Horror Aficionados discussion

888 views
Authors > Stephen King VS Dean Koontz....




Comments (showing 327-376)    post a comment »
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8

message 376: by John (new)

John (Frayerbanac) | 477 comments Sean, you're quite right. I too find Koontz's preaching a little sickly. Some of his plot lines are brilliant, but when he starts doing the old Bertrand Russell, my eyes start to glaze over...


message 375: by Sean (new)

Sean Mcdonough | 9 comments Back on topic, I prefer King to Koontz. I enjoy King's optimism, but sometimes I just can't get past Koontz' preaching.


message 374: by Sean (last edited Jan 02, 2015 07:06AM) (new)

Sean Mcdonough | 9 comments Joe wrote: "Both are great authors. I personally like John Saul a little better. He's a little more traditional horror, but you have to pace yourself with Saul because his books follow a pretty consistent and ..."

Consistent theme? You mean his tendency towards- "Hi, did you move to a new town? Did one of your parents remarry? Start at a new school? Well, prepare to have your life ruined by unending darkness and terror."


message 373: by Daniel (new)

Daniel Barnett | 150 comments Oen wrote: "I have never read Stephen King, but I've now read four Dean Koontz books -- In the Corner of His Eye, The Face, Seize The Night, and False Memory. I guess that makes me kind of a newbie to a topic ..."

Way off base. King's ability to connect you with his characters is unrivaled, and he has written plenty of--timeless--stories that feature little or no horror whatsoever.


message 372: by Oen (new)

Oen | 2 comments Steven wrote: "I like both authors and don't like one any more than the other. Both authors have a voice that is unique to them and it's been a pleasure visiting both of their imaginations. That said both authors..."

I like your idea Steven! I am reading Odd Thomas right now and loving it.


message 371: by Steven (new)

Steven (TBones) | 106 comments I like both authors and don't like one any more than the other. Both authors have a voice that is unique to them and it's been a pleasure visiting both of their imaginations. That said both authors have titles that are good and some that are better. Now if these two ever got together to write a story together. I would drop my money down on that book right away...heck I would preorder it. Could you imagine a title with Odd Thomas meeting up with the Little Bald Doctors from Insomnia ...that would be trippy :o)


message 370: by Oen (new)

Oen | 2 comments I have never read Stephen King, but I've now read four Dean Koontz books -- In the Corner of His Eye, The Face, Seize The Night, and False Memory. I guess that makes me kind of a newbie to a topic like this one, but let me say this: each novel of Dean Koontz's I've read so far (and I picked them randomly off library shelves) has been dramatically different than the one before. Also, they are magical. Also, the characters have heart, and I find myself drawn I strongly and often feel emotional reading them. I think that I am reading them because, despite the horrific dimensions, the books are profoundly humanistic. I'm not reading them to be scared, though I have been. I keep going because his writing is excellent (and this is coming from someone whose favorite author is Thomas Hardy) and his story telling is amazing. It is hard for me to imagine a Stephen King Book making me cry with empathy for the characters, but Dean Koontz has done just that for me (though as I said, I have never read King, only seen movies based on his books). In Seize the Night, one develops a connection with the animals, too. Finally, the books are deeply philosophical -- examinations of the human condition. So I don' t see them as horror so far. Maybe I will be proven wrong as I read on but it is hard for me to imagine King being better, unless what I primarily want is to be creeped out and have the daylights scared out of me. Am I way off base in thinking that?


message 369: by Sam (new)

Sam Reese (samreese1981) | 5 comments I like King better than Koontz, Laymon is amazing, and Saul is one of those writers that I really want to like but can't say he's a favorite. Usually, when I read a John Saul book I feel like everything is going along well and then his editor calls him up and says, "Hey, deadline is up!" so Saul just sort of writes an ending. That being said, I did enjoy The Blackstone Chronicles immensely.

Sam


message 368: by Carl (new)

Carl Alves (carlalves) | 60 comments Carolyn wrote: "What does anyone think of books by John Saul or Richard Laymon. ?"

Richard Laymon usually puts out high quality novels especially The Travelling Vampire Show. Saul, on the other hand, doesn't work for me at all. He specializes in YA type novels, but his portrayal of teen characters is weak.


message 367: by Carl (new)

Carl Alves (carlalves) | 60 comments I think in both cases their earlier work is better than that their later work, and although they both have great novels, for me it is Stephen King hands down. For every great novel that Koontz has, it seems like he puts out one real stinker, whereas early King almost every novel I read of his is top notch.


message 366: by Misty (new)

Misty Battle (mistymarieb) | 323 comments Hmm good question. I loved and read all three authors from when I was a teenager. I was put off Koontz for awhile because he went all scifi aliens on me. So I stuck with King and Saul. However now I have read most of King's works so I am reading up on some of Saul's. I just read the Right Hand of Evil and it was an excellent read.

