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From the Corner of His Eye

From the Corner of His Eye

4.3 309
by Dean Koontz, Stephen Lang (Read by)

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His birth was marked by wonder and tragedy.

He sees beauty and terror beyond our deepest dreams.

His story will change the way you see the world.

On the heels of his #1 bestseller False Memory, Dean Koontz brings together his most compelling themes and an unforgettable cast of characters to create what is perhaps the most thrilling and emotionally


His birth was marked by wonder and tragedy.

He sees beauty and terror beyond our deepest dreams.

His story will change the way you see the world.

On the heels of his #1 bestseller False Memory, Dean Koontz brings together his most compelling themes and an unforgettable cast of characters to create what is perhaps the most thrilling and emotionally powerful work of his critically acclaimed career.

Bartholomew Lampion is born on a day of tragedy and terror that will mark his family forever. All agree that his unusual eyes are the most beautiful they have ever seen. On this same day, a thousand miles away, a ruthless man learns that he has a mortal enemy named Bartholomew. He embarks on a relentless search to find this enemy, a search that will consume his life. And a girl is born from a brutal rape, her destiny mysteriously linked to Barty and the man who stalks him.

At the age of three, Barty Lampion is blinded when surgeons remove his eyes to save him from a fast-spreading cancer. As he copes with his blindness and proves to be a prodigy, his mother counsels him that all things happen for a reason and that every person’s life has an effect on every other person’s, in often unknowable ways.

At thirteen, Bartholomew regains his sight. How he regains it, why he regains it, and what happens as his amazing life unfolds and entwines with others results in a breathtaking journey of courage, heart-stopping suspense, and high adventure.

From the Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

The Barnes & Noble Review
In his most suspenseful and riveting novel yet, Dean Koontz explores the effects of quantum physics on human relationships in From the Corner of His Eye. If the idea of this complex scientific bent scares you, think again. Although the underlying science and its potential implications are mind-boggling, Koontz flavors it with enough humanity to assure it goes down easily. And the end result will profoundly change the way most readers view their lives, one another, and the world in general.

Bartholomew "Barty" Lampion is born on a day marked by tragedy. Both of his parents will die, though thanks to some quick medical help, his mother, Agnes, will return to the living. Little Barty proves himself to be an amazing child almost from the first day -- a prodigy who, by the age of three, is reading at an eighth-grade level. Then tragedy strikes again when a rare type of cancer forces the removal of both of Barty's eyes, leaving him totally blind. Yet despite this setback, Barty continues to amaze everyone with his boundless love of life, his steely determination, and more than a few astonishing perceptions.

Angel White is born on the same day as Barty, and the circumstances are just as tragic. Not only was Angel conceived during a violent rape, Angel's mother, Seraphim, a 15-year-old African American and the daughter of a Baptist minister, dies during the birth. But something amazing happens first, something that will affect the lives of both the doctor delivering the child and Seraphim's older sister, Celestina, who raises Angel. This child, too, proves to be exceptional.

It will be three years before these two remarkable children meet, though their lives are mysteriously intertwined from the moment of their births. Each possesses a unique and rare ability that changes the way they, and those around them, see the world. But a vicious killer wants them both dead, and their eventual confrontation will have a mind-shattering outcome, the effect of which will eventually be felt throughout the universe.

Koontz deftly blends science with religion in this largely character-driven tale, imbuing the work with a number of spiritual and biblical overtones. In the hands of a writer less skilled, this could be a recipe for disaster. But in the highly capable hands of Koontz, it becomes a compelling tale of human nature and the ripple effect our actions and decisions have on the world around us.

--Beth Amos

Beth Amos is the author of three novels, including Cold White Fury and Second Sight.

Don D'Ammassa
This is a conventional serial killer story, but it's a very good one.
Science Fiction Chronicle
Koontz narrates his latest book from the point of view of a number of characters, including the dangerous Junior Cain. Cain, a sadist and murderer, is convinced that he must kill in order to fulfill his life's purpose. Soon Cain sets his sights on a child named Bartholomew, a mathematical and linguistic prodigy whose angelic mother delivers pies to the hungry. A variety of unimaginative characters populate the book, including a priest-turned-policeman who makes catching Cain his new calling. The many good characters never stray from stereotype and do anything wrong or small or selfish, and even the villainous Cain often comes across as silly.
—Jennifer Braunschweiger

