Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Book Review - FEAR NOTHING by Dean Koontz

Fear Nothing by Dean Koontz
1998, 432 pgs
I've only read two previous Koontz books, and after both, I came away wondering, as I do so many other mainstream popular authors, what the big to-do was. The writing seemed pretty generic and sometimes drowned in its own sense of self importance, and the stories were pretty bad, full of gross out moments for no reason, and unlikeable characters. Luckily, Fear Nothing was much, much better. It tells the story of Christopher Snow, a 20 something man living in the city of Moonlight Bay, California. Snow has a disease called xeroderma pigmentosum, which makes him hyper sensitive to light, even something like a bright light bulb potentially causing cancer in his easily susceptible body. As a result, he lives in the dark, leaving the house only at night, and even then bundling up in long sleeves, sunglasses and sunscreen. Chris' father has just passed away, and as he leaves the hospital, things begin to go hinky. His father's body is switched by mysterious individuals in the hospital basement, trading it for that of a transient, one that was killed violently, it's eyes ripped from their sockets. Accidentally seeing this switch, Snow begins on a dangerous and bizarre journey, his formerly safe and comfortable life crumbling around him in the darkness of the night.

To say more of the plot would give things away, but there are shades of Stephen King's "The Fog" Michael Crichton's "Congo," Lawrence Watt-Evans' "The Nightmare People," and Invasion Of The Body Snatchers throughout the book. I enjoyed it. It was spooky and kind of crazy, with a great sense of paranoia. Koontz still writes with some of the self importance that bugged me about his previous books I've read, and where this book is supposed to be written by the protagonist makes him seem kind of pretentious, but it didn't bother me as much here. This would be a great book to read at 3am with the doors locked and a storm rattling the windows outside.


Now Reading - A Bad Spell In Yurt by C. Dale Brittain

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