Book Report: From the Corner of His Eye by Dean Koontz (2000)

I cannot believe I read the whole thing.

This book clocks in at almost 600 pages, overwritten the whole time as though Dean Koontz single handedly has to support a struggling simile factory in southern Georgia. He layers his similes like an onion; even when you peel away all the layers of the metaphor, it’s still an onion. To Stephen King’s Shakespeare, Dean Koontz is not even Ben Jonson; he’s that other guy they don’t even offer survey courses for.

Let’s see here, there’s a plot: a guy murders his wife for no reason (no, it’s because he’s a psychopath trying to broaden himself by killing the woman he loves); he becomes obsessed with the name Bartholemew. Also, he raped this one underage girl, who has a baby girl. A woman who’s pregnant has an auto accident on the way to the hospital that kills her husband; his last request is that she name the boy Bartholemew. The underage girl dies giving birth, so an aunt raises the girl. The children are prodigies who can also go other places. The boy goes blind. A cop chasing the psychopath gets left for dead by said psychopath instigates psychological warfare against the psycho. And the psycho kills people.

Meanwhile, Koontz dedicates many pages to similes, many paragraphs to minor characters with only roles as extras, and we navigate through several plot lines ultimately related but whose relationships are not too compelling. Then, after 500 pages, we get a three page sudden climax, and then we can roll over and go to sleep for the 40 page denouement that is supposed to tell the rest of the story about the kids and their powers. But come on. I could have almost read Anna Karenina by the time I was done with this book.

I liked Odd Thomas well enough, tolerated Mr. Murder passingly, and just read Forever Odd. However, this book really has me dreading reading any of the other Koontz volumes on my shelves, and that’s not a good kind of dread for a horror/thriller writer. It spills over to the unread John Saul books who are painted by being too close to the Koontz books.

Don’t bother with this book. Let me be a lesson to you.

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5 thoughts on “Book Report: From the Corner of His Eye by Dean Koontz (2000)

  1. I consider myself warned. Thank you for the pain that you went through to help me avoid wanting to gouge my eyes out.

  2. Hey, thank you for reading the book reports. You know, you’re the only person who does. My wife doesn’t even read these.

  3. She only reads them when there are comments to make sure no one is flirting with me online.

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