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Old 06-16-2022, 09:51 AM   #1
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Dean Koontz Recommendations

This is all the fault of the FREE/BARGAIN - Horror/Supernatural thread, I swear...

In that thread, Phantoms by Dean R. Koontz (it was a book from back when he had a middle initial) went on sale. That started a mini-discussion.

I mentioned liking Whispers, Phantoms, and Watchers the most. At the time, I didn't remember reading Lightning, but after reading about it, I'm sure I did read it, and it was kind of bonkers! And how come I forgot to mention Midnight?!

So now I am nostalgic and wondering which Dean Koontz books I should read that I missed. I was reading him the the 1990s, but I didn't end up reading some of his most popular books (like Intensity).

And which of the books I loved I should re-read first?!

Note: More recently, I read Your Heart Belongs to Me and liked parts of it (the subtle creepiness) -- but was put off by how it was handled. (I reviewed it for AAR.) I haven't gotten into the Odd Thomas series.

And I am nostalgic for some of his even earlier stuff: The Face of Fear, The Vision, Night Chills, and The Key to Midnight. I also liked The Voice of the Night (but forgot to mention it). I recently learned several of them are available on Kindle Unlimited!

The most obscure Koontz book I might own is a battered copy of How to Write Best-Selling Fiction. It's a rare one, but my copy is probably worth a lot less because I wrote notes about my own story in it.
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Old 06-16-2022, 10:36 AM   #2
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I already replied in the horror thread. Intensity is the best Koontz novel I've read. But for me, it's like picking my favorite Friday the 13th sequel: none of them are very good.

Koontz' writing irritates me, even when his storylines are interesting. I enjoyed the filmed versions of Phantoms, Intensity and Odd Thomas.
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Old 06-16-2022, 11:52 AM   #3
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Oh! The Face of Fear was turned into a TV movie. It was not a very good one. But if interested, it is available on YouTube.
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Old 06-16-2022, 01:20 PM   #4
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I read Dean Koontz in the late '60s when he was writing science fiction. The last thing of his I read was Dark Rivers of the Heart.
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Old 06-16-2022, 01:50 PM   #5
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How about his Odd Thomas books?
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Old 06-16-2022, 09:27 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZodWallop View Post
I already replied in the horror thread. Intensity is the best Koontz novel I've read. But for me, it's like picking my favorite Friday the 13th sequel: none of them are very good.
He does have his ... quirks.

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Koontz' writing irritates me, even when his storylines are interesting. I enjoyed the filmed versions of Phantoms, Intensity and Odd Thomas.
I feel as if people like the (original) Phantoms adaptation more now, after a few years have passed. I remember the Watchers adaptation being dreadful because they changed the main character into a teenage boy, used the heroine's name for his mother, and changed one of the heroes into a villain.

There was an adaptation of Servants of Twilight that was sort of betterish than the other Koontz adaptations because Grace Zabriskie gave a great performance as the antagonist. But the budget was very low, so that held it back.

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Oh! The Face of Fear was turned into a TV movie. It was not a very good one. But if interested, it is available on YouTube.
I hadn't heard of that one...

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I read Dean Koontz in the late '60s when he was writing science fiction. The last thing of his I read was Dark Rivers of the Heart.
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I love that title. I think I had the hardback once, but it snuck out of the house one night... So I never read it.
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Old 06-17-2022, 02:04 AM   #7
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I think you've already named most of the Koontz books that I've read. I remember enjoying Watchers very much, and liked Intensity. However most of his other books (that I've tried) were entertaining enough to finish but not stuff I went back to or wrote home about.

More recently I have read and quite enjoyed Odd Thomas - not spectacular but the books were an easy and entertaining read. On the hope they will meet that standard, I also bought, but have not yet read, the Jane Hawk and Dean Koontz's Frankenstein books when they came up on special.
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Old 06-17-2022, 10:13 AM   #8
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I hadn't heard of that one...

The Face of Fear
- Psychic mountain climber with a tragic past and fear of heights is locked in a skyscraper with a serial killer and must climb down the outside.

Soiunds like spoilers, but that is all on the book cover.

If David Morrell wrote it, it would be solid gold. But Koontz...
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Old 06-17-2022, 10:39 AM   #9
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BTW: If you read Intensity, I'd say avoid the synopsis. When it was published as a paperback there wasn't one and the artwork was vague. For me, the surprise made the book a better read.
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Old 06-17-2022, 01:52 PM   #10
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BTW: If you read Intensity, I'd say avoid the synopsis. When it was published as a paperback there wasn't one and the artwork was vague. For me, the surprise made the book a better read.
That is an awful cover.
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Old 06-17-2022, 01:57 PM   #11
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That is an awful cover.
I'm not saying it's great. Just pointing out it keeps the story vague, which I think is the best way to go into it the first time.
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Old 06-17-2022, 01:59 PM   #12
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I'm not saying it's great. Just pointing out it keeps the story vague, which I think is the best way to go into it the first time.
I like the new cover.

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Old 06-17-2022, 02:10 PM   #13
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I enjoyed his Moonlight Bay duology; Seize the Night and Fear Nothing.
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Old 06-17-2022, 02:31 PM   #14
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That is an awful cover.

It is like a 1970s version of The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. I think it has trapped me...
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Old 06-17-2022, 03:59 PM   #15
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....More recently I have read and quite enjoyed Odd Thomas - not spectacular but the books were an easy and entertaining read. On the hope they will meet that standard, I also bought, but have not yet read, the Jane Hawk and Dean Koontz's Frankenstein books when they came up on special.
The first one or two Frankenstein books were decent but the idea had run its course by the 5th and final one.
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