BTT ~ Pop! Goes Dean Koontz

Which is worse?

Finding a book you love and then hating everything else you try by that author, or

Reading a completely disappointing book by an author that you love?


Yesterday one of my facebook friends sent me an invite to take one of those quizzes to see how much alike we were.  It was the kind where you have 10 phrases to put in order, most to least, starting with what I hated the most.  “Disappoint me” was top of the chart, even above “lie to me”, “ignore me” or “talk behind my back”.

At least with reading a book I love, then hating everything else by that author, I had that book one that I  loved.  It’s easier to take the rest of his or her writing, and I can just shrug it all off as a fluke.  As much as I love The Book Thief, I’m slightly worried that nothing else by Markus Zusak will be any good.  However, if I should happen to give another of his books a try and hate it, It will not sully my memory of The Book Thief.

On the other hand, if I pick up a book by an author I love, and hate it, there’s a sense that the author has failed me personally.  We have a relationship, of sorts, and he or she did not hold up his end of the bargain.  He or she has FAILED ME, and with every book I read thereafter I will hold this little uncertainty, a distrust, and wonder if he or she is going to screw me over again.

The worst of all, though, is that first experience reading an author and loving the whole book, every word is perfectly placed, his pace perfect, his story compelling, and you sit there and think “How on EARTH have I lived my life without reading this author!”  Then you get to the last three or four chapters, the last 10-15 pages, and he totally and completely bottoms out in epic-sized proportions.  And now, because of this, every book you touch by him you are leery to pick up, no matter how fascinating, intriguing or compelling the story line, because you wonder if he’s going to “screw you over” again.  AND he’s one of your bookfriend’s favorite authors, so she’s always sharing whatever one of his 147 just-out-in-paperback-because-he-has-a-new-release-ever-five-minutes-book she has just finished, and you look at every single one she thrusts at you to read, with the proclamation, “This is his best book yet!”, as if it were an adorable puppy you just watched get bitten by a foaming-at-the-mouth, crazy rabid squirrel and you know it’s only a matter of time until the big-eyed, heart-tugging pup turns on you.  But you finally relent and take her offering, however, no matter how good the writing is, you say to yourself, “Oh, sure it’s good now, but is he going to screw me over in the last few chapters like the other one?”  So you can’t enjoy it AT ALL because every page comes with that feeling you have as you turn the Jack-in-the-box crank as “the monkey though ’twas all in fun….” plunks out.  EVERY page you ever read by him again is saturated with the aftertaste of that massive  let down.

Dean Koontz, I’m talking to you. 

If you’d like to play along, or read other Booking Through Thursday answers, click the button above 🙂


After reading The Darkest Evening of the Year and loving it, loving it, loving it… then having it all turn to crap in the last three or four chapters, I feel like Buddy in this vid clip while reading From the Corner of His Eye.


15 Responses

  1. You are so right. It’s much more disappointing to have the last two chapters be terrible than to have the entire book be bad. At least you can abandon it if the beginning is bad. If the end is bad, that’s hours of your life you will never get back. This is why I didn’t like The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry. I hated the ending. Other people liked it, but it just didn’t fit for me, and even though I’d enjoyed the book up until that point, it was ruined.

    • I hadn’t thought of it until now, but I can see what you mean on The Lace Reader, the ending did kind of go a bit meh.

  2. I’m one of the weird ones and went the other way with this question. I chose finding a book I love and then hating everything else by that author. Mainly because after reading one that I love, I go out and get the author’s entire backlist so that can be costly only to discover that the author was a one time thing for me. Yes, the obvious answer is to just try another one by the author before getting an entire backlist, but I’m obsessive and I have to have them all. LOL

    • I may find that I agree with you after reading a few more Bentley Littles. I got a whole boatload of them, almost everthing I could find, after reading and loving The Store, but… as you can see… I still flip back to Koontz whenever the bad book-bad author question comes up. Maybe someday I’ll be able to forgive Koontz… maybe Corner of His Eye will be good at the end, though many of his readers have admitted he does the same in every book… I have two more of his books in my library, so I’ll know soon enough.

  3. LoL!! Great answer! (And, if you were to substitute “James Patterson” for “Dean Koontz”, I might have thought *I* had written it )

    Have a great weekend ahead, and Happy Reading!

  4. I have just picked about the Book thief so can’ say if I will love it, but I do recognize that fear

  5. I agree with you in concept but haven’t read enough of Koontz’s work to know if it’s true for him. Most of his books are just too darn scary for me.

  6. About The Book Thief: Try I Am the Messenger, that is my favorite Zusak book (though I am probably in the minority).

  7. A bunch of early reviewers in Library Thing got Mary Doria Russell’s new book “Dreamers of the Day” and we were all excited because we had loved her previous books, and I think that just exacerbated the sense of disappointment and betrayal even over the new book and especially the last chapter. So there were loads of posts on that last chapter and “how could she do that to us”? Interesting!

  8. I’ve pretty much stopped reading Koontz and Paterson and Cornwell because of exactly this! One or two bad books by a fave author is ok. More than that, and they are no longer faves.

  9. I can deal with number 2. I’ve never read Koontz or Paterson.


  10. Great post although I must say that I love Dean Koontz. For me, Darkest Evening of the Year is one of those books that while I thought it was okay I definitely wasn’t in love with and I chose to forgive him for that one.

    My full answer is here.

  11. Great answer! I enjoyed reading your post. Happy BTT!

  12. Very funny video clip! I have not read any Koontz. (and my oh my – you are GOOD at tagging!)

  13. Enjoyed reading your post. I have yet to read anything by Koontz. It is disappointing when a book falls flat in the end. Thanks for visiting.

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