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FOREVER ODD By Dean Koontz – Reviewed

Posted in Reviews, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 22, 2010 by stanleyriiks

I read the first Odd book about a year ago, and thought it was marvellous. A twisted thriller with nice horror overtones, bringing something new and exciting into my life. Odd is the reluctant dead-seeing hero, out to stop a massive armed attack on the small town of Pico Mundo where he lives. The poignant and heart-rending ending stole my heart, and made me weep. It was a great book, anything that makes me feel something I can’t help but love.

That’s why this novel is such a disappointment. Expectations too high perhaps? Well, possibly, but writers shouldn’t set a standard with their first book in a series and then immediately let you down.

Here Odd finds his night’s sleep interrupted by a dead doctor, and on going to investigate, finds his friend has been kidnapped by a crazy woman. A crazy woman, who, it turns out, wants to lure Odd to his death.

Fairly simple, and yet it’s dragged out for over four hundred pages. This feels like a novel with a minimum word count, stretched almost to breaking point. It’s a testament to Koontz’s writing skills that he still makes it readable and mildly entertaining. But mildly is perhaps being too generous.

The book is long-winded and almost boring. It starts off far too melancholy, the character of Odd and his strange friends and relationships are put on the back-burner while the meagre plot is explored.

Only loyal fans should read this second instalment in the Odd Thomas series. I will be returning for the third novel, but it better be a damn sight better than this or I will be most upset!

Reading, Controversy and Horror

Posted in Life..., Uncategorized, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 16, 2009 by stanleyriiks

Wow, I’ve just finished a marathon session reading The Kultby Shaun Jeffery, which is definitely one of the best books I’ve read this year. A brutal thriller. I felt exhausted after the finale, like I’d experienced it right alongside the protagonist.

The reading part of being a writer is going well! It took my only two days to polish offThe Kult. Before that I dug deep into my book pile and got out The Gobbler by Adrian Edmondson, which was pretty good. Comedic novels aren’t my favourite genre, but it’s good to have a laugh every now and then to relieve the horror and terror that are my usual entertainments.

Before that the Eyewitness Guide to Stockholm, which is a bit of a strange one, trying to take on all these facts and marking off almost everything in the book because I want to see it when I go visit with my girlfriend next month. Woohoo! A holiday! Desperately needed, I must say.

In between the reading I managed to write one story. It’s pretty raw still, needs major editing, but I think it’s pretty good. Bit controversial. It’s about a young teenage boy who kills his thirteen year old sister by accident when playing an erotic asphyxiation game. The fact that both of them are underage I consider a problem ethically. Normally I’d steer clear of anything underage, just because it makes me feel uncomfortable. But I felt the story needed something extra to make it more… horrifying.

And then I got to thinking about what makes a horror story. Some of them make us feel disgusted, some of them make us feel pain, hurt, horror, lonely, neglect, uncomfortable… Horror is such a limited categorisation in some ways. I think the point of all art is to make the reader/viewer feel. The works that have impacted most upon me: The Lord of The Rings, Star Wars, Dracula, are the ones which had the biggest emotional impact.

So, if a story makes you feel uncomfortable, if the point is for you not to enjoy it, does that mean it works? And does that make it legitimate? Or is it just best to steer clear of controversy?