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  • author Dean Koontz reportedly was so unsatisfied with the film version of his novel Hideaway that he attempted to have his name removed from the credits?

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Dean Koontz
Born Dean Ray Koontz
July 9, 1945 (1945-07-09) (age 64)
Everett, Pennsylvania
Pen name Aaron Wolfe, Brian Coffey, David Axton, John Dwyer, John Hill, K.R. Dwyer, Leigh Nichols, Leonard Chris, Owen West, Richard Paige
Occupation novelist, short story writer, screenwriter
Genres Suspense, Horror fiction, Science fiction
Official website

Dean Ray Koontz (born July 9, 1945) is an American author best known for his novels which could be described broadly as suspense thrillers. He also frequently incorporates elements of horror, science fiction, mystery, and satire. Several of his books have appeared on the New York Times Bestseller List, with ten hardcovers and fourteen paperbacks reaching the number one slot. Early in his career, Koontz wrote under an array of pen names.

Contents

Early life

Koontz describes his youth as one of poverty under the abuse of a violent, drunk, skirt chasing father. He graduated from Shippensburg State College (now called Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania) in 1967, and went to work as an English teacher at Mechanicsburg High School.

Career

In his spare time he wrote his first novel, Star Quest, which was published in 1968. Koontz went on to write over a dozen science fiction novels. Seeing the Catholic faith as a contrast to the chaos in his family, Koontz converted in college because it gave him answers for his life, admiring its "intellectual rigor" and saying it permits a view of life that sees mystery and wonder in all things.[1][2] He says he sees the Church as English writer and Roman Catholic convert G.K. Chesterton did. Koontz notes that spirituality has always been part of his books, as are grace and our struggle as fallen souls, but he "never get[s] on a soapbox".[1]

In the 1970s, Koontz began to grow a magnum publishing mainstream of suspense and horror fiction, both under his own name several pseudonyms, sometimes publishing up to eight books a year. Koontz has stated that he began using pen names after several editors convinced him that authors who switched back and forth between different genres invariably fell victim to "negative crossover" (alienating established fans and simultaneously failing to pick up any new ones). Known pseudonyms used by Koontz during his career include Deanna Dwyer, K. R. Dwyer, Aaron Wolfe, David Axton, Brian Coffey, John Hill, Leigh Nichols, Owen West, Richard Paige, Leonard Chris, and Anthony North. Many of Koontz's pseudonymous novels are now available under his real name.

After thirty five novels, Koontz's acknowledged breakthrough novel was Whispers, published in 1980. Since then, ten hardcovers and thirteen paperbacks written by Koontz have reached #1 on the New York Times Bestseller list.

In 1997, psychologist Katherine Ramsland published an extensive biography of Koontz based on interviews with him and his family. This "psychobiography" (as Ramsland called it) often showed the conception of Koontz's characters and plots from events in his own life.[3]

Early author photos on the back of many of his novels show a balding Koontz with a mustache. After Koontz underwent hair transplantation surgery in the late 1990s, his subsequent books have featured a new clean-shaven appearance with a fuller head of hair.[4] Koontz explained the change by claiming that he was tired of looking like G. Gordon Liddy.[citation needed]

Since 1988 Koontz has contributed almost $73,000 to conservative Republican candidates and causes. He donated to the 2008 US Presidential campaigns of Mitt Romney and John McCain.[5] He and Mrs. Koontz have contributed over $138,000 to Republican candidates for federal office and Republican organizations (1991–2009).[6][7] In 2005 he supported Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger with $5000 in cash donations and more than $100,000 for a fund raising dinner for 123.[8] [9][10]

Many of his novels are set in Newport Beach, California. As of 2006 he lives there with his wife, Gerda. In 2008 he was the world's sixth most highly paid author, tied with John Grisham at $25 million annually.[11]

