« more dental blogging [with non-imminent death notice update] | Main | Chips for Charity! »

a short book review

I read Dean Koontz's Odd Thomas yesterday.

I now remember why I generally don't read Dean Koontz books. Reading his stories is like having disappointing sex. It starts off good, you're really into it, getting excited...and then somewhere in the middle you roll your eyes and think This is it? You have got to be kidding me. But you lay there and finish it out just to see if it gets any better towards the end, but it never does. Not only do you not get an orgasm out of it, but you end up with a blistering headache and a vague sense that, even though you didn't pay for it, you were still ripped off.

The only good part is, the book reminded me of a horror story I started writing that I'd like to dust off and work on again. If I can't find a horror book that's going to scare me into sleeping with the lights on, I'll just have to write it myself.

So now, sitting on my shelf are three more books given to me by well meaning friends who insist that I read what they like.

I've got:

Wicked
State of Fear
The Rule of Four

Any hints as to which one to go with?

And hey..did you buy a t shirt yet?

TrackBack

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference a short book review:

» Items of Interest #26 from Multiple Mentality | www.multiplementality.com
In this issue: carnivals and such, Ashton's string, and two good reasons to see Sin City. (There are a lot more than two, but I'm just focusing on these two for the moment.) [Read More]

Comments

Reading his stories is like having disappointing sex. It starts off good, you're really into it, getting excited...and then somewhere in the middle you roll your eyes and think This is it? You have got to be kidding me. But you lay there and finish it out just to see if it gets any better towards the end, but it never does. Not only do you not get an orgasm out of it, but you end up with a blistering headache and a vague sense that, even though you didn't pay for it, you were still ripped off.

Does hubby know about this, Michele?

Wicked. No question. One of my favorite books, a good combination of fantasy, fairy tale, twisted morality, and pathos. Add in a good dose of unusual characters and plot twists, not to mention random bits of foreshadowing.

Overall, a great story that leaves you hanging in all the right places and satisfies you at the end. Good enough that although you wish he'd written a sequel, you understand that it isn't meant to be and should be left as it is.

To continue your metaphor, it's a great drunken one-night-stand. Wild, twisted, with lots of body shots. It goes all night, and you stumble home at six in the morning, glaring at the sun and falling asleep with a smile on your face.

I've never had disappointing sex with him, Craig. He's the Neil Gaiman of sex.

I second the nomination of "Wicked". A really great book.

Wow, you have perfectly summed up Dean Koontz. I could never put my finger on it before, good job. Did you read the book that Terry Pratchett and Neal Gaiman wrote together? Good Omens, I needed a cigarette afterwords.

Good Omens gave my multiple orgasms.

Thirding Wicked

Koontz wrote one good book (the one about the dog, that made a horrible movie.) I can't remember the name of it ... WAtchers maybe? Everything else - yep, you pretty much nailed it. I have State of Fear waiting in the wings (my brother just handed it to me yesterday) ... but I've committed myself to re-reading the Sharon Kay Penmen books first. I snuck in "Devil in the White City" over the weekend ... pretty interesting.

You know, I don't think I've had enough coffee today or something. Complete tags are eluding me.

I couldn't finish Wicked. I object to the archetypal image of the Wicked Witch of the West being turned into a nancy eco-phreak.

When you've gotten that horror book written, please let me know. I'm generally disappointed with every horror novel I've read.

Rule of Four. I didn't get past page 30 of state of fear...seemed like a PR piece for global warming.

Wicked: Didn't read the book, but did take the Big Hair to the musical for her birthday.

And which Dean Koontz book has the following characters:

1) Down-on-his-luck guy, maybe just lost his wife/girlfriend or is just mad at the world.

2) Damsel in distress, is attractive enough, but not perfect and has one slight imperfection that makes her even more attractive to Down-on-his-luck guy.

3) Tough and resourceful kid.

4) Either a dog (golden retriever) or a handicapped person, maybe both.

Answer? All of them.

On Koontz:
Loved "Lightning" (yeah. I'm a real alternate history freak) and "Watchers" (was actually made into 2 extremely crappy movies. First one with Corey Haim was barf city and the second one - although a bit closer to the book - starred Marc Singer and, hence went immediately into suckville, despite having Tracy Scoggins for me to ogle), liked a few others. Stopped reading him after "Mr Murder"(what utter shit).

Russ

'State of Fear'- The story's crap but the writing is typical Crichton, which is good. Mostly this one's funy because it is footnoted with fact after fact after fact- Crichton absolutely skewers the myth of environmentalism. It's quite fun to watch. (Or in this case, read).

His portrayl of the "Gulfstream Environmentalist" is particularly spot-on.

Go with "Wicked."

I guess I should ask if that author's books are as good as Wicked was?

State of Fear is typical soap-box bullshit. It's easy to come off looking like you know your "facts" when you're also writing the rebuttal. There's scientific debate, and then there's yahoos like Crichton conveniently ignoring whatever doesn't fit into his little world.

For Crichton's scientific credentials, see Jurassic Park. (which is to say, he has none.)

Lair, if you mean Gregory Maguire, he wrote three others that I know of, and I've read two of them (Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister and Mirror Mirror), both of which are just as spectacular. They incorporate historical events into the fairy tales, and turn them into a couple of great stories that will appeal to both history buffs and fairy tale lovers.

Maguire also wrote Lost: A Novel which is pretty creepy and has to do with a woman supposedly related to the man that inspired the character Ebeneezer Scrouge. I enjoyed this book a lot though it was not the same as the other three. Mirror Mirror I liked more than the Ugly Stepsister, probably because it included all sorts of juicy ness about the Borgias. They were all good though.

And now I am forced to listen to the Wicked Soundtrack. Let's just hope I can avoid singing along while at the office. Poop UUU Laaar....

