From the Corner of His Eye

ISBN: 0553801341
ISBN 13: 9780553801347
By: Dean Koontz

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About this book

Dean Koontz has been called "America's most popular suspense novelist,"* but that only begins to describe the rich variety and endless invention that characterize his work. Critics hail his impeccable craft and the artistry that has inspired the devotion of millions of fans around the world. He is unique among contemporary writers, venturing far beyond traditional boundaries to explore our deepest fears and most transcendent aspirations. Now, in From the Corner of His Eye, Koontz brings together his most powerful themes to draw readers into a spellbinding world made by a master at the top of his form -- a story rich in triumph and tragedy, joy and terror, love, hate, and profound meaning, played out by perhaps the most unforgettable cast of characters he has yet created.Bartholomew Lampion is born in Bright Beach, California, on a day of tragedy and terror, when the lives of everyone in his family are changed forever. Remarkable events accompany his birth, and everyone agrees 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 doesn't know who Bartholomew is, but he embarks on a search that will become the purpose of his life. If ever he finds the right Bartholomew, he will deal mercilessly with him.And in San Francisco, a girl is born, the result of a violent rape. Her survival is miraculous, and her destiny is mysteriously linked to the fates of Barty and the man who stalks him.At the age of three, Barty Lampion is blinded when surgeons reluctantly remove his eyes to save him from a fast-spreading cancer. As the growing boy copes with his blindness and proves to be a prodigy, his mother, an exceptional woman, counsels him that all things happen for a reason, that there is meaning even in his suffering, and that he will affect the lives of people yet unknown to him in ways startling and profound.At thirteen, Bartholomew regains his sight. How he regains it, why he regains it, and what happens as his amazing life unfolds results in a breathtaking journey of courage, heart-stopping suspense, and high adventure. His mother once told him that every person's life has an effect on every other person's, in often unknowable ways, and Barty's eventful life indeed entwines with others in ways that will astonish and move everyone who reads his story.

Reader's Thoughts

Lisa Mccurdy

MY VERY FAVORITE KOONTZ WORK OF ALL TIME!!! (I would also like to note that it is his favorite accomplishment as well.) This book was recommended to me when I was 17 by my husband to-be and was the first Dean Koontz book I ever read. It is the PERFECT example of his superiority to other authors of his time and made me an absolute obsessed fan. I then became a collector and this is what started it all. It is a complex tale of vivid characters and includes every emotion you could think of while incorporating many genres of literature. I don't know how a person fits so many dimensions into one book but Dean pulls it off like it's child's play. The writing style is so fluid you almost forget you are reading and the pages turn by themselves. This is my all-time favorite book and a MUST READ!


Alright, I went on a "Koontz binge" last spring, and of all the stuff of his that I read, From The Corner Of His Eye has got to be one of the WORST, most godawful pieces of "literature" (using the term loosely) that I've ever read.I grew quite used to Koontz's style of writing... plastering excessive detail onto every description, taking five pages to detail the wallpaper on a house, etc. So when I read the jacket for FTCOHE and it said the story was about a boy who loses his sight and then regains it, I thought, "okay, so he regains his sight magically, and the book revolves around something to do with this." I then read the first chapter, and the first paragraph said that this boy lost his sight, and then he regained it. I thought "holy crap, this is the briefest I've ever seen Koontz detail anything! yay!" Boy, was I fooled.The book then went on to detail the boy being born and growing up (all before he loses his sight). It also switches to the story of this psycho who vomits profusely after killing his wife and ends up being hospitalized, where some bizarro detective starts stalking him. We're supposed to think this detective is all badass because he does coin tricks. The psycho learns from the detective that he muttered some name in his sleep, but he has no idea why he did. He decides (being psycho) that he must find the person with this name, and kill them to protect himself. He then proceeds to kill the detective and a nurse, and leave for California.Meanwhile, this boy reveals that he somehow has some crazy super power dealing with alternate realities, and he can avoid being rained on, etc. He then loses his sight. Yay!Psycho discovers that a girl he once raped gave birth to a baby, and determines that this baby must be the boy whose name he muttered in his sleep (logical, yes?). He finds out that the girl's sister is raising the child in California, and he starts stalking her. Of course, it turns out that the child is actually a girl, but that doesn't stop psycho from trying to kill her and her mom and her soon to be step-dad. They flee the psycho, only to end up being taken care of by.... the mom of blind boy! So now the boy is linked to the psycho, and just so happens to have the name that psycho is searching for. So, when psycho comes along, looking to once again try to kill the little girl, he stumbles upon her playing with blind boy.Here comes the big climax, right? Yes! This is it! Oh, except that when psycho comes up to kill blind boy, the little girl (who just so happens to ALSO have super powers-- crazy) shoves him, and he falls through their little hole in reality, and is gone forever. The end.Yes, seriously, that is the end. Oh, except that YEARS LATER, blind boy gets his sight back. That's right, him regaining his sight had absolutely nothing to do with the events in the book. Yay!It's the literary equivalent of Dean Koontz coming to your home and kicking you repeatedly in the nuts. Thanks, Koontz.

