Monday 28 September 2015

The Dead Zone by Stephen King

19/4 - I liked the story but couldn’t help comparing it slightly unfavourably to the tv series based on the book. In the show Johnny uses his psychic ability a lot more to help the town sheriff solve any cases that he comes across. In the book Johnny only helps the sheriff with one case, I like it better when Johnny helps with police cases because it makes him seem a lot more human and makes his ability seem much more like a gift than the curse it is in the book. I was confused when I read that the man Sarah married was Walt Hazlett, a lawyer on his way to being an important politician, and that the sheriff Johnny helped wasn’t the sheriff of his hometown but of a town some miles away and his name was George Bannerman. I was confused because I realized that for the tv series they merged the “George Bannerman the town sheriff who was helped by Johnny’s psychic abilities” character with the “Walt Hazlett married to Sarah” character to create a new character with pieces from the two separate characters. Walt Bannerman, the town sheriff where Sarah and Johnny live, who is helped by Johnny's abilities. Johnny always helping with police cases also keeps Sarah in the story, which she wasn’t in the book (they hardly speak or see each other in Johnny’s last few years of life). Greg Stillson is on the TV show but they take a lot of episodes to work up to him bringing about the destruction of the planet. In conclusion I like the TV show better.
Finished on 18 April 2009


Velocity by Dean Koontz

8/4 - Another quick read by Dean Koontz, also similar to Intensity in that it wasn’t as scary as I hoped it would be. As I was reading it I often found myself skimming some of the paragraphs because I felt like something scary was going to happen, but it never did, the scary scenes came out of nowhere. Despite the fact that I wasn’t expecting the scary scene I didn’t get a fright or even a start, the tension just didn’t build the way I would have expected it to. Kind of like a horror movie without the creepy music. I enjoyed the story but thought it had a lot more potential than it showed in the actual writing. Koontz could have made it a lot more thrilling if there had been a few more notes left for Billy – killing more of his friends, maybe. I didn’t understand why he put so many chapters in the book; there were 77 at the end, some of them only two pages long. I also didn’t get exactly why Valis wrote the notes or why he chose Billy, he said something about Billy’s short stories but I don’t think that fully explains his motive.
Finished on 7 April 2009


Intensity by Dean Koontz

5/4 - I enjoyed it but didn’t find it as scary as I had hoped I would (I didn’t have to take a break from reading it every so often to think happy thoughts), but it was still a very good story, fast paced – it only took me a couple of days to read it. I intend to read more books to read more books by Dean Koontz as they seem to be a quick, easy read – something to read between chapters of Middlemarch, which I’m still struggling through. Not going to talk about that, Middlemarch will get its’ own paragraph when I finally finish it. The only thing I didn’t like about Intensity was that Koontz had the main character, Chyna, constantly imagining what would happen if she did this or if she said that – it kind of slowed the pace of the story, it still raced along, but it could have rocketed along. I would recommend it to someone looking for a milder scare – someone who does not want nightmares every night while they are reading it.
Finished 4 April 2009