I relate more to Saul and Koontz because they are written on a more personable level. I know when I read King I am in for a long ride. Dark, scary ride but still long.


message 365: by Joe (new)

Joe (joeorozco) | 16 comments I think a good starting point with Saul is Brain Child.


message 364: by Joe (new)

Joe (joeorozco) | 16 comments I've tried to give Dean Koontz a shot. The problem for me is that the horror there is too artificial. When you get into an elevator and keep going down and down, you kind of expect the doors to open on a world far scarier than what Koontz delivers. Maybe it's not that it's too artificial. Maybe it's too psychological, too clinical? Koontz, to me, comes off as a really brainy guy attempting to be a cool teenager. I read Stephen King first. Perhaps therein lies the bias. And, Stephen King has managed to startle me a few times, the mark of a great horror writer.


message 363: by Becky (new)

Becky Cope | 18 comments Dean Koontz because I feel close into his stories - relatable but horrific


message 362: by Robb (new)

Robb Bridson | 173 comments I think people often discount Stephen King for some unfair reasons.

Part of it is because we take his writing for granted nowadays, and all it has influenced and all it has changed in the horror writing business... but he's not dead and forgotten like Lovecraft, so we think of him as a contemporary writer more than a historical force.

It's true that Stephen King has written a lot of books that aren't that great, but this is largely a product of the fact that he wrote A LOT OF BOOKS. And now we hold his books to impossibly high standards.
When I read Cell for instance, I thought it was a crappy Stephen King book... but when you think about it as a book rather than a Stephen King book, it's better than more than half of the stuff out there to read.

He has a lot of annoying habits in his writing, recurring themes that get tired, but this is true of any enduring writer.

I really think the issue is that we hold him up to a supernatural standard, which really says something about his place amongst horror writers.
I'm not really willing to claim that anyone has bypassed him at this point... Stephen King is going to be remembered well after his death.

He is to horror what Metallica is to heavy metal:
Didn't invent it, but really pushed it into pop culture. And, yeah, some of his stuff ends up sucking because it doesn't live up to the standards he set and it doesn't match what we think his writing should be.
To continue the thrash metal analogy, one can argue a lot of similar bands were better than Metallica: Testament, Megadeth, and Slayer could all be claimed as better. But none of them will ever hold Metallica's place in history.
King's in a similar position. And, on a tangent, really none of his bad stuff is anywhere near as bad as Metallica's bad stuff.


message 361: by Elke (new)

Elke (misspider) | 82 comments Jon Recluse wrote: "Well, while Stephen and Dean were rolling around, slapping each other, Robert McCammon took the throne."

There are indeed several other authors that may pass King and Koontz which I had/have to discover.

My personal dilemma is that when I started reading horror fiction you still had to visit your local bookstore to get your stuff, where little else was on offer besides King and Koontz, and german translations only, of course (ok, you could also choose James Herbert or John Saul for a change).

Only when internet and online shops became available, a whole new world was opened to me. I nostalgically remember the days when amazon was still named telebuch and one store offered happy hours for the purchase of english books - paradise!

I guess it's no wonder I am deeply impressed by the work of Stephen King, as he was my first encounter and constant companion with the horror genre.


message 360: by Jon Recluse (new)

Jon Recluse | 12599 comments Mod
Well, while Stephen and Dean were rolling around, slapping each other, Robert McCammon took the throne.


message 359: by Scott (new)

Scott Nicholson (scottnicholson) | 117 comments The thing with Koontz is you always know what you are getting, while King seems a little more daring to me. Plus his language isn't as stiff.


message 358: by Elke (last edited Mar 17, 2014 12:20AM) (new)

Elke (misspider) | 82 comments Venkat wrote: "hi,Are Dean Koontz characters that are connected from one book to another like Stephen king's ? "

That would definitely be the case for the series Koontz wrote, "Moonlight Bay" (3 books so far) and Odd Thomas (7 books). As with the standalone novels, I don't know about recurrences of characters as with King's world, but then again, I only read Koontz every now and then, so I guess I wouldn't notice either.


message 357: by Venkat (new)

Venkat Satya Elke wrote: "I read both, but King beats Koontz every time.

Lately, I feel that Koontz repeats his storis with only slight variations, making me think "I've read something like that before".

