Tag Archives: novel

Friday Fiction Fixes #12…

Velocity by Dean Koontz – 2005

Koontz-Dean-Velocity-4003-pI’ve read dozens of Koontz novels over the years – from the pretty terrible to the pretty terrific – but the man has earned my respect and gets a pass for the odd misfire. He is one of those authors I will always find a way back to if I can’t think of anything else to read. I’ve always envied his style. Koontz doesn’t write long-winded paragraphs but squeezes a lot of character into so few words. It’s a lot harder than it looks. It’s definitely a skill I admire, and there are very few people who can do it better.

For the first third of Velocity, I really thought it was going to be up there with his best. The idea is great: Billy Wile, finds a hand-written note under his windshield wiper (see the set-up spoiling cover picture above) and that’s it. Then we’re off to the races. It runs at a blistering pace, with a few clever moral quandaries to mull over along the way. The first two-thirds of the novel is fantastic, but once Billy starts to gain a little perspective on the situation, the story slows down, and it really isn’t as exciting or interesting anymore. Unfortunately it pulls towards a fairly unsatisfying conclusion with a couple of plot holes that you could drive a truck through.

Koontz knows how to pace a very good chase thriller, so even if the story wanes you never feel as though you’re sinking into quicksand because you’re always out the other side before you know it. Does he sometimes phone it in? Sure, that’s a valid criticism: his work can be a little formulaic at times, but there’s nothing inherently wrong with that. People like what’s familiar. If you enjoy beer, you don’t stop drinking it because it tastes the same as last time, do you?

A Writer’s Death…

IntersectionDriving through a red light at an intersection is never a great idea, and is only really acceptable in rare circumstances (pregnant woman in the passenger seat, being chased by the FBI, late for a date with Evangeline Lilly, etc), so when I did it today, I had very little in the way of an excuse.

So, why did I do it? Nothing as exciting as any of those I’ve mentioned, I’m afraid. I was trying to iron out one particularly stubborn – Ray Davies-sized – kink in my novel, in my head, and I completely switched to auto-pilot while I was behind the wheel. My bad, of course.

It would almost have been acceptable if the lights had just turned red (because we all do that from time to time, don’t we?), but that wasn’t the case. I know that because just as I figured out the answer to my literary conundrum, I awoke to find myself driving through the middle of the intersection, past an elderly woman who was quite rightly crossing the road in good faith, not expecting to meet her maker at the hands of a guy who was trying to plan Chapter Eighteen at thirty miles per hour. She – quite rightly – gave me the dirtiest of looks as I went by.

I guess I’m lucky she was the only thing I met in the centre of the crossroads.

Another Chapter…

OrwellI think Orwell had it just about right.

…and with Life (capital ‘L’) accelerating in other areas, I think it is about time I cracked on with The Novel. I am always giving myself deadlines to finish this and invariably, always giving myself excuses as to why I haven’t done so when the date passes.

Well, this time, it gets done. This time I have a very definite deadline.


Once upon a time…