Schri, I had no idea this book was your favorite, too! :)
I'm around page 452, but I had to weigh in on this:
The artist in the novel that Junior loves so much, Sklent, is sooooo hilarious to me. I'm not sure why but Koontz's description of him just reminds me of a cartoon characterish, albino Igor or something.
Oh, and the titles of his paintings -
Oh my goodness. The Cancer Lurks Unseen, Version 1
? I was seriously heehawing practically I was laughing so hard when I read that. I don't remember finding that as funny when I first read this book, but just something about Junior's convoluted ideas about art and existence make the fact that he finds that painting a "masterpiece" and paid $2700 for it just so hilarious to me. Oh, and his Poriferan Industrial Woman
gets me every time, too!
And his other Sklent painting In The Baby's Brain Lies The Parasite of Doom
!!! Ahahahaha! I just found these pieces of art absolute nuts, I love it. Maybe it's just my twisted and weird humor, but Koontz is absolutely priceless in this book. I also love how Junior picked up needlepoint as well and made a pillow with the Zedd quote "Humility is for losers" was GREAT! The other piece of art The Heart Is Home To Worms and Beetles, Ever Squirming, Ever Swarming, Version 3
was priceless, too! I'm not sure why but the Zedd book titled You Are The World
just really had me rolling in particular.
I've enjoyed the convoluted epistemology of Junior, paired with Koontz's philosophy in this book... it just makes for some extremely entertaining reading, especially the way he sets up Junior to be an absolute psycho, yet one of the most hilarious psychos I've ever heard about because of all his mishaps. Cain's megalomania is on a level that few Koontz villains reach, which makes him stand alone in a lot of ways, yet his philosophy is right on the nose of many other villains. I don't remember laughing this hard at a villain before in my life, even in a Koontz novel. I think that's part of the reason I love so much, along with the amount of personal inspiration and insight that this novels inspires in me.
What I love so much about Junior... if you can love anything about a villain, is the fact that you don't necessarily feel threatened by the guy. He's more of a villain you laugh at rather than one you fear, with the exception of a few parts. Junior grows gradually more and more obsessive, maniacal, sick, amoral, and twisted as the novel progresses. He catches you off-guard in the beginning by his almost manic swing of being so in love with his wife one minute, then pushing her off a tower the next, only to realize later that the idea to push her was literally instantaneous rather than premeditated in his mind, like the idea to push her and get the money was just a convenience for the trouble of pushing her almost in his mind. Like the idea had always been an unconscious seed in his mind, that suddenly sprouted and took action within seconds.
You begin to see his true seared level as the novel goes on when Koontz unveils more of the philosophies of Zedd and Junior's thought processes in relation and in context with the world around him, he almost comes off as likable, until you compare him to the other normal characters in the novel, when which you realize exactly how off-balance and dangerous he really is. The part where he conspires to shoot off his own toe in order to avoid service in Vietnam is the perfect example of his level of megalomania - he sought to do the least harm to himself in order to keep himself out of greater harm's way. He cares about nothing and no one but himself, feels no regret, only violent urges born out of selfishness, megalomania, at times almost insanity, bad epistemology, and pure evil.
Another twist I found incredibly humorous was when he went to kill one of the Bartholomews with the daughter named Zelda. He lists one of his reasons is for Zelda, because he knows what it feels like to be given a less than desirable name.
He also says that he took medicine to stay vomiting and diarrhea. While the meds for these two work, he later breaks out in a horrendous case of hives, which keeps him inside his house for days. Another humor twist I love is his inexplicable and utter disdain for The Beatles just because they are foreign.