Sunday, March 24, 2024

Finished: 'The Bad Weather Friend' by Koontz

Like the much discussed absence of Princess Kate from public view, social media has been abuzz (not) with speculation of my where-abouts.

To quote the great Johnny Cash, "I've been everywhere man." But I haven't been on this blog. It took a novel by Dean Koontz, among other things, to bring me out of my winter doldrums, light the fuse and get the uptown funk back for hopefully another run of bloggin'.

"The Bad Weather Friend" was the book. I'd set it down in the evening after a few chapters and just smile. It made me happy. It was just that kind of book. And really I don't know how, except through the wonderful writing of Koontz, because it features monsters, evil villians, beating hearts removed from chests and world conquest.

Benny Catspaw’s perpetually sunny disposition is tested when he loses his job, his reputation, his fiancĂ©e, and his favorite chair. He’s not paranoid. Someone is out to get him. He just doesn’t know who or why. Then Benny receives an inheritance from an uncle he’s never heard of: a giant crate and a video message. All will be well in time.

How strange—though it’s a blessing, his uncle promises. Stranger yet is what’s inside the crate. He’s a seven-foot-tall self-described “bad weather friend” named Spike whose mission is to help people who are just too good for this world. Spike will take care of it. He’ll find Benny’s enemies. He’ll deal with them. This might be satisfying if Spike wasn’t such a menacing presence with terrifying techniques of intimidation.

In the company of Spike and a fascinated young waitress-cum-PI-in-training named Harper, Benny plunges into a perilous high-speed adventure, the likes of which never would have crossed the mind of a decent guy like him.

It seemed like a mash-up of Koontz's "Odd Thomas" and "Frankenstein" novels. There's a lot of talk online about it being the start of such a series, but I have my doubts if that's feasible. If any one could it, though, it'd be The Dean.

He had some great quotable writing, but I didn't have a pen handy to mark them until I was over halfway through the book. But here's one fave:

"How you live your life will earn the face you have in years to come; if you think you're superior to others, if you can't live and let live, if your arrogance inspires perpetual anger and resentment because others do not agree with you, then you'll age into a face that reveals the corruption of your soul."

Gonna be a lot of ugly people out there. 

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