Frankenstein: Prodigal Son

Frankenstein: Prodigal Son

Audio Other(Other - Unabridged Audio Cassette)

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From the celebrated imagination of Dean Koontz comes a powerful reworking of one of the classic stories of all time. If you think you know the legend, you know only half the truth. Here is the mystery, the myth, the terror, and the magic of . . .

Every city has its secrets. But none as terrible as this. He is Deucalion, a tattooed man of mysterious origin, a sleight-of-reality artist who has traveled the centuries with a secret worse than death. He arrives in New Orleans as a serial killer stalks the streets, a killer who carefully selects his victims for the humanity that is missing in himself. Deucalion’s path will lead him to cool, tough police detective Carson O’Connor and her devoted partner, Michael Maddison, who are tracking the slayer but will soon discover signs of something far more terrifying: an entire race of killers who are much more–and less–than human and, deadliest of all, their deranged, near-immortal maker: Victor Helios–once known as Frankenstein.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781415915615
Publisher: Books on Tape, Inc.
Publication date: 01/28/2005
Series: Dean Koontz's Frankenstein Series , #1
Edition description: Unabridged Audio Cassette
Product dimensions: 4.25(w) x 2.75(h) x 6.30(d)

About the Author

Dean Koontz, the author of many #1 New York Times bestsellers, lives in Southern California with his wife, Gerda, their golden retriever, Elsa, and the enduring spirit of their goldens, Trixie and Anna.


Newport Beach, California

Date of Birth:

July 9, 1945

Place of Birth:

Everett, Pennsylvania


B.S. (major in English), Shippensburg University, 1966

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Deucalion seldom slept, but when he did, he dreamed. Every dream was a nightmare. None frightened him. He was the spawn of nightmares, after all; and he had been toughened by a life of terror.

During the afternoon, napping in his simple cell, he dreamed that a surgeon opened his abdomen to insert a mysterious, squirming mass. Awake but manacled to the surgical table, Deucalion could only endure the procedure.

After he had been sewn shut, he felt something crawling inside his body cavity, as though curious, exploring.
From behind his mask, the surgeon said, “A messenger approaches. Life changes with a letter.”

He woke from the dream and knew that it had been prophetic. He possessed no psychic power of a classic nature, but sometimes omens came in his sleep.

In these mountains of tibet, a fiery sunset conjured a mirage of molten gold from the glaciers and the snowfields. A serrated blade of Himalayan peaks, with Everest at its hilt, cut the sky.

Far from civilization, this vast panorama soothed Deucalion. For several years, he had preferred to avoid people, except for Buddhist monks in this windswept rooftop of the world.

Although he had not killed for a long time, he still harbored the capacity for homicidal fury. Here he strove always to suppress his darker urges, sought calm, and hoped to find true peace.

From an open stone balcony of the whitewashed monastery, as he gazed at the sun-splashed ice pack, he considered, not for the first time, that these two elements, fire and ice, defined his life.

At his side, an elderly monk, Nebo, asked, “Are you looking at the mountains—or beyond them, to what you left behind?”

Although Deucalion had learned to speak several Tibetan dialects during his lengthy sojourn here, he and the old monk often spoke English, for it afforded them privacy.

“I don’t miss much of that world. The sea. The sound of shore birds. A few friends. Cheez-Its.”

“Cheeses? We have cheese here.”

Deucalion smiled and pronounced the word more clearly than he’d done previously. “Cheez-Its are cheddar-flavored crackers. Here in this monastery we seek enlightenment, meaning, purpose . . . God. Yet often the humblest things of daily life, the small pleasures, seem to define existence for me. I’m afraid I’m a shallow student, Nebo.”

Pulling his wool robe closer about himself as wintry breezes bit, Nebo said, “To the contrary. Never have I had one less shallow than you. Just hearing about Cheez-Its, I myself am intrigued.”

A voluminous wool robe covered Deucalion’s scarred patchwork body, though even the harshest cold rarely bothered him.
The mandala-shaped Rombuk monastery—an architectural wonder of brick walls, soaring towers, and graceful roofs—clung precariously to a barren mountainside: imposing, majestic, hidden from the world. Waterfalls of steps spilled down the sides of the square towers, to the base of the main levels, granting access to interior courtyards.

Brilliant yellow, white, red, green, and blue prayer flags, representing the elements, flapped in the breeze. Carefully written sutras adorned the flags, so that each time the fabric waved in the wind, a prayer was symbolically sent in the direction of Heaven.

