Koontz has me on a roller coaster with ‘From the Corner of His Eye’

I need to write something purely for catharsis’ sake. So I’m going to write about a book.

Back when I was getting ready to head off to guide dog school I downloaded two books. ‘Uglies’ by Scott Westerfeld and ‘A Big Little Life’ by Dean Koontz. I didn’t read the book about a dog because I knew it would have a sad ending.

I finally started it a couple weeks ago when I needed to zone out and I haven’t finished it yet so I haven’t reached the sad ending. It’s a great book, not just about Trixie the dog but about Dean Koontz and his wife and their life. He mentions one of the books he wrote, ‘From the corner of His Eye’. It intrigued me, his mention of it, because it’s about a little boy who loses his eyes just before he turns four, but then he gets sight back as a teen. Koontz talks about how when he wrote the first chapter, he had no idea how he would manage to give the boy his sight back, but he managed it. I bought the book.

I haven’t finished it yet so if you’ve read it, please don’t put any spoilers in the comments haha. I decided to write about this because it’s something solid and something just between Dean Koontz and me, as I listen to his words.

This is the first Koontz novel I’ve read. It has provoked the most physical and emotional responses of any book I’ve ever read I think. The bad guy in the book makes me sick to my stomach and the other characters are wonderful and intriguing and when they ride in a car I hold my breath.

The most compelling event so far was when the boy found out he would lose his eyes. His mother was reading him books and the boy mentioned how it’s not the same and I couldn’t help but marvel at the fact that the book was being read to me. I wondered if the narrator thought of about that as he read the book into the recording. Did he wonder if the blind would hear it?

I cried as the mother and son found out about his fate. I thought to myself, at least he knew it would happen, at least he could prepare. However is that the better way? He didn’t have much longer than I did, only a few days, to prepare for life in the dark.

Last night as I read he came home from the hospital and was determined to find his way inside by himself. I smiled at the determination. I remembered when I came home and got lost in my apartment. I remembered my determination, the acceptance of it all.

As his mother tucked him into bed he begged her to not be sad, because he wasn’t sad. He was frustrated yes, but not sad. Memories from my own new blind life cascaded in a flood of emotion and amazement that Koontz captured that moment so rightly, at least in the way I experienced it.

I see myself in this boy now. Which makes me fear even more for him, this character in a book. I can’t even begin to predict what might happen because I’ve discovered Koontz to be a master at the twist, at least in this book.

What started out as fear of quarters and playing cards has turned into a longing for those quarters and a hope that the playing cards resolved themselves already. If you’ve read the book, you’ll understand. For awhile I wanted to crawl out of my skin when reading and now I want to protect the boy and his mother and even the little girl who we’re finally following. Her mother, oh no, her mother. Is she going to be ok? Oh no.

I think I dissolve so much into books because I totally escape. Though last night I had a hard time concentrating.

What punched me in the stomach the most was when the title was explained. In a conversation between mother and son the title was explained and I cried and cried at the beauty of it.

I’m almost afraid to reach the end. I’ve definitely wanted to put the iPhone in the freezer but alas, that can’t happen. What will I want to do to it at the end? I mustn’t throw it. Perhaps I’ll try to contact Mr. Koontz. I hope I won’t have to admonish him for killing one of my beloved characters.

I just had to write. I had to write about something other than life or the things I love. I had to take myself back into that world, if just for a little bit, until it’s time to dissolve into it again tonight and leave my world behind.

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