Wicked. Definitely. Good stuff.

Koontz's best was Hideaway. I have yet to read anything remotely as good. And even Hideaway had its problems (dear lord Jesus don't go anywhere NEAR the terrible Alicia Silverstone movie version).

Well crud. I just went to the library on my lunch hour and picked up Odd Thomas, because the synopsis sounded interesting.

Eh, well, I'm only borrowing, not paying for it, so I'll give it a go and see how I like it. I've never read Dean Koontz before.

What I wanted was American Gods, but they were fresh out of copies.

dear lord Jesus don't go anywhere NEAR the terrible Alicia Silverstone movie version

Had to be one of the worst movies I've ever seen.

Every DK book has a dog that "chorts" every ten pages. My wife used to read him and in the event I was bookless, I substitued him for the back of a cereal box. It got to the point with all the dogs "chorting" all the time I couldn't stand it.

Now if I'm bookless and desperate I'll re-read one of the hundreds of real books strewn all over the office. No matter how many times I've re-read it.

"Chort."

Skip State of Fear.

While technically proficient and relatively intriguing, the motivation and message is so overdone that it makes the book read like propaganda. I normally enjoy all Crichton books, but this one was the least "fantastic" of his science-based premises and the most disappointing.

I haven't read a decent Koontz book since the early 90s. I guess that's why my copy of Phantoms is so tattered.

Dean Koontz is a Stephen King wannabe. Their writings are almost identical, except King has talent, whereas Koontz is a just-good-enough-for-publishing hack.

"State of Fear is typical soap-box bullshit. It's easy to come off looking like you know your "facts" when you're also writing the rebuttal. There's scientific debate, and then there's yahoos like Crichton conveniently ignoring whatever doesn't fit into his little world."

On the contrary, if you do any research into his process of writing the book, you'll find that he originally intended to write it from the opposite perspective, and changed his viewpoint during his research. From < a href="http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2092-1422283,00.html">an interview with the TimesOnline:

“For the first year (of his research) I thought I must be missing something to explain why everyone is so excited by global warming..."

It's a well researched book that actually "preaches" a sensible message: lets get the facts of the environmental controversy before we try to fix anything. Loving nature is not the same as understanding it is the key phrase here. He shows ample evidence of how environmentalism as we know it is too reactionary and often ends up hurting the environment more than they help. (See: forest fires) In other words:

"False preparation is always a disaster — in anticipation of entering he first world war the United States bought 20,000 horses, for cavalry charges. Then they had to work out what to do with all these damn horses because there was something called tanks.”

crap- messed up the hyperlink. I apologize

You might want to take a look at what real climatologists think of Crichton's "science". This is a trend we see over and over in his books: he writes about science, the people who actually do work in the discipline he is caricaturing gag at the idiocies he perpetrates (I'm a biologist, and his dinosaur novels had me throwing books across the room), and people who don't know anything about the science praise him for his accuracy.

He's also a crap writer, but I will concede that that is a matter of taste.

Wicked, definitely. And I'm surprised to find that you haven't read it yet.

I second the nomination to skip Wicked. I thought the attempts at plot twists were feeble, and I agree that turning the Wicked Witch into a nancy eco-phreak was a bad idea. The whole thing read (to me) like some 13-year-old's fan fiction.

He left obvious questions unanswered, and then had the audacity to include a section of "discussion points for your book club" which included all of the unanswered questions. Like he's hoping that for each copy he sells, he can get readers to sell a few more by introducing it to the book club.

The thing you guys forgot to mention that used to be present in just about all Koontz books was that the mad-at-the-world guy was independently wealthy and had some sort of martial arts or special forces training.

And the chorting, chuffing dog thing is really annoying. And I love dogs (as my web address attests).

Whatever you do, Michele, under no circumstances should you read Koontz's "One Door Away from Heaven." He should have called it "One Door Away from Being Good." If a college freshman had written it, I'd give it a C-. Actually, I take that back; it's sheer awfulness cannot be measured by existing technology. The only reason I read it is because I read all of his drivel. It's like I have so much invested in him, since I'm into him for, like, 25 books, that I can't stop. It's like when I saw "The Living Daylights" at the movie theatre: I hated every minute of it, but since I paid $5 for the ticket I stayed for the whole craptacular thing.

I'm drunk again.

Are you a good witch or a bad witch?

You always new the version of Wizard of Oz you grew up with was just a bit one-sided. Wicked tells the other side of the story.

An old one that really creeped me out was Dan Simmons' "Carrion Comfort". Really made you think about the major news events happening in the world. Simmons also had a couple of other good ones called "Summer of Night" and "Children of the Night" as well as a couple good sci-fi "Hyperion" series. Just an opinion, but I liked them.

I'll recommend "State of Fear" precisely because it gores a few oxen. If you feel the need, balance it out with "The Coming Global Superstorm," upon which "The Day After Tomorrow" was based; Crichton's science is no worse than Bell and Strieber's, and besides, they're both called "fiction" for a reason.

Intensity was the last good Dean Koontz. And they made a movie out of it, but it wasn't as good as the book.
I literally couldn't put it down, and read it in a few hours. And I read a book on the average of every two days, less if I'm not busy at work.
I kind of liked state of fear, if for no other reason than he has a point, we have been living in a state of fear, and the powers that be want to keep us that way to keep us in line, global warming, or lack thereof aside.
I just requested the other one from the library, the rule of four. It sounded good, better than the other two anyway....

The only thing good about Rule of Four is that you can use it as a doorstop or paper weight. While the book has some good scenes, it doesn't work as a novel. The characters are wooden and self-absorbed and the plot drags. Would avoid it at all costs Suggest Boyos by Richard Marinick (sp?) instead