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The premise behind Koontz's new novel is the same that buoyed Michael Crichton's TimelineDthat there exist multitudes of alternate universes, each varying only slightly from the next. Whereas Crichton used the idea to generate high adventure, however, Koontz employs it to create powerful emotion tinged with spiritual wonder. That emotion, which rocks characters and will shake readers, marks this as one of Koontz's most affecting novelsDand he's written a lot of them. But there's else in this fitfully suspenseful, sprawling story of good vs. evil that will leave readers wishing Koontz would make better friends with his delete key. Above all, there's the villain, Junior Cain, whose opening homicidal act will shock readers like ice water on the spine. Koontz enlivens dashing Junior with lots of neat touchesDe.g., he develops psychosomatic afflictions (vomiting, boils) after each kill, but Junior seems built from the outside in, more a pile of tics than a full-fledged human. On the side of good, the characters are more engaging, especially two psychospiritually gifted children and Thomas Vanadium, the magic-working priest-turned-cop who gets on Junior's case like a pit bull. Vanadium's lust for justice will galvanize readers, as will the trials and triumphs of the children, particularly the boy, Bartholomew, who Junior sees in one working out of Koontz's theme of the interconnectedness of all life as his mortal enemy and seeks to destroy. The potency of that theme and Bartholomew's wisdom in the face of personal tragedy provide the novel with great uplift, in spite of its wildly convoluted story line and excessive verbiage. (Dec. 26) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
On an unseasonably warm January day in 1965, Junior Cain and Naomi, his beautiful wife of fourteen months, strike out on a hike through the forests of the Oregon coast. Their destination is a 150-foot fire tower with commanding views of the surrounding woods. Junior and Naomi climb to the top of the decrepit tower to enjoy the scenery, whereupon Junior shoves Naomi through rotted railings to her death. At the same time, in Bright Beach, California, Bartholomew Lampion is born. On the way to the hospital for his delivery, Barty's parents are involved in an automobile accident that tragically claims the life of Barty's father. Concurrently, in San Francisco, the victim of a brutal rape dies while giving birth to a precious daughter, Angel. The destinies of the stone cold killer and the two babies are linked inextricably and ultimately coalesce in a climax that is astonishing and deeply moving. The author's name alone, of course, will sell this book, but my oh my, this might be Koontz's best effort yet. The large cast of characters, particularly the fully developed main players, is richly imagined. The plot is suspenseful and complex. Informing the novel throughout is a fascinating theory that involves quantum mechanics, faith, and human relationships. In short, From the Corner of His Eye is a page-turner with soul. Teen Koontz fans will not be disappointed. (Hard to imagine it being any better written; Broad general YA appeal; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12; Adult and Young Adult). Ages 16 to Adult. Reviewer: Randy Brough June 2001 (Vol. 24, No. 2)
Library Journal
Weird doings here: on the day Bartholomew is born, an evil stranger far away learns that he will eventually be thwarted by someone with that name and starts stalking the little fellow. This thriller will be released on December 26. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
From the Publisher
“A literary miracle . . . a tapestry of intrigue and suspense.”—The Boston Globe
“Wonderful . . . a deeply satisfying, rich novel. From the Corner of His Eye is magic.”—The Times-Picayune
“May be Koontz’s crowning achievement . . . In this first-rate thriller, nonstop action keeps on turning the pages.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune
“An explosion of emotion and wonder . . . as gripping a novel as you’ll find, and as thought-provoking.”—Baton Rouge Advocate

Product Details

Random House Audio Publishing Group
Publication date:
Dean Koontz Series
Edition description:
Unabridged, 18 CDs, 22 hours
Product dimensions:
5.06(w) x 5.86(h) x 1.65(d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

Bartholomew Lampion was blinded at the age of three, when surgeons reluctantly removed his eyes to save him from a fast-spreading cancer; but although eyeless, Barty regained his sight when he was thirteen.

This sudden ascent from a decade of darkness into the glory of light was not brought about by the hands of a holy healer. No celestial trumpets announced the restoration of his vision, just as none had announced his birth.

A roller coaster had something to do with his recovery, as did a seagull. And you can't discount the importance of Barty's profound desire to make his mother proud of him before her second death.

The first time she died was the day Barty was born.

January 6, 1965.

