Requesting Help With A Dean Koontz Book List (with brief reviews)

 

Dean Koontz

Dean Koontz and his awesome mustache. That's right.

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):

Starquest

Fear That Man

The Fall of The Dream Machine

The Dark Symphony

Hell’s Gate

Soft Come The Dragons

Dark of The Woods

Beast Child

Anti-Man

Demon Child

The Crimson Witch

Legacy of Terror

Warlock

Time Thieves

Starblood

The Flesh In The Furnace

A Darkness In My Soul

Chase

Children of The Storm

Dance With The Devil

The Dark of Summer

The Haunted Earth

Demon Seed

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.

Blood Risk

Shattered

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.

Hanging On

Surrounded

Strike Deep

After The Last Race

The Wall of Masks

Nightmare Journey

The Long Sleep

Dragonfly

Invasion

Prison of Ice

Night Chills

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.”

The Funhouse

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.

Whispers

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 Mask

The House of Thunder

Phantoms

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.

Darkfall

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.

Twilight Eyes

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.

Strangers

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.

Watchers

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.

Lightning

Oddkins

Midnight

The Bad Place

Shadowfires

Cold Fire

Hideaway

Dragon Tears

Mr. Murder

Winter Moon

Dark Rivers of The Heart

Icebound

Strange Highways

Intensity

Tick Tock

The Eyes of Darkness

Santa’s Twin

Demon’s Seed revised

Sole Survivor

Fear Nothing

False Memory

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

The Face

Odd Thomas

Life Is Good

The taking

Robot Santa

Life Expectancy

Life is Good

Velocity

Frankenstein Book 1

Frankenstein Book 2

Forever Odd

The Husband

Brother Odd

The Good Guy

The Darkest Evening Of The Year

Odd Hours

In Odd We Trust

Bliss To You

Your Heart Belongs To Me

I, Trixie, Who Is Dog

Relentless

Frankenstein, Book 3

Frankenstein, Prodigal Son Graphic Novel

Breathless

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.

Josh