Dean Koontz – The Taking

On the drive to Myrtle Beach and back, then up to the mountains, I listened to talking book of Dean Koontz’ The Taking.

Seriously cool stuff. The heroine wakes up one morning to find nature has gone awry. The wild animals are scared. Strange torrential rain is falling and terror lurks in the night. As the story develops there are terrifying creatures, extra terrestrials that haunt the world, taking over the planet and removing millions of people. Are they planning to control earth and obliterate humanity? Then we learn that the heroine’s husband is a former priest. She is a writer and a suffering victim. As they begin to rescue the children they learn that the children cannot be touched by the alien monsters.

I won’t give it away, but suffice it to say that Koontz is doing something I have dreamed of doing. I have often thought that modern horror and science fiction would make a fertile ground for a spiritual thriller. C.S.Lewis did it in his space trilogy. He was bold enough to write in a popular style and communicate profound and beautiful spiritual truths. Koontz is doing the same thing.

I’m fascinated by the appeal and possibilities that popular culture have to offer. Here’s a Catholic writing successfully(and beautifully I might add) in the horror genre. I have a friend who is a very faithful Catholic who has written over 40 Harlequin romance novels. We should not be afraid of popular culture. We need good Catholic novelists, scriptwriters, writers of ‘self help’ books etc etc. C.S.Lewis made the same appeal. He said, (and I paraphrase) we don’t need more Christians writing little religious books. We need more Christians writing little history books and little science books and little story books and little poetry books and little novels.

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  • “I have often thought that modern horror and science fiction would make a fertile ground for a spiritual thriller.”Shyamalan sorta did the same thing in “Signs”.

  • Jeannine

    Have you read the “Odd Thomas” books by Koontz? Koontz has become a very interesting writer. His style has changed along with the content.

  • fried chicken strips

    Speaking about self help books. David Burn’s “Feeling Good the New Mood Theraphy” is excellent. He is a cognative therapist and his approach is basic logic. In a nutshell, his book is the logical flaws of agrumentation adapted to human thought. If anyone struggles with depression, please consider this book. Dr. Phil’s “Self Matters” has useful pointers, but on the whole is garbage. Anything from the “spirtuality” section of Barnes and Noble–oh gosh–I could manure my garden with the contents of those rags.

  • W.

    You might enjoy this article and then interview on Koontz and some aspects of his Catholic faith:

  • It was this article in the NCR which first tuned me in to Koontz

  • ..and children’s books (not the sappy, religious kind, the REAL DEAL). I am amazed at how few Christians I meet in my profession. Children’s publishing (especially in the “young adult” category) is dominated by evangelists for political correctness and childless feminists who are bent on inculcating the youngest members of our society with their own self-centered, nihilistic philosophies.Whoa. Don’t get me started…

  • Fr, at the risk of making this a shameless ad for my books, I am a Catholic novelist trying to do exactly this. You are absolutely right, popular culture offers so many opportunities for evangelisation.There are far too many Catholic writers writing for an entirely Catholic audience.

  • “I have often thought that modern horror and science fiction would make a fertile ground for a spiritual thriller.”Try Declare by Tim Powers if you’d like to read a spiritual thriller!

  • Just finished the book. I was surprised that the author’s list of all the wholesale murder we have grown tolerant of (the Holocaust, Darfur, Rwanda, etc.) didn’t include abortion. Given the book’s focus on children & the plot emphasis on saving them, I was surprised.

  • Derek Williams

    Thank you Fr Dwight. I used to be into horror pre-conversion and recently wanted to read a good novel. I used to be a fan of Koontz but disliked his focus on ‘E.T.’. I shall get a copy of this and have a good read.God blessDerek