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Tick Tock

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Like a master chief, Dean Koontz stirs together a unique blend of characters and themes into one scintillating package. This is drama, horror and love rolled into one. This is social boundaries, tradition, and family. This is: Tick Tock

Koontz steps out of his niche of horror in this particular novel, while it certainly has its horror-esque moment, the book contains a certain vivacious exuberance for adventure that will uplift you rather than have you hiding behind the couch. A welcome change.

It wouldn't be a stretch to imagine that Koontz wrote this book as a relief for himself more than anything else after many years of writing much darker novels. It shows that he has not taken this book on board too seriously as although it has its dark points it is not the psychological conundrum that readers of his books have come to expect. Having said that, it is an intriguing book and keeps the reader guessing all the way through.

Of particular interest is the theme of identity. As globalisation takes hold, will we lose our sense of place, our meaning and what defines us? Expressing his opinion in the dynamics of the mother-son relationship, Koontz answer is resoundingly clear: No!

The obstreperous main protagonist comes in the shape a Vietnamese author named Tommy Phan, or rather 'Tofu boy', who writes detective novels to ease his frustration with the monotony of everyday life. On one unfortunate (or perhaps the most fortunate of his life) evening he discovers a small rag doll on his doorstep. Thinking nothing of it, he brings it inside his house. This single act tears the fabric of Tommy Phan's reality – putting his very existence into great jeopardy. Chased by an inconceivable evil that not only hunts him wherever he goes, but is seemingly indestructible. His only saviour comes in the form of a beautiful, strangely intuitive waitress he meets by chance - or by a design far beyond his comprehension. Oh, you can't forget the obligatory canine sidekick thrown in, a fixture in Koontz's work.

It's a pleasant read-in-one-go thriller that will leave a smile on your face. The pacing is delectable, and while clichés are tossed around too easily, 'there's never a dull moment' is certainly appropriate when describing the emotional journey Tick Tock takes the reader on. Over the years Koontz has nurtured the fine art of suspense and it is used to its fullest potential here. The greatest illusion an author can give to a reader is one of personal involvement with the book and therefore themselves. Koontz achieves this illusion.

Don't be surprised to find yourself jumping up and down, gesticulating: “Yes, Tommy! Go for it!!”

The deadline is dawn.




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J H said...
May 8, 2009 at 4:11 pm:
Introduction

A detective novelist named Tommy Phan was living the life in San Diego, California. One day he was riding home in his brand new Corvette, when suddenly his radio makes weird sounds followed by the constant repetition of his name. When he arrives home, exhausted from a long day of work, he finds a mysterious rag doll on his front doormat. Curious, he decides to take it inside.


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