Koontz continued

Well, I’m about 90% done with “Hideaway” — the Dean Koontz novel I’ve been reading — and let it never let it be said that I can’t give credit where it’s due: this is the least awful of the three novels of his I’ve read. I would even go as far as to say that reading the book doesn’t make me want to randomly stab at my brain with a razor-sharp wire hanger in the hope of destroying the particular neurons that contain any memory of the book, as his previous works did.

But there are still some negatives. As in other Koontz books I’ve read, the bad guy is a Satanist, which seems to be Koontz’s way of not having to explain why the villain is evil. (“He’s a Satanist, what more do you want?!”) “Hideaway” also contains a Dean Koontz hallmark: children’s dialogue that sounds utterly unlike anything I’ve ever heard come out of a child’s mouth.

I get the sense with this book, more than the others, that Koontz is using his fiction to work out his own personal issues. (Obviously every author does this, but hopes not to be too obvious about it.) Anyone who’s familiar with Koontz’s biography knows he had a tyrant of a father who physically and mentally abused him. Coincidentally, two of the particularly noble male characters in this book came from the same background. Koontz also sees himself as a big defender of unflashy, suburban, square society, and, as a result, much of the book is spent lauding utterly unredeemable soccer mom and dad types. He seems to really play up their fears as well, describing the denizens of a punk rock club as violent tribal nihilists, when, as anyone who’s ever been to a punk club knows, they’re largely populated by bisexual nimrods.

All in all, I guess you could say there are worse books you could read. Probably written by Dean Koontz.

3 Responses to “Koontz continued”

  1. John Saleeby

    This post reminds me that somewhere in my apartment is a Dean Koontz book I found lying around at work and brought home a couple of weeks ago. Should I bother looking for it?

    I remember when the “Hideaway” movie came out and bombed. Jeff Goldblum was in it.

  2. Wil

    Weird… I had no idea this was made into a movie. In fact, while reading it, I was thinking how difficult it would be to turn it into a movie, because really not all that much happens. There’s a lot of people just sitting around contemplating the eternal battle between good and evil etc.

    However, now I have finished the book, and it contains an afterword by Koontz where he talks about how they totally botched the movie. Apparently Alicia Silverstone took the part of what was originally a 10-year-old girl with a leg brace. However, my man Jeremy Sisto played the Satanist.

  3. John Saleeby

    I just remember seeing the ads for it in the newspaper and then a Box Office Report in Entertainment Weekly about how badly it had done. Jeremy Sisto was in it. For a while there Jeremy Sisto was in everything. But he’s cool.