Lines to Love: The Silent Corner


Harken back, dear readers, to last year. WAY BACK. See if you can recall a post I did about the King of Metaphor. Do you remember who I consider to be the King of Metaphor? (See post here.) None other than Dean Koontz. The man is simply superb with the correlations he draws and the pictures he paints with his words. 

As we’re underway with the October Giveaway at Whiskers On Kittens- two AUTOGRAPHED sets of the first three novels in the Jane Hawk series, I thought it would be fun to introduce you to the novels individually to both intrigue into wanting to read them and to excite you into entering for you chance to do so (see post here). I find Koontz’s latest character’s intrepidity and tenacity inspiring on a variety of levels. The obstacles she faces in her quest for truth and justice are gargantuan. However, Jane presses on against the odds. She has to for her son.


See what I mean? The beauty of his writing is magnificent, and today I’m highlighting how he wields his words like the finest painter would his brush, laying oils on canvas in a breathtaking image for his readers. 

So, without further ado, I give you the lines I love from the first Jane Hawk novel: The Silent Corner.

I supposed it would be best to start with a line that captures just how Jane views her trials by fire. Notice how there is a certain element of wry humor infused into the tension.


Then there are the bits that are simply poetry. What I appreciate the most about these lines is how Koontz conjures a sense of disquiet with specific words. Their selection is intentional, allowing the description of the atmosphere to serve a dual purpose of, yes, describing the environs in which our characters find themselves as well as the circumstances mentally or emotionally in which they find themselves, as though they possess a certain prescience that allows them to foretell their future through weather divination. 

The bright silver moon declining in the west reflected so much light that the shadows of its craters had blurred away. It looked not like a solid object but instead like a hole in the night sky, pure and dangerous light shining through from another universe.
As the last of the debris fell behind her and the crash of thunder rolled away through the city, as she came to the east end of the park, the once-dark sky paled, abruptly glaucous, and cataracts of rain fell hard, fat droplets hissing through the trees and grass, snapping off the pavement, plinking the metal hoods on trash cans, carrying with them the faint bleach odor of ozone, a form of oxygen created by lightning’s alchemy.
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The air was dry, and the sunshine seemed to splinter down through it, bright slivers piercing polished surfaces.
Since mid-morning, clouds had been sailing in from the north, an armada of gray galleons that raised their sails to screen out the high blue vault with which the day had begun.

See how each one of those lines contains a foreboding about it. Sunlight splintering. Inevitable darkness. World-ending beasts. Droplets hissing. Lightning’s alchemy. Armadas and galleons. These references coax an uneasiness in the reader. But there were a few times when Koontz unfolded peace with the narrative. I like this one best:


I will leave you with three metaphors that don’t entirely belong to the descriptions of the atmosphere or environment. The first is just an example of how age can be seen as beauty, regardless of anti-aging craze that seems to have taken root in our current society.  

His face had been so gently folded by time and so respectfully drawn by gravity that advanced age was, in his case, a grace.

The next two fall under social commentary, I guess, but are so eloquently phrased, I had to highlight them. 

During the previous night, the valley had come to seem remote to her, as she wished it to be, a refuge beyond the horizon of the modern world, where the civilization of the mechanized hive did not encroach, where each individual could exist unto himself, free from the forced intimacy of the digital collective— therefore safe.

I hope you enjoyed the beauty of these lines. I know I appreciate them more each time I read them- which, in the course of reading the books, transcribing them, and then writing this post, has been quite a few times. I guess I just admire how his mind works, drawing together all sorts of references for the purpose of writing richer narrative. 

What do you think? What’s you favorite line?