Koontz, Dean. 2007. The Husband. Jakarta: Pustaka Alvabet.
Rating 5 stars
(review in Indonesian, click here)
(review in Indonesian, click here)
Thank you, Pustaka Alvabet, for giving me this book in exchange for honest review.
Why I read it in the first place?
I was surfing in the internet, hopping from one online book store to another. In one certain store, I saw The Husband by Dean Koontz, the English version, cheap, used but still in good condition. Somehow, I interested to check the information about the book. After some searching, I was kind of curious with it and simply added The Husband in my wishlist (like my wishlist needs to be longer). One day, I was just checking books in Pustaka Alvabet’s website, and found myself surprised. I didn’t know The Husband by Dean Koontz has been translated into Indonesian, and apparently it’s published by Pustaka Alvabet. They publish many great books really, but somehow I don’t see their books in book store as much as other books from different publishers. So, I e-mailed them, asked them to send me this book in exchange for honest review in this blog. And here it is, the said review.
I really REALLY felt torn about this. Should I give 4,5 stars rating? 5 stars instead? After some serious inner-debate with myself, I stopped at 5 stars rating. I don’t remember I ever have a reading experience like this before, when my heart still ran wildly even after I finished the book and closed it. Dean Koontz is indeed an awesome writer. This is my first Koontz’s. He seems to be known as the most famous American novelist, but this is the first time I heard about him and read his work. It just reminds me that there are still unlimited books out there, some great, some mediocre, some lame, all are waiting to be read.
The Husband introduced me with my new favorite fiction male character, Mitch Rafferty. Being an ordinary 27 year-old guy, Mitch chooses to be a landscaper because he loves his content life and wants to do real things for his life, get dirty with his own hands, literally. One bright sunny day, he gets a call from a guy who claims is kidnapping Mitch’s wife, Holly. The guy asks two million dollar for her return. Like I said, Mitch is only a landscaper! A gardener! This is the part where my head was full of, “How come? What a sick pathetic meanie!” To prove his seriousness, the kidnapper shoots a passer-by across the road where Mitch is standing. And this is the opening for the relentless thrilling journey in The Husband. AWE-SOME.
Personally, I think there are so much more in this book than only about Mitch’s struggling attempt to get his wife back. First, I acknowledged how Mitch, as a husband, is really devoted to his wife. Loves her completely and takes their marriage vow by heart. The vow to be loyal and together until death do them apart. Honestly, I almost cried right there. Reading that part, in page 267 (Indonesian edition), I was in a public transportation and still, my reaction to that part was...
Mitch inspired me to re-shape my vision on marriage, ensured me that marriage is still a sacred and beautiful things to do. Bombarded with nowadays celebrities’ easy marry-divorce scoops all around and all the time, marriage is almost dull to me. Koontz, through Mitch, tries to show readers how strong a husband and wife’s relationship should be. Ah it’s just fantastic! Mitch!
And, what caught my attention also is Mitch’s family background. They are so dysfunctional and I must say, I got a bit scared for the possibility a family like that really exists in this modern day. The parents’ way in ‘educating’ their children is ‘unusual’, look like it makes sense but insane at the same time. For those who are into psychology, you probably will think hard about this problem. What’s so ‘unusual’ about them anyway? Well, first off, the parents insist their children to refer them by their names only. They’re not allowed to call them ‘Mom’ and ‘Dad’, no. According to Mitch’s father, a biologic relation cannot alter one’s social status. Uh... okay. And the family’s ‘unusual’ ways lead to another more and more abnormal activities.
I really was brought to an unexpected journey by reading The Husband. Usually, I, at least, can figure things out about a story plot, even a bit. But with Koontz, I was an empty shell. I had no idea what would coming. When I thought I knew, it really was all wrong and Koontz kept surprising me with twists and sharp turns. Brilliant author indeed!
What doubted me to give 5 stars rating right away is the flowery speech style. Not my favorite, really. But then I thought, this book still captured me thoroughly, however flowery is this, and it deserves a 5 stars rating anyway. So, there, 5 stars from me!