Maybe he has a gift, maybe it's a curse, Odd has never been sure, but he tries to do his best by the silent souls who seek him out. Sometimes they want justice, and Odd's otherworldly tips to Pico Mundo's sympathetic police chief, Wyatt Porter, can solve a crime. Occasionally they can prevent one. But this time it's different.
A mysterious man comes to town with a voracious appetite, a filing cabinet stuffed with information on the world's worst killers, and a pack of hyena-like shades following him wherever he goes. Who the man is and what he wants, not even Odd's deceased informants can tell him. His most ominous clue is a page ripped from a day-by-day calendar for August 15.
Today is August 14.
In less than twenty-four hours, Pico Mundo will awaken to a day of catastrophe. As evil coils under the searing desert sun, Odd travels through the shifting prisms of his world, struggling to avert a looming cataclysm with the aid of his soul mate and an unlikely community of allies that includes the King of Rock 'n' Roll. His account of two shattering days when past and present, fate and destiny converge is the stuff of our worst nightmares, and a testament by which to live: sanely if not safely, with courage, humor, and a full heart that even in the darkness must persevere.
©2003 Dean Koontz; (P)2003 Random House, Inc., Random House Audio, A Division Of Random House, Inc.
"Once in a very great while, an author does everything right, as Koontz has in this marvelous novel....This is Koontz working at his pinnacle." (Publishers Weekly)
"A curious mixture of whimsy, gentle humor, and horror...It is the casual weirdness on display here, rife with bodachs and other signs of a Vonnegut-style fancifulness, that gives Odd Thomas its principal appeal." (The New York Times)
"This quirky and touching story of a 20-year-old short order cook with paranormal abilities is spun with stylistic grace by Dean Koontz, and read in an innocent, unaffected style by David Aaron Baker." (AudioFile)
I picked the book because it was advertised as a departure from the author's usual approach to his characters. In this case, we are advised the central element involves communicating with the dead. While what is thus constructed as a story line starts out as intriguing, I soon got the idea Mr. Koontz wrote this book with tongue planted firmly in cheek. It is as if he wrote the book to exemplify for freshman composition students every imaginable literary gimmick available - over and over again. Late in the book, Koontz even goes to the extreme of repeating the same alliteration - and then a THIRD time, actually explaining to the reader that this is an alliteration!
Setting aside the matter of style, I found the story at least charming, and I did finish the book. Kudos to David Aaron Baker for a superlative narration. His rendition of the characters may be the best reason to listen to the book.
The narrator livedly takes you on a journey that you do not want to end. I listen as I drive to work and I found myself leaving home earlier and driving slower so that I could hear more of this awesome tale.
The new style that Koontz displayed in Odd Thomas was really refreshing. I have enjoyed most of his books, but this one absolutely hooked me! DK made Odd seem like a real person...one that would be good to know. Not to mention that David Aaron Baker's narration really fleshed out Odd's character. I could have happily spent another 20 hours (or more) listening to Odd's tale. Hopefully we'll be getting a lot more Odd in the future.
Although Koontz does repeat himself often--perhaps for emphasis?--The character of Odd Thomas is delightful and David Allen Baker does a more than commendable job of bringing Odd to life. I was not aware that this book was in the supernatural genre, yet I enjoyed Baker's reading so much, I listened to Forever Odd as well.
He saw dead people. Odd Thomas is an agreeable young man with a free spirited girlfriend he's completely in love with. He also sees dead people, and helps catch criminals on the side when he's not frying food at the town's diner. Hardly groundbreaking, but I have a thing for the paranormal and it sounded interesting enough, and really, the first few chapters were excellent. But, then it kind of fell into a predictable rhythm. I have a friend that's in love with Dean Koontz, so I thought I would try 'im as well, but I was sorely disappointed. I found the prose to be formula and the descriptions, while thick (which I appreciate), very cliched (which I didn't). Koontz sort of got soppy too, which I never like. (Waiting until marriage to have sex with his girlfriend, constantly professing undying love, parents are assholes and one dimensional, martyr, martyr, bleh) Characters were black and white, and Koontz spent a good three minutes trying to convince me why the character was the way they were. Why not just give us a biography and let the readers decide for ourselves? I mean, I bought the book, I got nothing but time-... eh. I was sad. The narrator was good for the book, but not my favorite. All in all, if you want thrills and paranormal quirks and generic but smooth prose, go get a Stephen King novel. Koontz really wasn't worth my time.
Keep in Mind: Literary tastes include Steinbeck, Steig Larsson, John Hart, Stephen King
I may be one of the few people who might be interested in the ODD THOMAS books who is just getting around to reading this masterpiece of writing. Whether you like the story or not, this book is well worth the read just to treasure Koontz's writing ability!
Odd Thomas is definitely a different twenty year old young man. The first person perspective of the book allows the reader to truly get into Odd's thoughts and emotions. Though there is a real 'thriller' aspect to the book, the addition of humor, and a deep philosophy adds a feeling of wonder and fun to the suspense.
I wonder though, has anyone else noticed the similarities between this book and the more recent novel, 11-22-63 by Stephen King? Another great writer! Reading these two books together for a book group might make for a interesting discussion.
Though not one of DK's best novels, it would be best for the prospective purchaser to listen carefully to the sample to hear the narrator. I did not do so, relying on DK's previous work as my guide, and later found Baker's narration to be very difficult to stick with. In his hands, the protagonist (the novel is written in first person) comes across with a sing-song preachy perfection. This is not enhanced by the author's determination to have his hero never make a wrong move. Odd Thomas, the character, was just too cute and perfect for me, and the narrator went to lengths to simply make it worse. This novel may be better read than heard.
I like quirky, I like sci-fi, and I like suspense and mystery. And I've seen they can successfully coexist.
After getting a healthy dose of each of these elements early in the book, I made the mistake of sensing this story was similar to "Fargo" (one of my favorite movies). But upon reflection, the extreme quirkiness of the characters, especially Odd himself, served to overly dilute the thriller aspects. Odd smothered the suspense, anticipation and surprise with his omnipotent personality, leaving me disappointed in the end.
Kneel Before Zod!!
The twist at the ending, and the narration style of the story seemed as if the character was rambling.
Wow, I didn't see that coming.
He made a close to boring narration style story a bit more interesting.
It is a movie and that's why I listened to the book,now I will watch the movie.
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