You want to know how stupid I am. Well, you can read this blog and get a pretty good idea. But I’m even stupider than you think.
I love Dean Koontz. There. I said it. If this guy writes it I read it. It’s that simple. But I used to not leave Dean Koontz up on my bookshelf. He went underneath. He was a guilty pleasure. Oh, all the Dickens and Dostoevsky stayed up top for people to see. (Not that I ever have people over except a plumber because one of my kids flushed the car keys) But Koontz stayed out of sight just in case the plumber was a literary snob.
But not anymore. A few years ago I realized that Koontz is one of the only popular writers out there that doesn’t look down on me. Dean Koontz believes in good and evil. Yeah, I said evil.
Koontz writes well, fits tons of humor in his books, and has heaps of suspense. Look, I read a lot of heady stuff. I read my Chesterton. And in fact, when I read Koontz I’m pretty sure he’s read his Chesterton too. When I’m looking for a good story told with wit, humor and suspense Koontz is my guy.
I’m reading his newest called “Relentless” and it’s so…Koontz. I’m loving it.
In one of his recent books Koontz described many modern nuns as “social workers who don’t date.” That’s pith right there. And pretty darn accurate in too many cases.
Some of the reasons I like him is he approaches things from a Catholic perspective. He’s worried about nihilism as are many Christians. He’s concerned about the sacredness of each life. Even the villains.
In an interview with the National Catholic Register, he talks about his conversion:
What led you to consider Catholicism?
I met Gerda, my wife, when I was a senior in high school and she was a junior. We were from the same small town. She was Catholic.
My house was a disaster zone, and a lot of people in my family were endlessly fighting with one another. When I started dating Gerda, it was amazing to me that all these people [in her family] got along. They were an Italian family. It was a different world that I was seeing. I began to associate it with Catholicism.
Ultimately, I converted because the Catholic faith started appealing to me and gave me answers for my own life. I made the decision to convert during college.
Catholicism permits a view of life that sees mystery and wonder in all things, which Protestantism does not easily allow. As a Catholic, I saw the world as being more mysterious, more organic and less mechanical than it had seemed to me previously, and I had a more direct connection with God.
I feel about Catholicism as G.K. Chesterton did — that it encourages an exuberance, a joy about the gift of life. I think my conversion was a natural growth. Even in the darkest hours of my childhood, I was an irrepressible optimist, always able to find something to fill me with amazement, wonder and delight. When I came to the Catholic faith, it explained to me why I always had — and always should have — felt exuberant and full of hope.
And even in worldview, Koontz sounds like someone I’d agree with often. He was quoted as saying, “It had become apparent to me that the worst enemy of the working man and woman is the state, and that the average person is safest in a country that struggles to limit the size of the state.” and this one: “We just left a century that gave us the worst mass murderers in history: Hitler, Stalin, Mao. History shows us, over and over again, that large groups of people given too much power over other people lose their humanity.”
Koontz writes about the sacredness of life and he’s not afraid of a little divine intervention at times. And hey, he’s a dog guy.
If this novel writing thing ever goes down the tubes I’m right here and right now offering Dean Koontz a spot here at CMR. And we won’t hide his stuff under anything else.