Cover image for Dean Koontz : a critical companion
Dean Koontz : a critical companion
Kotker, Joan G.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, 1996.
Physical Description:
xi, 184 pages ; 24 cm.
Reading Level:
1400 Lexile.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS3561.O55 Z74 1996 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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One of the most prolific and popular contemporary novelists, Dean Koontz has captivated both young and mature readers alike. This critical companion examines his mature fiction, including his most popular recent novels, "Watchers," "Lightning," "Dark Rivers of the Heart," and "Intensity." Its intention is to provide both conventional and alternative readings so that students and readers who love Koontz's fiction can develop their critical skills. Other novels examined in depth are "Phantoms," "Strangers," "IMidnight," DEGREESIThe Bad Place," and "Mr. Murder." Seven other Dean Koontz novels are examined in comparison to these as well.

A biographical chapter sketches Dean Koontz's background and suggests ways in which growing up as the child of an abusive alcoholic has affected his work. A chapter on genre shows that Koontz combines elements from a number of genres in his writing and that his novels are moving in the direction of mainstream fiction. Kotker's discussion of Koontz's increasingly somber world view shows him to be a writer deeply concerned with issues of individual freedom. Each chapter deals with one novel in depth while making comparisons to other novels in his canon. Plot, character development, setting, point of view, and thematic issues are discussed for each novel. Kotker also examines each novel from an alternative critical approach, providing the reader with an additional perspective. Because of its easy-to-use format and thorough critical approach, this book will be a key purchase for school and public libraries whose students and patrons read Dean Koontz.

Author Notes

JOAN G. KOTKER teaches English at Bellevue Community College in Bellevue, Washington. She created and teaches a course on popular literature. Her essays on popular fiction have been published in It's a Print , In the Beginning , Women Times Three , Encyclopedia of Popular Culture , The Oxford Companion to Crime and Mystery Writing and Great Women Mystery Writers (Greenwood Press, 1994).

Table of Contents

Advisory Boardp. v
Series Forewordp. ix
1 The Life of Dean Koontzp. 1
2 Genrep. 11
3 (1983)p. 21
4 (1986)p. 39
5 (1987)p. 59
6 (1988)p. 71
7 (1989)p. 87
8 (1990)p. 105
9 (1993)p. 121
10 (1994)p. 141
11 (1995)p. 159
Bibliographyp. 173
Indexp. 179
About the Authorp. 185