I have no idea about Dean Koontz, but every time I see this thread title it makes my butt crawl.
i read both koontz and john saul, another one compared to king on a regular basis, and neither were that interesting or that good of writers really ...
mr king is so unique and such a talented writer it just doesn't work to say 'this person is like king' ... no one is like king ... that's what makes him the best in his genre and one of the best american authors ever ...
Wow, I couldn't possibly agree with the basic premise of this thread more.
The first book I read by DK was Intensity, and I picked it up as audiobook and brought on a solo car trip from New Hampshire to Wisconsin and back. This poorly named book nearly killed me! One minute, there I was thinking that if I had bought this book in hard cover, I never would have kept with it to the end. The next minute, I realized that the extreme Lack of Intensity had me at the brink of falling asleep at the wheel!
At one point during the trip, I locked my keys in the car. I don't think it was a true accident; I think my subconscious was trying to save me.
In a (only slightly) more serious tone, I have often used DK as a comparison to illustrate why I think SK is such an excellent writer. I think DK and SK are a pair of some of the most naturally gifted storytellers ever, and the difference lies in the work ethic and commitment to the craft of writing. SK is committed to constant and work and self-improvement, and whatever you may think about how is early stuff compares with his newer stuff, (I love both for different reasons) the course of his growth and evolution as writer is readily apparent.
By contrast, the declining quality of DK work, the increasingly infrequent examples of genuinely good DK books, seems to me evidence that he is resting on the laurels of his past successes. Perhaps he is trying to recapture his past magic instead of trying to forge new territory? I just don't know. I do know that he has done enough quality work to prove that there is real talent there and enough low quality work to convince that my book buying budget--which isn't particularly small or selective--would be better spent elsewhere.
Just about every element of the DK books I've read were deeply cliched and over-wrought. Some of the metaphors I've seen him use are truly laughable, like something Richard Lederer would pull from a college writing assignment and compile in an article about the many ways in which college students are able to murder the English language in both fact and spirit.
Metaphors like (and these might not be exact, but you'll get the idea):
1. "...in 1967, [Such-and-such] Falls was as free of crime as it was unencumbered by lumbering Brontosaur." Wow! That's pretty crime-free!
2. "...Barty cried more tears than could be found in 10,000 onions." Were they Bloomin' Onions from the Outback Steakhouse, because maybe that wouldn't be so bad....
I find it hilarious the same DK who used the metaphors above--and a bunch of equally tortured examples I can no longer recall--actually once said "Please, don't torture me with cliches. If you're going to try to intimidate me, have the courtesy to go away for a while, acquire a better education, improve your vocabulary, and come back with some fresh metaphors." I don't really know if he said it or wrote it, but I'm suspect he was talking to his own reflection at the time.
[Pant pant pant.] OK. I admit it that this tirade has probably been too bombastic and out of appropriate proportion, but I've been holding in on this rant for so long, it took on a life of its own. All I really wanted to say was: "Yes, Tabascofred, I agree."
Thanks, Ally, I thought I'd moved this to the right Forum already but apparently not.
I agree King is King Koontz is an inposter!