Inspiration

One of Dean Koontz's pen names was inspired by his dog, Trixie Koontz, a golden retriever, shown in many of his book-jacket photos. Originally a service dog with Canine Companions for Independence (CCI), a charitable organization that provides service dogs for people with disabilities [12] Trixie was a gift from CCI in gratitude of the Koontz's substantial donations, totalling $2,500,000 between 1991 and 2004.[13] Koontz was taken with the charity while he was researching his novel Midnight, a book which included a CCI-trained dog, a black Labrador retriever named Moose. In 2004 when Koontz wrote and edited Life Is Good: Lessons in Joyful Living in her name and in 2005, Koontz wrote a second book credited to Trixie, Christmas Is Good. Both books are written from a supposed canine perspective on the joys of life. The royalties of the books were donated to Canine Companions for Independence.[12] In 2007, Trixie contracted terminal cancer creating a tumor in her heart. The Koontzes had her put to sleep outside of their family home on June 30.[12] After Trixie's death, Koontz has continued writing on his website under Trixie's names, in "TOTOS", standing for Trixie on the Other Side.[12] It is widely thought that Trixie was his inspiration for his November 2007 book The Darkest Evening of the Year, about a woman who runs a golden retriever rescue home, and who rescues a 'special' dog, named Nickie, who eventually saves her life. In August 2009, Dean published "A Big Little Life," a memoir of his life with Trixie.

In October 2008 Koontz released he had adopted a new dog, Anna. It was eventually learned that Anna was the grandniece of Trixie.[14]

Recurring themes and elements

Characters

  • Until recently, Koontz had only rarely written more than one novel featuring the same characters, the two exceptions being the Black Bat Mystery series featuring Mike Tucker, art dealer and professional thief (Tucker appeared in the novels Blood Risk, Surrounded, and The Wall of Masks, all written under the pseudonym Brian Coffey); and the (as yet unfinished) Moonlight Bay Trilogy, whose hero, Christopher Snow, appears in the novels Fear Nothing and Seize the Night (a proposed third entry, Ride the Storm, has yet to appear). In recent years, however, Koontz has written four novels featuring the character of Odd Thomas (Odd Thomas, Forever Odd, Brother Odd, and Odd Hours), as well as the ongoing Dean Koontz's Frankenstein series, based on a concept for a failed television series that Koontz was briefly involved with. The show's pilot episode wound up being repackaged as a direct-to-DVD movie. Additionally, the Christopher Snow novels are loosely connected to Watchers, and the Tranquility Motel of Strangers appears in the Odd Passenger web series. Odd Thomas also had a link to the Christopher Snow series via a sweatshirt with the words "mystery Train." Deucalion of the Frankenstein series made an appearance at St. Bart's monastery which was the backdrop for Brother Odd.
  • The female lead is often intelligent, beautiful, witty, and assertive, and is just as often paired with a more sensitive and easygoing male counterpart (e.g., Bobby and Julie Dakota in The Bad Place, Detectives Michael Madison and Carson O'Conner in Dean Koontz's Frankenstein, Tommy and Del in Ticktock, and Jimmy and Lorrie Tock in Life Expectancy, and Odd and Stormy in Odd Thomas, to name a few).
  • Several of Koontz's female protagonists are single mothers bringing up their children against all the odds.
  • Male protagonists are usually tough and capable, often either police officers (as in Phantoms, Dragon Tears, or The Door to December) or seemingly mild mannered sorts who are revealed to have police or military experience in their background (as in The Good Guy, Dark Rivers of the Heart, The Eyes of Darkness, Watchers, Shadow Fires, and others).
  • Many of Koontz's heroes come from abusive (or at least dysfunctional) backgrounds, but are nonetheless portrayed as successful, financially independent, strong-willed, and emotionally stable.
  • Conversely, his antagonists are often sociopathic monsters with no redeeming or humanizing qualities whatsoever, who are invariably destroyed by the story's end; many of Koontz's villains are delusional, and consider their extremely warped and elaborate worldviews to be philosophically transcendent (e.g., Edgler Vess from Intensity, Corky Laputa from The Face, Vassago from Hideaway, Bryan Drackman from Dragon Tears, Vince Nasco from Watchers, Preston Maddoc from One Door Away from Heaven, Valis in Velocity, Thomas Shaddack in Midnight, Junior Cain in From the Corner of His Eye, and Krait in The Good Guy).
  • Many of Koontz's novels feature sympathetic portrayals of characters who suffer from some mental or physical abnormality (e.g., Christopher Snow from the Moonlight Bay Trilogy, Regina from Hideaway, Shepherd in By the Light of the Moon, Thomas in The Bad Place, and Harry in Midnight, which smoothly combines with Koontz's common theme of dogs, as portrayed by Harry's helpful service dog who also provides him with friendship).
  • Koontz is an only child, and many of the protagonists in his stories are only children (e.g. Christopher Snow, Odd Thomas, Jimmy Tock - although born a twin, he was raised an only child - from Life Expectancy, Laura Shane from Lightning, Fric from The Face).

