The City (Signed Book)

( 29 )

Overview

#1 New York Times bestselling author Dean Koontz is at the peak of his acclaimed powers with this major new novel—a rich, multi-layered story that moves back and forth across decades and generations as a gifted musician relates the “terrible and wonderful” events that began in his city in 1967, when he was ten.
 
There are millions of stories in the city—some magical, some tragic, others terror-filled or triumphant. Jonah Kirk’s story is ...
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Overview

#1 New York Times bestselling author Dean Koontz is at the peak of his acclaimed powers with this major new novel—a rich, multi-layered story that moves back and forth across decades and generations as a gifted musician relates the “terrible and wonderful” events that began in his city in 1967, when he was ten.
 
There are millions of stories in the city—some magical, some tragic, others terror-filled or triumphant. Jonah Kirk’s story is all of those things as he draws readers into his life in the city as a young boy, introducing his indomitable grandfather, also a “piano man”; his single mother, a struggling singer; and the heroes, villains, and everyday saints and sinners who make up the fabric of the metropolis in which they live—and who will change the course of Jonah’s life forever. Welcome to The City, a place of evergreen dreams where enchantment and malice entwine, where courage and honor are found in the most unexpected corners and the way forward lies buried deep inside the heart.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780804179812
  • Publisher: Bantam Books
  • Publication date: 7/1/2014
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 378
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.70 (d)

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
( 29 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(16)

4 Star

(3)

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2 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 29 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2014

    Inappropriate Reviews

    Is there any way that B&N could screen these so called reviews? It makes me want to throw up when I see them. I guess people(or whatever you are) who write these reviews think we all just love to read their drivel. Well guess what. We don't.
    ?

    16 out of 42 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 17, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Brilliant Writing - A Beautiful and Complex Novel!

    A special thank you to Random House Publishing Group-Bantam Dell and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

    Without a doubt, THE CITY is the most powerful and complex book I have ever read. I am speechless! Dean Koontz writes like no other. Brilliant, profound, and eloquently written; A literary work of art!

    THE CITY by Dean Koontz, is a rich, multi-layered gripping story that moves back and forth across decades and generations, as a gifted musician relates the horrible and beautiful events that began in his city in 1967, when he was ten.

    Told in the first person, a story of musical prodigy, Jonah Kirk –taking readers into one man's world from struggles to an extraordinary gift—a journey often seemed lost, threatened, or unattainable.

    Jonah loves the city, a story of love reciprocated, a story of loss and hope –where not all young singers or actors, or authors, became stars after leaving their small towns for the bright lights of the city. The city is a place of wonder, and magic—including the night he died and woke and lived again.

    Jonah is black, a musician and a piano prodigy. Malcom is white and his best friend, also a saxophone prodigy. They meet in 1967, when Jonah and his mom, Sylvia moved in with Jonah’s grandfather, across the street from Malcom’s family. Jonah is ten and Malcom, twelve.

    Jonah is eccentric, talented, smart, and intuitive and Malcom is a talented, comedian, and geek misfit. Together they make a dynamic duo of music, mischief, and dreams---They will learn about the city.

    They grow up friends, and at age fifty-seven and fifty-nine, Jonah tells his story into a tape recorder—his story will become THE CITY, starting back before age seven

    The main theme of the novel is the meaning of The City (People): Jonah encounters a woman who said she is the City (Miss Pearl), a soul of the city and gives Jonah a piano when he desperately needed one. She said that more than anything, cities are people. She said you need to have office buildings, parks, nightclubs, and museums and all the rest, but in the end it’s the people—and the kind of people they are—who make a city great or not. If a city is great, it has a soul of its own.

    An unforgettable, compelling, and unique story—one for every woman and man, where life’s treasures is found in unexpected places. THE CITY is much more than than a mystery or suspense thriller—one, which will remain with you, long after the book ends.

    12 out of 26 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2014

    Enough

    I agree. People that think they're writing a "review" need to get a life and stop telling the whole story to feed their egos. Just tell what you like or dislike and get the hell out. Nobody cares what you think.
    Good book nonetheless!

