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Book Reviews Dean Koontz

Saint Odd * Odd Thomas * Dean Koontz Book Review

Amazement is an emotional response, astonishment an intellectual one.

This is the last book in the The Odd Thomas Series by Dean Koontz. I read them all and loved them all. I did not want to read this last instalment because I had a feeling. I knew that something was going to happen to Odd and it will mean his end. But.. as all things must come to an end, so did Odd’s journey to meet his beloved. Saint Odd won the Goodreads Choice Award for Horror in 2015.

I came home to die and to live in death. My life had begun in the desert town of Pico Mundo, California, and I had remained there until I was twenty, when I lost what mattered most to me. During the twenty-one months since then, I had traveled in search of my purpose, and I had learned by going where I had to go. That I had come full circle shouldn’t have surprised me, for we are born into time only to be born out of it, after living through the cycles of the seasons, under stars that turn because the world turns, born into ignorance and acquiring knowledge that ultimately reveals to us our enduring ignorance: The circle is the essential pattern of our existence.

Tears, go back inside!

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Dean Koontz Excerpts

Saint Odd Excerpt (Dean Koontz) – The carnival

This specific section of the book moved me. Kudos to Mr. Koontz for so skillfully capturing what draws us to amusement parks and for so perfectly describing it to us. Quote is from Saint Odd (from the Odd Thomas Series). The book is really good and I’ll post a full review when finished.

I walked the fairground midway, where the Whip lashed its riders this way and that, where the Caterpillar enveloped screaming patrons in darkness as it slung them around a track a thousand times faster than any real caterpillar could move, where the Big Drop lifted its gondola two hundred feet into the night and then released it in what seemed to be an uncontrolled free fall, and where the Ferris wheel carried its passengers high and brought them low and raised them high and brought them low again, as if it were not merely a carnival ride but also a metaphor for the basic pattern of human experience.

It’s difficult to spend time in any carnival or amusement park and not realize that a repressed fear of death may be the one emotion that is constant in the human heart even if, most of the time, it is confined to the unconscious as we go about our business. Thrill rides offer us a chance to acknowledge our ever-present dread, to release the tension that arises from repression of it, and to subtly delude ourselves with the illusion of invulnerability that surviving the Big Drop can provide.

The carnival blazed, every ride and many other attractions decorated with low-watt bulbs, neon tubes, blinkers, and twinklers. Strings of colored lights overhung the U-shaped concourse. At the curve of the U, mounted on a flatbed truck and reliant on a chugging gasoline-powered generator, two massive swiveling spotlights threw their beams into the heavens, revealing the bellies of an armada of clouds, like dirigibles, invading silently from the southwest.

In spite of all the colorful lighting that had been crafted to attract patrons and to put them in a celebratory mood, the carnival had an air of hostility and menace that, I felt sure, was not merely my perception.

Within all the dazzle and glitter and bright fake glamor, a hidden presence lurked, a watchful darkness that observed and hated and waited, a presence I had not sensed six suddenly soured. For just a moment, cinnamon had a sulfurous edge and the popcorn butter smelled rancid, as if under all its pretense of good healthy fun, the carnival was a dangerous swamp in which moldered and festered things too horrific to contemplate. The fun house featured the giant face of an ogre, twenty feet from chin to crown, nearly that wide, a dimensional sculpture of such imaginative detail that it managed to be scary at the same time that it was pure hokum.

Periodically a roar issued from its open mouth, and with the roar came a forceful blast of air that traveled about twenty feet into the promenade, surprising people who encountered it for the first time, mussing their hair and startling them so that popcorn was dropped halfway from box to mouth. The ogre’s crazed eyes rolled in their sockets, but I knew that I was being paranoid to think that it was watching me in particular.

Also related to Joyland * Stephen King Book Review

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Dean Koontz Excerpts

Only Living Healed – Excerpt from Dean Koontz – Breathless

Sharing didn’t have to involve complete revelation. In fact, the more you shared of the past, the less people saw you for who you were in the now, the more they saw you as who you had been and who you had struggled so long not to be.

Neither words nor time healed anyone. Only living healed, if it healed at all, living as you were meant to live, as best you could with your learned habits and confused intentions, living through time and finally beyond time, where neither therapists nor surgeons were any longer needed to smooth away the pain or cut it out.

