Favorite Story?

What you mean besides the ones I write? Just kidding!

That’s… a tough call to be honest. I’m very picky about the things I read and often restrict myself to Fantasy/Folklore and Sci-Fi. My collection includes things like the Elder Edda, Hrolf Kraki’s Saga, The Frithiof Saga, and a lot of Tolkien.

However if I had to choose a favorite out of everything I’ve ever read, I’d have to dive back pretty far. It was an Autumn night in 1999 when I was suffering through my High School fall reading list to find a book that I would enjoy. To my surprise, I stumbled upon a Dean Koontz Novel posted by one of my professors. Not really a fan, but happy to see something other than the classic fiction pieces and normal drab that most people wouldn’t pick up outside of a classroom, I bought the book.

Not a day goes by where I am not thankful that I did….

strangeThis is an old one 1995 and falls out of the normal genre I usually stick to. Thrillers and Horror stories while great, aren’t usually my cup of tea, but something about this one got me hooked.

It’s not one book, but a collection of stories from Koontz. Most of them were the average fair from Koontz. They were good stories, as you’d expect from such a great author, but one specifically grabbed me.

The actual story, Strange Highways, which the book was named for:

Synopsis (Wikipedia):

  • “Strange Highways” (novel): a failed author returns to his hometown after many years to attend his father’s funeral, only to find himself suddenly and inexplicably thrust back through time to relive a traumatic event from his past, and possibly to find redemption. In the introduction, Koontz lists the Centralia, Pennsylvania mine fire as an inspiration for this story.

It’s a story of a man given a second chance and the opportunity to change his fate. The only problem is that he has to face down someone… or something that is pure evil.

I can’t give too much away because I really think that everyone should give it a read. It’s not a long story, so it won’t take a long time to get through. The characters are great, the twist as to who the bad guy is, is somewhat expected, but Koontz still keeps you on the edge of your seat while the author faces it down.

The female lead character, I’ll admit, is pretty much your typical damsel in distress, but she’s mysterious enough to be likable by herself. All and all it’s a great story, the main character starts off as somewhat drab and dismal, but you grow to appreciate his life and sympathize with him. By the end, if you aren’t warmed by what happened to him, you have a heart of stone. It really is a classic style adventure that leaves you satisfied at the end. For this short story alone, the book is worth the $2 price tag on amazon. I highly recommend picking it up. It really is amazing what can be packed into a short story.

If you follow my advice or have already read it, I’d be interested to hear opinions, whether you agree with me or not!

Catch you on the flip side!
– Jim

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