Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Review - Dean Koontz' TickTock

What?  Dean Koontz' TickTock. 

What’s it about?  A Vietnamese-American novelist who comes across a rag doll at his door step which turns into a shape-shifting monster when he brings it inside.

Backcover Description:  Tommy Phan is a successful detective novelist, living the American Dream in southern California. One evening he comes home to find a small rag doll on his doorstep. It's a simple doll, covered entirely in white cloth, with crossed black stitches for the eyes and mouth, and another pair forming an X over the heart. Curious, he brings it inside. That night, Tommy hears an odd popping sound and looks up to see the stitches breaking over the doll's heart. And in minutes the fabric of Tommy Phan's reality will be torn apart. Something terrifying emerges from the pristine white cloth, something that will follow Tommy wherever he goes. Something that he can't destroy.

It wants Tommy's life and he doesn't know why. He has only one ally, a beautiful, strangely intuitive waitress he meets by chance--or by a design far beyond his comprehension. He has too many questions, no answers, and very little time. Because the vicious and demonically clever doll has left this warning on Tommy's computer screen: The deadline is dawn.


Time is running out.

So, is it worth reading?  Horror screwball comedy, anyone?  I picked up this book because of its cover and the backcover description.  Never judge a book by its cover, I know. Knowing Dean Koontz, I was looking for a good horror/supernatural thriller and came across this. The cover image and the description is quite tempting and so I picked it up. Expecting some decent scares for a few nights, I was stupefied to find the exact opposite inside and I must add, a tad disappointed.  But not one to leave a novel unread midway, I plodded on.  And I'm glad that I did.

Tommy Phan is a Vietanamese-American detective novelist who tries a little too hard to shed his Vietanamese origins and secretly aspires to be as suave as the detective character in his books, Chip Nguyen. He fulfills his childhood dream of buying an aqua blue Corvette and goes to see his mother who fights with him for dishonoring his roots and trying to be an American.  He reaches home to find a rag doll at his doorstep which he takes inside and then eerie things start to happen. Then he gets a deadline on his computer screen that he's got till dawn and the doll morphs into a monster which grows steadily. His only hope out of this mess is Deliverance Payne, a waitress who served him greesy cheeseburgers and a milk shake.

Despite expecting a bona fide horror story, I still managed to have quite a great time with this one. Dean's character development is eminently likable and all the characters are quite humorous in their own right, even Del Payne's dog, Scootie. This novel contains some really witty repartee between the characters and it's quite humorous, mostly, which will elicit a few smiles and maybe some chuckles. Despite being a screwball comedy, it does have a very tangible element of suspense especially regarding Del Payne which manages to hold almost till the end.

If you're looking to read something light and breezy and have never tried horror comedy, this novel might be a really good start.

Rating: 3.5/5 (find out about ratings here).

Final Word (Go or no go?): Go!

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1 comment:

  1. Thank you for submitting this review to the Book Review Blog Carnival. Edition #58 will be posted tomorrow on The Book Frog. Don't forget to check it out!