    9 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2014

    wonderful and riveting

    Characters you love, villians you hate, a wonderful story well told, The City is a fast enjoyable read. Like most of Koontz's work it has an overall message of hope and a reminder that life and most people are good. This is one I will re-read.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2014

    Beautiful and moving!

    One of the.most lovely books I have ever read. May we all.have the beauty and grace described as only Mr. Koontz can. Wonderful characters.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2014

    The reviews

    I appreciate the lengthly reviews when the overview is completely lacking. I need a bit more info to make sure I'm not paying for something I've previously purchased. Those pesky re-releases cost me money!

    So please stop being so snotty with your complaints. It you don't want to know so much, don't read it... move on.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2014

    I Also Recommend:

    I like this book. I found it more character driven than plot dri

    I like this book. I found it more character driven than plot driven. The characters are vivid and memorable. I found myself caring for them. I always enjoy the mystery of Dean Koontz books. This one relied on this less than it relied on character development, but it's still very much worth the read. 

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 1, 2014

    Thank you to NetGalley and Random House for giving me an eARC of

    Thank you to NetGalley and Random House for giving me an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. This was an incredible honor for me as I have been a HUGE fan of Dean Koontz for “decades”!

    The City is the story of remarkable young Jonah Kirk who, in his late-fifties, decides to tell the story of several years in his youth beginning when he was 8 years old. From the first line where Jonah gives his full name of Johan Ellington Basie Hines Eldridge Wilson Hampton Armstrong Kirk, I was captivated. Who has 9 names? Amazing character Jonah does! And thus the adventure began.

    As usual, Koontz had me under his spell as a wordsmith as he magically told Jonah’s story of a MAJOR incident in young Jonah’s life. Jonah’s relationships with his mother, grandfather, best friend Malcolm, Mr. Yoshioka, Mrs. Lorenzo, and finally, Miss Pearl aka “The City”, were the backbone of this story and I fell in love with each of these characters. My favorite character (besides Jonah) was Mr. Yoshioka.

    I was also in love with the musical genius of young eccentric Jonah who is a piano prodigy. Koontz’s descriptions of the music and songs had me envisioning each and every song as I listened along in my head.

    Koontz once again weaved his spell with his incredible writing. I was breathless and eager for more. When I had to put the book down, I couldn’t stop thinking about it and couldn’t wait until I could pick it back up and continue reading. I was sorry when The City ended because I wanted more!

    I also highly recommend the short story “The Neighbor” which tells a bit of Malcolm’s story.

    All in all, I loved The City! Dean Koontz never fails to deliver amazing book after amazing book! You get another WELL DONE from me, Mr. Koontz! I can’t wait to see what you come up with next.

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 30, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    It's not where we live, it's the people we live for. ¿The city

    It's not where we live, it's the people we live for.

    ”The city changed my life and showed me that the world is deeply mysterious. I need to tell you about her and some terrible things and wonderful things and amazing things that happened . . . and how I am still haunted by them. Including one night when I died and woke and lived again.”

    An exciting and moving story of Jonah Kirk, son of an exceptional singer, grandson of a formidable “piano man;” a musical prodigy beginning to explore his own gifts. The unforgettable account of a young man coming of age within a remarkable family and a shimmering portrait of the world that shaped him. The City is a place where enchantment and malice interweave, and courage and honor are found in the most unexpected places, and to find the way forward is buried deep inside the heart.
    The City seemed slow at first but the intrigue kept me reading to see how Jonah comprehends the power of his music, art, and enduring friendship, of everyday heroes. It is supernatural, magical, and suspenseful, a very good summer read and I recommend this book.
    I received copy of eBook from Random House Publishing Group - Bantam Dell and Net Galley for my review.

    3 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 2, 2014

    When this book came up on Netgalley, I requested it right away.

    When this book came up on Netgalley, I requested it right away.  I thought it sounded very interesting.  I really wish I could say that I loved it, but unfortunately that is not the case.  So, lets start off with what I liked about the book.