[…]

Some might argue that kindness could not be seen in a kind man’s eyes any more than evil could be seen in the eyes of an evil man. But she could see them both when they were present: evil because she had much experience of it, kindness because she’d had no experience of it for such a long time that the absence of it had made her acutely sensitive to its eventual presence.

Dean Koontz  – Breathless

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Dean Koontz

Dean Koontz * The Mask Book review

Where had Jane come from? Was she just an orphan in need of love? Or was she hiding a more sinister purpose?

“Evil is no faceless stranger, living in a distant neighborhood. Evil has a wholesome, hometown face, with merry eyes and an open smile. Evil walks among us, wearing a mask which looks like all our faces.”

Such a pretty face So young, so sweet. She appeared out of nowhere, in the middle of traffic, on a busy day. A teenager with no past, no family no memories. Such a lovely child So blond and beautiful. Carol and Paul were drawn to her she was the child they d never had. A dream come true. And then Carol s nightmares began the ghastly sounds in the night the bloody face in the mirror the razor-sharp ax. Such relentless evil So deceptively innocent. Most mothers would die for such a darling little angel. And that’s what frightened Carol most of all .”

The thing we want the most is always the thing we cannot have

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Dean Koontz

The eyes of Darkness * Dean Koontz * And a bit about Las Vegas

It has been nearly a year since I’ve picked up The City – Dean Koontz Book and I wanted to read something on my flight. I found The Eyes of Darkness in my e-library and decided to give it a go.
md19386008971.jpgHere was a surprising book about love, about a divorce, about a child that was burried but not dead and a secret agency with a dark secret.

This is a story about a mom in search of her son (which reminded me of Stranger Things for some reason).

This is a story about Las Vegas and the show life – and a few funny exchanges which are so lacking in the later Dean Koontz books.

Here’s one piece of dialogue I found most endearing:

“I guess you’ll be going to a New Year’s Eve party.”
“I hate New Year’s Eve parties. Everyone’s drunk and boring.”
“Well, then . . . in between all that popping in and out of Magyck!, do you think you’d have time for dinner?”
“Are you asking me for a date?”
“I’ll try not to slurp my soup.”
“You are asking me for a date,” she said, pleased.
“Yes. And it’s been a long time since I’ve been this awkward about it.”
“Why is that?”
“You, I guess.”
“I make you feel awkward?”
“You make me feel young. And when I was young, I was very awkward.”
“That’s sweet.”
“I’m trying to charm you.”
“And succeeding,” she said.
He had such a warm smile. “Suddenly I don’t feel so awkward anymore.”
She said, “You want to start over?”
“Will you have dinner with me tomorrow night?”
“Sure. How about seven-thirty?”
“Fine. You prefer dressy or casual?”
“Blue jeans.”
He fingered his starched collar and the satin lapel of his tuxedo jacket. “I’m so glad you said that.”

 The story:
Tina Evans has spent a year suffering from incredible heartache since her son Danny’s tragic death. But now, with her Vegas show about to premiere, Tina can think of no better time for a fresh start. Maybe she can finally move on and put her grief behind her.

Only there is a message for Tina, scrawled on the chalkboard in Danny’s room: NOT DEAD. Two words that send her on a terrifying journey from the bright lights of Las Vegas to the cold shadows of the High Sierras, where she uncovers a terrible secret.
When she first saw the message in the room she immediately suspected her cheating ex-husband, Michael, looking for revenge. She calls him but when he doesn’t respond, she goes on a hunt to get him to confess his morbid torture of her wits. The discussion with him proves he’s innocent but also uncovers a quite funny list of Las Vegas Diseases.

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Dean Koontz

Forever Odd * Odd Thomas Series by Dean Koontz

The heart is an artist that paints over what profoundly disturbs us, leaving on the canvas a less dark, less sharp version of the truth.

This is a good, if quieter and slower-paced read than ODD THOMAS. We still have Odd with his dead-seeing power and his good heart that wants to help, even if it puts him at risk. This time, rather than major bodach-thrilling carnage, we have someone Odd cares about deeply in trouble–kidnapped by one whack Voodoo-ish skanky beauty. Danny suffers from a condition that makes his bones brittle and with the thought that his psychopath biological father has abducted him, it is vital that he is found soon. When Odd, with his unique powers for finding individuals, sets out he will find himself up against a twisted evil far greater than he could have imagined.

