Even when King is off, I still find him to be the best. This one is a miss for the master. This is the second book in the Bill Hodges/Mr. Mercedes Trilogy. It is the story of Morris Bellamy, a fan of a JD Salinger type of writer, but imagine if Salinger had turned Holden Caulfield into a sell-out advertisement agent before he stopped writing. You may not be outraged by the indignation, but Bellamy was. He was driven completely insane by the idea, driven to the point of murder. Bellamy’s monomaniacal fan-boydom is the driving force behind the book. While I would say it is a miss, I enjoyed the hell out of it and would still recommend it with gusto. I look forward to reading book three.
I picked this book up again recently because my recent project had me thinking about it. I last read it fifteen years ago, and loved it. After reading it again, I still enjoyed it, but not on the same level I did when I first read it. I found that all the best parts I still remembered, but the bulk of the book, the parts I forgot, were very forgettable. It is a short read, and if you haven’t read it, you should. But don’t read it twice.
So I have been writing.
Want to know what I have been writing? Want to? Huh? Come on, you know you want to?
Well hell, I’m going to tell you anyhow. I recently typed the end to a book about America. It is a book about America and Americans and Trump and zombies.
I wrote a book about a zombie apocalypse, but there are no zombies in the book. The book takes place in America under the rule of President Trump in a time when the zombie apocalypse has ravaged the rest of the world, but no zombies have been spotted in America. Now stop for a second and think to yourself, how would the Trump voters in your life react to such an occurrence. Yep, all of that and so much more. If you are a Trump supporter, SCREW YOU! but also think about how the foolish liberals would react in the scenario. Yep, that’s in there too.
In my frustration of the election results, I wrote this novella and had a lot of fun doing it. I plan to release it on inauguration day. Stay tuned, and be sure to nab up a copy.
I have never been a huge Koontz fan. I view Dean Koontz as the McDonalds of genre fiction. Nobody really likes it, but a lot of people go there. Or maybe Coors Light is the better comparison since Coors light can do the trick, but you aren’t going to like it while it’s going down, and you may need to chase it with whiskey just to get the burn you need. The House of Thunder is very much a Coors Light. It is a novel with promise but no punch. It has a pulse but lacks a soul. Enough mixed metaphors? Okay, then let’s talk about the book.
First let me say that if you want to read this book, I suggest you don’t. It is crap, but if you insist, then stop reading this now. I will not hold back on spoilers. Deano spoiled it enough for everyone just by writing it.
Still reading? Okay then, let’s continue. The House of Thunder is a book about a young woman that wakes up in a hospital with no knowledge of how she got there. Then she starts seeing people from her troubled past, people that murdered a childhood boyfriend. There is some wonderful scary bits in this first 100 pages, but Deano being Deano, spoiled it all to shit by having her start to uncover a conspiracy in the hospital. This fragile, emaciated woman that had just came out of a coma begins running around and seducing the doctor. Just when the whole story becomes completely unbelievable, Deano outdoes himself by having it be a town wide conspiracy. Everyone is in on it except for lover-boy Doc. Around this time you as a reader will be ready to leave the book on the transit bus for the next poor sucker to pick it up and waste several hours reading it, but I wasn’t that smart. I finished the book. Want to know the big kicker, the big surprise ending? It was Russians. Yep. Russians. Now, go read something else, something that really burns going down.
I just finished writing my first novella. It was not as easy as I had expected. Having pounded my way through one novel and blundered my way through another and having authored hundreds of shorts, I truly thought a novella would be a piece of cake, or at the very least a whole cake. This novella has been occupying my time and thoughts for over a year now. And that is a very long time for a novella, something that will not be an easy sell.
I often thought novellas were a good bridge between the novel and the short story, but I was dreadfully wrong. The novella is not just a short novel. It is a precise and telling of long story. It is a novel with all the fat trimmed off, leaving only a lean story without fluff, without secondary character development, without side stories. It is a show-ready house rather than a lived in home. It is also far more complicated than a short story. While short stories tend to stay within the realm of the immediately important, Novellas can broaden the scope and show the importance of things that might be glossed over in a short. The structure of the novella is also more like a novel in the rising action. Short stories are often more direct to the climax. Novellas sway towards it like a roller coaster.
All and all, a great experience that I’m glad to be done with.