The “Odd” Miscellany

03 Aug

Geek that I am, about two years ago I wrote a fan letter to Dean Koontz. Much to my delight the author had the kindness and grace to write me a personal reply. I also merited a subscription to “Useless News,” Mr. Koontz’s quarterly newsletter which contains updates on his writing projects as well as recently written afterwords from new editions of his novels and other pieces of, well, useless news. But believe me, it’s all very entertaining.

Anyway, I received my Summer 2012 issue the other day and it had a bit of news in it that has me very excited.   One of my favorite Dean Koontz novels will be coming to movie theaters sometime this winter. “Odd Thomas” was directed by Stephen Sommers (of “The Mummy” and “Return of the Mummy”) and stars Anton Yelchin (Chekov in the 2009 film “Star Trek”) as Odd Thomas.

Mr. Koontz was given a preview of the film and, as he describes it, he was “whacked flat by happiness.” This is a major sign of good. He has previously been very disappointed with film versions of his books. Indeed, Hollywood and books have had a long and rocky relationship. Hollywood loves books, but often treats them poorly. Fortunately for us, this book was treated right.

Now there are two major films I have to see this winter: “Odd Thomas” and “The Hobbit.” Can’t wait!


I guess this must be a book and movie kind of day. While roaming through a thrift store yesterday I nabbed a copy of “The Neverending Story” by Michael Ende, the award-winning German author of children’s novels. The novel was first published in Germany in 1979 and was made into a movie by Wolfgang Petersen in 1984. The movie was very good, but as the cliché always goes, “the book is so much better!” At least, that’s what I’ve read and been told.

I’ve always wanted to read this book, and for 50 cents the price of admission was right. It’s a Puffin Books paperback bearing the same cover art as the hardback, which is beautiful. My initial skimming of pages was promising. This should be fun!


While I was perusing the used books at the thrift store yesterday, I heard a bright, young voice exclaiming,”That’s BIG book on wizards!” A few minutes later, the voice’s owner and his mom and sister came around the corner.

The boy looked to be about 9 or 10 years-old and he was carrying a plastic basket that was filled with various books. As he walked past I couldn’t resist and asked him, “Hey, buddy. Are all those books yours?”

As he nodded his head happily, he added, “I got a book about dragons, too!” This put a big smile on my face. I gave him the thumbs-up sign and told him, “Keep on reading!”

Things like this give me hope.


Posted by on August 3, 2012 in Authors, Book Hunting, Children's Books


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

2 responses to “The “Odd” Miscellany

  1. David

    August 3, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    Nice, on all acounts! I’ve never read Dean Koontz, but as an aspiring author and film buff myself, it’s nice to hear of an author satisfied with his film adaptation.

    The Neverending Story is easily one of the most original fantasy books I’ve read, and I think you’ll really enjoy it. I suppose it is better than the movie, but somehow that seems hardly a fault of the movie’s. Petersen was very smart in his adaptation: the book’s plot does wander (part of the point of it, actually), but it makes more sense for the movie to take, as it does, only the first third. The movie forms a more conventional quest narrative, but I think it’s mostly true to the spirit of the book and it is really well executed. I just hope you’ve never had to watch the sequels!

    I love seeing kids excited about reading, especially when they’re exploring new books rather than just jumping on to a present fad. My 9 year-old nephew just started reading The Hobbit, and I got to read aloud to him the episode with the trolls in Chapter 2. Made me very happy!

  2. Rob

    August 4, 2012 at 1:51 am

    Hi David! Thanks for dropping by again.

    You really should try Koontz sometime. “Odd Thomas” is a great little book, but “One Door Away From Heaven” will impress. It’s one of my favorite novels, period.

    Unfortunately, I did sit through the second “Neverending Story” film, but I’ve seen worse sequels. I’m looking forward to seeing how Ende handles the theme of the Nothing in the book.

    I admire you for reading from “The Hobbit” to your nephew. I wish more adults would read something other than Dr. Seuss books to children. I think it would impress the young with how important reading is.

    And that reminds me. I need to read “The Hobbit” again before December!


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