Koontzland - Dean Koontz discussion

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Dean's Writing & Story Elements > Koontz's original Villains **CONTAINS SPOILERS**

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Mike (the Paladin) (thepaladin) | 207 comments I mentioned elsewhere that I think Koontz has created some of the most original villains in popular lit. (Yes some of them share trait but most are in most senses that count their own character.)

I think we should agree to allow spoilers here so the discussions can be complete and unfettered, so maybe we should say...in "book title", then if you want you don't have to read any further, but the point here will be to talk about the mental workings and construction of these "crazies".

In Watchers for example...spoiler beyond this point: Vincent Nasco is part of one of the most inspired moments of planned anticlimax I've ever read. I loved the set up, all through the book with his mania that he was building immortality by absorbing each life he took. When Travis says "who are you he answers "Your worst nightmare" to which Travis says, "not even close, and drops him. An inspired planned anticlimax.

He has a lot of original psychopaths and sociopaths.


message 2: by Maciek (new)

Maciek (pan_maciej) | 666 comments I wouldn't agree about the inspired anticlimax. It's just an anticlimax - he's so scary and then pop, he's gone. Yay.

My favorite is Mr. Vess from Intensity (the best Koontz villain ever). Honorable mentions go to Krait from The Good Guy (the only good thing about the book) and Corky the anarchist from The Face. Despite being labeled as villains, these two provide comic relief (at least for me). Krait is so over the top that he stole the whole book and I wanted him to win. Corky, well if you're going to name a villain Corky he's bound to evoke some sympathy.


message 3: by Tom (new)

Tom Mueller | 147 comments What I like about most of Koontz' 'bad guys' is few are pure evil. As in life, most have their good and bad sides.
Noted exceptions are the protagonist in his Frankenstein series; probably a few others.


message 4: by Lori (last edited Feb 21, 2010 02:28PM) (new)

Lori (barfield) I think VASSAGO is one of the best bad guys in a Koontz's books. He hates the world of the living. HIDEAWAY

And MOONGIRL is another bad guy, but she's a girl. She kills out of boredom, and tortures her own daughter.
DARKEST EVENING OF THE YEAR

The crazy computer in Demon Seed. It was totally off it's rocker.


message 5: by Jaice (new)

Jaice Cooperrider (plasborgma) | 1299 comments The "best" villain I think I have encountered so far in Koontz's books is Junior Kane from From the Corner of His Eye. I was totally blown away by his actions toward his wife at the beginning of the book. It came totally out of nowhere and what is most shocking is that he truly did love her, at least as much as he was capable of loving another person other than himself, but that didn't prevent him from doing what he did to her. I can't imagine someone who would kill someone he/she loves so deeply for such inane (or insane) reasons.


Mike (the Paladin) (thepaladin) | 207 comments I think that was Koontz' point, Junior was totally incapable of love. I agree he's another great villain, I suppose a pure sociopath who only sees others as existing (at least mostly) for his pleasure. He continues to sculpt his own "self-image" throughout the book. I love his "self discovery" moments where he's always astounded at how "sensitive" he is etc. Great character.

I also find the difference in views here (so far) interesting. I loved Vince's anticlimactic death scene...Maciek didn't.

Koontz writes in what almost amounts to three (or possibly even more) different stylistic voices. He's developed into almost separate writers at times.


message 7: by Lori (new)

Lori (barfield) Maybe he has MPD. Multiple Personality Disorder LOL!

*********** SPOILER QUESTION ************

Jason did Junior Kane take his wife on a hicking/picnic in some kind of state forest, where they climbed an old forester look out, ate lunch, and he told her to look out at something, she didn't want to, but he told her it was all right he had her, and then pushed her over to her death? They just got though saying how much "In Love" they were during lunch, then he pushed her, and he thought about how long it had taken to set it all up, because he knew they would think he did it, because of the hugh insurance policy. Even her parents believed his tears loss. Is this the right man, Junior Kane?


message 8: by Jaice (last edited Feb 24, 2010 10:37AM) (new)

Jaice Cooperrider (plasborgma) | 1299 comments Lori wrote: "Maybe he has MPD. Multiple Personality Disorder LOL!

