I know that Dean Koontz is popular, and I have seen his books in the bookstore, yet I never had the desire to pick one up. "It isn't my genre" I would say and walk past them. For some reason that changed earlier in the year. The reason for the transition was "The Silent Corner" and "The Whispering Room" the first two books in the Jane Hawk series and from there the Odd Thomas series. The first two "Odd Thomas" books were really good. And what I have noticed is that the Odd Thomas series is very different from his other books.
After that I picked up "Phantoms" which was great. And I was creeped out all the way through the book. The idea to use fungus/gigantic organism under the earth as the monster was an interesting idea. While it was good all of the way through I figured it out about half way in, still it's a nightmarish page turner.
I stayed up all night reading it, though I doubt that I could have slept afterwards. It's apparently one of Koontz's least favorite books of his, go figure. I think he didn't like it because, despite it's success, it un-intentionally placed him in the horror genre, when he is actually more of a mystery/sci-fi writer.
Something that I have noticed about a couple of the other books.
Unfortunately, writing endings seems to be his weakness.
I feel like he writes the beginning, then the end, and fills in the blanks later. Though I have been told that Velocity is one of his tightest books with a great ending and some Koontz fans have recommend because it "truly keeps you on the edge of your seat." As well as being "a masterfully written suspense novel." So it is on my list. Koontz really works in nice biblical references into his books and stories so I am happy about that.
I think he's better at character when he lets himself write longer books or series. A lot of times it's like the plot drives him faster than his potential for good dialog. That being said, the guy comes up with great ideas and paces his stories well.
I really love the Odd Thomas series and after finishing the last book I haven’t been able to pick up another book. I am really interested in all the other characters that Odd encounters along the way. His powers and the responsibility that goes with them are immense but he just takes it in stride and acts as if saving lives is the most mundane thing in the world.
When I got to that twist ending in the first book it was like getting punched in the face. I still remember putting the book down and just thinking on it. And realizing the foreshadowing leading up to it. I’m normally not caught off guard with twist endings, that one definitely got me.
If you want to get the most out of it the only hint that I will say is pay attention to all the little aspects of the book because they call back to them through out the series.
If you do that the ending is beautiful.
The atmosphere and characters that Koontz brings to life have just always enthralled me since picking up the Jane Hawk books.
You could try and read them out of order; the books in the Odd Thomas series stand alone well, but if you want to really carry the overall tone the books carry with them I’d start at the beginning. There is a sense of foreboding that builds through the series and Odd does go through a series of realizations that build upon each other. In a very real sense the entire idea that Stormy (Odd’s true love from book one) put forth about life being a boot camp plays kind of a big underlying role in the underlying themes of the series. Skipping around may lose some of that effect.
As a big fan of the books I was skeptical before watching the movie.
I was not disappointed.
I thought it was a fantastic movie, and I think I’ve watched it 4 times already. I think this is a new and interesting take on the genre. This is something of a love story combined supernatural thriller. The best part about movies like this is that they don’t take themselves too seriously. They do inject a bit of humor.
Anton Yelchin plays a clairvoyant short order cook. But not clairvoyant in the palm reading, Taro card sense. He has a gift for communicating with the murdered victims that allows him to help solve their case. At the same time, he is in no sense a detective. He likes the quiet life of a short order cook. But dark forces have other ideas.
There is no way I can describe it in a way that would give you a good sense of the movie. If you like independent films, you will like this. If you are remotely into the horror genre, you will like this. If you like good suspense and mystery, you will like this. However, if you are entrenched in Hollywood Blockbuster fair, then you will still like the movie, just not as well.
I think I would easily rate it 4 out of 5 stars.
The idea that a single author can turn out as many books as Koontz and make them perfect every time is hard to imagine. The reason, simple improbability, such a feat can never be achieved across books and audiences. I don’t think he’s a terrible author. But many people do. You hear them say formulaic, religious and stale. I often hate bestsellers because they don’t have what I would call character. All of DK’s books have character, possibly a bad ending, and lots of fun to be had.
I have been told time and time again that his older books are better. Some of the books that I would like to try include:
- The Bad Place
- From the Corner of His Eye
- Fear Nothing/Seize the Night
- Dark Rivers of the Heart
- False Memory
People have called his work, hackish, akin to bad B-movie horror. Well number one on my list of terrible authors is Stephen King for the simple reason that his books bore me silly and don’t captivate me at all. He has good ideas but just pulls the whole work down with his style. I’ve always hated the way in which King depicts conversations.
I am a religious person and his books are consistently dirty and filled with swear words. And while I know that people swear in real life, only try-hards feel the need to cuss in every mundane conversation they ever have. For that reason I don’t like Game of Thrones either.
Though everybody has different tastes in books.