This post is a work in progress. If you have read any of the books I have listed down below (but not reviewed), and you would like to contribute a one-paragraph review, please do it in the comments and I’ll keep adding to the post. I’ll keep adding to it anyways–I haven’t got through all the books I’ve read yet, but this post is taking more time than I thought. This man writes a lot of books.
Someone at work asked me how many books Dean Koontz had written. I thought I was in the ballpark, but when I actually started looking up his publishing history, I was confounded. I knew he wrote a lot, but I didn’t know quite how much.
This Dean Koontz book list is my attempt to pay tribute to a writer who has given me a lot of great memories. My grandmother introduced me to Dean’s novels as a fifth grader, and I never looked back.
I will admit that I have not read his most recent books–I’d say that I stopped around the time of Odd Thomas, and I don’t think I read anything pre-Demon Seed, but I’d like to provide a Koontz bibliography below, including brief reviews of the books which I have read.
And who knows? I may make it back to the other ones that I have skipped. The site of all these books I haven’t read annoys me a bit–you have to scroll a fair amount of your life away before you get to the first review down below. So maybe I’ll wind up trying to become a Koontz completist.
I am going to do these posts with more authors that I love. I’ve already got one out there for King, Vonnegut, and Mark Twain. If there’s an author you would like me to write one of these list posts for, or that you’d like to write and submit, please let me know. And of course, I’d love help with those as well.
In chronological order (this includes books he wrote under pen names):
Fear That Man
The Fall of The Dream Machine
The Dark Symphony
Soft Come The Dragons
Dark of The Woods
The Crimson Witch
Legacy of Terror
The Flesh In The Furnace
A Darkness In My Soul
Children of The Storm
Dance With The Devil
The Dark of Summer
The Haunted Earth
A secluded woman whose house is run by an advanced security system gets in trouble when the computer starts getting wild notions about her. Think HAL from 2001. This book came out in the 70s. It’s kind of fun to see technophobia looked like a few decades ago.
This was one of the first Koontz books I read. I still remember (I’m pretty sure) the first line: The van was behind them again. As a young fan of Matheson’s Duel and a lover of road trips, this tale of a man and a boy being pursued cross country by a psycho was gripping.
After The Last Race
The Wall of Masks
The Long Sleep
Prison of Ice
Like many great super-villains, the bad guy here gets into the water supply of a small town. Anyone infected is now under his control if they him hear utter a certain phrase that unlocks their consciousness for him. Seems like this had some non-subtle commentary on subliminal advertising in it.
The Face of fear
Crazy man chases a couple of women all through an empty skyscraper. Luckily, they know how to climb, having conveniently spent some time on Mt. Everest. To the elevator shafts!
The Voice of The Night
This book seemed impossibly transgressive and terrifying when I read it. Two boys are friends. One of them is crazy and wants to start doing terrible things. The shy boy says no. The crazy boy says yes, with increasing determination. I kept wondering how I’d react if one of my friends had ever wanted to play any of these “games.”
Madness at the carnival. A woman who thought she’d seen the last of several undesirables from her past has another coming when the carnies come back to town. Includes a couple of Koontz’ silliest love scenes, and that’s saying something.
A man with serious mommie-issues gets taken down when he menaces a woman in her home. Then he comes back from the dead…or does he? If you have a cockroach phobia, steer clear of this one. Also, hands-down the worst love scene he has ever written, but it’s pretty funny.
The House of Thunder
I read this book in a small camping trailer during a family reunion, out in the woods, which made it a little eerier than it might have been. A woman returns to a small town to find just about everyone dead, with no clear implications of what happened. I enjoyed this one most because it implied that something similar happened to the Roanoke Colony. It seems like Ben Affleck was in the movie.
Starts with a classic locked door mystery, ends with a tough cop and his partner racing through the streets pursued by weird little beasties with silver fires for eyes. I won’t tell you where they came from. This was one of the earliest Koontz novels I read and it freaked me out. I still consider it one of his most effective thrillers.
Another carnival story, but this time it’s about a guy who can see the “goblins” that are inside of everyone. These nasty little creatures have a plan for humanity. It is not a good one. Another very early Koontz read for me, and one I have vivid memories of. This is one I’d like to read again. It strikes me as having been very different from the rest of his work. I could be wrong.
The Door To December
A mother tries to reconstruct what happened to her daughter, kidnapped by her father year earlier. When she is found she’s catatonic. This book talked a lot about paradoxes. I specifically remember a paragraph asking you to picture a cat eating every bit of itself, even its last tooth.
Oh, and an invisible beast is chasing them.
I was living in Spring Creek, Nevada when I read this book. It blew my mind that one of the many, many characters was actually set in Elko, just over the hill. In fact, the book winds down in a canyon that was about a 20 minute drive from our house.
The setup for Strangers is great. A group of people each receive a package in the mail. The pictures show them each in an identical situation. Fans of Lost or any of the other rash or seemingly-unconnected-strangers-who-are-actually-super-duper-connected will probably enjoy unraveling the pieces.
One of Koontz’ largest books, and still one I quite enjoy. It also has a crazy military man that reminded me a lot of a character from McCammon’s Swan Song.
The best Dean Koontz novel, and the first I read. A hiking widower finds a super-intelligent dog. The dog (Einstein) is being pursued by a beast that was created by the same people who engineered the dog. They share a telepathic link, so the monster chases them no matter where they go. Throw in a lovely woman, an unhinged lunatic pursuing them for other reasons, and some government intrigue, and you’ve got a fun, often frightening book.
The Bad Place
Dark Rivers of The Heart
The Eyes of Darkness
Demon’s Seed revised
Seize The Night
From The Corner of His Eye
The Paper Doorway
One Door Away From Heaven
By The Light Of The Moon
Every Day’s A Holiday
Life Is Good
Life is Good
Frankenstein Book 1
Frankenstein Book 2
The Good Guy
The Darkest Evening Of The Year
In Odd We Trust
Bliss To You
Your Heart Belongs To Me
I, Trixie, Who Is Dog
Frankenstein, Book 3
Frankenstein, Prodigal Son Graphic Novel
A Big Little Life
Frankenstein: Lost Souls
Odd Is On Our Side
Trixie and Jink
Darkness Under The Sun
What The Night Knows
Frankenstein: The Dead Town
Nevermore (This is a comic)
Fear Nothing Volume One
There you have it. The Dean Koontz books list work in progress.