I have just added Finders Keepers to my SK collection, and so far it’s a fantastic read. I found it in a local Ollie’s for only $3.99, an excellent price for a hardcover book by the Master of Horror (or so some call him), and while there were some Dean Koontz novels available (those Odd books, which I cannot get into), I declined to purchase them. I already have The City anyway – a damn good book, by the way. I highly recommend it to any horror fan.
Reading Finders Keepers, I began to list – in my mind – the differences between King and Koontz as Finders Keepers. I don’t think either writer has much faith in our government – who the hell does? – and it sometimes comes out in their published works. well as the similarities. Both have written novels and/or stories about the dark side of human nature, but Koontz is a genius with that. King is more of the supernatural horror writer. Both are White men, both seem to be highly intelligent – though I believe Koontz may have the higher IQ – and both are still married to their wives, a rarity in this age of multiple trips to the altar and endless divorces. They also like to take swings at the Establishment, usually the Tea Bag Partiers as King referred to them in Finders Keepers.
Stephen King truly is a Master, but then so is Dean Koontz. They simply have different writing styles and while King delves into that supernatural stuff, Koontz sticks with human evil at its absolute worst and believe me, he has written about some pretty damn dark individuals. Many of them tend to be on the greedy side because, let’s be totally honest here, most rich people are greedy and also are assholes and I know this because I’ve been around affluent people. They are without a doubt some of the most arrogant, self-centered, slimiest jerks on the planet. They make me long for 2 things – a cabin way up in the Rockies or the Sierra Nevadas with the nearest neighbor 10 miles away, and a large implement to bitch-slap their whiny asses.
There are some novels by both authors that are a bit long-winded in certain parts. King’s Bag of Bones comes to mind, as well as Rose Madder and It, that shitty novel I never could finish. Koontz’s Cold Fire is a prime example of another novel that drags in the middle, along with Dark Rivers of The Heart and that scene in Intensity where Chyna is rescuing the girl from inside the killer’s home. However, with King there are more novels that tend to be a ‘hit’ or a ‘miss’, while I don’t have that problem with any of the novels in my Koontz collection. One King novel I won’t be reading again for some time is The Shining, a definite miss in my opinion. His TV mini series is as well but that’s a topic for a future post.
The unfortunate truth about Dean Koontz is the older he’s become, the more searching his novels have become. When before he had little of anything to write about that great Sky God, nowadays he has plenty – his novels The Taking and Innocence come to mind instantly. I guess people can get that way when they are older and feel that they’re closer to death, but I don’t see any reason to believe in something that’s never been proven, and 7 relatives of mine have passed since 2010, one of them just the other evening. All these deaths are certainly not making me run to the nearest church. Then there are those dog books and the obsession with golden retrievers…c’mon, Koontz! What the fuck…?!?
At least Stephen King hasn’t strayed from his wicked horror ways. Not yet anyway. His books have only gotten better in many ways and I hope he keeps churning them out until ‘whatever’ happens.