Life Expectancy by Dean Koontz

If you’re afraid of clowns, then don’t read this book. And if you’re not afraid of clowns now, then you might be by the time you finish.

Jimmy’s grandfather dies at the moment of Jimmy’s birth.  In Jimmy’s grandfather’s dying breath (briefly waking from a coma), he makes a number of predictions including 5 dark dangerous days that will occur in Jimmy’s future.

While Jimmy’s father, Rudy, believes that there is no such thing as destiny, the accuracy of the birth predictions – time of birth, height weight and existence of a condition known as syndactyl, give credence to the old man’s other predictions.  Also present at the hospital during the birth is the murderous clown Konrad Beezo who goes on a homicidal rampage before leaving the hospital with his newborn son. Baby Jimmy is hidden and saved from the mad Konrad by crèche nurse Charlene Coleman.

The story is told from Jimmy’s perspective and is full of the love and warmth of his family and tells how the strength of family brings him through the 5 nail-bitingly intense days that his grandfather predicted. There is an incredible suspense leading up to each of these 5 days, as Jimmy knows from birth when the 5 worst days in his life will be. He finds his commonplace life both blessed and cursed due to his grandfather’s predictions.

The story combines sustained suspense with humour as we gradually find out why a family of mad murderous clowns is obsessed with Jimmy and his family. And at each crisis point, the story takes a completely unexpected direction.

The events of the first dark day are some of the funniest and intense reading that I have ever come across and much of the rest of the book follows the same course.  So if you love a good read prepare yourself to be entertained, thrilled and enchanted by this one.

Book Published 2004

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