In Bright Beach, California, most residents spoke of Barty's mother, Agnes Lampion -- also known as the Pie Lady -- with affection. She lived for others, her heart tuned to their anguish and their needs. In this materialistic world, her selflessness was cause for suspicion among those whose blood was as rich with cynicism as with iron. Even such hard souls, however, admitted that the Pie Lady had countless admirers and no enemies.

The man who tore the Lampion family's world apart, on the night of Barty's birth, had not been her enemy. He was a stranger, but the chain of his destiny shared a link with theirs.

Chapter 2

January 6, 1965, shortly after eight o'clock in the morning, Agnes had entered first-stage labor while baking six blueberry pies. This wasn't false labor again, because the pains extended around her entire back and across her abdomen, rather than being limited to the lower abdomen and groin. The spasms were worse when she walked than when she stood still or sat down: another sign of the real thing.

Her discomfort wasn't severe. The contractions were regular but widely separated. She refused to be admitted to the hospital until she completed the day's scheduled tasks.

For a woman in her first pregnancy, this stage of labor lasts twelve hours on average. Agnes believed herself to be average in every regard, as comfortably ordinary as the gray jogging suit with drawstring waist that she wore to accommodate her baby-stretched physique; therefore, she was confident that she wouldn't proceed to second-stage labor much sooner than ten o'clock in the evening.

Joe, her husband, wanted to rush her to the hospital long before noon. After packing his wife's suitcase and stowing it in the car, he canceled his appointments and loitered in her vicinity, although he was careful to stay always one room away from her, lest she become annoyed by his smothering concern and chase him out of the house.

Each time that he heard Agnes groan softly or inhale with a hiss of pain, he tried to time her contractions. He spent so much of the day studying his wristwatch that when he lanced at his face in the foyer mirror, he expected to see the faint reflection of a sweeping second hand clocking around and around in his eyes.

Joe was a worrier, although he didn't look like one. Tall, strong, he could have subbed for Samson, pulling down pillars and collapsing roofs upon the Philistines. He was gentle by nature, however, and lacked the arrogance and the reckless confidence of many men his size. Although happy, even jolly, he believed that he had been too richly blessed with fortune, friends, and family. Surely one day fate would make adjustments to his brimming accounts.

He wasn't wealthy, merely comfortable, but he never worried about losing his money, because he could always earn more through hard work and diligence. Instead, on restless nights, he was kept sleepless by the quiet dread of losing those he loved. Life was like the ice on an early-winter pond: more fragile than it appeared to be, riddled by hidden fractures, with a cold darkness below.

Besides, to Joe Lampion, Agnes was not in any way average, regardless of what she might think. She was glorious, unique. He didn't put her on a pedestal, because a mere pedestal didn't raise her as high as she deserved to be raised.

If ever he lost her, he would be lost, too.

Throughout the morning, Joe Lampion brooded about every known medical complication associated with childbirth. He had learned more than he needed to know on this subject, months earlier, from a thick medical-reference work that had raised the hair on the back of his neck more effectively and more often than any thriller he had ever read.

At 12:50, unable to purge his mind of textbook descriptions of antepartum hemorrhage, postpartum hemorrhage, and violent eclamptic convulsions, he burst through the swinging door, into the kitchen, and announced, "All right, Aggie, enough. We've waited long enough."

At the breakfast table, she was writing notes in the gift cards that would accompany the six blueberry pies that she had baked that morning. "I feel fine, Joey."

Other than Aggie, no one called him Joey. He was six feet three, 230 pounds, with a stone-quarry face that was all slabs and crags, fearsome until he spoke in his low musical voice or until you noticed the kindness in his eyes.

"We're going to the hospital now," he insisted, looming over her at the table.

"No, dear, not yet."

Even though Aggie was just five feet three and, minus the pounds of her unborn child, less than half Joey's weight, she could not have been lifted out of the chair, against her will, even if he'd brought with him a power winch and the will to use it. In any confrontation with Aggie, Joey was always Samson shorn, never Samson pre-haircut.

With a glower that would have convinced a rattlesnake to uncoil and lie as supine as an earthworm, Joey said, "Please?"

"I have pie notes to write, so Edom can make deliveries for me in the morning."

"There's only one delivery I'm worried about."

"Well, I'm worried about seven. Six pies and one baby."

"You and your pies," he said with frustration.

"You and your worrying," she countered, favoring him with a smile that affected his heart as sun did butter.

He sighed. "The notes, and then we go."

"The notes. Then Maria comes for her English lesson. And then we go."

"You're in no condition to give an English lesson."

