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  • Writer's pictureVadhan

My tryst with horror comedy

This is not an ad for Dean Koontz!

Dean Koontz has sold 26 million books world wide.

He is one of the most unique writers I have had the good fortune of reading.

He is that writer who, in my opinion, has done a remarkable if not absolutely an impossible thing.

Let me not get ahead of myself.

To me the most memorable of his work is the Odd Thomas series. Life Expectancy and Tick Tock are also favorites. Seize the Night is another of his books that I love. I think its got a sequel.

All the books I’ve referred to here are examples of Koontz’s horror comedies. Odd Thomas is a regular guy working as a flash cook in a small town. Only thing is, he sees dead people and demons. He is popular around town and the cops love him because he helps them solve crimes. The first of the Odd series is an amazing book that keeps you laughing through out though there is an underlying feeling of dread. The twist in the end leaves a lump in your throat. The horror is very real and so is the comedy.

In Life Expectancy the Hero and Heroine meet each other only when they are taken hostage by an insane villain and his two equally loco buddies. They are robbing a bank more to take revenge on the town than to become rich. The villains plan to do away with the hero and the heroine. By the end of the chapter, the two have fallen in love and the heroine is categorical that she will not name their first born after the villain’s father. The clocks ticking against the couple all the time.

As a reader I was glued to the book.



Now here’s the thing I wanted to say. Horror and comedy deal with two extreme emotions. I mean they are poles apart, two of ends of a rainbow, night and day, the ends of a paradigm, so on and so forth. You can laugh out in terror. It’s a mental reaction. Its your brain’s way of trying to numb the impact of fear, pain or horror. You can laugh because its funny. That is a release. A sense of happiness, glee, bliss even. Bringing them together is no mean feat. Keeping the action running, getting along with the story while keeping true to the plot and at the same time making people laugh is a gift that few in this world possess. Pathos and comedy are of the same ilk as horror and comedy. Classic example of the former is Charlie Chaplin and of the latter is Dean Koontz.

Horror Comedy is not a great favorite in India. There aren’t many writers who can attempt the genre. I don’t want to be one of them. The dream is to write in the comedy horror genre. One day. Some day. I will.


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Author Of Best Selling Fantasy Books

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