I got through How to Be Good and still had part of a long weekend left over, so there was another bookstore trip in my life, followed by my first exposure to Dean Koontz. I read Dark Rivers of the Heart on Sunday and yesterday, and (unfortunately) stayed up until 2 AM to finish the darned thing. Based on my reading of this book, I'd have to say... Koontz is not a great writer. He's got a way with outrageous similes which is probably best illustrated by examples, but I don't feel like wading through the book (and going upstairs to get it) in order to provide some. There were also a lot of "as though" type things that struck me as equally outrageous. I'm not sure how to explain what I mean. So an example I made up: "The sky glowered with heavy thunderclouds as though it were ready to pour the filthy water of a fifteen-year old fishtank down a partially clogged drain." I guess that's a form of simile, too.
Anyway, so now I'm convinced that I am technically a better writer than Dean Koontz and Dan Brown put together. And that realization, despite appearances, is actually quite humbling, because it forces me to realize that there's more to being a writer than the technical skill of it. I mean, through both this book and The Da Vinci Code, I was scoffing the whole way through—at the similes in this book, the "history" in Brown's—and yet I stayed up until 2 AM to finish it, didn't I? And I read Da Vinci in 5 hours, pretty much straight. So there is artistry there, there is something that right now I can only hope to aspire to.
Going to give Grisham a try next. I don't think I can read Crichton after his "journalism award."