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Lightning Mass Market Paperback – Dec 1988


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Mass Market Paperback, Dec 1988
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Berkley Trade Pub (December 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425116735
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425116739
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 10.7 x 2.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 204 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (214 customer reviews)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Laura Shane leads a troubled life: she is orphaned, nearly molested twice and loses one of her closest friends in a tragic accident, all before her 13th birthday. Even worse events would have befallen Laura if not for the mysterious guardian angel who periodically appears with a bolt of lightning to miraculously rescue her. The "angel," Stefan, is in fact a time traveler who rides the "lightning road" through time to follow Laura throughout her adult life; unfortunately, Stefan himself is being chased through time by a pack of equally mysterious villains, and their pursuit of Stefan and Laura spans the second half of the novel. The secret of the lightning road provides an intriguing mystery early on, but once it is revealed midway through the book as a complicated hybrid of borrowed science-fiction and political-thriller conceits, the narrative runs out of ideas. In the lightning road, Koontz has created the kind of sci-fi puzzle whose convoluted logic must be explained at every turn, and the momentum of the central, fairly standard chase suffers thereby. The drama of an innocent bystander forced by events to run for his or her life is familiar to Koontz readers, but this time he leaves out a vital ingredient; while his evil predators are often his most interesting characters (as in this year's Watchers, or the earlier Whispers), the villains of Lightning tend toward cliches. The reader senses that the author got too caught up in the trick of the lightning, and inadvertently stole the thunder from the rest of this potentially intriguing tale.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

On the night of Laura Shane's birth, a stranger appears from the lightning to prevent her delivery's being botched by an alcoholic physician. Throughout Laura's childhood the stranger reappears at times of danger. He protects rather than threatens, yet menace seems to follow him. Thirty years later another storm flashes and the stranger collapses, shot, at Laura's door. Now Laura protects her erstwhile guardian from mysterious hunters. He reveals that he and the hunters are time travelers. Laura, quick-witted and brave, leads the way to a bloody showdown. The paradox in time travel's tampering with history provides an interesting twist in this gripping thriller by a popular writer. Literary Guild selection.A.M.B. Amantia, Population Crisis Committee Lib., Washington,
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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First Sentence
A storm struck on the night Laura Shane was born, and there was a strangeness about the weather that people would remember for years. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Erica Anderson on June 3 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Back in high school and early college, I was a ravenous Dean Koontz fan. Two of my all time favorite Koontz books were (and still are) "Night Chills" and "Lightning". I have to say "Lightning" has a slight edge over "Night Chills" but not by much. I first read the book when I checked out from the library and eventually bought my own copy from a used book store. That is how much I loved the book. I'm not particularly a big fan of books that talks about time travel but I thought Dean Koontz made the subject very fascinating in the novel. The story of Laura Shane and her 'guardian' made for compelling reading. The only flaw of the book is that towards halfway through the book it started becoming a cheesy soap opera but I can overlook that. One of my favorite moments in the book was Laura's interaction with the Ackerson twins. I couldn't help but get choked up when death befell Laura unexpectedly. I felt like I was part of Laura's life as she grew up through out the book. I know it sounds corny but it is true. I couldn't stop reading this book when I first read it and I still can't to this very day when I want to take a trip down memory lane.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Mcallister on March 30 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book started out as an unbelievable, cryptic recounting of a wayfarer-like time traveller destined to protect a wonder-child. The first 125 pages were wonderful and engrossing, but soon after Koontz blunders badly. He takes a very unique character in Laura and waters her down by having her married and turning herself into a world-famous, rich author, which kills the book. The most compelling aspect about Laura was her fierce devotion to her father's ways; that is, she was a sole survivor, not an award winning author. I don't know why Koontz did this. He happily marries her off and then gives her an utterly annoying nitwit kid who talks like he's an omnipotent soldier from another dimension. Add to that Laura's friend Thelma, and you have the recipe for something TRULY annoying. The exchanged repartee of these two characters is not only aggravating, but unrealistic. They're in the midst of being hunted down by nefarious time travellers and all they can resort to are wisecracks? Please! I spend the second half of the book wishing Thelma dead because she so grated my nerves (along with the kid). If you consider Stephan's interchange with Hitler and Mussolini, it's obvious that a promising book has taken a long, meaningless detour.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By William Schroeder on Jan. 9 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"Lighting" starts out with a bang, and then fades like diminishing thunder. The book is riddled with cliches, stereotypical characters, non sequiturs, and an astonishingly embarassing number of product placements: Smith & Wesson, Disney, McDonald's, Ralph's, Goodwill, Mark Cross, Ray Ban, IBM, etc. etc. Parts of the book are laughable; Laura becoming upset at Chris's use of profanity after Laura has "blown away" several of the assassins, Laura's concern about the nutritional value of the food Chris is eating.
However, if television shows like "Survivor", "Oprah", and "One Life To Live" appeal to you, this may be the book for you.
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By Amanda S on May 17 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Dean Koontz has created a gripping novel that keeps the reader guessing. The story opens with the main character Laura Shane's birth, and it follows her throughout her life as she faces peril and rewards. She comes close to death several times and is saved only by a mysterious man who appears soon after lightning flashes. He vanishes from her life as suddenly as he arrives, and Laura refers to him as her "guardian angel." Laura's guardian rescues her from many of her childhood troubles, but armed men are now hunting her and her family for reasons beyond Laura's knowledge.
The story takes the reader from the isolated mountains to the heart of the city and back again as Laura discovers love, copes with loss, and understands herself further through her writing. Despite the deaths of many loved ones, compassion drives Laura on as she battles for victory against merciless killers on a mission.
Lightning is not one of Koontz's usual thrillers about unnatural creatures. It concentrates on the eventful life of one woman and places the element of time travel around her. This novel is compelling and clever, and I feel that anyone who reads it will find it worthwhile. Lightning combines time travel, shoot outs, and government conspiracies with mystery, destined love, triumph, and personal discovery to take the reader on a journey that won't soon be forgotten.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
There's nothing I can say in this review that hasn't been said already. Having said that, Dean Koontz has become my favorite author through the years. Lightning was the second book I read of his, but has become my all-time favorite book, period. There is something about the character of Laura Shane that seems to speak to the idea that people really can haul themselves far above their station or circumstances in life to become successful. She learned not to rely on a guardian for protection and figured out how to rely on herself. That she became a writer is not surprising- one of the single most fundamental rules to telling a good story is to write what you know.
The interrelationship between Laura and the Ackerson twins- I've had those exact relationships. It doesn't matter if anyone else finds our little jokes funny- we do, and that's all that counts. The love story is secondary, and serves mostly to explain Krieger's motivations. Those who would complain about the dialogue of a character like Chris need to understand that there are kids out there who develop an avid interest in something that goes way beyond a hobby, even as early as 8, and in doing so learn about aspects or language of their interests that the adults around them would probably have no idea about. (I used to be one of them- I know of which I speak.) Kids understand a lot more than adults ever give them credit for.
What I have loved for years about Koontz's work is that he may be 'rehashing old ideas' but somehow seems to find a new spin that maybe not many people have heard of, especially those like me that get easily lost when a sci-fi/fantasy story has no basis in reality. What makes his writing so compelling is his ability to bring utterly believable characters to life even in implausible situations.
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