The City by Dean Koontz
Here is the riveting, soul-stirring story of Jonah Kirk, son of an exceptional singer, grandson of a formidable “piano man,” a musical prodigy beginning to explore his own gifts when he crosses a group of extremely dangerous people, with shattering consequences.
Set in a more innocent time not so long ago, The City encompasses a lifetime but unfolds over three extraordinary, heart-racing years of tribulation and triumph, in which Jonah first grasps the electrifying power of music and art, of enduring friendship, of everyday heroes. (Goodreads)
This is not my favorite Koontz read and it took me awhile to get into it, but he has never let me down in the past and I’m glad I kept reading.
Narrated by Jonah Kirk, it’s more or less his story.
Growing up during turbulent times, he meets a woman he calls Miss Pearl. Miss Pearl is not your normal grown-up, but I wasn’t really sure what she was.
Magical? An angel? Or actually what she claimed to be?
I knew that she wasn’t crazy because of what happened during her visits. She was a little odd, but not crazy.
Jonah is a musical prodigy and all he wants to be is a Piano Man like his grandfather.
Living with his single mother in a small apartment, his curiosity about a mysterious upstairs neighbor that Miss Pearl brought to his attention sets him on a dangerous path.
While it’s been awhile since I last read a Koontz book, I was a little surprised at the stereotypical characters in this one. I don’t remember Koontz using stereotypes before, but that could just be my faulty memory.
Jonah’s mother was a talented singer, but she seemed just a little too perfect for someone in her situation.
If her life had “exploded” four times before she was thirty, wouldn’t she be just a little bit broken, bitter, or angry?
Maybe it’s just Jonah remembering her through the rose-colored glasses of time, but she seemed too good to be true.
And the mysterious upstairs neighbor didn’t seem real to me. She was a little too angry and off-kilter, as did the other person Miss Pearl brought to Jonah’s attention.
The bad guys seemed a little too over the top.
Would have liked to hear more of another one of Jonah’s neighbors, Mr. Yoshioka. Much friendlier than the mysterious mean lady, he seemed to have had an interesting life.
I really liked him until towards the end of the story, when we found out a few things about him that cast him in an entirely new light.
And do all Asians have to know martial arts? Another stereotype I didn’t care for.
While not my favorite Koontz and a slower read than normal, it was still interesting. I liked Jonah and found his story intriguing.
Koontz has a way with words that I’ve always liked. and you can’t deny that the man can write!