Winter Moon


Winter Moon Essay, Research Paper

Critique of Winter Moon

In Winter Moon by Dean Koontz a cloudy Los Angeles, California day is shattered when a hot Hollywood director turns a city street into a fiery abyss. A heroic police officer, Jack McGarvey, is badly wounded in the inferno and will not be able to walk for months. Little does Jack know that a series of events will lead him and his family to a ranch in Montana. On that isolated ranch they discover their destiny in a horrific encounter with a ruthless and puzzling enemy from which neither the living nor dead are safe.

Koontz?s novels seem to have one thing in common. Their themes are about how the human mind and spirit relate to things in life. He doesn?t stray from that commonality in Winter Moon. Koontz?s purpose in writing the book was to show that the power of the mind is yet an unmatched force. Both my mother and I agree that he accomplished this very well.

His use of characters also fits a pattern that has developed in his writing. Koontz uses the same two characters in many of his novels: the heroic, faithful male and the strong female. Koontz?s employment of indirect characterization is impeccable, and makes the reader feel as though they really know the characters. At the beginning, the book can seem confusing, whereas Koontz jumps back and forth from character to character. I feel that after the reader has become accustomed to it, the switching between characters creates good stopping points. However, my mom found it annoying and didn?t like the switching.

Koontz explodes into action during the first chapter, which grips the reader and holds their attention throughout the rest of the book. The novel starts out as two separate stories: a police officer?s family living in L.A. and an old retired man living in Montana. As the book progresses the two stories become more connected, and finally intertwined. The book can seem confusing at the start. However, the confusion of the reader is used by Koontz to make the ending more intense. Koontz certainly unleashes his vivid imagination in this novel, whereas some of the details and occurrences can leave a weak stomached reader feeling nauseous. My mom said that she couldn?t sleep after reading one of the more disturbing sequences of events.

The setting of Winter Moon occurs in two different places. Two places that are complete opposites: Los Angeles, California and a ranch in Montana. While L.A. is a large city riddled with crime and evil, Montana is a quiet serene place of unending beauty. Something bad can be expected to happen in L.A. However, it is strange and mysterious when something evil happens in rural Montana. Nonetheless, something evil does happen in rural Montana. The irony of this situation surprises the reader and grabs their interest. Meanwhile, the isolation of the Montana ranch ads an element of suspense. My mom and I agree that the irony and suspense make an irresistible combination.

Dean Koontz has done a superb job in writing a bone chilling suspense thriller. The book gets you involved very fast and continues to build momentum throughout the story. Koontz?s handling of the main elements in the novel was flawlessly executed, which added to the exciting atmosphere of the work. My mom said that the book was a little too scary for her and made her uneasy at times, so be cautioned: this book is not intended for those weak of heart, or stomach.

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