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Authors > Dean Koontz - over the years

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message 1: by Adam (new)

Adam Smith | 26 comments Hi Horror fans! I came across some Dean Koontz interviews which prompted me to write a piece about his transition from favourite author to, whatever he is now. I mean, the old books are still there, so he must still be a favourite of mine? But he definitely has a turning point. Which book was it for you? For me, it was From the Corner of his Eye.

https://culturedvultures.com/changing...


message 2: by Randy (new)

Randy Harmelink | 1600 comments I loved the first few books of his that I read, but after a while they seems to be "cookie cutter" books with the same themes. Boy meets girl, add a dog, on the run...

I got to the point where I'd start a new book and feel like I'd read it before.


message 3: by Kurt (last edited May 30, 2017 02:24PM) (new)

Kurt I think for me, it has to be the Odd series. I absolutely loved the first two Odd books, but then, it just seemed like it was the same old thing from book to book. Kinda like James Patterson's Women's Murder Club series... which I also love, but... well, it's the same thing over and over.


message 4: by Adam (new)

Adam Smith | 26 comments I started the Odd series but only read the first two. He was the amalgamation of so many of his previous characters, that I wanted him to be more rough around the edges. It got so the good and evil was just too clean and rounded too, too defined or something.

I agree about the on the run bit... that's what make so many of his early 70s and 80s thrillers exciting with intriguing plots (though not everybody is always on the run). Still recalled with fondness. I think the earlier work was also less polished, in a good way. More raw. Now you read a page and know he's perfected everything to the last full stop.


Mixofsunandcloud | 539 comments I've only really started reading Koontz in the past couple of years, so it's a bit of whatever I can find at sales. Aside from Odd Thomas, I'm doing nothing in order.
For Odd, I loved the first one, sped through it and downloaded the second. Which draaagged. A while later I picked up the third and sped through it. Immediately started #4 and stopped maybe a quarter of the way through. I do intend to finish it at some point, I just got so tired of it.


message 6: by Erin (new)

Erin (ems84) | 6824 comments I consider Dean Koontz a favorite author of mine but I have to admit I haven't been reading a lot of his newer books lately. The only one I have read was Ashley Bell and like Randy said, it felt like I had already read it before.


message 7: by Steve (new)

Steve Parcell | 901 comments I think DK has lost his way a little. The early books had a great mix of the supernatural and human evil and were very exciting. The later books have become very formulaic with similar themes and dangers. Always some sort of human made dangers and men in black type themes. The first and last Odd Thomas books were great but the middle ones were low on quality and rather boring.
Used to be one of my favourite authors but haven't read one of his newer books for ages.


Jen from Quebec :0) (muppetbaby99) | 396 comments As soon as he started the Odd series, I basically dropped him. I read a LOT of his stuff in high school and university, though- still have a few hard copies of his old stuff. I guess I just...outgrew him. Although, you are thinking--"BUT SHE DIDN'T READ THE ODD SERIES SO HOW CAN SHE KNOW!?" Granted, I haven't read it. BUT, I always found that his books felt similar in tone and style to each other, and the thought of reading one of his stories that was an entire SERIES long? Nope- his books usually didn't have enough meat on their bones for me to consider that a SERIES by him would be a good idea...
BUT-He IS one of my 'old favorite authors', you know? Like how a stupid song from the '80's can be your 'old favorite song ever'...
--Jen from Quebec :0)


message 9: by Adam (new)

Adam Smith | 26 comments Looks like a lot of us are in consensus! I'll have to go back to his older stuff and work out if there's anything I haven't read already, if I want to read DK again. What would be interesting is the new Chris Snow book if he ever does it - and if it reads like his older work.


message 10: by Anne (w/ an E) (new)

Anne (w/ an E) (mzcatnthehat) | 746 comments I think 77 Shadow Street was the one that turned me away. I loved DK's early novels so I tried one of his more recent works (this was years ago) and I couldn't even finish it.


message 11: by Adam (new)

Adam Smith | 26 comments That was the last one I tried and ditto. I'm pretty forgiving with his prose style but it was actually this that made me stop - every page had at least a couple instances of 'as if such and such...'


message 12: by Marie (new)

Marie | 3442 comments I liked his earlier work more than his later work as to me the early stuff sometimes gave me nightmares. I liked the book The Bad Place - I don't remember this one giving me the willies, but it was a really good book.


message 13: by Fernando (new)

Fernando | 298 comments Hey everyone,

Has anyone read and/or listened to Dean Koontz's Oddkins: A Fable for All Ages? It is simply fantastic!!!

