Innocence: A Novel [NOOK Book]

Overview

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

In Innocence, Dean Koontz blends mystery, suspense, and acute insight into the human soul in a masterfully told tale that will resonate with readers forever.

He lives in solitude beneath the city, an ...
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Innocence: A Novel

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Overview

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

In Innocence, Dean Koontz blends mystery, suspense, and acute insight into the human soul in a masterfully told tale that will resonate with readers forever.

He lives in solitude beneath the city, an exile from society, which will destroy him if he is ever seen.
 
She dwells in seclusion, a fugitive from enemies who will do her harm if she is ever found.
 
But the bond between them runs deeper than the tragedies that have scarred their lives. Something more than chance—and nothing less than destiny—has brought them together in a world whose hour of reckoning is fast approaching.

BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from Dean Koontz's The City.

Praise for Innocence
 
“A thriller that’s both chilling and fulfilling.”People (four stars)

“Laced with fantastical mysticism, it’s an allegory of nonviolence, acceptance and love in the face of adversity. . . . The narrative is intense, with an old-fashioned ominousness and artistically crafted descriptions. . . . An optimistic and unexpected conclusion [mirrors] his theme. Something different this way comes from Mr. Koontz’s imagination. Enjoy.”Kirkus Reviews
 
“Mystery and terror, the paranormal and romance—all combine to make Innocence a challenging and emotional experience.”New York Journal of Books
 
“This novel really is something special. . . . This may just be the book Dean Koontz was born to write.”Thriller Books Journal

“Entrancing . . . as speedy a chase-thriller as any Koontz . . . has ever constructed. Written in Koontz’ late mellifluent and reflective manner . . . [Innocence is] fueled by deep disgust with the world’s evils [and] hope for redemption.”Booklist (starred review)
 
“[An] imaginative, mystical thriller from bestseller Koontz . . . This is the most satisfying Koontz standalone in a while.”Publishers Weekly
 
“Masterful storyteller Koontz delivers perhaps his most eerie and unusual tale to date. The timeline in this amazing story is compact, and readers will be swept along as they try to unravel hints and clues as to the true nature of both the protagonists and the unfolding drama. Unpredictably spine-chilling and terrifying, this is a story readers won’t soon forget.”RT Book Reviews
 
“Elegant . . . Fans of Koontz’s previous series will be left hoping that Addison and Gwyneth, too, will return.”Library Journal
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
★ 11/01/2013
Most often, offerings from the thriller/horror genre force an everyman character to confront an extraordinary circumstance, compelling the reader to wonder, "What would I do if this were happening to me?" Koontz (Deeply Odd) has, of late, taken the opposite approach. His "Odd Thomas" series chronicles a young man endowed with a sixth sense—and more—while his "Moonlight Bay" trilogy features a hero who lives under the cover of darkness because of a rare genetic disorder. Now Koontz introduces Addison Goodheart, a grotesquely deformed young man who has remained in the shadows for all of his 24 years. The story he tells, in the elegant prose of one whose understanding of language has come more from reading than from conversation, is that of his venturing forth into a fuller life than he had ever imagined for himself. It is Addison's encounter with Gwyneth, a Goth girl who boldly embraces her own solitary existence while she seeks to prove that her father's seemingly accidental death was actually a murder, that draws him into the light. VERDICT Fans of Koontz's previous series will be left hoping that Addison and Gwyneth, too, will return. [See Prepub Alert, 7/15/13.]—Nancy McNicol, Hamden P.L., CT
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345539656
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 12/10/2013
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 969
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author

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

Biography

He is one of the most recognized, read, and loved suspense writers of the 20th century. His imagination is a veritable factory of nightmares, conjuring twisted tales of psychological complexity. He even has a fan in Stephen King. For decades, Dean Koontz's name has been synonymous with terror, and his novels never fail to quicken the pulse and set hearts pounding.

Koontz has a lifelong love of writing that led him to spend much of his free time as an adult furiously cultivating his style and voice. However, it was only after his wife Gerda made him an offer he couldn't refuse while he was teaching English at a high school outside of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, that he had a real opportunity to make a living with his avocation. Gerda agreed to support Dean for five years, during which time he could try to get his writing career off the ground. Little did she know that by the end of that five years she would be leaving her own job to handle the financial end of her husband's massively successful writing career.