Plot

  • Though Koontz's books often feature fantastical plot elements, he usually offers plausible, logically consistent science-based explanations for these bizarre events. Very few of Koontz's novels involve the overtly supernatural, instead often relying on unique genetic traits and natal conditions.
  • Koontz's protagonists often arm themselves with guns to combat the various monsters and madmen they are forced to do battle with. Often a Chief's Special or Combat Magnum Heckler & Koch P7 appear as handguns (Koontz himself is a lifelong gun owner). An exception to this rule has been the recurring character Odd Thomas who is said in fact to dislike guns due to his childhood trauma of his mother threatening suicide by using her favorite gun, however the fourth book in the series, Odd Hours seems to ignore this established trait.
  • A protagonist having to hide a dead body.
  • A desperate struggle for survival that leads to a final confrontation where good completely vanquishes evil, usually leading to a "happy ending" for the main characters. (An exception would be Dark Rivers of the Heart).
  • A shadowy conspiracy of assassination or illicit and unethical scientific research – or both – involving the police or a government agency, or rogue elements within them.

Themes

  • Serious themes about the importance of faith, especially faith in God.
  • Duality, such as Mr. Murder or a key point in House of Thunder.
  • Characters who follow an unwavering moral compass, but do not conform to organized religion or depend on the law.
  • The ideal that love and compassion can save one from the apparent absurdities of existence and the cruelties of life.
  • Love for children by their parents.
  • Reflection (sometimes at length) on the decline of modern society in the past twenty to thirty years, either in a dialogue between two characters or in the private musings of the protagonist, sometimes centering the blame on liberal-based tolerance of criminal and/or undesirable activity; free love, drug use, and political correctness are frequent targets (the antagonist of Dragon Tears, for instance, evidently owes not only his superhuman abilities but also his pathological personality to his mother's use of illicit drugs while he was in utero).
  • A particular high respect for humanity and repugnance for those who degrade any human. Sometimes (as in One Door Away from Heaven) taking a critical stance against "life" issues like Utilitarian bioethics.
  • A lack of atonement or redemption from the villains and antagonists, coinciding with main characters who are (eventually) clearly depicted as either good or evil with little moral ambiguity. Little sympathy is elicited for the antagonists. However, two exceptions to this are Watchers and Mr. Murder.
  • Scientific themes such as Quantum Theory and Quantum Mechanics have emerged in many of Koontz's novels, providing a new and boundless territory of unique and enigmatic subject matter.

