Book Review: The Neighbor (A Short Story) by Dean Koontz

My Rating: ★★★

Genre: Short Story; Mystery/Thriller

Plot: Malcolm and Amalia are siblings, and each other’s best friend. One night, they both notice some odd activity going on in the house next door. However, the owner of that house had died months earlier. Assuming they had new neighbors, the kids went to take a look. What happened next was an experience so haunting that neither of them ever spoke of it again.

Pros:

  • It was a nice, scary story that I could read quickly
  • I loved the siblings’ bond, especially since their parents were awful to them
  • It faces a tough issue that’s very real today, even though this story was set many decades ago
  • Dean Koontz wrote it and I love him

Cons: 

  • It felt forced. I know short stories are supposed to be short, but this seemed like something that needed to be a bit longer. Maybe another few pages or so.
  • It deviated from his normal style in a way that hurt the story, rather than help it

Favorite quote(s):

  • “Amalia insisted he wasn’t cold, but only wounded by life and emotionally isolated.”
  • “One of the good things about being twelve or younger is that you tend to believe that you’ll live forever. Therefore, you take stupid risks with little hesitation, and sometimes the risk pays off. Except when it doesn’t.”

My Thoughts: It was ok. It wasn’t spectacular. It wasn’t phenomenal. It was ok. And it makes me sad to admit that, because he’s my favorite author. However, it’s really short so if you have an hour or so to kill, it might be worth the read.

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