"Teaching English doesn't require heavy lifting, dear."

She did not pause in her note writing when she spoke to him, and he watched the elegantly formed script stream from the tip of her ballpoint pen as though she were but a conduit that carried the words from a higher source.

Finally, Joey leaned across the table, and Aggie looked up at him through the great silent fall of his shadow, her green eyes shining in the shade that he cast. He lowered his raw-granite face to her porcelain features, and as if yearning to be shattered, she raised up slightly to meet his kiss.

"I love you, is all, "he said, and the helplessness in his voice exasperated him.

"Is all?" She kissed him again. "Is everything."

"So what do I do to keep from going crazy?"

The doorbell rang.

"Answer that," she suggested.

Meet the Author

Dean Koontz, the author of many #1 New York Times bestsellers, lives with his wife, Gerda, and the enduring spirit of their golden retriever, Trixie, in southern California.

Brief Biography

Newport Beach, California
Date of Birth:
July 9, 1945
Place of Birth:
Everett, Pennsylvania
B.S. (major in English), Shippensburg University, 1966

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From the Corner of His Eye 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 309 reviews.
JAJbooks More than 1 year ago
From The Corner Of His Eye had such a great cast of characters and intertwining plots I became deeply attached to book. There is love, gore, suspense, devastation, and everything in between all packed into this 700 page novel. I didn't want it to end but when it did, I was still satisfied. I LOVE seeing characters grow up and the Lampion family is such a great example. Barty is amazing and Cain is very interesting. I HIGHLY recommend this book.
Booklover49 More than 1 year ago
I have read all of Koontz's books, with Watchers as my favorite, but this one is right up there with it. A page turner, can't put down book...read it...you won't be dissapointed!!
DangerBoy More than 1 year ago
Brilliant, At 640 pages "From The Corner Of His Eye" was a fantastic story with a lot of characters from San Francisco to Oregon; Koontz does a great job at bringing all their storys together in the end. I would say this is a must read and that it ranks in my top 10 for sure. A strong 5 stars for "From The Corner Of His Eye".
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've enjoyed several of Koontz's books (particularly the Odd Thomas series), and this one did not disappoint! Koontz again enthralls with a masterful combination of suspense and soul.
Linda_K More than 1 year ago
I've read a few books by Dean Koontz, and they usually follow the same pattern. There will be a man who's strong and handsome but doesn't know it, a woman who's witty and much more beautiful than she thinks she is, and a dog. Occasionally, there's also children. Throw all these people together during adverse circumstance, and love and a grand adventure will follow. This book isn't like that, and that's why I like it so much. It's different, exciting and at parts very sad. It's easy to get into, and one of my favorite books.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As I lifted the book into my hands, the joy that I felt for reading another Dean Koontz book was overwhelming. As I turned to page one, I just knew I wasn't going to be disappointed. It was a page turner. I would rush home just to continue reading this book. It was so different than anything else he had written. Then all of a sudden, the last hundred pages went downhill. I wanted to cry. What started out so magnificent was becoming such a disappointment. Where was the suspense? Should I stop reading the book? No, that wasn't my nature to give up. I continued reading hoping that things would improve, but unfortunately it just got worse. I still haven't gotten over the shock that something that started out so good ended so poorly.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Like always!
Cheryl Newmark More than 1 year ago
I actually got this as an audio book. The man who read it was a genius! He gave each character its own voice. I felt like I was there. I would drive around longer than I had to because I didn't want it to stop. I have recommended this book to everyone I know, seriously! But it, you wont be sorry. I have both audio and hardcover versions. Maybe now have to get it for my Nook!
conniejackson More than 1 year ago
At first this novel caught me off-guard, since it wasn't the typical Dean Koontz thriller: i.e. no dog and no one on the run as a result of a government conspiracy. Still, I found the book to be an enjoyable read with a bit of humor thrown in for good measure. This is probably one of the few books I have read where at first I found the villain, Junior Cain, to be a likeable character. However, about midway through the book it becomes clear that he is a vicious serial killer. The ending was a bit of a disappointment, but, the book was still a great read. Although, maybe not one of Koontz's best.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love Koontz, but I could not get in to this book. It was far too wordy...most of which had no bearing on the story. I believe this book could've been written with about 200 fewer pages. I hate to start a book and not finish it, so I had to force myself to finish this.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was one of the most boring books I have ever tried to read. I couldn't even finish it. From what I did read I thought it should have about 100 less pages, there was just so much useless iformation that did nothing to move the story along.