Other trademarks

  • Koontz is an avid dog lover, and canines (typically an unusually smart Golden or Labrador Retriever) often feature prominently in his works: Fear Nothing, Seize the Night, The Taking, Watchers, Dark Rivers of the Heart, Dragon Tears, One Door Away from Heaven, Ticktock, Twilight Eyes (Towards the end of the book) and The Darkest Evening of the Year are prime examples. Cats have often fared worse in his books (Koontz is allergic to felines), though he has occasionally included cats as characters, most notably the smart feline Mungojerrie in the Christopher Snow novels, Terrible Chester in the Odd Thomas novels and Aristophanes in The Mask.
  • A setting in southern California.
  • A Smith and Wesson .38 caliber Chiefs Special or Heckler and Koch P7.
  • Use of the words "preternatural," "ozone," "spoor," "sussuration" and "blacktop" is prevalent in his books.
  • Vivid, detailed descriptions of the settings' architectural and interior design elements.
  • Street lights being described as "Sodium Vapor lights".
  • Amoral scientists using brutalizing techniques (sometimes upon children) to further their research (Sole Survivor, Midnight, Frankenstein, The Door to December, The Eyes of Darkness)
  • References to literature and poetry of which Koontz is a fan. The poetry of T. S. Eliot plays a prominent role in The Taking, and many of the same lines by Eliot are seen in Velocity. Fear Nothing includes a character named Tom Eliot, another reference to the famous poet. Little Ozzie from the Odd Thomas series often quotes T.S. Eliot and Shakespeare.
  • Plants and flowers are described in great gardener type detail, and bougainvillea flowers often feature in Dean Koontz's books.
  • Small references to Japan are often made. Such as plants and characters with a Japanese name, or people having Japanese gardens, furniture or enjoying Japanese food and drink.
  • Strange, quirky descriptions, e.g. The Darkest Evening of the Year "...but a pair of lamps shed light as lusterless as ashes and the colors were muted as though settled smoke from a long-quenched fire had laid a patina on them."
  • Frequently references Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
  • Frequent quotations from The Book of Counted Sorrows, a book that Koontz made up. Aside from the quotes, he personally wrote, Koontz wrote one book of poetry, entitled "The Paper Doorway."

Film and television adaptations

Though several of his novels have been adapted either as motion pictures or television movies, Koontz is generally unhappy with most of these adaptations. According to a 1996 interview, Koontz was so unhappy with the final cut of the film adaptation of his novel Hideaway that he now insists on keeping creative control over all subsequent films based on his books.

Film adaptations

Bibliography

References

  1. ^ a b Drake, Tim (March 6, 2007). National Catholic Register. http://www.ncregister.com/site/article/2013 Chatting With Koontz About Faith. Retrieved 2009-11-28. 
  2. ^ Rossi, Tony, Best-selling Author Dean Koontz Explores Catholic Values in Novels Catholic Exchange, August 1, 2009
  3. ^ Ramsland, Katherine M. (1997). Dean Koontz : a writer’s biography. New York, N.Y.: HarperPrism. ISBN 006105271X.  LCCN 97-030839
  4. ^ deankoontz.com. "photo gallery". http://deankoontz.com/about-dean/photo-gallery.php. Retrieved 2007-08-03. 
  5. ^ NEWSMEAT ▷ Dean Koontz's Federal Campaign Contribution Report
  6. ^ "Donor Lookup: Find Individual and Soft Money Contributors - Koontz, Gerda". OpenSecrets.org. Center for Responsive Politics. http://www.opensecrets.org/indivs/search.php?name=Koontz%2C+gerda&state=&zip=&employ=&cand=&all=Y&sort=N&capcode=8nqtk&submit=Submit. Retrieved 2009-11-28. 
  7. ^ "Donor Lookup: Find Individual and Soft Money Contributors - Koontz, Dean". OpenSecrets.org. Center for Responsive Politics. http://www.opensecrets.org/indivs/search.php?name=Koontz%2C+gerda&state=&zip=&employ=&cand=&all=Y&sort=N&capcode=8nqtk&submit=Submit. Retrieved 2009-11-28. 
  8. ^ "CalAccess - Campaign Finance". California Secretary of State. http://cal-access.ss.ca.gov/Campaign/Committees/Detail.aspx?id=1279675&session=2005&view=contributions. Retrieved 2009-11-28. 
  9. ^ Maio, Pat. "SUPPORT BASE: OC's Money, Moderation Bankrolls Schwarzenegger - Consumer Watchdog". Orange County Business Journal. http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/corporateering/articles/?storyId=16805. Retrieved 2009-11-28. "The governor has held a few fund-raisers this year in a bid to drum up $50 million. Those include a dinner last month at Koontz's in Newport." 
  10. ^ Koontz, Dean. "Major Donor and Independent Expenditure Committee Campaign Statement". http://cal-access.ss.ca.gov/PDFGen/pdfgen.prg?filingid=1124979&amendid=0. Retrieved 2009-11-28. 
  11. ^ "Rowling makes £5 every second". BBC. October 3, 2008. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/7649962.stm. Retrieved 2009-11-29. 
  12. ^ a b c d deankoontz.com. "Trixie Koontz". http://deankoontz.com/trixie/monthly-columns.php. Retrieved 2007-08-01. 
  13. ^ Ben Fox. "Associated Press". http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4188/is_20041226/ai_n11495304. Retrieved 2007-08-01. 
  14. ^ Koontz, Dean. "The Write Stuff: All About Anna". http://www.deankoontz.com/about-dean/the-write-stuff/. Retrieved 2008-10-30. 
  15. ^ Dean R. Koontz's 'Frankenstein' Resurrected in Feature Film Form
  16. ^ Dean Koontz THE HUSBAND, THE HUSBAND Movie - Dean Koontz - The Official Site
  17. ^ Dean Koontz Website, Suspense Novel - Dean Koontz - The Official Site

