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Velocity
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Stand Alone Novels 2000-2007 > Velocity (Group Read - March 2011)

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Dustin the wind Crazy little brown owl (dustpancrazy) | 5990 comments Mod
The results are in and Velocity has been chosen as our March 2011 Group Read. Please feel welcome to discuss the book in this thread. I'm rather excited to re-read this book since it's the one that hooked me on Koontz - Watchers didn't get me like it did for many fans - for me, It was Velocity :-)

Velocity by Dean Koontz
Velocity by Dean Koontz


Suey (suey_docos) | 48 comments Yeah! Glad to see Velocity made it this month. First Koontz book I ever read and it got me hungering for more. I JUST read it last month. I'll be reading it again next month....can't say that about too many books.


Tanya | 23 comments I haven't read this since it first came out. Maybe I'll read along with you guys.


Dustin the wind Crazy little brown owl (dustpancrazy) | 5990 comments Mod
Tanya wrote: "I haven't read this since it first came out. Maybe I'll read along with you guys."

Yes, you really should :-)


Jaime Lee Am I too late to read along with the group?


message 6: by Dustin the wind Crazy little brown owl, Colorful Colorado (last edited Mar 02, 2011 01:26PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dustin the wind Crazy little brown owl (dustpancrazy) | 5990 comments Mod
Jaime wrote: "Am I too late to read along with the group?"

Never. Even if it's past the month the book is featured, discussion threads remain active for comment. I'm currently reading this - nearly done because it's such a fast read.


Dustin the wind Crazy little brown owl (dustpancrazy) | 5990 comments Mod
This book drives me crazy with the choices the main character makes - I would have just gone to the police in the very beginning.

"If you don't take this note to the police and get them involved,
I will kill a lovely blond schoolteacher somewhere in Napa County.

If you do take this note to the police, I will instead kill an elderly woman active in charity work.

You have six hours to decide. The choice is yours."


message 8: by Chena (new)

Chena (chena16) I'm in! I read the synopsis and I don't think I've ever read this one so I'm excited.


Jaime Lee I just finished this book last week :). I won't join you on a re-read so soon but the book is still fresh so I would love to join in on the discussion!


Dustin the wind Crazy little brown owl (dustpancrazy) | 5990 comments Mod
Recently finished my third trip with Velocity. This one really fish-hooked me and nailed me down as a Koontz fan.


Susan (susieq69) | 19 comments I flew through this book. Couldn't put it down. Once again, as is typical of Koontz, I found some really beautiful and insightful passages. As I'm usually so far behind in my reading, I'm usually the last one to join in. This time, however... so I'll wait til people have the opportunity to read it before talking about specifics. Loved this book.


message 12: by Jaice (last edited Mar 06, 2011 05:49PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jaice Cooperrider (plasborgma) | 1299 comments I just finished Velocity this morning. I thought it was okay, being neither impressed nor put off by it. I figured out who the killer was immediately, though not an important aspect of his identity, but was surprised by the final twist. Velocity is a fast-paced thriller worth reading once, but is nothing special. I found myself annoyed with the main character, both his personality and some of his decisions. One thing I learned from this story is how convenient lava tubes can be. :-) I really disliked the attitude Koontz took toward scientists with the recurring discussion of the pigs with human brains (which is impossible, in case you were wondering), suggesting scientists are all self-possessed, immoral people who do outrageous things just because they can. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think Koontz has ever cast a scientist in a positive light, which is very unfortunate. I'd like to have him visit my lab for a day and see if he would begin to sing a different tune, after seeing the sacrifices and great efforts the people here offer everyday to benefit society.
***Spoiler***
I was pleased that Koontz didn't have the woman come out of her coma in the end, as that would have been a bit ridiculous and fanciful. For those of you who didn't figure it out, the aspect I didn't figure out about the killer was that he was the artist creating the art form near the tavern. I knew from the start that he was the guy from the tavern in the beginning of the story.


message 13: by Dustin the wind Crazy little brown owl, Colorful Colorado (last edited Mar 06, 2011 10:02PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dustin the wind Crazy little brown owl (dustpancrazy) | 5990 comments Mod
Jason "plasborgma" wrote: "One thing I learned from this story is how convenient lava tubes can be. :-)"

I used to live near dormant volcanoes - lava caves & such. You know down in Southern Utah, Jason, that's where I lived. My high school was on Lava Flow Drive. Like the main character in this book, I disposed of several of my friends in a similar manner and it was rather handy.