Despite Deucalion’s size and strange appearance, the monks had accepted him. He absorbed their teaching and filtered it through his singular experience. In time, they had come to him with philosophical questions, seeking his unique perspective.

They didn’t know who he was, but they understood intuitively that he was no normal man.

Deucalion stood for a long time without speaking. Nebo waited beside him. Time had little meaning in the clockless world of the monks, and after two hundred years of life, with perhaps more than that ahead of him, Deucalion often lived with no awareness of time.

Prayer wheels clicked, stirred by breezes. In a call to sunset prayer, one monk stood in the window of a high tower, blowing on a shell trumpet. Deep inside the monastery, chants began to resonate through the cold stone.

Deucalion stared down into the canyons full of purple twilight, east of the monastery. From some of Rombuk’s windows, one might fall more than a thousand feet to the rocks.

Out of that gloaming, a distant figure approached.
“A messenger,” he said. “The surgeon in the dream spoke truth.”
The old monk could not at first see the visitor. His eyes, the color of vinegar, seemed to have been faded by the unfiltered sun of extreme altitude. Then they widened. “We must meet him at the gates.”

Salamanders of torchlight crawled the ironbound beams of the main gate and the surrounding brick walls.
Just inside the gates, standing in the open-air outer ward, the messenger regarded Deucalion with awe. “Yeti,” he whispered, which was the name that the Sherpas had coined for the abominable snowman.

Words escaping him on plumes of frosted breath, Nebo said, “Is it custom now to precede a message with a rude remark?”

Having once been pursued like a beast, having lived two hundred years as the ultimate outsider, Deucalion was inoculated against all meanness. He was incapable of taking offense.

“Were I a yeti,” he said, speaking in the messenger’s language, “I might be as tall as this.” He stood six feet six. “I might be muscled this solidly. But I would be much hairier, don’t you think?”

“I . . . I suppose so.”

“A yeti never shaves.” Leaning close, as if imparting a secret, Deucalion said, “Under all that hair, a yeti has very sensitive skin. Pink, soft . . . quick to take a rash from a razor blade.”

Summoning courage, the messenger asked, “Then what are you?”

“Big Foot,” Deucalion said in English, and Nebo laughed, but the messenger did not understand.
Made nervous by the monk’s laughter, shivering not only because of the icy air, the young man held out a scuffed goatskin packet knotted tightly with a leather thong. “Here. Inside. For you.”

Deucalion curled one powerful finger around the leather thong, snapped it, and unfolded the goatskin wrapping to reveal an envelope inside, a wrinkled and stained letter long in transit.

The return address was in New Orleans. The name was that of an old and trusted friend, Ben Jonas.

Still glancing surreptitiously and nervously at the ravaged half of Deucalion’s face, the messenger evidently decided that the company of a yeti would be preferable to a return trip in darkness through the bitter-cold mountain pass. “May I have shelter for the night?”

“Anyone who comes to these gates,” Nebo assured him, “may have whatever he needs. If we had them, I would even give you Cheez-Its.”

From the outer ward, they ascended the stone ramp through the inner gate. Two young monks with lanterns arrived as if in answer to a telepathic summons to escort the messenger to guest quarters.

In the candlelit reception hall, in an alcove that smelled of sandalwood and incense, Deucalion read the letter. Ben’s handwritten words conveyed a momentous message in neatly penned blue ink.