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Fear is a hammer, and when the people are beaten finally to the conviction that their existence hangs by a frayed thread, they will be led where they need to go. –The Good Guy (2007)

Dean Ray Koontz (born July 9, 1945), also known under a number of pseudonyms, including Leigh Nichols, is an American writer best known as a prolific and best-selling author of suspense novels.

Contents

Sourced

Non-fiction

The Voice of the Night (1980)

Berkley, 1991, ISBN 0-425-12816-4

  • You've got to stay sharp, on your toes, alert. Always look over your shoulder. Always protect yourself. Don't let your guard down for even a second. There are people who will take advantage of you the moment they see you're not in control. The world's filled with people like that. Nearly everyone you meet is like that. We're animals in a jungle, and we've got to be prepared to fight if we want to survive. You can't trust hardly anyone, hardly anyone at all. Even people who are supposed to like you can turn on you faster than you think. Even friends. People who say they love you are the worst, the most dangerous, the most untrustworthy of all. People who say they love you will pounce when they get the chance. You gotta always remember that they're just waiting for the opportunity to get you. Love's a trick. A cover. A way to catch you off guard. Never let down your guard. Never.
    • Page 53

Watchers (1987)

  • It's so damn hard to bloom… to change. Even when you want to change, want it more than anything in the world, it's hard. Desire to change isn't enough. Or desperation. Couldn't be done without… love.
    • Part 1, Chapter 7.5; Nora's comment on her changes since meeting Travis
  • Did you get the leash on him yet, Einstein?
    • Part 1, Chapter 7.6; Nora's query during Travis's futile struggle to leash human-smart dog Einstein
  • Evidently, Ted had walked down the block from his own house and entered with the intention of fixing something. Now Ted was broken, too, and beyond repair.
    • Part 1, Chapter 7.7; about the death of Travis's landlord, Ted Hockney
  • As an attorney, I assure you the law isn't a line engraved in marble, immovable and unchangeable through the centuries. Rather… the law is like a string, fixed at both ends but with a great deal of play in it — very loose, the line of the law — so you can stretch it this way or that, rearrange the arc of it so you are nearly always — short of blatant theft or cold-blooded murder — safely on the right side. That's a daunting thing to realize but true.
    • Part 1, Chapter 7.8; Garrison Dilworth reassuring the Cornells during their flight
  • … mankind has no right to employ its genius in the creation of another intelligent species, then treat it like property. If we've come so far that we can create as God creates, then we have to learn to act with the justice and mercy of God.
    • Part 1, Chapter 7.8; Garrison Dilworth on the responsibility to help keep Einstein free
  • I thought of you as my guardian, Einstein… you taught me that I'm your guardian, too, that I'm Travis's guardian, and he is my guardian and yours. We have a responsibility to stand watch over one another, we are watchers, all of us, watchers, guarding against the darkness. You've taught me that we're all needed, even those who sometimes think we're worthless, plain, and dull.
    • Part 2, Chapter 9.2; Nora to an ill and unresponsive Einstein at the veterinary clinic

Lightning (1988)