Gloria Piper

JC could stand for Jesus Christ, and one might get that impression at the novel’s beginning. We think we sense a sweetness in Junior Cain’s character, until it takes an unexpected turn.Junior Cain isn't a religious man. Instead he bases his life on a particular set of volumes, a particular philosophy. We are treated to his attempts to follow this philosophy throughout his adventures. He is a man on a quest for self perfection while believing that life is for pleasure, ungoverned by the concept of right or wrong. Even as he envisions a future of perfection and pleasure, his choices lead him down the twisted and thorny path of evil and suffering. With every act that he thinks will bring pleasure, he finds himself immersed in misery. Apparently certain people are the roadblocks to his perfection, he thinks. He must remove them. His targets? A minister whose famous sermon haunts Junior, a child of unusual abilities, a detective who can’t be fooled,...The minister: To the background of Reverend Harrison’s famous sermon, Junior Cain has committed his first crime, never realizing the effect the sermon will have during his downward slide.The child: As a child, Bartholomew loses his sight, but he sees in other ways, and Cain is hunting for him, seeking to murder him before he can expose Cain’s crime.The detective: Detective Tom Vanadium knows, knows without proof, what Cain is and relentlessly pursues that proof. Even he is not immune to Cain’s treachery.Directly or indirectly Junior Cain influences individuals and families whose lives at first are stray strands that eventually meet and combine. These are the beautiful people, not because they are physically beautiful. Some are wounded in spirit or in body, but their beauty comes from within. They are warmhearted, intelligent, easy to love, forming a contrast to the evil that is Cain. They provide a goodness of heart like a cleansing rain. We pull for them, feel for them, and want to protect them from the guy with twisted thoughts and purposes.Good versus evil. Belief in the divine versus belief only in self. God versus demon. A theme flows through the story. We see it in the names of the characters—Celestina, Jacob, Angel,... We see it in the names of places—Mount Diablo, Sacramento, San Francisco...In addition, what appears as miraculous, what appears as spiritual can be explained scientifically through quantum mechanics. All possible worlds exist together simultaneously. Upon this theme, a child of unusual abilities and a man of special talents gain plausibility, and through their abilities they are able to overcome the killer who seeks to destroy them. Koontz’s writing is poetic and in this novel perhaps a bit too beautiful for the attention it calls to itself. The tone, which I love about Koontz’s writing, is upbeat with a lot of humor. I love the warmth of his characters. The novel is long, perhaps a bit too long. Nevertheless it is satisfying and insightful.

Janet Grey

I saw this book had mixed reviews, but read it anyway. I thoroughly enjoyed it, despite being very long. DK has certainly a true gift when it comes to describing characters, layers upon layers, the complexity is unmatched. Eenie, Junior Cain while apparently mad from the onset, further descends into his own world where everything is a cosmic happening, designed to destroy him, while the characters of Agnes and Tom and others show us that there is good still left in the world, despite a decline in the general morality of society. I would like to say the charActers of Barty and Angel were true enjoyment, and hopefully give some hope that there is always more in this world that mere mortals are allowed to see, or not see in this instance.Overall a thriller, it is full of sadness, but the lesson here is how we overcome and look at the better parts of ourselves and our lives, and all actions have consequences, seen or unseen.

