Breathless: A Novel Dean Koontz

“Aristotle’s theory that the universe was not created in a singular event, that it had eternally existed, was the unanimous scientific view for twenty-three hundred years. Then in the early 1950s, we discovered the universe is expanding, driven ever outward by the force of the big bang that created it. What was known for twenty-three hundred years was wrong. Even in the latter part of the nineteenth century, it was believed that living organisms could spontaneously generate from inert matter—insects from rotting vegetables or dung, for example.

Breathless was such an interesting tale! The overall plot itself was so wonderfully executed! I won’t dive in too much there, as this is definitely one that you will enjoy learning more about on your own when you read it!

At first, it seemed like there was a lot going on and I got a little nervous.

This was mainly because of the format- there were a few different story lines that we jumped between with each chapter. We had a retired military man and his greyhound, a veterinarian with a painful past, a homeless man who is on a quest, and a brother going to visit his twin.

The Story

What is leads to what will be, and all will be well if we do

In the stillness of a golden September afternoon, deep in the wilderness of the Rockies, a solitary craftsman, Grady Adams, and his magnificent Irish wolfhound Merlin step from shadow into light…and into an encounter with enchantment. That night, through the trees, under the moon, a pair of singular animals will watch Grady’s isolated home, waiting to make their approach.

A few miles away, Camillia Rivers, a local veterinarian, begins to unravel the threads of a puzzle that will bring all the forces of a government in peril to her door.

At a nearby farm, long-estranged identical twins come together to begin a descent into darkness… In Las Vegas, a specialist in chaos theory probes the boundaries of the unknowable… On a Seattle golf course, two men make matter-of-fact arrangements for murder… Along a highway by the sea, a vagrant scarred by the past begins a trek toward his destiny…

In a novel that is at once wholly of our time and timeless, fearless and funny, Dean Koontz takes readers into the moment between one turn of the world and the next, across the border between knowing and mystery.


I really liked it. The bad guy / villain prototype was absolutely murderous as in all of Dean Koontz’s novels and a bit of a woman-hater.

Eventually Henry would want a woman, although not to cook his meals. Nora was sufficiently attractive to excite him, and there was a perverse appeal to going by force where his brother had gone by invitation

When the time came to get a woman, he would be better off with a younger and more easily intimidated specimen, one who had not grown strong from farm work

The scientific aspect was also well covered, putting into perspective how many new discoveries are yet to be uncovered and how mysterious our current world is.

For most of its history, science had been reductionist, seeking to learn how things worked by analyzing their constituent parts. But as successful as the sciences had been, discoveries in the last half of the twentieth century revealed that the sum of human knowledge amounted to a few grains of sand, while what waited to be discovered was an infinite—and very strange—beach.

1e25c3dcea923d1e4c0fa237fdb36102.jpgAnd I really liked Merlin, the dog.

Merlin stood very still, as if pondering the situation. He was a contemplative dog, always ruminating on some aspect of his world.

There is proper pondering on the nature of truth and life which makes this book shine among the others. If seen from the side of evil, some of the universal truths go home a lot earlier than others told by a sanctimonious person.

In this age, lies were the universal lubricant of the culture. A love of Truth and a commitment to it were seldom rewarded and were often punished.

Killing unsuspecting people was far easier than defending your life against an armed enemy.

I think Mr. Koontz has had his encounters with Evil (with a big E) before. He writes in full knowledge of how violence affects people and how it might feel for the person dealing it to unsuspecting people.

The anticipation of violence before a murder was pleasurable, but the expectation of being shot in the head wasn’t in the least exhilarating, no matter what psychology professors said about death having a subconscious appeal similar to that of sex. A good-looking woman chained in a potato cellar had infinitely more appeal than stalking—and being stalked by—someone who perhaps wanted to blow your brains out

In antithesis from Henry, the monster, we see a lovely man, a lovely woman and a romance blooming – powerful enough to navigate through the dark waters of the night.

if you allowed yourself to be enchanted by the beauty to be seen in even ordinary things, then all things proved to be extraordinary

The downside of the book is that the plot is completely forgettable. I’ve read this book back in March and for the life of me I can’t remember the basic plot lines (this never happened with other books).

BUT, the writing is absolutely amazing. Here are some of my favourite quotes:


Pigs again. At universities here and in other countries, there’s a race on to be the first to engineer a pig with a human brain.” The cordless phone allowed Cammy to move to the nearest window. “For God’s sake, why?” “Arrogance. Because it negates the idea of a soul. There’s no practical application. The creature will be tortured by loneliness, by the incongruous nature of its body-brain relationship. It’ll have no refuge but insanity. It’s Frankenstein to the tenth power.”

Carl Jung

Carl Jung, the psychologist and philosopher, had believed that coincidence—most of all that most extreme kind of coincidence called a synchronism—was an organizing principle of the universe as real as any of the laws of thermodynamics and of gravity. On issues such as culture and human exceptionalism, Lamar Woolsey had little in common with Jung, but there was certainly a place for the man in chaos theory, where hidden order could be found in even the most seemingly disordered …

I’ll keep it simple. The tiniest measure of time isn’t the seconds shown on a clock face. The smallest measure of time is how long a ray of light takes, traveling at the speed of light, to cross the smallest distance on the molecular level of the universe.


In the Cambrian period, at some point during a five-million-year window, which is as close as we can calculate it, a hundred new phyla appeared, thousands of species. They could have appeared steadily throughout that period—or in an instant, for all we know. No phyla have appeared since. No new phyla have evolved . Today, only thirty phyla remain, the rest having become extinct. Now maybe we have thirty-one.


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