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Frankenstein 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 412 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Fantastic first book to this series. I was poring through the pages as fast as I could. It was a phenomenal book. I give it an A+ all the way around.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book surprised me in that I thought it would be a lot different from what it is. It is WAY better than even the original Frankenstein. If you like Mr. Koontz then you'll love this book. You'll love it even if you've never read any of his books...Highly Recommended!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I can't wait for the third book. Never put it down. One of his best.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Not usually a fan of these type books, but I have to say, I could not put it down until the very last page. So...I rushed right out to buy Book Two and gobbled it up in no time at all....and, I'm STILL waiting for Book Three. What's the hold-up??
Guest More than 1 year ago
what a great book! It was entertaining, suspenseful, a bit funny, just great! Praises to Koontz. I look forward to reading book 2.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dean Koontz puts a novel twist on the story of Frankenstein's monster. It was very interesting to place Dr. Frankenstein and his monster in modern times. The basic plot of the story is a little far fetched yet a very fun read. The Dr. is definitely evil in pursuit of the perfect world. It will be interesting to read the rest of the series to see if "the monster" plays the role of the hero. I really liked the rapport between the New Orleans detectives. This story line is a little different than most of Koontz's work, but still a very worthy read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loooooved this book. I read it in about two days. But I know that when these big authors (clive cussler, james patterson, dean koontz) write a book with a co-author that the co-author is doing most of the work. One of Clive Cussler's co-authors (Jack Dubrul) is a friend of a friend so I have it on pretty good authority that Koontz probably didn't have much to do with this book beyond the concept. But I still highly recommend it
BER1 More than 1 year ago
I would highly recommend this book.
Cica_1984 More than 1 year ago
Of course I have to start off by saying Dean Koontz is awesome. As always this book really pulled me in. This is a good twist on the classic Mary Shelley Frankenstein. I can't wait to pick up the 2nd book in the series.
ybtone More than 1 year ago
I have never in my life wanted a book to come out so badly as I do with the third installment of Dean Koontz Frankenstein series. I've read both books one and two twice and they are now one giant story in my mind so i will try to stick with just book one for this review. When I originally read that this was going to be about Frankenstein in modern day North America helping out with crime I laughed. I thought of cheesy movies like Robocop and shook my head. But I gave it a shot anyways because if nothing else it would be different from what I had read, (at that time only King novels). On that assumption I was correct, on the cheesy Robocop analogy...I was dead wrong. The characters are all likable or loathsome and some are downright sympathetic, even some of the monsters. The plot was not Frankenstein dressed in Louisianan PD Blues running around shooting and maiming perps either. Duchaleon (Frankensteins new name, pardon my spelling)receives word that someone close to him in the freak show circuit has passed and his creator Victor Frankenstein is still alive and looking the same as the day he created Duchaleon living under the alias Victor Helios. Duchaleon makes his way to Louisiana and ends up entangled in two police officers hunt for a serial killer who is amputating and collecting singular body parts from women. The two cops are both excellent characters, one male, and one female, the male is a sarcastic guy and adds needed comic relief throughout and the female cop is very rough and tumble (in the mold of Deb from Showtime's Dexter). The story is not entirely about a serial killer and the three's hunt for him or her. The book and sequel are a multi-layered story that really grabs hold of you and never lets go. The read is so enjoyable that it reads like an epic movie. You really wont want to put it down. I recommend that if you are considering getting this book or the audio version (which is also excellent btw) that you pick up its companion book, Dean Koontz Frankenstein: City of Night as you will want to read it right away.
phantomreview More than 1 year ago
excellent take on the frankenstein theme! makes for great reading and you know when it ends there has to be a sequel. characters are superbly wellrounded in there strangeness. the good doctor in this book envisions a world i would not like to live in.......
Guest More than 1 year ago
Dean Koontz's Frankenstein is a modern day update of the classic novel. The story and pacing are good, and the characters are rich. The only bad thing is this is book one of three, and three has been pushed back multiple times, so you will have to wait for the conclusion.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have a few of Dean Koontz's books and this book was pretty good. It was nothing to write home about, and not the best one I have read, but it had a decent plot. It was interesting to read about what 'really' happened to Frankenstein and his monster. I recomend this book if you just want to take time out of your life to sit down and read a good thriller.
Guest More than 1 year ago
For a book which started out as an idea for a TV series, this is really an intriguing take on Mary Shelley's now-famous story which I have so far throughly enjoyed. That being said, I have to remark how unclear I am on just how this book is suposed to fit in with Mary Shelley's universe. It would seem at first (especially from the synopses) that it is merely a continuation of the same story (just 200 years later), but the text would seem to suggest that these characters are actually part of Mary Shelley's world (and ours) as well as fictional characters in her book. I was also intrigued by the use of the names 'Jonathan Harker' and 'Dwight Frye' for the names of two of the other police officers considering the fact that the former is the name of one of the main characters in Bram Stoker's 'Dracula' and the latter is the name of the actor who played both Igor in the most-famous movie version of 'Frankenstein' (with Boris Karloff) and Renfield in the most famous movie version of 'Dracula' (with Bela Lugosi). More interesting then that is the fact that the two police detectives (O'Connor and Maddison) don't seem to notce this significance in spite of their clear familiarity with the appropriate pop culture. I am also surprised at how very stupid Victor Helios seems to be for being such a bio-technology genius (but I guess the bad guy always have to have some fatal character flaw). In any case, a very entertaining and very engrossing story.
