Meet Odd Thomas, the unassuming young hero of Dean Koontz’s dazzling New York Times bestseller, a gallant sentinel at the crossroads of life and death who offers up his heart in these pages and will forever capture yours.
“The dead don’t talk. I don’t know why.” But they do try to communicate, with a short-order cook in a small desert town serving as their reluctant confidant. Sometimes the silent souls who seek out Odd want justice. Occasionally their otherworldly tips help him prevent a crime. But this time it’s different.
A stranger comes to Pico Mundo, accompanied by a horde of hyena-like shades who herald an imminent catastrophe. Aided by his soul mate, Stormy Llewellyn, and an unlikely community of allies that includes the King of Rock ’n’ Roll, Odd will race against time to thwart the gathering evil. His account of these shattering hours, in which past and present, fate and destiny, converge, is a testament by which to live—an unforgettable fable for our time destined to rank among Dean Koontz’s most enduring works.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Suspense master Dean Koontz introduced his endearingly strange hero, Odd Thomas, in this 2003 supernatural thriller. A short-order cook in a small desert town, Odd has a lifelong ability to communicate with the dead. When a strange man enters his restaurant swarmed by spirits, Odd senses an imminent massacre. Relying on his wits, his paranormal powers, and his friends—from the local police chief to the ghost of Elvis Presley—Koontz’s hero races to stop the killing before it starts. Filled with both ominous dread and quirky humor, Odd Thomas had us laughing while shivering.
Once in a very great while, an author does everything right as Koontz has in this marvelous novel. Odd Thomas, who narrates, is odd indeed: only 20, he works contentedly as a fry cook in a small fictional California town, despite a talent for writing. The reason for his lack of ambition? A much rarer talent: Odd sees and converses with ghosts, the lingering dead who have yet to pass on, a secret he has kept from nearly everyone but his girlfriend, an eccentric author friend and the local police chief, whom he occasionally helps solve terrible crimes.Odd also has the ability to see bodachs, malevolent spirits that feast on pain and whose presence signifies a likelihood of imminent violence. The proximity of bodachs to a weird-looking stranger in town, whom Odd dubs "Fungus Man," alerts Odd that trouble is brewing; breaking into Fungus Man's house, Odd discovers not only hundreds of bodachs but a shrine to serial killers that helps him deduce that somehow Fungus Man will wreak widespread havoc very soon so Odd is caught in a classic race against time to deter catastrophe. As with Koontz's best novels, this one features electrifying tension and suspense, plus a few walloping surprises. But Koontz fans know that the author has recently added humor to his arsenal of effects, and this thriller also stands out for its brilliant tightrope walk between the amusing and the macabre; one of the dead with whom Odd interacts frequently, for instance, is Elvis, still pining for his long-dead mother, Gladys.Above all, the story, like most great stories, runs on character and here Koontz has created a hero whose honest, humble voice will resonate with many. In some recent books, Koontz has tended to overwrite, but not here: the narrative is as simple and clear as a newborn's gaze. This is Koontz working at his pinnacle, providing terrific entertainment that deals seriously with some of the deepest themes of human existence: the nature of evil, the grip of fate and the power of love.
I cried, twice.
Once, watching the movie that is the closest I have ever seen a movie stick to the substance & emotion of a book, & the 2nd after reading the book having already seen the movie first. Still, I cried. I wish all his books were this good. Not everyone bats 1000. I sure as heck wish all other authors who *think* their work surpasses Koontz would take notes from this effort—if so, maybe a portion of their books could hope to be as good & pure of emotion in writing as this. Books don’t have to be full of gratuitous sex or mindless bloodletting to tell a story of mystery & terror, & also tell that story with such love & purpose as Odd Thomas.
Akin to a low budget horror movie
I have been a fan of Koontx for decades. Love "The Watchers," and have been devoruing his books....however, I felt compelled to write this is the silliest book he has written. Ghost of Elvis following him around? Elvis walking on water? It is just too much, akin to "Beetlejuice," or a low budget horror movie - a bad one. Tried hard to keep reading, becuase I was hoodwinked into buying the three books (oh joy) for $39. I wish I had never bought any of them...time to go back to Stephen King.
Odd Thomas, Almost Rare, not Odd
You don’t know what to expect when you start a Dean Koontz novel and “Odd Thomas” is no exception! Starting slowly but building to a charged and unexpected middle and ending, the book tightly holds your attention. It surprises you repeatedly and leaves you wanting to read more about this ‘fry cook.’