Monday, August 11, 2008

Fiction Reading This Month

My wife and I have been reading some Dean Koontz novels lately. I had never read his stuff before. I remember some mediocre made-for-tv movies entitled, "Dean Koontz' So-and-So" and was unimpressed. I believed him to be a less ambitious Steven King.

But then I read a profile of him in National Review. Turns out the Steven King connection wasn't just me, but that the press and critics tended to lump the two ueber-successful authors together. The profile piece suggested they were not that much alike. And Koontz converted to Catholicism and has a distinctly conservative voice in his novels.

I now know what NR was talking about. Of the novels I've read so far, none would be included in your Average Christian Bookstore. None would be reviewed as literature, either, though his writing demands more attention and vocabulary than your average mass market paperback. But his narrative voice gently condemns liberal idols and his characters exhibit virtue. There are other slight nods to Catholicism and religion scattered around, too.

Oh, and Koontz has a knack of packing in more conflict and tension in the first 100 pages than many bestsellers have in the climax. It makes a tense read.