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Tuesday, August 29, 2006


**** Fear Nothing by Dean Koontz. Horror.









I keep forgetting to look for Koontz's books. This one, like all the others of his I've read, was purchased by Carl. It's partly because horror isn't usually my cuppa (so determined because I don't like horror movies, and reinforced because I don't like Stephen King's writing style), partly because Carl has tended to keep me supplied with enough horror novels that there's always one available when I have the urge, and partly because until recently, I've only been keeping track of new releases on my must-buy list, and I don't like to buy new releases, particularly not hardcovers, when an author has a large backlist I haven't read yet. I think I've fixed that last problem, so hopefully, I'll be reading more by Koontz in the future.

ANYWAY.

Fear Nothing is about Christopher Snow, a young man with a genetic disorder that makes light, particularly sunlight, deadly to him. Despite that, he's been raised well, and he's unremittingly optimistic and enjoys life to the fullest. Until his father is dying, bringing him out into the sun to rush to his hospital bedside. His father's last words to him are "fear nothing." Good advice, as Christopher is plunged into danger and intrigue.

He stumbles upon morgue attendants switching his father's body with that of a vagrant whose eyes have been removed, and from then on, he's fleeing for his life. Men with guns, aggressive monkeys with strange eyes, people he thought he knew behaving out of character. He's aided by his best friend, surfer Bobby, his girlfriend, and his super-intelligent dog Orson.

A couple of things distracted from my enjoyment: too many people started to explain things to him, then stopped and told him to forget about it. Once or even twice, this can build suspense. More than that, and it gets tedious.

My other complaint is that "secret government experiments" is right up there on my list with serial killers who are killing their mothers or wives over and over again as being overdone and therefore predictable and boring. Granted, Fear Nothing is 8 years old, but I'm pretty sure there've been secret government experiment stories around much longer than that.

However, the characters are interesting individuals. I loved Chris's optimism and outlook on life, and I liked how it complemented and contrasted with Bobby's laid-back surfer personality. I liked Orson, and how Chris interpreted his thoughts and behavior.

But it's the feel of the book, the rising tension, the horror, that really shines and explains Koontz's popularity. Ironically, if I hadn't cared so much about the characters, the tension wouldn't have affected me so much, and I wouldn't have been so irritated with the several characters who refused to explain further.



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Comments:
Hi Darla, I'm a friend of Julia and I get to know your blog through her! We are both new to this blog stuff but oh, we have fun exploring it!

Glad to see you did a review on this book. I have read most of Dean Koontz's earlier books and they are superb! ;-)

Melody
 
Hi, Melody! Nice to meet you. Thanks for the recommendation--I'll be picking up more Koontz books, I'm sure.
 
Hi Darla! Nice meeting you too! I'm sure you will enjoy reading Dean's books. Let me know what you think if you've the chance to read them... BTW, please feel free to drop by my blog! :-)

Melody
 
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