    I enjoyed the writing.  It was really well done.  I enjoyed the idea of the story.  I liked how things connected and at times it was actually a little nerve racking.  The poor little boy had to go through a lot in his young life.  I liked Jonah as a character.  I loved his talent.  When Koontz described him playing the piano, I could feel the love he had for his talent.   I absolutely loved his mother and Grandfather.  They were such great characters.




    I don't really know what to say.  The idea of the boy narrating his own life as a child is interesting enough, but for me it was way too wordy.  I felt like I was reading more about the inside of a room sometimes, than I was about an actual story.  It was just way too boring for me in between the actual dialogue and story.  I know for most people this will be what draws them in, but I just really am not into a lot of description.




    I appreciate the opportunity to review the book.  I love to see different styles of writing, and Koontz really is a great author.  This book just wasn't one for me.




    Source:  I received this book from Netgalley in return for an honest review. I was not compensated in any way for this review.  These are my own PERSONAL thoughts on the book.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2014

    I Also Recommend:

    Brilliant Novel! Another great story by Dean Koontz.

    Brilliant Novel! Another great story by Dean Koontz.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2014

    Dheh

    Jwheh

    1 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 2, 2014

    I really wish that I could review the book, but I made the mista

    I really wish that I could review the book, but I made the mistake of pre-ordering the book from Barnes and Noble, hoping that it would arrive on the release date. I checked the UPS website and they say that the package has not even arrived at a processing center.I should have waited and just picked up the book at the local Target on release day.

    1 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2014

    Not your average Dean Koontz tale... "The City" by De

    Not your average Dean Koontz tale...

    "The City" by Dean Koontz is a coming-of-age story about Jonah Kirk, a young piano man living in New York City with his mother and grandfather during the Race Riots and war protests of the mid-1960s.  The story begins with an elder Jonah sitting with a tape recorder telling the story that changed his life. A young 8 year old boy who met an extraordinary woman who claimed to be the city and his adventures began.
    Okay reviews are so hard to write when the book does not meet your expectations as this one is for me. I'll break it down in a couple of sections so I can talk about what I liked or didn't like. I think that's the best way.
    The characters of this story are memorable and very well written. Jonah is a young, African American living with his single mother after his father abandoned them for the second time. He feels a deep need to be the man of the house and if possible shield his mother from any bad that may come to them. Malcolm is his best friend who doesn't come into the book fully until about 60% of the way through. Malcolm is a few years older and described as eccentric, when in reality he has a bad case of OCD and maybe even a touch of Aspergers. Mr. Yoshioka is Jonah's neighbor and becomes his confidant when one bad thing after another keeps happening. Mr. Yoshioka is mysterious to me and I'll be honest that I didn't trust him as fully as Jonah does. Then there is Miss Pearl, the mysterious woman who claims to the city. The way she is describe reminds me of what one may think of as an angel or ghost, the way she appears and disappears at will. 
    The plot had promise, but fell flat for me. The plot revolves around a pivotal three years in Jonah's life after his father leaves and a mystery woman he saw in a dream moves in up stairs and threatens his life for snooping on her. One connection after another leads Jonah to believe that there is more than just coincidence in what is happening around him. The story as described in the synopsis sounds like a great mystery with some paranormal elements, and it is a mystery with paranormal elements. The synopsis is not deceiving, however it's not a fast-paced, edge of your seat type of read. In fact, I found myself actually falling asleep while reading!! That never happens! I struggled to keep interest in Jonah's story and to be completely honest at 80% I gave up. I couldn't finish it. :::hangs head in shame::: 
    Overall, I found the story lacking in the mystery element. It was predictable and I had guessed a lot of what was happening before it was revealed. And as already stated I just couldn't bring myself to push through to the end (which rarely happens). So why three stars and not one or two, especially since I didn't finish? Well, the story is very well written, even if it didn't hold my interest. The characters are well thought out and very relatable, and the 1960s era brings a lot of interesting facts and trivia to the story. If you enjoy coming-of-age mysteries then I think you will enjoy this book, just keep in mind it is not fast-paced, edge of your seat!
    ***I received a copy of this ebook from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.***

    1 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 11, 2014

    In a sense, this is a coming of age story for young Jonah Kirk w

    In a sense, this is a coming of age story for young Jonah Kirk with a dash of magic. That is all I will say as I don't want to give away too many plot points.

