Title: 77 Shadow Street
Author: Dean Koontz
Publisher: Bantam, Pg 464
Publication Date: December 27, 2011
Reading 77 Shadow Street has become a journey in patience. After wading through the first 43 pages, I was ready to close up the book and move on. Koontz was up to his usual overly wordy and rambling self and I just was not in the mood for it. Then I hit page 44 and was mesmerized by this book.
This is where I wish I could write the dialogue that begins on page 44 to give you a taste of what would have keep me completely engaged and then poof the amazement was gone. I have absolutely no idea as to what goes on in the mind of this writer, but I am beginning to wonder if a split personality is involved.
When the dialogue is good, it is very good and when he rambles, I scan my way through the next 50 pages. I finally decided to stick with one character, Winny, and focus solely on his story. From time to time, I would check in on other characters to see what they were up to and I am under the impression that three books were mashed into one.
The basic jest is – An old home, built in the late 1800’s has been turned into a high-end apartment building. Every 38 years or so, something freaky happens and the residents are subjected to shadows, voices, fungus on the walls that seem to breath, evil doings of previous tenants and a timeline that blurs past and present in a type of time warp.
Why did I pick Winny to follow? He is a child that has been bullied by his father, a person that came around less often than the Fed-Ex guy and slightly more often than Santa Claus, his whole life and this is the one and only chance that he has to be brave. Young Winston was named after courageous people and just because he has a small body and skinny arms does not mean that cannot do big things. Winny has formed an attachment with Iris, a young autistic girl, and Winny just knows if he can help her, he will not grow up to be the sissy that this dad said “is all but guaranteed”. Iris is not making it easy on him -though when she runs off and Winny is right on her heels.
Other than the Odd Thomas series, I think I am now officially done with Koontz. I miss his old thrillers and once he became commercial, something was lost. I guess there will never be another Watchers or Twilight Eyes - that is too bad because the old Koontz is who I fell in love with and tell people about.