I first began reading Dean Koontz books in the late nineties, when he was becoming popular and releasing most of his old titles, which had originally been published under various pen names. The author of more than sixty full-length novels, Koontz is one of the most prolific writers of his time, and has gained the trust and interests of people all over the world. His books defy genre, for the most part, because he writes about everything. Love, hope, suspense, fear, longing, philosophy, religion, politics; they all play a part in his stories and with his characters. Most of his books are geared towards suspense and horror, but again, they cannot easily be classified.
The first book that really hit home with me was “From The Corner Of His Eye,” which was published several years ago and is one of his most popular novels. It was an intricately woven tale about a small boy who could see “all the ways things are,” and could view alternate dimensions at will. Young Bartholomew lost his father on the days he was born, and lived with his mother, Agnes Lampion, who was known throughout their California neighborhood as the “Pie Lady”. Bartholomew lost his sight at the age of four, but regained it by the time he was thirteen. It is the tale of his life, and of the psychotic madman who stalks him throughout his childhood.
Koontz has the ability to delve you deep into his fictional setting and become connected to his characters in ways that other authors fail to achieve. His plots typically consist of multiple settings and multiple situations that eventually tie in with one another at the end. He is truly the Master of Suspense, because as he switches between characters throughout his books, you become fiercely anxious to discover what will happen in the coming chapters.
One of his most recent titles, “Odd Thomas,” was the first novel since “From the Corner of his Eye” that I found truly flawless. It is about a young man named Odd Thomas (yes, his real name is Odd) who can see dead people. Rather than follow the flow of “The Sixth Sense,” Odd’s story chronicles his continuing struggle to help the dead gain peace from this life. The twist at the end is worth waiting for, and leaves you waiting for the sequel.
“Forever Odd” hit the stands on November 29, 2005, and it is almost impossible to find in stores. Once again, Koontz has managed to capture the hearts and minds of all who read his books, and draw his fans into the twisted, fantastical worlds that he so effortlessly creates.