Oddkins A Fable for All Ages by Dean R. Koontz


message 14: by Adam (new)

Adam Smith | 26 comments I have not, but I have young kids - could be one for the list it sounds different.


message 15: by Char (new)

Char  | 13721 comments Mod
I haven't enjoyed anything from DK in years. He just turned too formulaic for me. Every story seems to be: Good guy, bad guy, great dog, good guy wins. The end.


Leviathan Libraries (leviathanlibraries) Char wrote: "I haven't enjoyed anything from DK in years. He just turned too formulaic for me. Every story seems to be: Good guy, bad guy, great dog, good guy wins. The end."

Yep.


message 17: by Randy (new)

Randy Harmelink | 1600 comments Char wrote: "I haven't enjoyed anything from DK in years. He just turned too formulaic for me. Every story seems to be: Good guy, bad guy, great dog, good guy wins. The end."

Many have a damsel in distress... :)


message 18: by WendyB (new)

WendyB  | 2875 comments Mod
I really liked the "Odd" series but most of the other books I've read by Koontz were nothing to write home about. I'll still be trying a few of his stories that seem interesting but I have my sights set low so I shouldn't be too disappointed.


message 19: by Char (new)

Char  | 13721 comments Mod
Randy wrote: "Char wrote: "I haven't enjoyed anything from DK in years. He just turned too formulaic for me. Every story seems to be: Good guy, bad guy, great dog, good guy wins. The end."

Many have a damsel in..."


So true! How could I have forgotten that?


message 20: by Laurie (new)

Laurie   (barklesswagmore) | 1471 comments The last one I truly loved was Odd Thomas. So sad, I used to love his books.


message 21: by Marie (new)

Marie | 3442 comments His new stuff does nothing for me - the earlier books for some reason seemed to have more spark and just seemed to pull the reader into the stories.


message 22: by Char (new)

Char  | 13721 comments Mod
I loved Watchers! To this day I wish I had a dog like that.


message 23: by Jim (new)

Jim Lay | -4 comments I was crazy about Dean Koontz' early novels. (Phantoms, Watchers, Strangers, Servants of Twilight, Whispers, and Shadowfires, are a few standouts in my mind.) And for a long time, I considered him to be a master at crafting the proverbial "page-turner". Back then his prose was lean but smart and the stories were so intriguing and captivating and had such momentum to them. It seemed to change in the mid 90's. I haven't enjoyed a book by him for a long while... sigh


message 24: by David (new)

David Brian (davidbrian) | 1610 comments Char wrote: "I loved Watchers! To this day I wish I had a dog like that."

DK's best book by a mile.


message 25: by David (last edited Jun 08, 2017 12:42PM) (new)

David Brian (davidbrian) | 1610 comments Jim wrote: "I was crazy about Dean Koontz' early novels. (Phantoms, Watchers, Strangers, Servants of Twilight, Whispers, and Shadowfires, are a few standouts in my mind.) And for a long time, I considered him ..."

I could have written this (word-for-word), although I'd also have Lightning on that list.


message 26: by Randy (new)

Randy Harmelink | 1600 comments I'd also have Lightning on that list."

I read it again a year or so ago as part of a group read, and it wasn't as good as I remembered it from decades ago. I changed my rating from 5 stars to 4 stars.


message 27: by Anne (w/ an E) (last edited Jun 08, 2017 02:39PM) (new)

Anne (w/ an E) (mzcatnthehat) | 746 comments Whispers is my favorite DK book. That ending is something I never would have guessed.
The Taking was my least favorite. The ending totally ruined it, IMO.


message 28: by Sterling (new)

Sterling Kirkland (sterlingkirkland) I've been a fan for years. Sure he uses the same basic theme a little too often and has a tendency to rush the ending a bit, but I've never found myself completely bored with any of his books.

I would agree that his earlier books were his best overall. For the most part I enjoyed the Thomas series. Could he have shortened it a bit, sure, but it was mind numbing. Same with the Frankenstein series.

What I like best is that Koontz doesn't fit into just one genre.

Whenever there is a lull in new reading material, I know that I can turn to a Koontz book and fill the time.


message 29: by Wade (new)

Wade | 30 comments I haven't read enough Koontz to address the topic of turning point. Really enjoyed both Shattered and Velocity. And I've considered several times giving his Frankenstein series a go only to ultimately change my mind.