Alex Telander

“Like the cold and fragile ectoplasm of summoned spirits, the gossamer architecture pressed against their faces, and much of it clung tenaciously to their clothes that even in the gloom, they began to look like the risen dead in tattered gravecloth.”Thus begins the latest novel from bestselling author Dean Koontz, who has brought us such great tales as Fear Nothing, Watchers, Intensity, and Dark Rivers of the Heart. In From the Corner of His Eye Koontz transcends his revered storytelling, reaching a new and higher plateau, both in narrative style and plot. From the Corner of His Eye becomes a story that one wants to keep, both in their hears and on their shelf, to return to often.The novel uses a casts of fantastically strong characters, each with their own unique and complex lives that the reader learns about in turn. The main character, Bartholomew Lampton, is a young boy who is almost a miracle birth, the mother having suffered a near-death accident on the way to the hospital. Early on, Barty appears to be a prodigy of a new dimensions, excelling in all fields to a shocking degree. Approaching the age of four, he develops a rare form of retinal cancer; the only solution is to have the retinas removed. For the next ten years of his life, Barty is blind, dealing with this deformity and coping just fine. Then one day, through powers both mystical and supernatural, Barty gains his sight.Each of the other characters forms part of a beautiful circular puzzle, where Barty is at the cent, the rest accompanying pieces. The reader is taken on journeys into the minds and lives of these characters, orchestrated by the great puppet master, Mr. Koontz, from one character to the next, from this chapter to that.Koontz lays such a solid groundwork with From the Corner of His Eye that one is left hoping for possible sequels with this wonderful setting. The book concludes with a satisfying end, opening up the reader’s narrow mind to a world of impossibilities made possible and events – ruled not empirically possible by scientists – to reality and fruition.“Through the mind, odd and disconnected thoughts rolled like slow, greasy eye-of-the-hurricane waves on an ominous sea.” Koontz’s words broach the realm of poetry with their imagery, making the story not only compelling and spellbinding but outright charming and exquisite. When one begins reading From the Corner of His Eye, it will be unlike any book ever read by anyone. The tale is magnificent, the pace strong and continuous, the characters unique and incomparable to any others. The power is like a charging, one-manned train, where Mr. Koontz is the driver and the reader is the only passenger, where he or she will remain belted into the sea, reading paragraphs and turning pages, until the very last, collapsing in an exhausted heap; then rising after recuperation, hoping for a sequel.Originally published on March 26, 2001 ©Alex C. Telander.For over 500 book reviews, and over 40 exclusive author interviews (both audio and written), visit BookBanter.

Diane Carlisle

Dean Koontz is one of my favorite authors, so I would never give him less than three stars. However, rarely would I give any book a five star rating. My favorite character to follow in this highly charged suspense thriller was Enoch Cain. I have never read a more compelling character than this psychopathic killer. The reason he is so compelling is that Koontz exposes his instinctive nature through situational suspense, making the reader experience horrors from the killer's POV. Koontz weaves this story in such a manner that I found myself rooting for the killer around every corner.

Barks & Bites

Still updating my old reads. Ugh, what a tedious task. I read this many years ago for All About Romance. The review is archived HERE .


It is hard to swallow a character that is incorruptible and perfect. Generous and selfless. A character that gives of herself even though her life is wrought with pain and loss. It is damn near impossible to accept 12 additional characters that are similarly saint like. But what's even more ludicrous is this group of caring people finding each other and then living together in perfect harmony. Even the most righteous person is going to sick of your annoying habits. These characters are so paper thin it's insulting.You are built up to accept that the villain is so evil none of these 12 people are likely to survive his wrath. I won't spoil it but let's just say the ending was so anti-climatic it risks becoming the very definition of the word. Not to mention its not until the last 50 pages that these characters finally clash! Hundreds of pages of meandering descriptive writing masturbation, promising a huge epic climax that just never shows up. Not only does it not show up, it never calls to say it can't make it.It's as though he wrote and wrote without looking at the calendar and then one day realized he had 700 pages, no ending and the draft was due the next day.Waste of time. Which is a bummer because I've liked his books I've read in the past.


A friend who loves Koontz mailed me this book and insisted that I read it. She's still my friend, but I hated this book. The first part was quite good, with that surprise murder, but the ending was rushed and unsatisfying.Then there's the issue with Koontz's writing style (he tells too much) and unnecessary characters. What ticks me off most about Koontz is that I think he could be really, really good, but he writes and publishes too fast -- tighten, polish, edit, lose the subplots that go nowhere -- there could be masterpieces!

Renee Gwinn

The beginning was shocking and twisted.... which I loved. But then the story got bloated and complicated and at the end died a quick death (fortunately). Why did the author spend all that time (and pages) developing the evil Enoch Cain only to have him evaporate in one sentence!? And in the beginning the reader was subjected to painfully articulate hour by hour, day by day accounts of 3 story lines. Then at the end it was rushed to decades by decades. This was truly a story I couldn't wait to finish, but only because I had to justify all the time I spent turning pages! I am a deep lover of science fiction anything, but this book was, to say the least, disappointing!


