Breathless - Dean Koontz

This book begins in the woods. An ex-Army guy is out for a stroll when he sees something strange, life-changing: two creatures that look like dogs, but with human hands. They seemed to have escaped from a lab, or something. From there unfolds a tale of massive government conspiracy and permanent changes in the natural order of things.


Oh, sorry. If you thought I was describing Dean Koontz’s 1987 blockbuster hit, Watchers, you’d be wrong. It is in fact the setup of his 2009 non-hit, Breathless. Because apparently two decades is long enough before devolving into this level of self-imitation.


The title of this book is fitting. The sheer stupidity of the plot and characters did indeed leave me breathless . . . from laughing so hard. First off, this book has like six subplots going on, and it’s only 330 pages. The font is massive, the chapters are James Patterson-level short . . . and most of these characters don’t even meet each other. Seriously. There are two plot lines in this that have nothing to do with each other or the unfolding ‘main’ story, but they’re given almost as much attention. The hell, Koontz? And almost every thread is left dangling because the narrative ends more abruptly and with more force than the time I slammed my Honda Civic into a ditch and flipped it through a wood-log fence. On the whole, I preferred the experience of that car wreck to reading this steaming pile of dog crap.


Speaking of dogs . . . what is with the fetishization of dogs? It’s common knowledge Koontz has a weird thing for furry friends, but this book takes it to another level. Not only are the two dogs-slash-people-slash-monkey (Alex Jones, is that you?) prevalent here — their origins never being explained, by the way — but the main character also has a dog. Yay. By the story’s end there’s a half-baked love interest between the ex-Army, muscle man (oh he’s so tough and dreamy and emotional while not emotional at all!!! Squeeee!!!!!) and the local veterinarian, but I’m pretty sure the dude would rather be slipping it to Fido. That would’ve made for a better read than whatever the hell this is.


I can’t. I just can’t. What did I just read? I feel like I’m having an aneurism. And that isn’t even touching Koontz’s explanation for why the theory of evolution is completely and totally bunk. But I won’t go there. I can’t. I’d prefer not to put a bullet in my head, tyvm.