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am an avid Dean Koontz fan and this is the first book I was actually skipping paragraphs just so I could get it over with. I even had to renew it from the library 3 times. It was way longer than it needed to be. It just drug on and on and on... The story line was good, it just needed some serious editing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As usual, Koontz starts his story well, and then bogs down in pseudoscience and pseudotheology. This book could have been far better if there were three hundred fewer pages and far less of some of Koontz's flights of literary excesses. Koontz always impresses me as a man who is very impressed with his own brilliance. And I always have the feeling that he is looking over his shoulder for Stephen King,who, in my opinion isn't gaining on Koontz. He's far beyond him.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Though Koontz did a wonderful job developing the characters, and the premise behind the story held alot of promise, the book just ended up disappointing. The book moved too slowly at parts, and the ending just fell short. I finished the book feeling as if I had just wasted my time. Not what I expected from such a brilliant writer.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I dont read a lot of books, other than school books, I found this book to be very easy to read. It started off well, but it really was not a very good book and I felt like I wasted my time. I would have been much happier watching a movie. Usually when I read a book it is boring in the begining but you eventually get into it. This book was the opposite, my expectations kept getting lower as I read. I read Lightning in high school and I thought it was a lot better
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have read several books by Dean Knootz and am sorry to report that this is the only one that has truly disappointed me. The sad part is, the book has potential. It definitely starts out interestingly enough. I especially liked the way Knootz introduces the villain. Also, in the beginning the book holds a distinction of awe and hope. The ¿good¿ characters, whom don¿t know each other at first seem some what interesting, or at least they have interesting backgrounds. However, as the story progresses you begin to realize that the good characters are just a bit too perfect. I especially hate the flowery fashion in which Knootz uses to describe them. The villain is only a shade higher in dimensionality. He is definitely evil and very twisted, but at some point his eccentrics get to be too much. In small measure, this is a good thing because you begin to feel sorry for him and his twisted view on life in that he will never be truly happy and never extricate himself from the demons that plague him. All in all, it was a decent story that would have been better had it been written more concisely and with less formula.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was very disappointed in this book, which I thought showed promise. As others have noted, the droning on and on about Cain was too much. There were also too many things that didn't need to be in the book (ex - brothers). I like it when I have to figure out how things tie together, but this took too long - by the time I got to the connections I had almost forgotten some earlier details. I can usually get through his books fairly quickly - not so with this one. It took me over a week to read it. Some parts were good and it was definitely disturbing, but it could have been so much better. And the ending - please. Hopefully next time will be better.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As someone who began reading Koontz with 'Watchers' and who has read every one of his books through the years, I would have to say that I believe my interest in this man's work has come to an end. After reading 'The Bad Place,' 'Lightning,' and 'Twilight Eyes,' I recognized Koontz's tremendous potential which pops to the forefront periodically in each of his works. But, after the failures of 'False Memory,' this book made it two failures in a row. Some quick points (SPOILERS AHEAD): The climactic scene when Cain is defeated..he's just gone! Can't you at least let us see where he went from his point of view? Koontz gives us meandering page after page of Cain's thoughts on women, sex, art, artists, and music, but we can't be with him as he pays for his sins in the alternate world? Also, the two brothers obsessed with disaster...a good idea, but executed poorly. Those two characters do not seem 'real' to me, although I acknowlege 1)that in my life I have not met people with childhoods as horrible as they had, and 2) this is a work of fiction with other elements where I also am required to suspend disbelief. Finally, Koontz is very wordy, and it hurts the pacing of the book. As a side note, did the diminutive use of names drive anybody else crazy? 'Barty,' 'Serie,' et al.? I was waiting for Vanadium to say, 'call me Tommy.' This book is a disaapointment with page after page of verbosity and absolutely NO PAYOFF when evil is vanquished. The denoument was better than the entire book as a whole! Thanks for letting me sound off. Koontz, thanks for years of entertainment, but there's better out there now.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you haven't read this book yet, please do yourself a favor and start it now! I've reread this book a dozen times and it never gets old. No matter the genre you're used to, Dean Koontz covers every single one of them in this book. Great writing, you fall in love with the characters, and no matter who you are you can relate to some part of the story. I recommend this book to pretty much anyone who is human. Trust me, you'll love it.
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Not surprised that Dean Koontz wrote another amazing book!
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