Member Rara Avis
It's been almost the opposite experience for me, Sharon.
I got a large selection of Koontz's books from a book club, oh, must have been ten or fifteen years ago, and read them all. There were probably more than a dozen, including "Watchers," "The Bad Place," and my favorite at the time, "Cold Fire." He told a good enough story, I enjoyed the books, but I ranked him as a Stephen King wanna-be and pretty much ignored him after that.
Last year, I seemed to be reading a lot faster than my usual list of authors could write (shame on them!), and picked up two of Koontz's more recent novels out of sheer desperation: "Fear Nothing" and the sequel to it, "Seize The Night."
I was absolutely astounded by how much Koontz has improved in the past decade. His stories were good before, and that hasn't changed, but his use of words and imagery has grown by magnitudes. Instead of just "telling" a good story, he now paints a good story, and for me that makes a world of difference. He may well have become the closest thing I've yet found to a modern "prose poet," and I started looking forward to the beginning of each chapter, knowing the first few paragraphs would be a true delight.
Here are the first few paragraphs of the first chapter of "Seize The Night" …
"Elsewhere, night falls, but in Moonlight Bay it steals upon us with barely a whisper, like a gentle dark-sapphire surf licking a beach. At dawn, when the night retreats across the Pacific toward distant Asia, it is reluctant to go, leaving deep black pools in alleyways, under parked cars, in culverts, and beneath the leafy canopies of ancient oaks.
"According to Tibetan folklore, a secret sanctuary in the sacred Himalayas is the home of all wind, from which every breeze and raging storm throughout the world is born. If the night, too, has a special home, our town is no doubt the place.
"On the eleventh of April, as the night passed through Moonlight Bay on its way westward, it took with it a five-year-old boy named Jimmy Wing."