Koontz first burst into the literary world with 1970's Beastchild, a science fiction novel that appealed to genre fans with its descriptions of aliens and otherworldly wars but also mined deeper themes of friendship and the breakdown of communication. Although it is not usually ranked among his classics, Beastchild provided the first inkling of Koontz's talent for populating even the most fantastical tale with fully human characters. Even at his goriest or most terrifying, he always allows room for redemption.

This complexity is what makes Koontz's work so popular with readers. He has a true gift for tempering horror with humanity, grotesqueries with lyricism. He also has a knack for genre-hopping, inventing Hitchcockian romantic mysteries, crime dramas, supernatural thrillers, science fiction, and psychological suspense with equal deftness and imagination. Perhaps The Times (London) puts it best: "Dean Koontz is not just a master of our darkest dreams, but also a literary juggler."

Good To Know

Shortly after graduating from college, Koontz took a job with the Appalachian Poverty Program where he would tutor and counsel underprivileged kids. However, after finding out that the last person who held his job had been beaten up and hospitalized by some of these kids, Koontz was more motivated than ever to get his writing career going.

When Koontz was a senior in college, he won the Atlantic Monthly fiction competition.

Koontz and Kevin Anderson's novel Frankenstein: The Prodigal Son was slotted to become a television series produced by Martin Scorsese. However, when the pilot failed to sell, the USA Network aired it as a TV movie in 2004. By that time Koontz had removed his name from the project.

Some fun and fascinating outtakes from our interview with Koontz:

"My wife, Gerda, and I took seven years of private ballroom dancing lessons, twice a week, ninety minutes each time. After we had gotten good at everything from swing to the foxtrot, we not only stopped taking lessons, but also stopped going dancing. Learning had been great fun; but for both of us, going out for an evening of dancing proved far less exhilarating than the learning. We both have a low boredom threshold. Now we dance at a wedding or other celebration perhaps once a year, and we're creaky."

"On my desk is a photograph given to me by my mother after Gerda and I were engaged to be married. It shows 23 children at a birthday party. It is neither my party nor Gerda's. I am three years old, going on four. Gerda is three. In that crowd of kids, we are sitting directly across a table from each other. I'm grinning, as if I already know she's my destiny, and Gerda has a serious expression, as if she's worried that I might be her destiny. We never met again until I was a senior in high school and she was a junior. We've been trying to make up for that lost time ever since.

"Gerda and I worked so much for the first two decades of our marriage that we never took a real vacation until our twentieth wedding anniversary. Then we went on a cruise, booking a first-class suite, sparing no expense. For more than half the cruise, the ship was caught in a hurricane. The open decks were closed because waves would have washed passengers overboard. About 90% of the passengers spent day after day in their cabins, projectile vomiting. We discovered that neither of us gets seasick. We had the showrooms, the casino, and the buffets virtually to ourselves. Because the crew had no one to serve, our service was exemplary. The ship dared not try to put into the scheduled ports; it was safer on the open sea. The big windows of the main bar presented a spectacular view of massive waves and lightning strikes that stabbed the sea by the score. Very romantic. We had a grand time.

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    1. Also Known As:
      David Axton, Brian Coffey, K.R. Dwyer, Deanna Dwyer, John Hill, Leigh Nichols, Anthony North, Richard Paige, Owen West, Aaron Wolfe
    2. Hometown:
      Newport Beach, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      July 9, 1945
    2. Place of Birth:
      Everett, Pennsylvania
    1. Education:
      B.S. (major in English), Shippensburg University, 1966
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 264 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(118)

4 Star

(60)

3 Star

(29)

2 Star

(26)

1 Star

(31)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 264 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 13, 2013

    This is simply a masterpiece of suspenseful literature.  Koontz

    This is simply a masterpiece of suspenseful literature.  Koontz has outdone himself in this seemingly allegorical story of good and evil, and the free will of mankind to better his world or to destroy it with misused power and greed.




