One of my favorite authors is Dean Koontz. To settle down with one of his works is to enjoy hours of pure fun and satisfying reading. As an author he has developed a skill at plumbing the spiritual side of human nature. This is an often unrecognized aspect of human activity, motivation, and strength. It is easy to present such in scathing tones of incredulous disdain. It is easy to go for the negative and lowest bar on the ladder of writing. Shelves are crammed with literary prat-falls, cheap thrills and fast food approach to plot. Koontz' broader palette is as welcome as rain to a parched field. It is also more challenging to have an author entice the reader to climb above the foul miasma of the road to hell we often call life and go higher to see the flicker lights of hope, the noble self, or the light of goodness.
No, Koontz does not write 'goody' works. His horror is real enough to make you gasp because it reflects the abyss being plumbed by daily human activity. We dare not look over the side, as Nietzsche so aptly warned, when we look into the monster of the abyss...surprise, it is looking back at us and assessing how we can help it escape or provide a small snack. Perhaps to do both.
Koontz keeps bushing us to the edge of the abyss, daring us to look in and stare down the evil lurking there and keep it in place. For a little longer, anyway. If we can...
If you have not read Odd Apocolypse do so now! Then, get ready to read his next work, Odd Interlude, due out in early January.
If you dare.