Excerpt from One Door Away From Heaven by Dean Koontz, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

One Door Away From Heaven

by Dean Koontz

One Door Away From Heaven by Dean Koontz X
One Door Away From Heaven by Dean Koontz
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Dec 2001, 624 pages
    Paperback:
    Oct 2002, 704 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


"In fact," Leilani continued, "old Sinsemilla — that's my mother — is a little nuts, period."

"Sinsemilla? That's a . . ."

"Type of marijuana. Maybe she was Cindy Sue or Barbara way back in the Jurassic period, but she's called herself Sinsemilla as long as I've known her." Leilani settled into a hideous orange-and-blue chair as decrepit as Micky's bile-green lounge. "This lawn furniture sucks."

"Someone gave it to Aunt Geneva for nothing."

"She ought to've been paid to take it. Anyway, they put old Sinsemilla in an institution once and shot like fifty or a hundred thousand volts of electricity through her brain, but it didn't help."

"You shouldn't make up stuff like that about your own mother."

Leilani shrugged. "It's the truth. I couldn't make up anything as weird as what is. In fact, they blasted her brain several times. Probably, if they'd done it just once more, old Sinsemilla would've developed a taste for electricity. Now she'd be sticking her finger in a socket about ten times a day. She's an addictive personality, but she means well."

Although the sky was a furnace grate, although Micky was slick with coconut-scented lotion and sweat, she'd grown all but oblivious of the sun. "How old are you, kid?"

"Nine. But I'm precocious. What's your name?"

"Micky."

"That's a name for a boy or a mouse. So it's probably Michelle. Most women your age are named Michelle or Heather or Courtney."

"My age?"

"No offense intended."

"It's Michelina."

Leilani wrinkled her nose. "Too precious."

"Michelina Bellsong."

"No wonder you're suicidal."

"Therefore — Micky."

"I'm Klonk."

"You're what?"

"Leilani Klonk."

Micky cocked her head and frowned skeptically. "I'm not sure I should believe anything you tell me."

"Sometimes names are destiny. Look at you. Two pretty names, and you're as gorgeous as a model — except for all the sweat and your face puffy with a hangover."

"Thanks. I guess."

"Me, on the other hand — I've got one pretty name followed by a clinker like Klonk. Half of me is sort of pretty — "

"You're very pretty," Micky assured her.

This was true. Golden hair. Eyes as blue as gentian petals. The clarity of Leilani's features promised that hers was not the transient beauty of childhood, but an enduring quality.

"Half of me," Leilani conceded, "might turn heads one day, but that's balanced by the fact that I'm a mutant."

"You're not a mutant."

The girl stamped her left foot on the ground, causing the leg brace to rattle softly. She raised her left hand, which proved to be deformed: The little finger and the ring finger were fused into a single misshapen digit that was connected by a thick web of tissue to a gnarled and stubby middle finger.

Until now, Micky hadn't noticed this deformity. "Everyone's got imperfections," she said.

"This isn't like having a big schnoz. I'm either a mutant or a cripple, and I refuse to be a cripple. People pity cripples, but they're afraid of mutants."

"You want people to be afraid of you?"

"Fear implies respect," Leilani said.

"So far, you're not registering high on my terror meter."

"Give me time. You've got a great body."

Disconcerted to hear such a thing from a child, Micky covered her discomfort with self-deprecation: "Yeah, well, by nature I'm a huge pudding. I've got to work hard to stay like this."

"No you don't. You were born perfect, and you've got one of those metabolisms tuned like a space-shuttle gyroscope. You could eat half a cow and drink a keg of beer every day, and your butt would actually tighten up a notch."

Excerpted from One Door Away from Heaven by Dean Koontz Copyright 2001 by Dean Koontz. Excerpted by permission of Bantam, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: And The Ocean Was Our Sky
    And The Ocean Was Our Sky
    by Patrick Ness
    Patrick Ness has developed a reputation for experimental literature executed well, and his latest, ...
  • Book Jacket: Let It Bang
    Let It Bang
    by RJ Young
    Every interracial love story is an exercise in complications. R.J. Young and Lizzie Stafford's ...
  • Book Jacket: A Spark of Light
    A Spark of Light
    by Jodi Picoult
    The central premise of A Spark of Light involves a gunman holding hostages within the confines of a ...
  • Book Jacket: An Absolutely Remarkable Thing
    An Absolutely Remarkable Thing
    by Hank Green
    As one half of the extremely popular YouTube duo "Vlogbrothers" (the other half being his brother ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Unsheltered
by Barbara Kingsolver

A timely novel that explores the human capacity for resiliency and compassion.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    A Ladder to the Sky
    by John Boyne

    A seductive, unputdownable psychodrama following one brilliant, ruthless man.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Paris Echo
    by Sebastian Faulks

    A story of resistance, complicity, and an unlikely, transformative friendship.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win Severance

Severance by Ling Ma

An offbeat, wryly funny, apocalyptic satire that is featured on more than twenty 2018 "Must Read" lists!

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

I Ain't O U T F L S

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.