*Spoiler Alert*
I don't understand why there was so much focus on Steve Zillis. It was rather obvious that he didn't do it and the continuous focus on him made it even more obvious.


Dustin the wind Crazy little brown owl (dustpancrazy) | 5990 comments Mod
Jason "plasborgma" wrote: ". I figured out who the killer was immediately, though not an important aspect of his identity, but was surprised by the final twist"

*Spoiler*
I had to re-read that final twist that you referred to. I think I may have missed an important tidbit listening on the audiobook. This final twist does explain why there was so much focus on Zillis. okay, thanks.


Dustin the wind Crazy little brown owl (dustpancrazy) | 5990 comments Mod
I was just a little confused and speaking of confusion - here are some words to ponder:

"In order to possess what you do not possess, you must go by way of dispossession. And what you do not know is the only thing you know."
-T.S. Eliot

"In order to arrive at what you are not, you must go through the way in which you are not."
-T.S. Eliot


Jaice Cooperrider (plasborgma) | 1299 comments Dustin Crazy wrote: "*Spoiler* I had to re-read that final twist that you referred to. I think I may have missed an important tidbit listening on the audiobook. This final twist does explain why there was so much focus on Zillis..."

Yes, that is the final twist to which I was referring. ;-)


Jaice Cooperrider (plasborgma) | 1299 comments Dustin Crazy wrote: "I was just a little confused and speaking of confusion - here are some words to ponder..."

I don't think those two are all that confusing. Think about them a bit and, if you can't think of an interpretation for them, then I'll offer mine.


Dustin the wind Crazy little brown owl (dustpancrazy) | 5990 comments Mod
"In order to arrive at what you are not, you must go through the way in which you are not."
-T.S. Eliot

Eliot for Dummies:
If you want something that you don't got, do things differently then you been doing.

feel free to share your interpretations - I've never been a big fan of riddles. :-) Thanks


Jaice Cooperrider (plasborgma) | 1299 comments Dustin Crazy wrote: ""Eliot for Dummies: If you want something that you don't got, do things differently then you been doing...."

That is almost how I interpret it, but I think it is more about changing yourself than getting something you want. Here is my interpretation: "If you want to be different from how you are now, then start doing things differently from how you've been doing them." It reminds me of a quote from Mahatma Gandhi: "Be the change you want to see in the world."

As for the other one you mentioned previously, I interpret the first part as: "In order to get something you don't have, you must first give up (i.e., sacrifice) something you do have." I interpret the second part as: "All knowledge is uncertain (this is an extreme epistemological claim that some philosophers hold), so the only thing that you know for certain is that which you don't know." That rings an agnostic tone for me.


William (wmcc) I just finished Velocity tonight.I enjoyed it,I thought it was good,but not great.It kind of felt like it was written with a movie in mind.I did really like the ending,a little different from the other Koontz books I have read.


Dustin the wind Crazy little brown owl (dustpancrazy) | 5990 comments Mod
I agree. Even though it got me hooked on Koontz, it's not among my personal favorites. It is easy to read and moves quickly though and I love fast-paced thrillers.


Tracy | 528 comments I finished Velocity and I love the way Koontz ends his stories. Even if you know who committed the crimes he always adds a little twist at the end, to keep it from being boring or your typical run of the mill horror read. I also love the way he starts out with the drama in chapter 1. Most books of this genre don't get exciting until after the introduction of characters. Koontz introduces characters at the same time the drama unfolds. He doesn't make you wait.

I have read better works by him but it wasn't a bad read either.


Jaice Cooperrider (plasborgma) | 1299 comments Tracy wrote: "...Most books of this genre don't get exciting until after the introduction of characters. Koontz introduces characters at the same time the drama unfolds...."

Often Koontz uses the drama TO introduce the characters, which is refreshing.


Tracy | 528 comments You are exactly right and to me that is what sets him apart from other artists.


Dustin the wind Crazy little brown owl (dustpancrazy) | 5990 comments Mod
Tracy wrote: " I have read better works by him but it wasn't a bad read either. "

Agreed :-)


Tanya | 23 comments Okay, I just now got started on my reread. I read this book initially when it first came out, and I honestly have to say that I remember VERY little of it. I think I have an inkling on the "whodunnit", but it's nice to have the story unfold again.