    Addison Goodheart is a 26 year old man who has lived all of his life in the darkness of the night and in the underground sewers and tunnels.  When he does go out, he covers everything but his eyes least anyone see him and become so horrified that they would try to murder him.  Gwyneth is a young woman with a social phobia, causing her to avoid any physical touch at all.  They meet one night in the library and this amazing story continues. 




    Koontz deftly goes back and forth in time building suspense while telling this present day story.  Sometimes this can be confusing from other authors, but it was a must in developing this story.  Koontz language was beautiful, describing snowfall in ways I've never heard before. This is perhaps one of Koontz's very best stories yet.  A must read for his fans and for anyone seeking a new favorite author!

    66 out of 70 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2013

    One of his best

    Have always been a big Koontz fan. Strangers, Lightening, The Face, Life Expectancy, Dark Rivers of the Heart, and most of all Watchers. Innocence takes me back to the best of Koontz's stand alone books. Odd Thomas, for me, has become worn and trite.

    This book is vintage Koontz. Could not put it down. While some would like more of Addison and Gwyenth. I pretty much think it's said and done so well that it can't be improved upon.

    First of his in a long time that actually moved me. A while coming.. Well worth the wait. A must read for fans.

    46 out of 50 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2013

    weird

    Chock full of wonderful word usage wasted on a poorly developed and ridiculous story. Koontz spends a lot of time being philosophic and preachy instead of clarifying his characters and their story. The reader is left puzzled and finally bored with the many paragraphs of unnecessary and seemingly gratuitous verbiage. The last fifty or so pages would have made a decent short story but the premise of the whole book was ludicrous.

    25 out of 42 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2013

    Fantastic read with a spiritual beauty that will provoke thought

    Fantastic read with a spiritual beauty that will provoke thought and introspection. Koontz delivers excitement, intrigue, suspense, and leaves you feeling enlightened and refined for having read his works. Highly recommend!

    18 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 15, 2013

    Loved it.  I cared deeply about the characters and loved to desc

    Loved it.  I cared deeply about the characters and loved to descriptive prose of the city.  I would give my left arm to be able to write things like this: "Through the stillness, snow fell not in skeins but in infinitely layered arabesques, filigree in motion, ornamenting the icy air, of an especially intense white in the dove-gray light of the morning, laying boas on the limbs of leafless trees, ermine collars on the tops of walls, a grace of softness in a hard world."

    15 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2013

    It is a fantastic book. who ever posted - Anonymous first - yo

    It is a fantastic book. who ever posted - Anonymous first
    - you are an idiot!

    13 out of 26 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 23, 2013

    ¿some hearts are dark and others full of light¿ Dean Koontz has

    “some hearts are dark and others full of light”

    Dean Koontz has a wonderfully active imagination and with INNOCENCE it’s on full display. Among his many strengths as a writer is the ability to tell a story with a purpose far greater than simple entertainment – and that’s precisely what he’s done with INNOCENCE. 

    It’s a cataclysmic story that laments the depravity of human nature, but at the same time it gives us heroic characters that by their very nature exude innocence and hope for the world we live in. I’ve read reviews the last few years that have been critical of Koontz for being moralistic in his recent books, but I don’t really understand that reaction. 

    Authors are free to extol any point of view they support just as readers are free to choose books aligned with their own point of view. I actually appreciate that an author as renowned as Koontz would use his writing to praise virtuous behavior and criticize what should abhor us. There’s a moment when Addison, the main character, narrates that, “there is no end of wonders and mysteries” on earth and one of them is “that some hearts are dark and others full of light.” To me that’s just great writing, but I guess others disagree.

    Anyway, in terms of critiquing the book, the bulk of the events that make up the story take place on one night – but the backstory that lets us know and understand and root for the two protagonists Addison and Gwyneth occurred over the previous eighteen years, so there’s a lot of back and forth between chapters. A chapter in the present, a chapter in the past, etc., and I didn’t care for that too much. 

