for the cover and steals the title's thunder in my humble opinion. Like I said, it's an OK cover.

The City is the story of Jonah Ellington Basie Hines Eldridge Wilson Hampton Armstrong Kirk. Yes, that’s our MC’s name. He was named after his grandfather’s musical heroes of the sixties, but he went by Jonah Kirk.

We meet Jonah in his 50s as he retells his friend Malcolm, the series of strangely unusual events that occurred to him when he was 8; uncommon memorable events that influenced him and shaped him into the man he became.

We also meet memorable characters like Malcolm, his best friend, Amalia, Malcolm’s sister, his neighbors: Mr. Yoshioka and Mrs. Lorenzo, and the you-could-call mythical Miss Pearl. Through Jonah’s relationships with these peculiar characters, we learn important lessons about love, life, sacrifice, respect and friendship.

Jonah is a remarkable character. He faces many challenges at such a short age in such a way, that we forget he is only an 8 year old boy. It is at some level unbelievable how he kept going with such a remarkable attitude about everything. Much of it was thanks to the people around him and also because of the music.

Jonah lived in a world of the good and the bad. His is a story, in my humble opinion, of how music influenced him in his life choices. After reading this book, I understand that the road he took would have been so much different hadn’t it been for music.

Don’t be fooled, The City is not a rosy peachy goodie story of a little boy that grows up to be a musical prodigy. The City is a dark story, full of mystery, suspense, drama and exciting thrills that will keep you page turning. At least that’s what I experienced reading this book. I was shocked to learn what happened to Jonah, not how it happened because I sort of predicted it, but I didn’t expect the end result on him.

The City was a good read. I didn’t give it 5 stars for two reasons. First, there’s Fiona, one of the antagonist characters. There was something about her that didn’t make sense for me. And the other reason is that even though it was entertaining, it was not a life changing read, which is the main thing a book has to make me feel for it to get 5 stars.

I'm looking forward to read more of Koontz's work. If you are a Dean Koontz fan, read this book knowing that this is not your usual Koontz read. If you are not a Koontz fan, and you are in the mood for a story about mystery, suspense, music and love, this is the book for you.

I liked The City. I’m glad it ended with such a positive message. I need to end this review with the following quote which summarizes with exactitude what The City is about:

…a story of love reciprocated. It is the story of loss and hope, and of the strangeness that lies just beneath the surface tension of daily life, a strangeness infinite fathoms in depth.

For quotes and more of my thoughts about The City, check out the full review on my blog.