Dustin the wind Crazy little brown owl (dustpancrazy) | 5990 comments Mod
Glad you made it Tanya! The month is only half-way through, still time to read this fast-paced book :-)


Tanya | 23 comments Yeah, okay so I'm about 2/3 of the way through.
I'm entirely sure how the discussion works (this would be the first time I've read along with the group) Am I supposed to put spoilers, or is it assumed anyone in here has finished reading?
No big plot points spilled, just a few comments.
1. How messed up is DK's mind that he can come up with such demented bad guys? I mean really.
2. What does DK have against TVs? It seems to be a recurring thing that his characters don't have/like/watch tv.
3. How random is a botulism induced coma?


Jaice Cooperrider (plasborgma) | 1299 comments Tanya wrote: "Yeah, okay so I'm about 2/3 of the way through. I'm entirely sure how the discussion works (this would be the first time I've read along with the group) Am I supposed to put spoilers..."

Yes, please mark spoilers clearly, because some people enter the discussion without having finished the book, like you have, and we don't want to spoil the rest of it for them. I have also inferred Koontz's disdain for television portrayed through his characters and suspect he does not have one himself, or at least watches it very infrequently if he does have one. I think that is probably a relatively common sentiment among writers, who often view television as an "idiot box" that takes time away from reading. I enjoy both immensely, though I watch almost exclusively science and science fiction shows.


Maciek (pan_maciej) | 666 comments I guess I must be the only one to appreciate the irony of the fact that Koontz constantly slams television and cinema as offering little value, while he became one of the most mass-marketable producer of books, putting out 3 or 4 books a year, with little originality or quality.
How he slams modern art each times he brings it up, while he himself became the essence of crap paperback books: recycled characters, plots, nothing of any lasting value. My disillusion with his work grows.


message 31: by Marna (new) - added it

Marna (marnakay) | 9 comments if you don't like Koontz, why read it and why participate on this discussion board?


Maciek (pan_maciej) | 666 comments I like when people ask me that.


Jaice Cooperrider (plasborgma) | 1299 comments Maciek wrote: "I like when people ask me that."

I think you need to start that sentence with "Because." ;-)


Maciek (pan_maciej) | 666 comments Nope, it was a statement. :P


message 35: by Marna (new) - added it

Marna (marnakay) | 9 comments I'd rather not hear how much you don't like him and everything that's wrong with his writing--I'd rather discuss what we love about DK's writing with people who do. That's all... that's why I'm on this group.


Jaice Cooperrider (plasborgma) | 1299 comments We've heard that complaint about Mac before, Marna, so you are certainly not the only one who has felt that way. However, Dustin and I do not feel it is right/fair to censor the opinions of others, so I hope you'll just skip over Mac's comments if you feel that strongly about them. Besides, Koontzland certainly isn't lacking in praise for Mr. Koontz and his writing. :-)


Maciek (pan_maciej) | 666 comments Marna wrote: "I'd rather not hear how much you don't like him and everything that's wrong with his writing--I'd rather discuss what we love about DK's writing with people who do. That's all... that's why I'm on..."

Hey, I like a lot of Dean's books, but he has also written some that totally suck. Besides, it'd be boring if everyone agreed on everything.


message 38: by Marna (new) - added it

Marna (marnakay) | 9 comments just picked up Velocity today. Had read it before, but forgot how good it is. Not too far into it, but it'll be done in a day or two. DK--amazing.


Dustin the wind Crazy little brown owl (dustpancrazy) | 5990 comments Mod
Dean Koontz does watch TV and Films. One of his favorite TV Shows is 24. He references movies in his books quite frequently and he referenced X-Files often also. In his memoir "A Big Little Life" I believe he wrote about watching movies with his dog. He might even have a home theater, I can't remember but I'll try to find out. I think it's fair to say Dean generally prefers films over television shows.


Dustin the wind Crazy little brown owl (dustpancrazy) | 5990 comments Mod
From www.Deankoontz.com Movies Q&A:

What movie star would you most like to see in the film version of one of your books? — Ken, Chicago