  • In a crunch a man's reputation never counts for as much as it ought to. Most people are good-hearted and willing to give a man the benefit of the doubt, but the poisonous few are eager to see others brought down, ruined. … Envy, Bob. Envy eats them alive. If you had money, they'd envy you that. But since you don't, they envy you for having such a good, bright, loving daughter. They envy you for just being a happy man. They envy you for not envying them. One of the greatest sorrows of human existence is that some people aren't happy merely to be alive but find their happiness only in the misery of others.
    • Part I, Chapter 1.2, the mysterious stranger's words to Bob Shane
  • "Maybe Nina wouldn't have died if I hadn't moved in with them and drawn Sheener after me, but I can't feel guilty about that. I tried hard to be a good foster daughter to them, and they were happy with me. What happened was that life dropped a big custard pie on us, and that's not my fault; you can never see the custard pies coming. It's not good slapstick if you see the pie coming."
    "Custard pie?" he asked, perplexed. "You see life as a slapstick comedy? Like the Three Stooges?"
    "Partly."
    "Life is just a joke then?"
    "No. Life is serious and a joke at the same time."
    "But how can that be?"
    "If you don't know," she said, "maybe I should be the one asking the questions here."
    • Part I, Chapter 2.10, dialog between 12-year-old Laura Shane and a psychotherapist after the death of her foster mother
  • "But there are two things that different kinds of people believe that are the worst, most dangerous, wrongest of all. Some people believe that the best way to solve a problem is with violence; they beat up or kill anyone who disagrees with them."
    … "But what's the other worst kind of bad thinking?"
    "Pacifism," she said. "That's just the opposite of the first kind of bad thinking. Pacificists believe that you should never lift a hand against another human being, no matter what he has done or what you know he's going to do." … "Some pacificists are cowards in disguise, but some really believe it's right to permit the murder of an innocent person rather than kill to stop it. They're wrong because by not fighting evil, they've become part of it."
    • Part II, Chapter 5.1; conversation between Laura and her son Chris
  • "They can hopscotch around us," Chris told Laura. They can pop ahead in time to see where we show up, then they pick and choose the easiest place along the time stream to ambush us. It's sorta like… if we were the cowboys and the Indians were all psychic."
    • Part II, Chapter 5.4; 8-year-old Chris considering the time-travellers' strategy for catching them
  • A fanatic is a nut who has something to believe in.
    • Part II, Chapter 6.4; Laura's explanation to Chris
  • How can you hope to win against goddamn time travelers? It's like playing blackjack when the dealer is God. … Come to think of it, all of life is a blackjack game with God as the dealer, isn't it? So this is no worse.
    • Part II, Chapter 6.12; Laura's musings

Midnight (1989)

  • Your sense of responsibility to others can never be excessive.
    • Harry Talbot; Part II, chapter 29, p. 287[1]

The Bad Place (1990)

  • Bobby noticed two colorful charts posted on the wall near the refrigerator. The first displayed each kid's grades and major test results since the start of the school year in September. The other was a list of household chores for which each child was responsible. … Some attributed Asian-Americans' success to a conspiracy, but Bobby saw the simple explanation for their achievements everywhere in the Phan house: They tried harder. They embraced the ideals upon which the country had been based — including hard work, honesty, goal-oriented self-denial, and the freedom to be whatever one wanted to be. Ironically, their great success was partly due to the fact that so many born Americans had become cynical about those same ideals.
    • Chapter 32

Fear Nothing (1998)

  • The sane understand that human beings are incapable of sustaining conspiracies on a grand scale, because some of our most defining qualities as a species are inattention to detail, a tendency to panic, and an inability to keep our mouths shut.
    • Chapter 17; musings of Christopher Snow

Seize the Night (1999)

  • In this uncertain space between birth and death, especially here at the end of the world in Moonlight Bay, we need hope as surely as we need food and water, love and friendship. The trick, however, is to remember that hope is a perilous thing, that it's not a steel and concrete bridge across the void between this moment and a brighter future. Hope is no stronger than tremulous beads of dew strung on a filament of spider web, and it alone can't long support the terrible weight of an anguished mind and a tortured heart.
    • Chapter 4; musings of Christopher Snow
  • Human beings can always be relied upon to assert, with vigor, their God-given right to be stupid.