“Get out of here while you can. She’s crazier than a syphilitic suicide bomber with mad-cow disease.”

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Book Reviews Dean Koontz

Odd Thomas * Odd Hours by Dean Koontz

download (7).jpg“Grief can destroy you –or focus you. You can decide a relationship was all for nothing if it had to end in death, and you alone. OR you can realize that every moment of it had more meaning than you dared to recognize at the time, so much meaning it scared you, so you just lived, just took for granted the love and laughter of each day, and didn’t allow yourself to consider the sacredness of it. But when it’s over and you’re alone, you begin to see that it wasn’t just a movie and a dinner together, not just watching sunsets together, not just scrubbing a floor or washing dishes together or worrying over a high electric bill. It was everything, it was the why of life, every event and precious moment of it. The answer to the mystery of existence is the love you shared sometimes so imperfectly, and when the loss wakes you to the deeper beauty of it, to the sanctity of it, you can’t get off your knees for a long time, you’re driven to your knees not by the weight of the loss but by gratitude for what preceded the loss. And the ache is always there, but one day not the emptiness, because to nurture the emptiness, to take solace in it, is to disrespect the gift of life.”

There is a reason why Dean Koontz is one of my favourite writers and I can’t stop reading his books (even though 60% of my library are his). There is a certain lyricism to his words and a way to talk to you about your sadness, your alone-ness, your pure joy and faith and trust.

And Odd Hours is one of those few books which still makes me smile when I read it. The entire action takes place over 24 hours and Odd along with his faithful ghost dog and ghost Frank Sinatra embark on an adventure on Magic Beach to fight off a terrorist plot.

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Dean Koontz

Brother Odd * Dean Koontz * Odd Thomas Series

Loop me in, odd one. The words, spoken in the deep of night by a sleeping child, chill the young man watching over her. For this was a favorite phrase of Stormy Llewellyn, his lost love, and Stormy is dead, gone forever from this world. In the haunted halls of the isolated monastery where he had sought peace, Odd Thomas is stalking spirits of an infinitely darker nature.

In this world where too many are willing to see only the light that is visible, never the Light Invisible, we have a daily darkness that is night, and we encounter another darkness from time to time that is death, the deaths of those we love, but the third and most constant darkness that is with us every day, at all hours of every day, is the darkness of the mind, the pettiness and meanness and hatred, which we have invited into ourselves, and which we pay out with generous interest. 

Through two New York Times bestselling novels Odd Thomas has established himself as one of the most beloved and unique fictional heroes of our time. Now, wielding all the power and magic of a master storyteller at the pinnacle of his craft, Dean Koontz follows Odd into a singular new world where he hopes to make a fresh beginning—but where he will meet an adversary as old and inexorable as time itself.

St. Bartholomew’s Abbey sits in majestic solitude amid the wild peaks of California’s high Sierra, a haven for children otherwise abandoned, and a sanctuary for those seeking insight. Odd Thomas has come here to learn to live fully again, and among the eccentric monks, their other guests, and the nuns and young students of the attached convent school, he has begun to find his way. The silent spirits of the dead who visited him in his earlier life are mercifully absent, save for the bell-ringing Brother Constantine and Odd’s steady companion, the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.

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Dean Koontz

Odd Thomas series * Odd Apocalypse

Once presided over by a Roaring ’20s Hollywood mogul, the magnificent West Coast estate known as Roseland now harbors a reclusive billionaire financier and his faithful servants—and their guests: Odd Thomas, the young fry cook who sees the dead and tries to help them, and Annamaria, his inscrutably charming traveling companion. Fresh from a harrowing clash with lethal adversaries, they welcome their host’s hospitality. But Odd’s extraordinary eye for the uncanny detects disturbing secrets that could make Roseland more hell than haven.

Soon enough the house serves up a taste of its terrors, as Odd begins to unravel the darkest mystery of his curious career. What consequences await those who confront evil at its most profound? Odd only knows.

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Dean Koontz

One Door Away from Heaven * Dean Koontz

I couldn’t make up anything as weird as what is.

In a dusty trailer park on the far edge of the California dream, Michelina Bellsong contemplates the choices she has made. At twenty-eight, she wants to change the direction of her troubled life but can’t find her way—until a new family settles into the rental trailer next door and she meets the young girl who will lead her on a remarkable quest that will change Micky herself and everything she knows—or thinks she knows—forever.