*********** SPOILER QUESTION ************

Jason did Junior Kane take his wife on a hicking/picnic in some kind of state forest, where ..."


Yes, that's the one. But even when the book is written from the point of view of Junior's thinking, it is clear that he really did love her deeply (as I said earlier, as much as he was capable of loving someone other than himself) and suffered her death genuinely at first. By the way, MPD is now politically incorrect and the term has been replaced with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), FYI. ;-)


message 9: by Lori (last edited Feb 24, 2010 11:05AM) (new)

Lori (barfield) ********** SPOILER ANSWER ***********

Good to know, because I couldn't remember what book that came from. He loved her, IMO, because she was a means to an end. MONEY! He needed it so he could go and commit other murders. Thanks Jason!!!


I'm not in any way Politically Correct. What was wrong with MPD that it needed to be changed to DID, other then DID spells a word.LOL


message 10: by Jaice (new)

Jaice Cooperrider (plasborgma) | 1299 comments Lori wrote: "...I'm not in any way Politically Correct. What was wrong with MPD that it needed to be changed to DID, other then DID spells a word.LOL"

I don't know, you'll have to ask the scientists who decided to make that change in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (i.e., the bible of psychiatry) back in 1994.


message 11: by Lori (new)

Lori (barfield) Totally agree Alex. The bitch was totally bonkers.


message 12: by Kate (new)

Kate | 26 comments in false memory, the doctor (whose names escapes me) is freakishly cunning


message 13: by Dustin the wind Crazy little brown owl, Colorful Colorado (new)

Dustin the wind Crazy little brown owl (dustpancrazy) | 6034 comments Mod
Kate, please take this poll :-) you can check out other group polls while you're at it too. Thanks.

http://www.goodreads.com/poll/show/27...


message 14: by Dustin the wind Crazy little brown owl, Colorful Colorado (new)

Dustin the wind Crazy little brown owl (dustpancrazy) | 6034 comments Mod
He gets my vote for the most evil - he is a very bad man!


message 15: by Kate (last edited May 07, 2010 09:30AM) (new)

Kate | 26 comments **spolier**
but sickingly smart, i dont think there was ever a better villain, (save for that of sauron which has nothing to do with Koontz), however, i relly also like how in cold fire, jim (i think was his name) was the bad character and the hero all in once, the split personality thing was wickedly awesome.


message 16: by Jaice (last edited May 06, 2010 01:21PM) (new)

Jaice Cooperrider (plasborgma) | 1299 comments Kate wrote: "...i relly also like how in cold fire, jim (i think was his name) was the bad character and the hero all in once, the split personality thing was wickedly awesome."

Please mark this comment as a spoiler.


Mike (the Paladin) (thepaladin) | 207 comments Don't blame her Jason, this thread is headed that it contains spoilers. The discussion almost necessitates it.


message 18: by Jaice (new)

Jaice Cooperrider (plasborgma) | 1299 comments Mike wrote: "Don't blame her Jason, this thread is headed that it contains spoilers. The discussion almost necessitates it."

I'm not blaming anyone (I've already read Cold Fire), I was just pointing it out. I didn't notice the title of this thread when I made that comment, so I rescind it.


message 19: by Kate (new)

Kate | 26 comments sorry, wasnt thinking, ill mark it anyway


message 20: by Maciek (new)

Maciek (pan_maciej) | 666 comments Why nobody mentions Mr. Vess ? He's on the level of Hannibal Lecter.


message 21: by Agent 99 (new)

Agent 99  (agent99formerlykd) I'm still particularly fond of Ticktock from Dragon Tears. I loved that such a powerful and evil adversary turned out to be just a petulant little man/child.


message 22: by Jaice (new)

Jaice Cooperrider (plasborgma) | 1299 comments Kd wrote: "I'm still particularly fond of Ticktock from Dragon Tears. I loved that such a powerful and evil adversary turned out to be just a petulant little man/child."

