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)
If I tried to describe Odd Thomas as introspective and slow-paced, you might think he is boring or worse, 'literary'. Quite the contrary, he is a gentle caring person surrounded by supernatural acquaintances who illuminate Odd for us as much as they also provide clues to the events that follow. Part mystery but entirely enchanting, I can hardly wait for the next in this series.
Odd Thomas is a very sweet (at times syrupy) book that is more about a young adult trying to find his way in life than anything else. Oddy is an immediately likable character struggling to come to terms with his "gift," of seeing dead people. Although, there are supernatural elements involved there is little if anything scary about the novel and the supernatural elements are secondary to good ole fashioned human motivations.
Early on, Koontz lays out the idea of bodachs (entities that show up to feed on tragic events) but he doesn't go into them and they become little more than literary devices. It was a disappointing turn since the bodachs were extremely compelling entities that could've been used a great deal more.
The relationships that Odd develops with his girlfriend and friends are heartwarming and the scene with his mother is wrenching.
It lacks depth in many places but makes up for it in the sweetness of Odd's character and his care for others. It reads like a quirky crime novel with supernatural elements with all the pluses and minuses that go along with such a category.
Overall, it is a very fun read despite its shortcomings.
An excellent read, Dean Koontz does a great job with being specific but not so much that you get lost with what is happening. It is so easy to like Odd.
Ok - So first of all ... you should know I normally hate Dean Koontz's books. (I love the episode of Family Guy when Peter thinks he has just accidentally hit Stephen King with his car and he freaks out - until he realizes it isn't Stephen King but is really Dean Koontz - then he backs up and hits him again). Boil it down to say I am not a Koontz fan - but this was a fairly good book - especially when I consider who wrote it!
The narrarator, David Baker, has a great, easy to listen to voice. I listen to a lot of audio books and sometimes it is very annoying when the narrator tries to use lots of different voices for the characters. It usually seems overly dramatic and campish. (The guy that reads the Christopher Paolini books literally makes me cringe and roll my eyes every time he does the voices for the dragons!) But David Baker does a great job.
If you like "unscary" stories about the supernatural then you will really like this book. It is very tame - little fear factor in this one. It does have some cool ideas about ghosts and the afterlife.
I always get the unabridged versions of audio books but if I had to do it over again I might see if there was an abridged version of this one. Koontz's use of alliteration and excesive detail gets to be annoying. It kills me how he can spend an entire chapter on montonous details that have no bearing on the story but then as the book nears the end it's like he is sick of writing and tries to wind it all up too quickly.
All in all if you are set on listening to a Dean Koontz book this one is probably his best.... and the narration is good - so it has that going for it.
I've read a lot of Dean Koontz and others in the same genre over the years and find Odd Thomas to be a nice segue back into books that I don't have time to read, but can work into my schedule through audio.
I really enjoyed learning about Odd Thomas and his gifts. Dean Koontz took a lot of time to describe Odd and his adventures, using new and fresh descriptions. Some might find this boring or dull, but I enjoyed Koontz's wordsmithing. Odd is a terrific character with a unique outlook on life and living. I often laughed at his musings.
David Aaron Baker did a great job voicing Odd and the other characters in the novel and has a good rhythm reading the text. Sounds like he's telling a story as opposed to reading a script.
I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it.
This was a good book... not great. It is certainly worth a listen and not a waste of time. That is the beauty of books so many different stories and opinions.
The book starts out promising, with an interesting main carachter, but quickly loses momentum. It was painful to finish, and as I neared the end I realized just how much time I had wasted listening to the book. With so many great books out there, don't waste your time with this one.
Book dragged on way to long about unimportant things. Would have been good if not for that.
I recommend Abridged version
This was my first Koontz novel. I read it because it was very well reviewed, which is surprising for an author that tends to "crank them out." I enjoyed it. What made the story for me were the quirky and well-developed characters...especially the protagonist.
Odd Thomas, a fry cook in a California desert town has a rare gift. He can see dead people. Well, OK, maybe not that rare as far as fiction goes. But don't let the Sixth Sense sounding story line throw you off. Odd Thomas has got to be one of my top ten favorite protagonists. He is an extremely honorable and likeable guy. The story is told from his first person POV and he has a very unique way of looking at things.
In addition to seeing dead people, he also sees things he calls "Bogarts". Bogarts generally appear when someone is about to die a horrible death. The bogarts seem to thrive on pain and misery. When his small town starts looking like a bogart family reunion with thousands of bogarts streaming in, Odd begins to unravel a deadly plot of enormous proportions.
I listened to this while commuting and the narrator, David Aaron Baker, did a first rate job. He was very believable as Odd and did the other character voices with finesse. Sometimes narrators overdo it when doing female voices, but David was just right.
There are some bloody and graphic scenes in this story.
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