"The Taking was my least favorite. The ending totally ruined it, IMO."

I liked the plot in The Taking, which is why I stuck it through to the end. But I struggled mightily with the writing style. Three adjectives for every noun. It was brutal to read and didn't technically match the style of his other books I've read. I didn't dig the ending either, a little too Tim LaHaye for me.


Jen from Quebec :0) (muppetbaby99) | 396 comments Wade wrote: "I haven't read enough Koontz to address the topic of turning point. Really enjoyed both Shattered and Velocity. And I've considered several times giving his Frankenstein s..."


TIM LAHAYE!? Really? Ouch! Glad I never read *that* one, then! --Jen from Quebec :0)


message 31: by Tim (new)

Tim Gunter | 154 comments I came really late in the game when it comes to Koontz, so it's impossible to really have a 'turning point'. 'Odd Thomas' was the first thing of his that I'd read after some prodding of a friend, which slowly made me start to pick up his work. Read the entire 'Odd' series, but it really started to get tiring near the end. I always enjoyed it to a degree, but it was more or less about finishing the series than it was HAVING to read it. Also read through Velocity and loved it, but after forcing my way through 77 Shadow Street I just haven't been able to pick up another one.


message 32: by Mixofsunandcloud (new)

Mixofsunandcloud | 539 comments I've got the 1st Frankenstein book on my Kindle, but I haven't read it yet. I've also got a bunch of his other novels waiting in line, or rather in piles on my floor.


message 33: by Fernando (new)

Fernando | 298 comments Char wrote: "I haven't enjoyed anything from DK in years. He just turned too formulaic for me. Every story seems to be: Good guy, bad guy, great dog, good guy wins. The end."

Not just any dog, but a Golden Retriever. At least in the following books - Watchers, The Servants of Twilight, The Darkest Evening of the Year.


message 34: by Anne (w/ an E) (last edited Jun 09, 2017 08:44AM) (new)

Anne (w/ an E) (mzcatnthehat) | 746 comments Seeing how I haven't read DK in quite a while, I entered a Goodreads Giveaway today for The Silent Corner, just to see what I think of his writing now. Wish me luck!


message 35: by Becko (new)

Becko | 41 comments I have several DK books on my shelf and never tried any. Is the Frankenstein series a good place to start?


message 36: by Randy (new)

Randy Harmelink | 1600 comments Anne (w/ an E) wrote: "The Taking was my least favorite. The ending totally ruined it, IMO."

LOL. I can't read properly. I borrowed it through the Overdrive system because I thought you said it was your favorite. :)

Not impressed so far (about 25% in). :(

I did enjoy the space station part of the story though.

It reminds me of that **bad** movie, The Happening. It started out kind of interesting, and then went sharply downhill. And continued to get worse, the more they tried to explain what was happening.

This book is one of my issues with Koontz. He uses obscure words here and there, and spends five pages describing something that should have taken only a few paragraphs. Reminds me of someone that is trying to write a 5000-word essay, but doesn't have much to say.

Like I'm doing right now....?


message 37: by Anne (w/ an E) (new)

Anne (w/ an E) (mzcatnthehat) | 746 comments Randy wrote: "Anne (w/ an E) wrote: "The Taking was my least favorite. The ending totally ruined it, IMO."

LOL. I can't read properly. I borrowed it through the Overdrive system because I thought y..."


The way you describe the book sounds like you are reading my mind. I used to like the way Koontz described things but lately he seems to be trying to hard..


Erin *Proud Book Hoarder* (erinpaperbackstash) | 875 comments I enjoyed his older, more horror heavy stuff. It's personal preference too, I just don't enjoy much serial killer thriller stuff. I think he writes his romantic relationships awkward, too.

I loved some of his older books. I have a huge box of his novels still to read.


message 39: by Randy (last edited Jun 13, 2017 01:28PM) (new)

Randy Harmelink | 1600 comments > Re: He uses obscure words here and there

An example I just ran into: "So many people had difficulty acknowledging the existence of unalloyed evil..."

How many have seen the word unalloyed before? Oh, sure, I can infer its meaning by the context, but a reader shouldn't need to interpret while reading.

(view spoiler)


message 40: by Anne (w/ an E) (new)

Anne (w/ an E) (mzcatnthehat) | 746 comments Randy wrote: "> Re: He uses obscure words here and there

An example I just ran into: "So many people had difficulty acknowledging the existence of unalloyed evil..."

