A couple of months ago I thrust the book Twilight Eyes at Brenda, urging her to read it. It's a book I've read four or five times, but not in at least 15 years. Dean Koontz is one of those authors I used to read all the time but haven't in ages. I know that his new books started to turn me off, but I did keep returning to old favorites for a long time, so I imagined that he had changed, not me.
Brenda was less than impressed--which is fine; visceral reactions are personal, especially for things we first experienced in ninth grade--and I got it into my head to pick the book up again myself. And when the library had the ebook--well, why the heck not?
Wow, Bren, I'm so terribly sorry I subjected you to that. The book is exactly as I remembered it, and/but there's so much wrong with it! From the purple prose with multi-page descriptions of the charm and magic of the circus midway (many, many such descriptions), to the seventeen year old narrator's preternatural level-headedness and convenient psychic flashes, to the fact that the first half of the book unfolds in less than a week, including his seduction and wooing of an ice-princess-type woman who magically falls into bed and love with him, and did I mention the long, lavish descriptions of EVERYTHING? Pages and pages and PAGES of tension building around every little thing. Maybe I'm a jaded inhabitant of the new millennium when I'm saying you could use a little more action here, dude.
I don't skim, but here I am, skimming. And you know, with the skimming, things are good. It's the book I remember--the action that does unfold is good, exciting, tense. It's kind of a worldbuilding novel--it's about the unfolding of all this information about the secret predators that live among us. And the story it's telling is good--it's just about twice as long as it needs to be to get there.
I know this reaction is me changing, since the book remains the same. I do wish I could figure out if it's impatience born of our quick-cut culture, or if it was always this slow, but the building tension really worked for me as a teenager because I had never been that scared before. Like, NEVER.
Since it's October, I was thinking of rereading 'Salem's Lot, which is (I think) my favorite Stephen King book. But now I'm worried it won't hold up. Then again, I didn't even read King for the first time till my mid-20s. What do you think--will it work out?