Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Relentless -- Dean Koontz

Okay, let's just get it out of the way: This is the goofiest book I've read in a long time. It begins like a comedy, with a writer getting a really bad review. Everyone warns him not to respond to it, and he doesn't. Bad things happen anyway. Really, really bad things.

The book begins like a comedy, and it's very funny, but then it takes a turn. There's still a good bit of humor, but there are also those really, really bad things.

There's a 6-year-old genius who's about, oh, ten billion times smarter than Einstein and Stephen Hawking combined, and he can build things that just happen to be absolutely necessary to the story. There's a nice doggie. There are relentless villains that we don't get to know at all. There's a narrator with a deep, dark secret that really has nothing at all to do with anything, though a couple of sentences try to make us think it does. There's a motive that makes no sense at all, not a bit, when you consider the really, really bad things. (But then that's not the only thing that doesn't make sense.) There's an ending that's got to be one of the most rushed and anti-climactic that I've ever read.

Maybe instead of being a bad book, this is a brilliant satire that I'm to dim to get. Maybe everything will be made clear in a sequel. Or maybe it's just a bad book.

10 comments:

Fred Zackel said...

Raymond Chandler said (somewhere) that the secret to a book was not the plot but how vivid were the individual scenes. (So much for who killed the chauffeur, fer instance.) Do you think that might be the secret of Koontz' successes?

Kevin R. Tipple said...

Don't know about this book and this is the first I have heard of it.

I don't read him, King, etc because they do the horror stuff and I am not into that. Real life has enough horror in it for me as.

Bill Crider said...

Zack, you might be onto something. There are some vivid scenes in this one, for sure. Mostly they're the kind Kevin wouldn't want to read!

Jerry House said...

Koonz is an infuriating writer. His protagonists are always on the side of good and they are always facing an unspeakable evil. A dog is usually sent by the unnamed universal good (God) to help the heroes survive. The unnamed universal good doesn't seem to give a hoot about minor characters, killing them off in viscious ways. The pace is fast, even though much time is spent on description, and the conclusion is rushed and artificially breathtaking. Koontz imbues his work with a maudlin philosophy. When you read a Koontz book, you know he is pulling your strings. It can be a frustrating experience, so why do read each new book when it comes out?

Todd Mason said...

Well, Jerry, if I understand your question correctly (and yours, Bill), I don't reach for them...and yes, it's probably a very bad book indeed.

Todd Mason said...

There are those who insist that Koontz appearing on the shelf near King, alphabeticallly, has been the single largest factor in his success...though the simple-mindedness that Jerry decries surely helps.

Anonymous said...

I've liked a few of his books a lot and some of them not so much, but I haven't read many in recent years and I doubt I'll be reading this one.

Jeff

Stephen B. said...

Koontz has written books since the 60's. He was included in one of the Ellison DANGEROUS VISIONS story collections, and has written some fine books.

But not lately, it seems, since 8 or 10 years I've checked out very few of his titles.

SB said...

... and liked those I read perhaps barely at all.

norby said...

I love the Odd Thomas books, but otherwise, every time a Koontz book comes out I'm fairly certain I've already read it, and even after I finish it, I'm still not sure. I'm also not sure what that means, except that it's depressing since he has some pretty damn good books in his background.