How many have seen the word unalloyed befor..."


That's what I meant about trying too hard :)


message 41: by Mixofsunandcloud (new)

Mixofsunandcloud | 539 comments I've always found writers are more likely to do that early in their careers because A they want to sound smart, and B English teachers often push you to use flowery or at least varied language.

Then again, some people just like interesting words. If I were to write a novel, I can almost guarantee I would have to defenestrate someone or something.


message 42: by Randy (new)

Randy Harmelink | 1600 comments Mixofsunandcloud wrote: " I would have to defenestrate someone or something."

That's downright akratic.


message 43: by Derek (new)

Derek Patz (goodreadscomderekpatz) | -8 comments Lately Dean Koontz must include one of three things. A Golden Retriever. psychotic killer and a strong female character. happy to discuss this.


message 44: by Nancy (new)

Nancy (paper_addict) | 718 comments I used to read DK when I was in high school and in my twenties. I liked those older books at the time I read them, such as Phantoms, Twilight Eyes, The Husband, Lightening, Mr Murder, The Good Guy etc etc. Then I didn’t have as much time to read as much.

Then I noticed a few of his newer books started to get overly descriptive and too many “big words” in a paragraph just to describe one thing.

I did like Odd Thomas. I liked the quirky character. I don’t like when a series has to rehash all the details front he first book, over and over and over and this annoyed me Odd Thomas.

I liked Innocence. It was different then his other books.

I have been reading his new Jane Hawk series and I like those. They aren’t anything like his older books. So maybe that why I enjoy them. ??

I noticed he started to add an autistic child to his list of “must haves in a book” and that the dog isn’t always a golden retriever anymore. He has branched out to other dog breeds, LOL. I think he donates money to some autisctic charity or something which is probably why he added that to his list of “things I must put in a book.”

Don’t forget he usually has high powered guns of some sort.


message 45: by Nancy (new)

Nancy (paper_addict) | 718 comments Randy wrote: "This book is one of my issues with Koontz. He uses obscure words here and there, and spends five pages describing something that should have taken only a few paragraphs. Reminds me of someone that is trying to write a 5000-word essay, but doesn't have much to say..."

Exactly! I don’t know when that started. When I first started reading his books I don’t remember him taking paragraphs to describe something then I started to notice it later and it drove me crazy.


message 46: by Anne (w/ an E) (new)

Anne (w/ an E) (mzcatnthehat) | 746 comments Nancy wrote: "Randy wrote: "This book is one of my issues with Koontz. He uses obscure words here and there, and spends five pages describing something that should have taken only a few paragraphs. Reminds me of..."

Randy and Nancy-those are both big parts of my avoidance of DK, lately.


message 47: by Nancy (new)

Nancy (paper_addict) | 718 comments The Jane Hawk books he isn’t wordy with the descriptions. Paragraphs are shorter!


message 48: by Anne (w/ an E) (last edited Feb 23, 2018 05:11PM) (new)

Anne (w/ an E) (mzcatnthehat) | 746 comments Nancy wrote: "The Jane Hawk books he isn’t wordy with the descriptions. Paragraphs are shorter!"

Are you trying to talk me into reading one? (and if so, which is the first one? Or does it even matter? ;)


message 49: by [deleted user] (last edited Feb 23, 2018 06:12PM) (new)

Here is the series on GRs https://www.goodreads.com/series/1904...

The third one is up for a Giveaway

I am one that loved Koontz back in the day also. Tried to re-read Twilight Eyes & Midnight recently and DNF either.
Still want to re-visit Intensity, Strange Highways and The Bad Place but worry I'll lose my love :(

Odd Thomas (RIP Anton Yelchin) & the The Husband (completely unmemorable) made me quit for years before I attempted a revisit which didn't go well. Or actually is was waiting for the Frankenstein books that finally did me in. Sorry its been so long I'm having a hard time fully remembering. lol


message 50: by Nancy (last edited Feb 23, 2018 09:28PM) (new)

Nancy (paper_addict) | 718 comments Anne (w/ an E) wrote: "Nancy wrote: "The Jane Hawk books he isn’t wordy with the descriptions. Paragraphs are shorter!"

Are you trying to talk me into reading one? (and if so, which is the first one? Or does it even mat..."


It definitely matters. The Silent Corner is the first one. The second starts right where the first one leaves off. It’s a continuation not independent stories. It’s the FBI agent gone rogue kind of story with a woman as the protagonist.


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