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.
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 killDbut 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 seesDin one working out of Koontz's theme of the interconnectedness of all lifeDas 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) Forecast: Note the pub date: Koontz has the week after Christmas all to himself. Plans include major ad/promo, 12-copy displays, simultaneous BDD Audio and Random large-print edition and, most importantly, a preview excerpt in each copy of the mass market of False Memory, on sale one month before. Like Koontz's other novels, this will be a serious bestsellerDperhaps even a #1.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Showing 1-1 of the 1 most recent reviews
1 . one of my favorites
Posted May 20, 2009 by Nik , Lake Worth, FLI've read every one of Dean Koontz's books, and this is one of my two favorites. The first time I read it, and maybe even the second time too, it brought tears to my eyes. I don't have it on my ebook yet, so I'm going to buy it right now, and I'll be able to leave a more detailed review once I read it again.
November 19, 2001
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Excerpt from From the Corner of His Eye by Dean Koontz
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.
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.