Dean Koontz can still blow me

In the past, I’ve mentioned that I can’t stand the writing of Dean Koontz, and that I think he should have boiling hot urine poured onto him, and then be flailed, and then have alien spores thrown into his wounds so that insectoid alien eggs eventually open and alien larva crawl into his body and he starts screaming, “There are alien bugs crawling UNDERNEATH MY SKIN!” and eventually his brain explodes.

Perhaps my biggest beef with Koontz’s writing is its unnecessary verbosity. Take this example from “Hideaway” which I am currently reading.

Sister Immaculata, who was in charge of St. Thomas’s home for children, looked like a great black bird of prey perched on the armchair to the right of the sofa.

That’s actually not so bad, is it? Unfortunately, it’s not the complete sentence.

Sister Immaculata, who was in charge of St. Thomas’s home for children, looked like a great black bird of prey perched on the armchair to the right of the sofa, and Hatch would not have been surprised if she had suddenly let out a screaky cry, leapt into flight with a great flat of her robes, swooped around the room, and divebombed him with the intention of pecking off his nose.

For the 0.2% of the reading audience that are not familiar with what birds of prey do, the sentence provides full, if unnecessary, detail.

My suspicion has long been that Koontz writes with an eye towards his word count, filling his books with pointless detail and extrapolation to meet his publisher’s quota. Check out this sentence from the same book:

The first body at the base of the 30 foot Satan was that of Jenny Purcell, a 22-year-old waitress to who had worked the evening shift in a re-creation of a 1950s diner, where the jukebox played Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry, Lloyd Price and the Platters, Buddy Holly and Connie Francis and the Everly Brothers.

Gee, Dean, I’m not sure you listed every musician available on the jukebox. What about Eddie Cochran and Hank Garland and Roy Orbison and Hank Williams etc.?

You might be asking, if I so detest Koontz’s writing, why am I reading yet another one of his dreadful books? Well, in a couple weeks I’m going to start taking a pass at writing a horror novel myself, and there’s no denying that Koontz, after Stephen King, is probably the most successful suspense author out there. If reading his work is necessary to get a sense of what the snoring, obese, flatulent common rabble consider quality writing, then so be it.

The irony of the fact that the sentence with which I began this post — the mother of all run-on sentences — would make the perfect Dean Koontz sentence just landed on me.

3 Responses to “Dean Koontz can still blow me”

  1. John Saleeby

    That was an excellent blog post which I tremendously enjoyed reading off of the glowing screen of my trusty Mac Lap top Computer perched on my lap while I lied back on my unmade bed before going into the bathroom to take a quick hot shower, getting dressed in a clean shirt, pants, underwear, and socks to go outside and drive out to the Waffle House for a cup of coffee and perhaps one of the waffles for which the Waffle House has become famous all over the United States.

    That was fun! And to think I’m about to begin a novel of my own in a couple of weeks! Thank you, Wil Forbis! Fuck you, Dean Koontz!

  2. John Saleeby

    By the way, I am intrigued with that “30 foot Satan”. I might be able to use that in my own novel.

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