RARA-AVIS: Transparent Ambition

From: Bill Bowers ( BBowers@one.net)
Date: 17 Jan 2002

>Date: Thu, 17 Jan 2002 14:08:47
>"Carrie Pruett" < pruettc@hotmail.com> wrote:

>Talking about writing that gets between you and the story - I recently read
>Dean Koontz for the first time ("Fear Nothing" - elements of HB as well as
>horror and sci-fi, so I'm somewhat on topic). I thought there were a lot of
>individual passages in the book that were very funny or clever or had very
>original metaphors, but these ended up working against the story for me
>rather than with it. I got the impression of someone who was the cleverest
>kid in his creative writing class 30 years ago (he's been around at least
>that long) but had never bothered to get any better or create a coherent
>style out of all these elements. After a while I was thinking "stop being
>so clever and just tell the story" - though there are plenty of individual
>passages I could have singled out for praise, the ultimate effect was just
>to take me out of the story (and I should say there were some pretty bad
>passages as well). I don't know how representative this is of Koontz's

Dean, in the late 60s into the early 70s, was a high school English teacher, in Pennsylvania. Make of that what you will, depending on your own percepts of High School English Teachers....

[In the early 70s, and I've long since suppressed what prompted it, he and Piers Anthony had a rather acrimonious 'discussion' in the pages of my fanzine as to who was the most "successful"; i.e., who was making the most money from writing. A particular benchmark was when one bragged that he'd gotten a "five-figure" advance ... and the other sent me copies of contracts so that I could "attest" to the first that he, also, was getting 10 Grand for at least one book. It rapidly escalated over my head, but it seemed to amuse many of my readers; those issues go on eBay for a lot more than I ever got for them, these days!]

[I haven't made a Study, but I'm fairly certain Piers has sold more books: I recall once, in the late 80s, going into a bookstore, and counting something like 30 in print Anthony titles on sale simultaneously. But I'd hazard a guess that Koontz has ended up the most
"successful". By their self-defined terms.....]

## To wrench back vaguely OT -- my vote for best film adaptation of an H-B novel has to be Miami Blues.

A major character had to be dropped, you can only get so much jammed into less than two hours, but the movie positively "reeks" of the novel....


Bill Bowers  |  <BBowers@One.net> | mailto:BBowers@One.net

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