Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Dean Koontz's Focus on the Problem of Evil

I was honored to be interviewed about my friend Dean Koontz for an article about him in the National Catholic Register. As the article notes, he and I became close after he boosted Culture of Death in his novel One Door Away from Heaven, resulting in at least as many sales for COD as resulted from my own publicity efforts.

Dean is very concerned about the utilitarianism that is infecting medicine and our cultural values, which he recognizes as threatening the lives and well being of the weak and vulnerable--particularly people who are disabled. This growing darkness is highlighted in One Door Away from Heaven prominently, and is also touched upon less directly in some of his other novels, such as Velocity (in which the hero cares for his unconscious fiance rather than allowing a doctor to kill her or pull her feeding tube) and Brother Odd, in which Odd Thomas and monks defend a monastery school for disabled children from attack. In an era in which evil is often glamorized, Dean's vivid sense of right and wrong is a necessary antidote in the field of popular fiction.

The NCR also did a Q and A interview with Dean in which he speaks of his past and his analysis of the problem of evil. It is worth your time whether or not you are a Dean Koontz fan.

Post Script: The feature article in which I was interviewed is accurate both as to what I said and context, which is unusual in media from my experience. But there is one mistake. I am not a Catholic.



At March 06, 2007 , Blogger Robert B said...

He can sometimes be intense, but you're right - it's good versus evil and that choice to make the right decision even in extreme situations is the essence of humanity.

Also to be mentioned is his update of Frankenstein

At March 06, 2007 , Blogger Wesley J. Smith said...

I haven't read the Frankenstein books yet. Secondhand Smokette loved them. I know there is a third one planned.

At March 06, 2007 , Blogger T E Fine said...


"Lightning" came out when I was, like, 10 or thereabouts, and my mother never minded me reading whatever I wanted but she refused to have anything to do with that one, and I love "The Good Guy!"

You just tipped the "coolness" meter at 93.28% there, Wesley.

As to Koontz's philosophy, he's sort of an antidote to Stephen King: like as not King will end his stories with the "good" guy getting eaten by some monster for his stupidity, and his characters are sometimes ambivilant, whereas Koontz's characters aren't as wishy-washy, and good and evil are more clearly defined. I checked out "The Husband" and never got to finish it, and when I went back to the library to check it out again some kid had lost it!

Someone tell me what the last page of Chapter 4 said!!!

Seriously, I never realized that Koontz was into ethics like that - it's nice to know that someone so popular isn't going with the generic flow.


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