However, I also n..."
hi,Are Dean Koontz characters that are connected from one book to another like Stephen king's ?


message 356: by Robb (new)

Robb Bridson | 173 comments Bob wrote: "Carolyn wrote: "What does anyone think of books by John Saul or Richard Laymon. ?"
Carolyn,

Where is a good starting point with John Saul?"


Personally I liked Darkness.
I really haven't much liked other Saul books... but I've heard Suffer the Children is his best. It's on my reading list for the near future.


message 355: by Venkat (new)

Venkat Satya Elke wrote: "I read both, but King beats Koontz every time.

Lately, I feel that Koontz repeats his storis with only slight variations, making me think "I've read something like that before".

However, I also n..."

Well Said.


message 354: by Bob (new)

Bob (bolorkay) | 166 comments Carolyn wrote: "What does anyone think of books by John Saul or Richard Laymon. ?"
Carolyn,

Where is a good starting point with John Saul?


message 353: by Elke (new)

Elke (misspider) | 82 comments I read both, but King beats Koontz every time.

Lately, I feel that Koontz repeats his storis with only slight variations, making me think "I've read something like that before".

However, I also notice a change in King's novels. They seem more mature (yeah, everyone gets older ;) and even more focussed on the people and their life, while the horror retreats to the background.

I appreciate King's slow suspense building and complex characters - he manages to do so without ever boring me, which is a rare quality. However, I think the scale has tipped too much in that direction, and there is not enough horror anymore. I hope he will return to his roots occasionally, like he did with Cell.


message 352: by Joe (new)

Joe (joeorozco) | 16 comments Both are great authors. I personally like John Saul a little better. He's a little more traditional horror, but you have to pace yourself with Saul because his books follow a pretty consistent and predictable theme.


message 351: by Carolyn (new)

Carolyn  | 22 comments What does anyone think of books by John Saul or Richard Laymon. ?


message 350: by Kathryn (new)

Kathryn (kthargretdstelmenet) I would choose King over Koontz, but that doesn't mean I don't like to read Koontz. I consistently enjoy King's books but that's not always the case with Koontz. Sometimes I absolutely love his books, and other times he bores me to tears with too much of a description of things that don't even pertain to the story.


message 349: by V.W. (new)

V.W. Singer I've read a few Koontz, all mentioned above, but in general I don't read either author.

I don't mind the optimism, but the plots in (most of) Koontz's books just don't appeal.

I could never get past the first chapter of a King book. It's just something about his writing style. It's been so long that I couldn't really tell you what.

Besides, I'm more of the "rip them to shreds and braid the intestines" school of horror person myself. Clowns, possessed husbands and cars, and domes, don't do it for me.


message 348: by Venkat (new)

Venkat Satya Another Thing i Love About Stephen King is his all novels and stories are inter-connected.


message 347: by Bob (new)

Bob (bolorkay) | 166 comments What has been Dean Koontz's best work within the last five years or so? (I have copies of Koontz's "Night Chills" and "The Bad Place" are they worth the effort?)

King will always be a favorite.


message 346: by Erin (new)

Erin (Myztic84) | 1038 comments Both of them are favorite authors of mine but if I had to choose one over the other I would pick King. I like his style of writing more but I do love Koontz's Odd Thomas series.


message 345: by Venkat (last edited Mar 05, 2014 12:18AM) (new)

Venkat Satya Stephen King Is Great For me.When I Read King's Books,I feel like was inside The Book.


message 344: by Matt (new)

Matt (MattTatty) | 5 comments for me, Dean Koontz writing style is better. I seem to get drawn in quicker. There is a however though, Stephen King wins overall as he has less of the "head in hands moment thinking this is getting silly". They both are top notch authors but Koontz pushes the story a little to far into me thinking oh dear, such a shame. For example, the bad place was a great read until Dr Who started playing in my head (not a fan). whilst Cell by King was an all round decent zombie novel. Just one example but seems to repeat with many novels. The winner for me is Stephen King.


message 343: by Maryann (new)

Maryann Ferneding | 2 comments i agree with you Squire, but sometimes a Koontz book can also draw me in. I'd call Koontz "King, light" - Koontz is 2% milk, but King is cream! no one has surpassed him yet.


message 342: by Squire (new)

Squire (srboone) | 709 comments King vs Koontz? King wins, hands down. Where King creates characters of depth and feeling, Koontz barely scratches the surface of a character; he is more concerned with the supercial in a work rather than what lies beneath the veneer of the story. I read a story by Koontz and try to imagine it written by King and it alsways seems better.


message 341: by Maryann (new)

Maryann Ferneding | 2 comments SK or DK? Noooo! Don't make me choose. Love them both. Favorite King's: The Dark Half, Four Past Midnight, Thinner, the Shining, Delores Claiborne, Desperation. Favorite Koontz's: Watchers, Strangers, Twilight Eyes, Mr Murder. the Good Guy.


message 340: by Danjal (new)

Danjal (DannX8) | 1 comments Todd wrote: "Anecdotal reference: I've seen numerous mentions of Dean Koontz (favorably in character or in passing) in Stephen King stories but I've never seen Koontz mention King in any of his stories. I don't..."

