Sunday, July 20, 2014

The City

 tags: family, friendships, mystery-crime, thriller

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Book Synopsis
A young boy, a musical prodigy, discovering life’s wonders—and mortal dangers. His best friend, also a gifted musician, who will share his journey into destiny. His remarkable family, tested by the extremes of evil and bound by the depths of love . . . on a collision course with a band of killers about to unleash anarchy. And two unlikely allies, an everyday hero tempered by the past and a woman of mystery who holds the key to the future. 
These are the people of The City, a place where enchantment and malice entwine, courage and honor are found in the most unexpected quarters, and the way forward lies buried deep inside the heart. Brilliantly illumined by magic dark and light, their unforgettable story is a riveting, soul-stirring saga that speaks to everyone, a major milestone in the celebrated career of #1 New York Times bestselling author Dean Koontz and a dazzling realization of the evergreen dreams we all share. 

excerpts from Chapter 1

"My name is Jonah Ellington Basie Hines Eldridge Wilson Hampton Armstrong Kirk. From as young as I can remember, I loved the city. Mine is 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.

But the city was as well a place of wonder, of magic dark and light, magic of which in my eventual life I had much experience, including one night when I died and woke and lived again."

Dean Koontz opens his new novel with beautiful prose and continues throughout until the very end. It's one of the reasons I love the book and why it is already on my favorite list.

At the present time, Jonah Kirk is a 57 year old accomplished musician. His friend Malcolm, also a musician, urged him that it's time to tell what happened from when he was barely 10 years old in the 60s (the bulk of the novel is set in the 60s). And what an amazing story he told not just about himself but also his family, neighbors, friends. 

Dean Koontz set the slow pace early on. This is not a typical Dean Koontz novel because normally when reading a new Dean Koontz thriller, I couldn't wait to finish within 2 days. Not this book. I read it slooowly to savor it like a fine chocolate candy bar. I read a few chapters, put it down to analyze what I just read, and continued reading the next day. I don't know why but I think it's to understand what Dean Koontz tried to convey in this novel. Probably this - "No matter what happens, no matter what, everything will be okay in the long run."

More noteworthy excerpts:

"After you have suffered great losses and known much pain, it is not cowardice to wish to live henceforth with a minimum of suffering. And one form of heroism, about which few if any films are made, is having the courage to live without bitterness when bitterness is justified, having the strength to persevere even when perseverance is unlikely to be rewarded, having the resolution to find profound meaning in life when it seems the most meaningless."

"Surrendering to fear can destroy your life. Indulgence to stubborn anger destroys it as well. But guilt, is no less a destroyer of lives. Fear can be overcome. You may let go of anger. And guilt can be forgiven."


The novel is written so vividly and the characters so well defined, it reads like a movie. If it becomes a movie adaptation, I hope the cast of protagonists will be similar to my fantasy cast. 

young Jonah Kirk - Terrell Ransom, Jr
adult Jonah Bledsoe - Denzel Washington
Jonah's mom Sylvia Bledsoe - Jennifer Hudson
Grandpa Teddy - Samuel L. Jackson
Miss Pearl - Stacey Dash
young Malcolm Pomerantz -  Preston Bailey
adult Malcolm Pomerantz - Bruce Willis or Tom Hanks
Amalia Pomerantz - Elle Fanning
Mr. Yoshioka - Tadanobu Asano
Mrs. Lorenzo - ?

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