Denzel Washington. I am a nut for Denzel Washington. MAN ON FIRE, TRAINING DAY, REMEMBER THE TITANS…I’ve seen MAN ON FIRE maybe four times. The only reason Denzel Washington does not have a dozen Oscars on his mantel is the same reason that Cary Grant never won any at all: He is such a natural, with such born grace, that his performances seem to come too easily to him, as if he’s tossing them off–which he is not; he is subtle and cerebral–as opposed to the often strenuous and even exhausting performances of someone like Dustin Hoffman. David Thomson, in his authoritative THE NEW BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY OF FILM makes a convincing argument that Cary Grant remains the “best and most important actor in the history of cinema.” Especially in films that are not primarily–or at all–concerned with racial issues, that are instead about universal human values and about the spiritual core of humankind, Washington is as riveting and convincing as Grant. Unfortunately, at 51, he is too old to play the leads in many of my books, but he would be great as Spencer Grant, the protagonist of DARK RIVERS OF THE HEART, as Ethan Truman in THE FACE, as Travis Cornell in a quality film version of WATCHERS (as opposed to the deeply moronic versions so far made)… But I know enough about the film industry to be sure there is no chance whatsoever that such a blissful intersection of actor and material will ever occur for me, not in my lifetime.


Dustin the wind Crazy little brown owl (dustpancrazy) | 5990 comments Mod
Another one specifically about Velocity:

If they make a movie of VELOCITY, Ralph Cottle has to be played by Harry Dean Stanton. Were you thinking of him when you wrote the part? Is Harry Dean Stanton alive? Do you know who I mean–Harry Dean Stanton? Can you write back and answer me? I'd really like to know. Will there be a movie? With Harry Dean Stanton? –Roger, New York

Two words, Roger–less caffeine. You might want to adjust your sugar consumption, too. I wasn’t consciously thinking of Harry Dean Stanton, the great character actor, when I wrote Ralph Cottle, but you’re absolutely right. My friend Stephen Tolkin, the wonderful screenwriter, said the same thing when he read the novel. And it would be perfect casting. I do believe Stanton, a superb character actor, is alive and well. I did recently sign a film option for the rights to VELOCITY, and the producer is planning a revolutionary approach to the material that I’m not permitted to discuss at this time. It’s so revolutionary, in fact, that he might never get it off the ground in the way he hopes, but he’s been solid in the past, and he’s a doer. No matter what, they won’t be filming the project tomorrow. They don’t even have a script yet. And besides the need to cast, film, and edit it, a lot of time is needed to make all that popcorn and get it to theaters.


message 42: by Dustin the wind Crazy little brown owl, Colorful Colorado (last edited Mar 23, 2011 08:27AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dustin the wind Crazy little brown owl (dustpancrazy) | 5990 comments Mod
What are some of your favorite TV shows? — Stacie, whereabouts unknown

I never miss an episode of “Dancing with Dead Celebrities,” which is, admittedly, gruesome, but entertaining. William Shatner is terrific hosting “Show Me the Money and I’ll Show You What’s In My Pants.” The new “Survivor,” which pits a team of humans, smeared in butter, against a pack of hungry wolves, promises to provide the obnoxious contestants with a suitable fate at last.

source: http://www.deankoontz.com/personal-qa/


message 43: by Dustin the wind Crazy little brown owl, Colorful Colorado (last edited Mar 23, 2011 08:32AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dustin the wind Crazy little brown owl (dustpancrazy) | 5990 comments Mod
Often, maybe not always, names of your characters have wonderful meaning. I laughed when Mark Ahriman showed up in FALSE MEMORY–"the Mark of Satan." In VELOCITY, the doctor who wants to let Barbara die is Jordan Ferrier–Jordan the river between life and death, and a ferry driver takes the dead to the other side. Valis in that book–doesn't he refer to the Vast Active Living Intelligence System in Philip K. Dick's novel Valis? And the guy named himself Valis. What an ego! But the lead characters' names in VELOCITY: Billy Wiles, Barbara Mandell. I don't get those. Do they have meaningful references?–Tom, Iowa

Very meaningful. In real life, Barbara Mandell’s husband paid a lot of money at a Canine Companions for Independence fund-raising auction to have his wife’s name used in one of my novels. And at another auction for another charity, Billy Wiles’s wife paid a handsome sum to have his name used in a novel. They both ended up in VELOCITY. The names of characters are not always symbolic, but they are always important and need to ring true, and they have to resonate in a particular way in each story, supporting mood if nothing else. That’s why when people have won charity auctions to have their names in a book, they sometimes have to wait a couple of years until I find a story in which they will fit. As for Phil Dick: I knew him a little bit and admired his work a lot; Phil would have gotten a kick out of seeing Valis in VELOCITY. In FRANKENSTEIN: PRODIGAL SON, I got to use an anecdote about Chinese cuisine that Phil once told me over lunch. I remember his smile when he got to the punch line. He had a killer smile, though you seldom see a photograph of him that isn’t somber.
source: http://www.deankoontz.com/miscellaneo...


