Monday, May 17, 2010

High Schol/Adult Thriller


by Dean Koontz

Bantam Books, 2010

428 pages.

Koontz's latest novel is thrilling, provocative, and shows his finesse as a wordsmith. He is a magician, a wit, a curmudgeon, a surgeon, a master, a poet, a keen observer, a biting satirist. Never has Koontz been this spot-on. He slays literary agents and book reviewers with equal punning intended.

Cubby is a celebrated novelist and makes quite a good living churning out best sellers. His wife writes children's books. Together they parent an eight-year old genius named Milo and a dog Lassie--named by the eight year old, of course. Life is good, until Cubby's latest book gets a bad review from a literary critic. Sherman Waxx can make or break novelists. He is an enigma wrapped up inside a mystery! Koontz is at his comic best when he takes swipes at an on-line encyclopedia--could it be Wikipedia???--and quotes that "Waxx is an enema..." the site meaning "enigma," of course.

This literary critic is not just your average mean-tempered snoot--he is an evil madman who will stop at nothing until Cubby and his family are dead. Relentless is as thrilling as it gets. You won't be able to put down this page-turner. I would say this is Koontz's best novel, by far.

Koontz offers his insight into writing prose as well when Cubby says, "Outlines are a waste of time. If you give your characters free will, they will grow in ways you never anticipated and they will take the stories places your could not have predicted" (p. 79).

Koontz offers his view on fine dining establishments and the kind of foodies they attract. "Such restaurants seek and attract a type of customer whose very existence, in such numbers, proves our civilization is dying: boisterous and free-spending egotists taught since infancy that self-esteem matters more than knowledge..."

Koontz may well become the Will Rogers wit of his generation. He turns a phrase as deftly as a maestro, and he is becoming the voice of the intelligent, although outnumbered by the scores of ignorant boors and wanna-be intellectuals.

Recommended for high school collections, adult collections. Violence, some language.


  1. I love Dean Koontz. My favorite novels of his are Lightning (kind of the original Time Traveler's Wife) and Watchers. I saw a student reading Relentless just this morning. I'm putting it on my summer reading list.

    Told you I'd visit, Pamela! I'm a follower now too. I hope you'll be posting on your own novel :) --Janet

  2. Hello, Janet! Welcome! I am hard at work on my YA novel--mystery--I will see you on your blog!