The Great American Read

Q&A with Dean Koontz

Last Updated by The Great American Read Editor on

Dean Koontz, author of The Watchers, answers a few questions from The Great American Read:

When you’re in a book store, what section do you gravitate to and why?

The fiction section. As a child growing up in poverty and violence, I read fiction not merely to escape that environment, but also to learn how other people lived——and how best to live my life. I have learned more that’s true about life from reading well-crafted fiction than I’ve found in most nonfiction. Besides, writing fiction has given my life meaning!

What are you reading right now?

The Hundred Secret Senses by Amy Tan. I’ve read and enjoyed all her other books, but somehow I missed this one. She creates worlds and immerses you in them. I like that.

What’s one book that didn’t make the list of 100 that you would add?

It seems a little strange to me that I would say this, but I’d add Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote. It’s not a perfect book (what is?) but the first-person narrator has a distinct voice and Holly Golightly, a unique character, still frustrates as much as she charms. Although the book is well over half a century old, it reads as if it were written yesterday. The themes of romantic obsession, unrequited love, and especially the self-destructive desire to be someone other than who one is seem to resonate in this social-networking age. And the story’s affecting melancholy is well earned, not sentimentalism.

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in this blog post are solely those of the respondents.

More about Dean Koontz:

Dean Koontz Dean Koontz,the author of many #1 New York Times bestsellers, lives in Southern California with his wife, Gerda, their golden retriever, Elsa, and the enduring spirit of their goldens, Trixie and Anna.

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