cmwilson101 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Light, fun, sometimes scary and always enjoyable take on the old Frankenstein story. Both Dr. Frankenstein and his first creation, Deucalion, have survived centuries of life on earth, and come together again in New Orleans where Dr. Frankenstein has set up residence. A serial killer is stalking New Orleans, and Deucalion suspects that it may be Dr. Frankenstein's work. Deucalion aids the cops investigating the serial killings, Detectives O'Connor and Maddison. The relationship between O'Connor and Maddison is fun, and Deucalion is a very interesting and sympathetic character -- a very human monster. A good read.
jcmontgomery on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Book 1 of a trilogy, well trilogy 1 as I hear Koontz has continued and started a second trilogy, I couldn't wait to read the remainder. I downloaded the rest onto my eBook from the library and am now on Book 3, Dead and Alive. If you love Koontz, you will LOVE this series. Run, don't walk, to your nearest library or book store and get yours. Now.
crazycatlady35 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I had stopped reading Dean Koontz a while ago because it seemed like he kept rewriting the same story. A friend gave me Frankenstein, which I just finished and really liked. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the trilogy.
Blazingice0608 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Good start to the series, really love the concept behind the plot as well as all the different creations and their own individual strengths and weaknesses, unfortunatly the rest of the series went downhill from here imo.
mrtall on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Dean Koontz¿s Frankenstein: Prodigal Son is consistently enjoyable and occasionally more than that. The premise here is good fun: Frankenstein¿s monster ¿ plus the not-so-good doctor himself ¿ turn out to be still around, and they¿ve not exactly kissed and made up. A New Orleans setting is good place for both to surface, just as a weird serial killer is at work. Our protagonists ¿ in addition to our patched-together main man, of course ¿ are a team of off-the-shelf homicide cops. They¿re both young, good looking and have the suppressed hots for each other, but they¿re serviceable leads. More interesting are some of the other stories swirling around the murder mystery plot. One member of our cop duo has an autistic brother whose presence is mirrored by an autistic creation of Dr F. And just what else has he created? It turns out he¿s been busy over the past couple of centuries, and the revelation of his plot and its functionaries increasingly take center stage as the story goes on. Clearly, there is much more to come in the books that follow.The unexpected pleasure here was Koontz¿s contemplation of quite profound questions of existence and its meaning. This isn¿t a consistently `deep¿ book ¿ it¿s still a page turner ¿ but its premise and the issues it raises have some sticking power.Recommended.
meags222 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book was an interesting murder mystery/horror book. It was centered on Frankenstein and his monster who are both still alive and well in modern day society. I found it to be an interesting concept but I wouldn't say the book is brilliant. It is the first in a series and the book doesn't have a clear ending. I guess I will have to go out and buy the next two. I give this book 3 out of 5 stars
readingrat on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book and City of Night comprise Koontz's musings on the premise of "What would happen if the Frankenstein legend were true?" He brings the man and the monster into present times and lets his imagination run free. I really enjoyed this first volume and am interested to see how well everything is resolved in volume 2.
dbhutch on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
i used to be a huge dean Koontz fan, and for a good while - about 8 years - I let it go. I'd seen this on the shelves many times and wanted to read it, and ended up picking it up at a local library fundraiser. Glad I did.According to Koontz's intro, this really began as a project for USA network to develop into a series for TV. Sounded like it had all the right backign and help to make it akiller series, and someone wanted to edit too much for Koontz. Typical network junk. Shame. Would have been great from what I've read.Premise - Mary Shelley wrote that Dr. Victor Frankenstein died. well - he didn't. He is alive and well, and living in New Orleans. And he hasnt stopped his work on creating life - he's perfected it. No more lightning storms, and criminal body parts. He's cloning, bio-engineering, etc to make a New Race. And they have started getting out of hand, some actually killing people to try to find what is missing inside them. 2 detectives from New Orleans have been working the murders, and are getting more and more frustrated. Then the really bizzare happens - one of the lead detectives runs inot Victor's first creation from 200+ years ago at one of the crime scenes. And he (Deucalion) wants Victor stopped for good, and helps enlighten the detective as to what they are really facing.An excellent thriller, with lots of unexpected twists and turns, Koontz delivers a new twist on an old classic with gusto.
thoss on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Modern version of Frankenstein. A fun tale.
pink123 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Who knew Frankenstien's monster had a heart. Great series. I loved the characters and the internal termoil. Awaiting the third and final book. A must read for Koontz fans.
bradsucks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
read because my father liked it. it was okay but a lot of the writing bugged me and the characters were extremely shallow. premise was sort of interesting and i got through it.