Dustin the wind Crazy little brown owl (dustpancrazy) | 5990 comments Mod
I was fascinated by the waitress, Ivy Elgin, in VELOCITY. She has a small part, but she's magical. Would you consider writing an entire novel about her? I guess this is a stupid question. –Rebecca, Seattle

Don’t usurp my authority, Rebecca. I’ll be the one who decides which questions are stupid. This is not a stupid question. In fact, lots of people have written to me with the same request. And when I finished Chapter 43 of VELOCITY, I felt it was likely that Ivy was going to get the leading role in a future novel. She’s a very mysterious, even haunting, character, and I would like to have a look at the world from inside her head. I haven’t come up with a story for her, but I can feel it brewing.
source: http://www.deankoontz.com/miscellaneo...


message 45: by Dustin the wind Crazy little brown owl, Colorful Colorado (last edited Mar 23, 2011 09:24AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dustin the wind Crazy little brown owl (dustpancrazy) | 5990 comments Mod
Okay, just confirmed with a friend who visited Dean Koontz's house last October - Dean Koontz does in fact have a "Big" Movie Theater in his house :-)


Tanya | 23 comments Hmm, go figure on all the movie/tv stuff, despite him repeatedly having his main characters avoid television... As for Velocity as a whole, I finished my reread a couple days ago and...

**yes appropropriate spoiler warning here**

I was very surprised by the ending. I had previously read the book (when it first came out in hardback - however long ago that was), and I immediately remembered that the guy sitting at the bar for the death by gnome story was the bad guy. But that was about the extent of it. I didn't remember who he was, why he did it, why he was there, or why so much time was spent on the suspicious Steve Zillis. I vaguely remembered a bottleless pit, but couldn't recall what part it played. I didn't remember the nail or the fish hooks - which should have stood out to me. But anyway, I enjoyed the book. It was exciting, and definitely a fast-paced roller coaster ride, especially there at the end.
I have to wonder about the choices made by Billy, and the bad guy(s), and what would have happened if Lanny had been a better cop, and/or if Billy had gotten the police actually involved with the first note. You kinda have to wonder what Billy could have been thinking when he made certain moves - for instance when he initially kept the picture of the red-headed woman... he put it in his wallet!! Um hello!?! You're tossing everything else down the bottomless pit that would incriminate you, why on Earth hold on to a picture - taken in your home, of a woman you don't even know, beaten (nearly/eventually to death!)! Maybe that's just me though.
Oh and I'm still trying to figure out the coma by botulism. I mean is that even possible? How on earth did he come up with that?!
(and pardon my spelling and grammar - it always has, and always will, suck)


Dustin the wind Crazy little brown owl (dustpancrazy) | 5990 comments Mod
Thanks for sharing your many thoughts Tanya! :-) Hope you join us next month for By The Light of the Moon - it'll be fun!


Dustin the wind Crazy little brown owl (dustpancrazy) | 5990 comments Mod
Symptoms of botulism include double or blurred vision, drooping eyelids, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing, dry mouth and muscle weakness that moves down the body. Eventually, paralysis can cause a person to stop breathing and die, unless supported by a ventilator. Botulism is fatal in about 8 percent of cases; most victims eventually recover after weeks to months of care.

source: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19854286/...


Tanya | 23 comments Well how 'bout that. I learned something today. Though I still wonder how he came up with it. Was he walking through a grocery store and happened to see a can of vichyssoise that had either exploded or was bulging and then thought... "ooh, botulism! Yea that causes comas, my female lead will be in a botulism induced coma. Sweet!"
It's just so random, though sometimes it's the random that makes DK's books so much fun.
(oh and off topic, but I looked up the ingredients to vichyssoise - it does not sound good. Especially when they said it's usually eaten cold. Cold soup. Ew.)


Dustin the wind Crazy little brown owl (dustpancrazy) | 5990 comments Mod
been browsing the subject... here's more info for ya :-)

Severe botulism leads to reduced movement of the muscles of respiration, and hence problems with gas exchange. This may be experienced as dyspnea (difficulty breathing), but when severe can lead to respiratory failure, due to the buildup of unexhaled carbon dioxide and its resultant depressant effect on the brain. This may lead to coma and eventually death if untreated.[1]

source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Botulism


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