    I thought the story was great and the writing fantastic, I just didn’t care for the back and forth because at times it felt like the backstory was inserted just to give us some action until the present story picked up steam. The only other criticism was that at times I felt like it could have been Odd Thomas talking instead of Addison Goodheart because their “voices” were so similar, but others might not think so.

    Regardless, I’m a big fan of Koontz’s writing and this is a great book. 

    11 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2013

    As someone who has read and mostly enjoyed every book ever writt

    As someone who has read and mostly enjoyed every book ever written by Dean Koontz this one is almost incomprehensible. Perhaps the author needs to take some time off and smell the flowers. This book is full of characters we don't care about and whose essences are poorly described and never really fleshed out. The plot is equally incomprehensible as is most of the writing and dialogue between the characters. If I submitted this book to publishers under my name I doubt anyone would publish it.

    11 out of 25 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2013

    Beautifully written

    This book is classic Koontz. It is the kind of story that stays with you long after you finish it. I have always felt that Koontz does an incredibley good job creating unlikely heroes and heroines with an incredible amount of heart and emotional depth. Once again Koontz offers up characters who represent incredible good overcoming horrific evil with their souls and hope still intact.

    10 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2013

    Great Book!

    An excellent read, plenty of twists and turns with good pacing. Only minor negative is that its a bit wordy, but that's to be expected from this author. Very much recommend it!

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2013

    One of me least favorite Koontz books, I don't like books writte

    One of me least favorite Koontz books, I don't like books written in the first person, way to slow . I was very disappointed in it.

    4 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2013

    DO NOT READ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    DONT READ IT

    4 out of 83 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 10, 2014

    Meh

    I really liked the premise, and Addison was an interesting character. However, the story was very drawn out to come to a depressing conclusion about humanity. I also think Koontz has become way too preachy, particularly since Breathless, and much as I adore dogs, his waxing rhapsodic about their goodness is just too sappy. I enjoyed reading this up until the last few chapters, but he lost me at the end. I won't stop reading him, though, unless he continues to infuse his books with all the preaching.

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2013

    Gfdxbfx gcfyncnycmh

    Hihojgpoblo

    Hhhhb

    3 out of 27 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 19, 2013

    Fantastic "inside the mind" book! It really makes you

    Fantastic "inside the mind" book! It really makes you take a deep look at what we fear, what we should fear, and what we were meant to be. The final chapters are mind-blowing!!! I am a voracious reader - of non-fiction, popular fiction and literature alike, and I LOVED IT!!!!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2014

    Very disappointing

    Since first reading Breathless by Dean Koontz, I was hooked and started reading a Koontz book every week. I loved his style and the wonderful way he can grab the reader into a world of wonder, hope, tragedy and beauty.
    Then comes Innocence....
    For the life of me, I just could not get it; I was dizzy trying to follow two plots with different time lines. I had a sense of the author was trying too hard to make the reader, actually force the reader, to feel empathy towards the boy.
    I just did not get it, and my sense of sadness and grief was more towards spending my hard earned money buying this book.
    If anyone would have told me I would have anything negative to say about Dean Koontz writings, I would never believed him/her, but that is the way it is....Sorry!!!!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2014

    One of the most boring books I have ever read in my life and I a

    One of the most boring books I have ever read in my life and I am 60 years old. I forced myself to finish it since I paid for it. Sure didn't get my moneys worth. Didn't like the jumping back and forth as another review also stated. This was my first and my last book by this author.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2014

    This book is just so pointless! Nothing is thoroughly explained.

    This book is just so pointless! Nothing is thoroughly explained. Dean Koontz can do so much better.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2014

    Love Dean Koontz. Hate this book. Almost as bad as Odd Thomas.

    Love Dean Koontz. Hate this book. Almost as bad as Odd Thomas. Wish I read all the reviews first.........

    2 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2013

    Not sure what to think

    I have been a rabid fan of Mr. Koontz for years. This book left me speechless. I was not aware that he has switched genre. This nnovel reads like the Bible stories I read as a child...not what I have come to expect from this author. To long winded and preachy for me. I hope he returns to his former style...if not,this will be the last book I read by the Reverand Koontz.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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