In Whispers by Koontz, one of the characters reads 'Salem's Lot. The title isn't mentioned, but he reads a "book by STephen King about vampires taking over a small town".
King wrote a praising blurb for Koontz's Strangers.


message 339: by Micky Stew (new)

Micky Stew | 35 comments I would have to say King is the better writer hands down for me. I have not read any of his books since I was in my 20s, so it's been 25 years for me. I could never even finish a Koontz book.


message 338: by Barb (new)

Barb S. (barbtrek) | 32 comments When I was a teenager I read every Stephen King book that my library had. When I had read them all I started on the Dean Koontz books. Koontz was OK, but I still kept checking the shelves for any Stephen King books I might have missed! I don't remember the Koontz as well as the King books. Of course seeing the movies based on King's books helped refresh my memory.


message 337: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Willms (MichelleWillms) | 8 comments Obviously I love both or I wouldn't be compelled to own everything of both authors. They have diverse styles, that is certain.


message 336: by Shaun (new)

Shaun Horton | 225 comments Koontz has it in suspense building, but I think King is just a better writer in general. King has a depth of imagination that I've never seen in any of Koontz's work and in some of Koontz's books, you can just tell that he was getting tired towards the end of the story.

Both can be considered masters in their craft though.


message 335: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Willms (MichelleWillms) | 8 comments I like both, but there is no comparison, really. I have read virtually everything both have written. King is a much better writer. I agree that King knows how to illicit emotion. His words are like bullets pinging directly to the appropriate portion of the brain. Lately, Koontz gets tends to get caught up in his religious bents and that's really not either horrific or suspenseful. It's just annoying. King can at least give us some variety, and entertain us doing so. Or so I think. :)


message 334: by [deleted user] (new)

As much as I like Koontz, especially The Voice of the Night by Dean R Koontz, King is the better writer by far. His writing is more real and gritty, and he knows how to illicit emotions in readers, to an almost genius degree.

Koontz, in comparison, is lacking.


message 333: by Amy (new)

Amy (Bibliocrates) | 886 comments I vote King, but, to be fair, I've read far more King than Koontz.


message 332: by Godiva3 (new)

Godiva3 | 15 comments I prefer Stephen King. I love his books, but I don't like the style of writing of Dean Koontz.


message 331: by Ushlah (last edited Nov 13, 2012 01:58AM) (new)

Ushlah Aluthge | 4 comments I believe its Stephen King - The author just makes me feel that I'm in the story.....& makes it impossible for me to put his books down....

Even Though I have read only one book -Dean Koontz The Voice of the Night by Dean Koontz even I was I just 14-15 years old..But I can remember once scene there where the story tells - one boy asking the other whether he has killed anyone before (& to see he has killed a cat...& even a little girl).....I think that was the story was about....some mind disturbing...But I like Stephen King's books


message 330: by Gatorman (new)

Gatorman | 9456 comments Jonathan wrote: "Can't really compare the two as I've read stacks of King but only one Koontz novel ("The Mask", which I believe he wrote under the pseudonym 'Owen West'). It ended with a whimper but was in all oth..."

I agree on The Mask. One of the better books I've read from Koontz.


message 329: by Sean (new)

Sean Shapiro (PositiveID) | 7 comments At this time I think they are both hit or miss to be honest


message 328: by Carl (new)

Carl Alves (carlalves) | 60 comments Dean Koontz is hit or miss. Early Stephen King is the best I've ever read, bar none.
Carl Alves


message 327: by Jonathan (last edited Oct 28, 2012 11:17PM) (new)

Jonathan Mitchell | 220 comments Can't really compare the two as I've read stacks of King but only one Koontz novel ("The Mask", which I believe he wrote under the pseudonym 'Owen West'). It ended with a whimper but was in all other respects a fine little book, in my opinion.


« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8
back to top
unread topics | mark unread


Books mentioned in this topic

The Bad Place (other topics)
The Tower (other topics)
The Ghosts Of Sleath (other topics)
Haunted (other topics)
Lisey's Story (other topics)
More...