From the Corner of His Eye (2000)

  • He considered himself to be a thoroughly useless man, taking up space in a world to which he contributed nothing — but he did have a talent for baking… The gas oven might blow up in his face, at last bringing him peace, but if it didn't, he would at least have cookies for Agnes.
    • Chapter 27; on Agnes' shut-in brother Jacob
  • When we don't allow ourselves to hope, we don't allow ourselves to have purpose. Without purpose, without meaning, life is dark. We've no light within, and we're just living to die.
    • Chapter 41; words of Agnes Lampion
  • He's a hollow man. He believes in anything. Hollow men are vulnerable to anyone who offers them something that might fill the void and make them feel less empty.
    • Chapter 64; words of former policeman Thomas Vanadium
  • When you're as hollow as Enoch Kane, the emptiness aches. He's desperate to fill it, but he doesn't have the patience or the commitment to fill it with anything worthwhile… So a man like Kane obsesses on one thing after another — sex, money, food, power, drugs, alcohol — anything that seems to give meaning to his days, but that requires no real self-discovery or self-sacrifice.
    • Chapter 64; words of former policeman Thomas Vanadium

One Door Away from Heaven (2001)

  • I'm either a mutant or a cripple, and I refuse to be a cripple. People pity cripples, but they're afraid of mutants […] Fear implies respect.
    • Leilani Klonk; chapter 1, p. 4 [2]
  • Change isn't easy, Micky. Changing the way you live means changing the way you think. Changing the way you think means changing what you believe about life. That's hard, sweetie. When we make our own misery, we sometimes cling to it even when we want so bad to change, because the misery is something we know. The misery is comfortable.
    • Geneva Davis; chapter 1, p. 8 [2]
  • There's lots of law these days, but not much justice. Celebrities murder their wives and go free. A mother kills her children, and the news people on TV say she's the victim and want you to send money to her lawyers. When everything's upside down like this, what fool just sits back and thinks justice will prevail?
    • Geneva Davis; chapter 60, p. 473 [2]
Spoiler warning: Plot, ending, or solution details follow.
  • What will you find behind the door that is one door away from Heaven? […] If your heart is closed, then you will find behind that door nothing to light your way. But if your heart is open, you will find behind that door people who, like you, are searching, and you will find the right door together with them. None of us can ever save himself; we are the instruments of one another's salvation, and only by the hope that we give to others do we lift ourselves out of the darkness into the light.
    • chapter 73, pp. 604, 605 [2]

Spoilers end here.

By the Light of the Moon (2002)

  • Dylan… said, "Both Becky and Kenny need medical attention—"
    "And a prison cell until their social security kicks in," Jilly added.
    "—but give us two or three minutes before you call 9-1-1," Dylan finished.
    This instruction baffled Marj. "But you are 9-1-1."
    Jilly fielded that peculiar question: "We're one of the ones, Marj, but we're not the other one or the nine."
    • after Dylan & Jilly (who had claimed to be an undercover policewoman) save Marj and her grandson from homicidal teenagers

The Face (2003)

  • Fric had been assigned the dumbest of the standard tones, which the phone manufacturer described as "a cheerful, child-pleasing sound suitable for the nursery or the bedrooms of younger children." Why infants in nurseries or toddlers in cribs ought to have their own telephones remained a mystery to Fric. Were they going to call Babies R Us and order lobster-flavored teething rings?
    • Chapter 13; describing the estate's elaborate phone system
  • Dr. Bob managed so successfully to turn the answer to every question into a mini-lecture on self-esteem and positive thinking, that Ethan wanted Hazard to arrest him on charges of Felony Cliché and Practicing Philosophy Without An Idea.
    • Chapter 67; Ethan and Hazard's questioning of a pop-psychology university professor

Life Expectancy (2004)

  • She said, "Love isn't enough. Your parents have to know how to relate to you, and to each other. They have to want to be with you more than with anyone else. They have to love being home more than anywhere in the world, and they have to be more interested in you than in…"
    "Snakes and tornadoes," I suggested.
    "God, I love them. They're nice, Jimmy, they really are, and they mean well. But they live inside themselves more than not, and they keep their doors closed. You see them mostly through windows."
    • Chapter 36; conversation between Lorrie Lynn Hicks and Jimmy Tock
  • "Where there's cake, there's hope. And there's always cake."
    • Chapter 39; Tock family saying

The Taking (2004)

