The Husband

by Dean Koontz | Mystery & Thrillers |
ISBN: 000722656x Global Overview for this book
Registered by erinacea of Friedrichshain, Berlin Germany on 6/20/2010
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1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by erinacea from Friedrichshain, Berlin Germany on Sunday, June 20, 2010
Yesterday when I was going for a walk I came by a book stand I must have passed a dozen times already but I never stopped to buy anything. As always, I stopped to have a quick look and almost immediately my eyes fell on a book I'd been meaning to read for a while and for 1€ there wasn't any question on whether to take it or not. I don't really like digging through those piles because many of the books feel a bit icky (probably a result of being outside on the sidewalk most of the time, covered in plastic planes when it's raining) but that one felt okay. Once I'd decided to take one book, of course I had to look around if I could find a few other ones. I found a few that looked mildly interesting and would have worked fine as release material (popular books, or ones with obvious themes) but I told myself sternly to only buy books I really intend to read, so I put all of them back. (That doesn't always work, but they weren't all that tempting.) And then I came across this one: I'm a big fan of Koontz' and the story sounded intriguing. Plus, it was quite obviously a new acquisition and didn't feel grimy at all. I ended up buying just those two and was very happy with my 2€ haul. :)

I started reading The Husband yesterday evening, went to bed around half past two, and then finished it sometime today. I really enjoyed the story, which reminded me of some others of Koontz' books, mostly of Velocity because of the blackmail and the typewriter text on the cover, but also of Life Expectancy. Holly, especially, strongly reminds me of Lorrie in her "indefatigable optimism" and her way to react to her captivity. Somehow, I can't help liking her, even though at the end of the book I still don't know a lot about her. Mitch doesn't remind me of anyone, really, though the way Koontz interweaves his work and hobby (gardening, in this case) into the storytelling with lots of mentions of plants and trees is reminiscent of Jimmy the pastry chef's way of comparing everything to gateaux and cakes, something I'd really admired in Life Expectancy, though, here, in comparison, it's simply not done as consistently or interestingly.

Personally, I think the story would have worked better if it had been written in first person, or if that would have clashed with the chapters focused on Holly, in present tense. It did make me wonder whether Mitch wouldn't survive the adventure, which might have been the purpose, but on the other hand that didn't fit Koontz' formula, at least considering the books I'd read previously.

I got all excited when it turned out that Mitch came from a large family with lots of siblings because Koontz' usual protagonists are mostly single children with dead or emotionally absent parents, but to my disappointment all those siblings didn't play a big role. The parents did and one brother, so that was okay.
I loved the portrayal of that one psychopath because he seemed like such a nice guy, which is exactly how psychopaths are often described. Spoiler, highlight to make visible: Ironically, Anson does seem like a successful outcome of Daniel's education theories: no sense of shame or conscience, do whatever serves you best, crime is only bad if you are caught, etc.

The ending was okay but nothing to write home about (I'm a sucker for exciting showdowns). Holly's contribution was surprising, gutsy and clever - no wonder she reminds me of Lorrie. Throughout the story, I loved how Mitch faced trouble after trouble with some lucky breaks in-between. I never got the feeling that something crossed the line to ridiculous, or outright unbelievable. Story-wise, it all worked out really well, something that can't be said for all of Koontz' stories. I also admired the way that (slight spoiler, highlight to make visible) Holly's pregnancy, which if handled badly could have been trite and cliche, never took up a big part of the story. It was just there and people thought about it from time to time, but I thought it was handled with admirable delicacy. Mostly, this was because hardly anyone knew about it, but even Holly handled the whole thing very sensibly.

All that said, this book's never going to be a "keeper" (hence me registering it) because the plot is not suspenseful enough to keep me in its grips when I already know the ending and I didn't really get emotionally invested in any of the characters. The story is well-written and fun to read, but it's not something I'll want to read again and again.

Journal Entry 2 by erinacea at Potsdamer Straße in Tiergarten, Berlin Germany on Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Released 10 yrs ago (7/6/2010 UTC) at Potsdamer Straße in Tiergarten, Berlin Germany


On a phone cell sill in front of the CinemaxX. Hope it was sheltered from the wind there until someone found it.


You've found a wandering book! Please leave a short (or not so short ;) ) journal entry, so I know that the book's well and safe in your hands. For example, you could write where you found it, how you like it, or what you are planning to do with it.

Thanks a lot!

PS: While I enjoy writing these texts in English, there's no obligation for you to do the same. If you like, you could make an entry in German, or whatever your mothertongue may be.
(Einträge auf deutsch sind auch erlaubt. ;) )

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