Book Review – The Bad Weather Friend by Dean Koontz

You’re familiar with the old adage, “Nice guys finish last”, right? Made famous by legendary Dodgers baseball manager Leo Durocher, it posits that if you’re going to get ahead in baseball (or anything in this world) then you better not be a nice guy. You better be ready to get out there and hurt someone with your spikes, bean them with a ball or at least trash-talk them into losing their focus. Because if you’re a nice guy, you won’t be finishing in first place, you’ll be finishing in last place.

And we’re all acquainted (perhaps personally) with the term “Fair weather friend”…a person who is happy to be your friend when it is smooth sailing but disappears when you are having problems.

In Dean Koontz’s novel “The Bad Weather Friend” Benny Catspaw is the proverbial nice guy who suddenly finds his world turned upside down. His boss fires him in the morning and his girlfriend breaks up with him in the late afternoon. Even his favorite chair is destroyed. All with no reason that Benny can discern and yet he holds no enmity. Just confusion.

Then an uncle he doesn’t even know sends him an inheritance in a crate and a video that promises things will turn out right. Even stranger, the crate contains a 7-foot tall being named Spike with supernatural powers who is Benny’s bad weather friend. He informs Benny that strange forces are out to get Benny and he is there to make it right. Benny, Spike and a waitress from Benny’s favorite cafe all team up to find and stop those mysterious forces and make sure Benny is not a nice guy who finishes last.

This is a quirky tale with an off-beat plot and even quirkier dialog that may be a turn off for some of Koontz’s fans. I had to force myself to finish the book, but I’m glad I did. Sometimes I wondered if the author was just winging it on this one, but the ending was satisfactory. Your mileage may vary.

I gave this book four stars.

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