  • Blizzards, floods, volcanos, hurricanes, earthquakes: They fascinate because they nakedly reveal that Mother Nature, afflicted with bipolar disorder, is as likely to snuff us as she is to succor us.
    • Part 1, Chapter 1
  • For most of her existence, Molly had not shied from a truth that most people understood but diligently suppressed: that every moment of every day, depending on the faith we embrace, each of us continues to live either by the merciful sufferance of God or at the whim of blind chance and indifferent nature.
    • Part 1, Chapter 2

Odd Thomas (2005)

  • My name is Odd Thomas, though in this age when fame is the altar at which most people worship, I am not sure why you should care who I am or that I exist.
    • Chapter 1; Odd Thomas's introduction
  • In fact I am such a nonentity by the standards of our culture that People magazine not only will never feature a piece about me but might also reject my attempts to subscribe to their publication on the grounds that the black-hole gravity of my noncelebrity is powerful enough to suck their entire enterprise into oblivion.
    • Chapter 1; Odd Thomas's introduction
  • Recognizing the structure of your psychology doesn't mean that you can easily rebuild it.
    • Chapter 34; observation of Odd Thomas

Forever Odd (2005)

  • "Sometimes," I said, "it seems to me that a friend might not take such pleasure in making fun of me as you do."
    "Dear Odd! If one's friends do not openly laugh at him, they are not, in fact, his friends. How else would one learn to avoid saying those things that would elicit laughter from strangers? The mockery of friends is affectionate, and inoculates against foolishness."
    • Chapter 11; Odd Thomas's recounting of a conversation with Little Ozzie
  • Loneliness comes in two basic varieties. When it results from a desire for solitude, loneliness is a door we close against the world. When the world instead rejects us, loneliness is an open door, unused.
    • Chapter 21; musings of Odd Thomas

Velocity (2005)

  • Pain is a gift. Humanity, without pain, would know neither fear nor pity. Without fear, there could be no humility, and every man would be a monster. The recognition of pain and fear in others give rise in us to pity, and in our pity is our humanity, our redemption.
    • Chapter 54

Brother Odd (2006)

  • … less real than such threats as a man with a gun, a woman with a knife, or a U.S. Senator with an idea.
    • Chapter 38

The Good Guy (2007)

  • Sheep were docile, yes, but vigilant. Unlike many people, sheep were always aware that predators existed and were alert for the scent and the schemes of wolves.
    Contemporary Americans were so proseperous, so happily distracted by such a richness of vivid entertainments, they were reluctant to have their fun diminished by acknowledging that anything existed with fangs and fierce appetites. If now and then they recognized a wolf, they threw a bone to it and convinced themselves it was a dog.
    • Krait's musings
    • Chapter 7, pp. 52-53[3]
  • In a world that daily disconnects further from truth, more and more people accept the virtual in place of the real, and all things virtual are also malleable.
    • Krait's musings
    • Chapter 21, p. 147[3]
  • Experts must read the patterns and judge their usefulness as evidence. Under any of numerous pressures, an expert may wish to misread a pattern or even to alter it. Americans had a touching trust in "experts".
  • "Fear is a hammer, and when the people are beaten finally to the conviction that their existence hangs by a frayed thread, they will be led where they need to go."
    "Which is where?"
    "To a responsible future in a properly managed world."
    • Conversation between Wentworth and Timothy Carrier
    • Chapter 63, p. 368[3]

References

  1. Koontz, Dean (1989). Midnight (1st edition ed.). New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. pp. 383 pages. ISBN 0-399-13390-9.  
  2. a b c d Koontz, Dean (2001). One Door Away from Heaven. New York: Bantam Books. pp. 606 pages. ISBN 0-553-80137-6.  
  3. a b c d Koontz, Dean (June 2007). The Good Guy (1st edition ed.). New York, NY: Bantam Dell. pp. 386 pp.. ISBN 978-0-553-80481-2.  

External links

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Dean Koontz (born July 9, 1945 in Everett, Pennsylvania) is a writer from the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. He is known for writing in the suspense thriller genre and has had many books that have been New York Times Bestsellers.

Website

Dean Koontz's Official website








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