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©2009 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
© 2009 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
“Inside the List” by Jennifer Schuessler
New Your Time Book Review, June 18, 2009
“POISON PENS: “Relentless,” the latest paranoid thriller from Dean Koontz, shoots straight to No. 1 in its first week on the list. Haters, beware! The plot concerns a goofy, dog-loving Koontz-like novelist who approaches the “much-feared, seldom-seen” critic from “the nation’s premier newspaper” after a negative review, only to find himself locked in a “desperate struggle with a relentless sociopath.” (Sociopathic, nous?) Soon the critic breaks into the author’s house, Tasers him and his wife in bed, and blows the place up — and that’s just for starters. For the record, here’s what Janet Maslin (a perfectly nice woman — as far as I know) said about “The Darkest Evening of the Year” (2007), the last Koontz novel to get a review in The New York Times: “The plot twists that eventually unite the two couples are so far-fetched that they dent this novel’s entertainment value. And Mr. Koontz is a talented entertainer, however contemptuous he may feel about that designation.”
This prompted a response from Koontz’s editor in the next issue titles “No, Not That Critic.”
“Our National Literature” by Benjamin Alsup, Esquire, July 2009, p28
“I’ve never read a novel by Nicholas Sparks for the same reason I’ve never seen a movie starring Ashton Kutcher: because I’m stupid, yeah, but I’m not that stupid. But the problem with avoiding stupid books is that you end up avoiding the books that people actually read. This makes you feel out of touch. Like one of those elitist wimps whom fat guys on the radio are always making fun of.
So I read some of them: Relentless, by Dean Koontz (Bantam) Long Lost, by Harlan Coben (Dutton); and First Family, by David Baldacci (Grand Central). And it hurt. Since I’m never going to do it again. and since I don’t recommend that anybody else try this shit at home. here’s what I learned from reading these stupid books.
(1) The world is batshit Insane. One of the complaints that gets leveled against contemporary literary fiction is that nothing happenens. Rich girls stare out windows and think sad thoughts. Old men stare at rich girls and think sad thoughts.
On the other hand, in Koontz’s Relentless, the nation’s most prominent book reviewer (huh?) is a serial killer in a bow tie and plots hinge on the ability of dogs to teleport. Coben’s significantly more credible effort features the diabolic interplay of card and Islamic jihad, while Baldacci busies himself with a First Lady who is also…well, I don’t want to ruin it.
(2)The world is not only batshit Insane; it’s after you. According to Koontz, the people most relentlesly after you are a) the media (need I say more? Koontz doesn’t) and b) the intellectuals, specificically Rousseau, Marx, Freud, Nietzsche, and Tolstoy. It’s not that these people are going to kill you; it’s that they’ve made the world safe for the unspecified liberal elites who will. What’s a dummy to do about this? Nothing much.”…
Last updated on May 14th, 2018