One technique that an author has at his disposal when writing to get a reader involved early in their book, "The Hook", is Pathos. We feel sympathy for a character because of some tragedy that has befallen them. We want to learn more about this character and how they might champion this terrible ordeal. Pathos is effective. Pathos often sells books. Pathos sucks when mishandled. Take one blind boy, no let's not make him just blind: Let us make him have no eyes! Yes this will get people to feel immediate sympathy for him. Let us make him a crafty lad. No, let us make him a child prodigy! Yes people will enjoy his precocious ways. His witty banter. His je ne sais quoi. Ad nauseam. Worse, we read later he can see again and can perform (apparently) "minor miracles" (To paraphrase and the voice I have in my head: Look mummy, I ran where the rain wasn't!). I could go on. I won't. Okay, maybe a few more: Need more ways to manipulate how a reader feels? Add one cute dog (Mr. Koontz is fond of this method). Add a selfless individual who lost a love one (no less the very day baby Barty was born). An individual who performs various acts of kindness around town including giving out pies. I mean who doesn't like pie right? Add another cute child... Good Lord someone get me a chuck bucket. This is poor writing. It is irritating to read, let alone read for over 700 pages. I personally do not like having my emotions twisted in this manner. It's schlock in particular when we have read the last page and found most of the afore mentioned was solely for that very purpose. I can draw my own conclusions as to how I feel about a character without it being force fed to me, thank you very much. There other reasons to dislike this novel, which others have posted and pointed out. I will let tell their own stories. You draw your own conclusions.

Sandra Grauschopf

This was a really gripping and enjoyable book, which surprised me because I've been disappointed by Dean Koontz books in the past. A good portion of the book was told from the perspective of the "bad guy," which was a lot of fun, since he was so delusional. Every so often, you'd get a glimpse of him from outside his own perception, and it was always jarring.The end was a little weak, which was unfortunate. But I'll forgive it for that, because the rest of it was so much fun. It's great to have a book I can't put down.


I stuck with this book for 250 pages before I gave up. The writing was beautiful at times, but the characterization absolutely drove me crazy. The sheer goodness of the good guys is nauseating, and Koontz slathers them with such sticky sweetness that I actually ended up hating the characters. The bad guy is the only character I enjoyed reading about, and he's overblown to the point of caricature.Koontz has a couple of nice passages, but there's no way I'm going to make it through this book without carving my eyes out with a grapefruit spoon, and I can't do the alternate universe quantum physics thing and magic my eyes back, so I'm calling it quits.Goodbye Barty, I barely knew ye.


I liked this book. I usually don't much care for the books of Dean Koontz. I find his writing formulaic and a little insulting. You already know who the good and bad people will be: the ugly women and good looking men will be bad and the beautiful women and ugly men will not only be good they will be VERY good and probably end up together. There will also be a strong moral/Christian undertone and the concepts of Good and Evil are black and white.But this book had large sections of very good writing and was largely involving a sort-of layman version of a few quantum physics concepts that, while not actually accurate, were handled very well and were entertaining.While I didn't like the two main (adult) protagonists (a pointlessly cliche ex-priest cop who sees the world entirely in black and white and thinks it's okay to break the law and kill people and things like that as long as he gets the murderer he is hunting down... and totally doesn't see the irony in that; and a perfect-perfect-PERFECT woman who is beautiful and perfect and sweet and perfect and never did anything wrong in her whole life and perfect) I liked almost all of the secondary characters and the two children at the heart of the story. I also liked the writing itself and the narrative style the author used for the story and the book lay-out.So I liked it, but not enough to recommend it. Or something.

Mike (the Paladin)

A good example of what some are calling the "new Koontz". Maybe, I know I like this book. There are several of his more recent offerings that I have really enjoyed and this is one.Also he has one of his more "interesting" villains here. I can't say anymore without giving a spoiler, but this is one of those horrible yet laughable evil killers. You can't laugh at the evil bloody acts, but the interesting "mental gymnastics" of this guy are well done. Koontz moves into the realm of science fiction/science fantasy here and it's an interesting "take". The female protagonist/ mother in the story is a nice woman...even a good woman yet at times she drives me crazy...up the wall so to speak. Each character is pretty fully formed and the story's "hook" (view spoiler)[ multiple universes is only a part of it (hide spoiler)] is handled well. As mentioned the story very much circles around the many (somewhat esoteric) characters. But by far our Villain (Enoch Cain Jr) is one of Koontz'z more weird and fairly original creations. To call him a psychopath is to just scratch the surface of his personality. The villain's evil, the kids are cute. The story has redemption, pathos, and quite a few twists and turns.Enjoy.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

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