    Mysteries, all types of learning, friendships, family, and more are entwined beautifully throughout this narrative adventure. Characters are readers alike quest for truths internal and external.

    Authentic, caring, flawed, and fun characters grace the pages of this tale.

    Overall, an enchanting read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2014

    great read

    First i must say this is not the gory thrillers like the majority of Kontz's work. It is a very different style of writing for tjhis author. The characters and the setting are so finely crafted that you are transported into the characters reality. While the author still incorporate the elements his fan's clamor for; namely gore, suspense, insanity, horror, and the occasional bit of surreal or scifi fantasy. They are presented in a kinder and gentler fashion. Overall a fine bit of writing, but not the chiller i was hoping for.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2014

    Emergency

    Post this on the other books:help barnes and noble stay in business because it is on thin ice pass it on

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 9, 2014

    I honestly didn't know how this review would go until the last d

    I honestly didn't know how this review would go until the last day of reading this book. We'll start with what I knew early on - the cover of this book is stunning and would immediately draw me in at a bookstore. That said, is it possible to really like the characters, but not care much for the story? I've read numerous books by Dean Koontz, although none in the recent past, and always enjoyed them, but this isn't the Dean Koontz I remember.

    The writing was top shelf and the character development beyond reproach. Since this was a rather slow-moving novel, the relationship between Jonah and Mr. Yoshioka, both touching and entertaining, was the primary reason I kept reading. Some of the conversations between Jonah and his friend, Malcolm, were also humorous, although not typically what you'd hear from 10 to 12-year-olds. Somewhere around the 75% mark, I thought the story picked up a little and was anxious to see what happened at the end. For me, supernatural elements are usually enough to keep me interested in a book and although The City had a little of that, they were few and far between and not very compelling.

    I have no doubt that some readers would enjoy The City; however, they probably wouldn't be the typical Dean Koontz fan. Despite the beautiful cover, this isn't a book I would have picked up without his name on it. A review I read suggested Dean Koontz writing under a pseudonym likely would have gotten better reviews for this book and after thinking about it, I agree.

    This review is based on a digital ARC from the publisher through NetGalley.

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  • Posted July 8, 2014

    It's very difficult for me to pin point why I enjoy Koontz's wri

    It's very difficult for me to pin point why I enjoy Koontz's writing so much, but I thoroughly enjoy every book of his that I have read.  It's the way he turns a phrase, and seven words are actually better than one word in his writing.  He takes simple thoughts and makes them sound profound. He makes me think with just the simplest statements.  For example, in THE CITY, he says numerous times, "no matter what happens, everything will be all right in the end.".  For most people's belief systems, this is very true, but I never thought of it in such a straight forward way.




    THE CITY is basically the coming of age story of a young African American boy, Jonah Kirk,  born in the late 40's.  He tells his life story around the events of the day.  He's a musical prodigy from a musical family.  Though his father had left the family when Jonah was very young,  circumstances happen where his father's actions actually have a profound affect on Jonah's life.




    It's difficult to say any more about this story without giving spoilers, so I'll just say that Koontz still remains one of my favorite authors and I think that it's definitely worth any serious reader's time to enjoy the style and stories of Koontz.  I listened to this on Audible which I believe enhanced this story because it seemed as though Jonah was actually talking about his own life. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2014

    Not his usual style

    I love all Dean Koontz works, but this was disappointing. The characters are great, but the story itself fell flat. I found myself finishing it because I kept hoping the story would redeem itself. It did not. If you are new to Koontz, pick any other book of his before this one.

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