In that respect, they are opposites, as the small, seemingly harmless doll turns into a relentless, vicious monster.


message 23: by Kelsey (new)

Kelsey (thebestthereis07) The Outsider from Watchers starts out as the most incredible villain, IMO, but then we learn that he is in fact another victim.

I just finished From The Corner of His Eye and Junior was a whole new breed of villain IMO. He got under my skin more than anyone I can recall at the moment. Just... crazy.

Corky Laputa from The Face is probably one of my favorites. Which is funny because I really loved Ethan Truman and Frick too. The book just had a lot of memorable characters for me.


message 24: by Dustin the wind Crazy little brown owl, Colorful Colorado (last edited Aug 31, 2010 12:37PM) (new)

Dustin the wind Crazy little brown owl (dustpancrazy) | 6034 comments Mod
Kelsey wrote: "Corky Laputa from The Face is probably one of my favorites. Which is funny because I really loved Ethan Truman and Frick too. The book just had a lot of memorable characters for me."

The Face is one I started on audio and didn't finish. Several group members have spoken very highly of it so I'll have to give it another try :-) I may nominate it for our October Group read. (btw nominating starts very soon so be thinking of what you'd like to read everyone!)


message 25: by Maciek (new)

Maciek (pan_maciej) | 666 comments Dustin Crazy wrote: "The Face is one I started on audio and didn't finish. "

No wonder - the guy reads the book like a grocery list.


message 26: by Dustin the wind Crazy little brown owl, Colorful Colorado (new)

Dustin the wind Crazy little brown owl (dustpancrazy) | 6034 comments Mod
Maciek wrote: "Dustin Crazy wrote: "The Face is one I started on audio and didn't finish. "

No wonder - the guy reads the book like a grocery list."


Yes! that was my problem. I kept dosing off listening to it at my data entry job!


message 27: by Dustin the wind Crazy little brown owl, Colorful Colorado (new)

Dustin the wind Crazy little brown owl (dustpancrazy) | 6034 comments Mod
It's too long of a book for me to read without the assistance of audio.


message 28: by Maciek (new)

Maciek (pan_maciej) | 666 comments Then get someone to read it for you...because I do think that the performance on that one seriously does suck. Hell, I'd read and record it for you but I don't have the time.


message 29: by Dustin the wind Crazy little brown owl, Colorful Colorado (new)

Dustin the wind Crazy little brown owl (dustpancrazy) | 6034 comments Mod
Could you please make the time? Thanks.


message 30: by Maciek (new)

Maciek (pan_maciej) | 666 comments i'd do it but I don't even have a mic, lol. Otherwise I'd be tempted to cut out all the lame metaphors and inject some awesome jokes instead. Guess you'll have to read the book.


message 31: by Kelsey (new)

Kelsey (thebestthereis07) Dustin Crazy wrote: "It's too long of a book for me to read without the assistance of audio."

I've never used audio with any book. I may have to try it sometime but I highly suggest The Face even if you have to read it yourself. IMO Its worth it!


message 32: by Dustin the wind Crazy little brown owl, Colorful Colorado (new)

Dustin the wind Crazy little brown owl (dustpancrazy) | 6034 comments Mod
I get more out of a book by actually reading with my little eyes but I'm a slow reader and can get through more books via audio :-) That does it Kelsey - you've convinced me to nominate THE FACE for October. Nominating is now open btw.


message 33: by Maciek (new)

Maciek (pan_maciej) | 666 comments Dustin, I believe it's worth plodding through this book the traditional way. It might take you longer, but the experience will be infinitely more satisfying than listening to the horible audio narration.


message 34: by Kelsey (new)

Kelsey (thebestthereis07) Thats awesome! I'm going to nominate it too. I've skipped the last two monthly reads because I had already read them and had so much from the library I was trying to get through.. But I'll definitely try to take time out to read The Face again:)


message 35: by Matt R. (new)

Matt R. (matt2009) | 202 comments Maciek wrote: "Dustin Crazy wrote: "The Face is one I started on audio and didn't finish. "

No wonder - the guy reads the book like a grocery list."


