One Door Away from Heaven

Version: Unabridged
Author: Dean Koontz
Narrator: Anne Twomey
Genres: Fiction & Literature, Suspense
Publisher: Random House Audio Assets
Published In: December 2007
# of Units: 17 CDs
Length: 19 hours
Ratings:
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Overview

In a dusty trailer park on the far edge of the California dream, Michelina Bellsong wants to change the direction of her troubled life but can't find her way. When a new family settles into the rental trailer next door, she meets a young girl who will change Micky-forever.
Despite her deformed left leg and withered left hand, nine-year-old Leilani Klonk radiates a buoyant and indomitable spirit that inspires Micky. Beneath Leilani's effervescence, however, Micky comes to sense a quiet desperation that the girl dares not express. Leilani's mother is little more than a child herself, and her stepfather is educated but threatening. Slowly, more troubling details emerge in Leilani's conversations with Micky. Most chilling is Micky's discovery that Leilani had an older brother, also disabled, who vanished after Maddoc took him into the woods one night and is now "gone to the stars."
While the child-protection bureaucracy gives Micky the runaround, the Maddoc family slips away into the night. So Micky sets out across America to find them-for the first time living for something bigger than herself. Her passion and disregard for danger bring to her side a burned-out detective who joins her on her journey, a journey through terrible darkness to unexpected light. "One Door Away from Heaven" is an incandescent mix of suspense and humor, fear and wonder, a story of redemption and timeless wisdom that will have listeners cheering.

Reviews (3)

Classic Koontz

Written by Barbara on May 8th, 2018

  • Book Rating: 5/5

If you like Koontz, this one is classic. It has all the ingredients--ESP, a super intelligent dog and murdering aliens. The protagonist is an extremely likeable young boy and a "crippled mutant" young girl. Lots of listening hours to keep you glued to your car seat.

Awesome

Written by Laura from Milwaukee, WI on September 2nd, 2009

  • Book Rating: 5/5

This was a great listen! The narrator was mesmerizing and the story line was riveting. Dean Koontz can be hit or miss, I've hated some of his works, and loved others. I am so glad I took a chance on this one. His use of language in this book is so descriptive you can picture exactly what he is talking about, a very visual story.

Awful

Written by APDS4 on June 11th, 2008

  • Book Rating: 1/5

This was my first and last book by this author. This author got completely carried away with descriptive language and forgot to include a story line. It's almost as if little bits of story were woven into a thesaurus. Reading this book was like trying to swim through quick sand. The little bit of story line/plot that there was, was disjointed and in the end ridiculous. This book was almost painful to listen to. Don't waste your time here.

Author Details

Author Details

Koontz, Dean

Dean Koontz grew up in desperate poverty under the tyranny of a violent alcoholic father (Koontz's father served time in prison for trying to murder him). Despite his traumatic childhood, Koontz put himself through Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania (then known as Shippensburg State College), and in 1967 went to work as an English teacher at Mechanicsburg High School. In his spare time he wrote his first novel, Star Quest, which was published in 1968. From there he went on to write over a dozen more science fiction novels.

In the 1970s, Koontz began publishing mainstream suspense and horror fiction, under his own name as well as under several pseudonyms; Koontz has stated he used pen names after several editors convinced him that authors who switched genre fell victim to "negative crossover": alienating established fans, while simultaneously not picking up any new fans. Known pseudonyms include Deanna Dwyer, K. R. Dwyer, Aaron Wolfe, David Axton, Brian Coffey, John Hill, Leigh Nichols, Owen West, and Richard Paige. Currently some of those novels are sold under Koontz's real name.

Koontz's breakthrough novel was Whispers (1980). Several of his books have reached #1 on the New York Times bestseller list.

Koontz is renowned for his skill at writing suspenseful page-turners. His strengths also include memorable characters, original ideas, and ability to blend horror, fantasy and humour. Koontz has been criticized for his tendency to include too many similes and therefore to drag out descriptions, his frequent use of similar plotting structures, and a tendency to moralize heavily.

Koontz's protagonists,with the exception of Odd Thomas,arm theirselves with guns to do combat against the various monsters and madmen,and Koontz gets all the technical details right.There are no mistakes(functions and capabilities of different types of guns.)

Arguably, most of Koontz's work can still be classified as science fiction, as he tries to create plausible, consistent explanations for the unusual, fantastic events featured in most of his novels.

Koontz also has a very interesting way of adding his own little quirks to his novels, such as adding simple quotes from a book by the name of The Book of Counted Sorrows. Counted Sorrows was originally a hoax, like the nonexistent Keener's Manual Richard Condon cited for epigraphs he wrote himself. Eventually Koontz put together a poetry collection of that name, using all the epigraphs; it was printed as a limited edition in 2003 by Charnel House and as an eBook by Barnes & Noble. His more recent novels, starting with The Taking, have no verse by Koontz; rather, they have quotes by other authors (in particular, The Taking uses quotes from T. S. Eliot, whose works figure in the plot of the novel).

Koontz has long been a fan of Art Bell's radio program, Coast to Coast AM. He appeared as a guest after a fan reported to Bell that one of Koontz's novels featured a character describing a paranormal event as an "Art Bell moment."

Koontz currently resides in Newport Beach, a city in Southern California (as such, most of his novels are set in Southern California) with his wife Gerda and their dog Trixie Koontz, under whose name he published the book, Life is Good: Lessons in Joyful Living, in 2004. Trixie is also often referenced in his official newsletter "Useless News".

Dogs often figure heavily in Koontz's novels, as he is an avid dog lover. Watchers, Dark Rivers of the Heart, and One Door Away from Heaven are prime examples. However, lately he has seen fit to include cats as characters, most notably the smart cat Mungojerrie in the Christopher Snow novels.