How Deliberately Was Dean Koontz Being Annoying?

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Now that I have two months undisturbed by out-of-state jaunts, I'm settling down to seeing what organization can be brought to The Clutter That Is My Home. So I pulled a fresh audiobook off the shelf, and it happened to be the unabridged Odd Thomas (2003) by Dean Koontz, an author whose works have entertained me over the years. It's the first in a series, and I think I've come across a later book, so what better time to Begin at the Beginning?

And, whack, within five minutes of the start of the (promisingly intriguing) story, Koontz slaps me across the face. And I could sit there and take it. I could spout a series of obscenities. Or I could get back to this neglected website and point a finger and say, "Dude! What the hell?" Or words to that effect.

I did, in fact, resort to response #2 before turning to #3. And I know that, when I write #3, the response of many (including, presumably, Koontz -- if he or the others ever saw this) would be something along the lines of, "Get over it, whiner. You and those like you are a bunch of nerds who are not worth our attention -- unless it is to annoy you further by giving away the endings of Murder on the Orient Express, Sleuth, The Sixth Sense ..." And the hilarity would ensue at my expense, with some of the mockery including actual renditions of the twists that the audience is supposed to experience for itself. And some of those folks would be passing on those resolutions without actually having read the books or seen the films for themselves.

And, to be fair, I'm only five minutes and 23 seconds into the start of Odd Thomas. And it may turn out that there was actually some sort of artistic necessity for Koontz to give away the gimmick of The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. But I bet not.

As one of the few among today's readers who actually read Agatha Christie's Ackroyd without knowing the ending in advance -- and who (yes) had the pleasure of solving the mystery in the course of reading it -- I resent anyone who takes away the chance for others to have that same pleasure. Or the pleasure of being surprised by the ending, if they don't solve it themselves. I especially resent it when the person tossing off the revelation is another creator. Who should know better.

Dude. What the hell?


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