Yes, some narrations can absolutely kill the book. I read The Face and did not really enjoy it. I've seen reviews across the board for this book so I guess it does speak to some people.


message 36: by Jackie (last edited Sep 03, 2010 10:14PM) (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) My villians are already mentioned:
Dr. Ahriman from False Memory
Junior from The Corner of His Eye
and Egler Vess from Intensity

Three psychopaths. I hated Ahriman and Vess. And as crazy as this sounds, I liked Junior, even though he was a sociopathic homicidal maniac. I would have liked hanging out with him if I didn't know about the things he'd done.


Mike (the Paladin) (thepaladin) | 207 comments That might not be so safe. I mean if you didn't know Junior was what he was.... Well, just don't go on any long walks to high places with him. :)


message 38: by Jackie (last edited Sep 04, 2010 10:57AM) (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) Junior could have easily pulled one over on me, for sure.


Mike (the Paladin) (thepaladin) | 207 comments Just slip a quarter onto his cheeseburger.


message 40: by Maciek (new)

Maciek (pan_maciej) | 666 comments Dr. Ahriman was awesome. I can totally see an adaptation with Jim Carrey playing the role.


message 41: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thelastwolf) After his psychotic stint on Dexter, I can totally see Jimmy Smits playing Ahriman.


message 42: by Jaice (new)

Jaice Cooperrider (plasborgma) | 1299 comments Mike (the Paladin) wrote: "Just slip a quarter onto his cheeseburger."

:-D


message 43: by Jenna (new)

Jenna (bookworm12186) You know I really like Koontz's villian in Relentless. He was a book critic (as am i lol..hilarious), and I love how sinister he was, unrelenting. How people had one view of him but really he was so much darker. I liked how "relentless" he was with the main characters, and the plot development within his circle of villians. It was almost believable which was grand, in the scheme of things.

Also, I like how the development of the villian in shadowfires progresses. He starts out as an evil and malicious abusive man and exhusband...and evolves into this monstrosity. It is almost symbolic, of how his inner monster, his vileness as a man is shown more and more on his person as he genetically changes from man to genetic anomoly.


message 44: by Jenna (new)

Jenna (bookworm12186) Also love in Breathless, the twin scenario. And how it is individualized, however, fits into the conclusion of the other intersecting stories. It has the feel of BPD or Schizophrenia. Almost convincing the reader that he is within himself the villian and the victim, though his intent was to invade his brother's life to hide from his own mishapen and corrupt life.


message 45: by Dustin the wind Crazy little brown owl, Colorful Colorado (new)

Dustin the wind Crazy little brown owl (dustpancrazy) | 6034 comments Mod
Jenna wrote: "You know I really like Koontz's villian in Relentless. He was a book critic (as am i lol..hilarious), and I love how sinister he was, unrelenting. How people had one view of him but really he was s..."

I LOVE RELENTLESS! You have good taste in literature Jenna! :-)


message 46: by Jenna (new)

Jenna (bookworm12186) Dustin Crazy wrote: "Jenna wrote: "You know I really like Koontz's villian in Relentless. He was a book critic (as am i lol..hilarious), and I love how sinister he was, unrelenting. How people had one view of him but r..."

Thank you! :) I try.


message 47: by Kelsey (new)

Kelsey (thebestthereis07) I just finished Life Expectancy and I was surprised that there isn't a thread for it since I've heard everyone rant about it being their favorite.

But I just felt the need to mention the Beezo's hahaha. And I guess Virgilio Vivacemente..

Not that I think they are the best villains of Deans but they are definitely in a class all their own.

The Clowns vs. The Aerialists haha.


message 48: by Jaice (new)

Jaice Cooperrider (plasborgma) | 1299 comments Kelsey wrote: "I just finished Life Expectancy and I was surprised that there isn't a thread for it since I've heard everyone rant about it being their favorite...."

I am certain I created one after I read it, but don't see it now. You should start a new one.


message 49: by Kelsey (new)

Kelsey (thebestthereis07) I started one... I hope I did everything right lol
Thanks:)


message 50: by Jaice (new)

Jaice Cooperrider (plasborgma) | 1299 comments Kelsey wrote: "I started one... I hope I did everything right lol
Thanks:)"


I'll check and comment in it.


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