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Odd Thomas | [Dean Koontz]

Odd Thomas

"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. Odd Thomas thinks of himself as an ordinary guy, if possessed of a certain measure of talent at the Pico Mundo Grill and rapturously in love with the most beautiful girl in the world, Stormy Llewellyn.
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Publisher's Summary

"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. Odd Thomas thinks of himself as an ordinary guy, if possessed of a certain measure of talent at the Pico Mundo Grill and rapturously in love with the most beautiful girl in the world, Stormy Llewellyn.

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.

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (4379 )
5 star
 (2196)
4 star
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3 star
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Overall
4.3 (1867 )
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Story
4.4 (1850 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Denise Santa Fe, NM, USA 12-11-03
    Denise Santa Fe, NM, USA 12-11-03
    HELPFUL VOTES
    105
    ratings
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    "No Doubting Thomas"

    Odd Thomas was a thoroughly enjoyable and engrossing book. Never realized Dean Koontz had such a great sense of humor. Listened to every word while driving across the desert. Reader David Aaron Baker was fantastic. He became Odd Thomas, and as I totally suspended my disbelief, Odd Thomas became real.
    Denise Kusel

    105 of 108 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Monique San Diego, CA, USA 12-17-03
    Monique San Diego, CA, USA 12-17-03
    HELPFUL VOTES
    47
    ratings
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    43
    4
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    "Not Dean Koontz"

    It took me about an hour to get used to the different style, but once I did, I was hooked. Listened to this book in 2 sittings. Couldn?t put it down. This is definitively one of the few I will listen to again.

    31 of 33 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jannice Sugar Land, TX, USA 12-19-03
    Jannice Sugar Land, TX, USA 12-19-03
    HELPFUL VOTES
    104
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    "Captivating"

    As a devoted Koontz fan, I downloaded this selection as soon as I saw it was available. This one knocked my socks off. With an economy of narration that should satisfy critics of previous, more descriptive works, Koontz pushes us relentlessly forward towards a potential catastophe with an urgency reminiscent of his earlier "Strange Highways". There is absolute faith and trust in the instincts and integrity of the hero and narrator of this tale, making the supernatural aspects of the story totally believable from the very beginning.
    Koontz and Stephen King are often linked together as similar in writing styles and genre. I have had no luck in enjoying King, finding him gloomy, hostile and often vulgar. On the other hand, in spite of catastrophic happenings, Koontz finds hope, courage and devotion to man's responsibility to humanity as consistent themes in developing his stories. I will stick to Dean Koontz, and recommend this story as a place to start.

    22 of 24 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hugh los molinos, CA, USA 11-18-05
    Hugh los molinos, CA, USA 11-18-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
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    "One of his best"

    If you like his books,you will love Odd Thomas. I have probable read a half dozen of his books, and I couldn't stop listening to this one. I just finished a trip and sat in the car in my driveway until it was over. You couldn't stay away from the last thirty minutes. Great!

    12 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tom Bertram, TX, United States 12-16-03
    Tom Bertram, TX, United States 12-16-03 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    83
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    13
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    "Captivating"

    Thoroughly enjoyable. Have stopped talking to strangers before they talk to me. Couldn't wait until the next time I had available to listen. Well worth the time. One of the best.

    17 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    melanie United States 12-19-12
    melanie United States 12-19-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
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    41
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    "Story predictable, and unbelievable, dissapointing"

    Managed to get through the story, but would not listen to any of the sequels

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bill Kailua Kona, HI, United States 09-19-11
    Bill Kailua Kona, HI, United States 09-19-11 Member Since 2009

    The Path Between the Seas to The Great Bridge ~ Kagan's Peloponnesian War to Gaddis' Cold One ~ Mornings on Horseback to a River of Doubt ~ Tom to Huck ~ Lennie to Charley ~ Cadfael to Cross ~ Rhyme to Reacher ~ Blomkvist and Salander to Wallander and Wallander ~ Moving Cheese or Eating Frogs ~ On the Road and Into Thin Air ~ The End of History to A Short History of Everything to ... well ... everything else.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    256
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    35
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    95
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    Story
    "Worth every minute!"

    Wonderful tale, creative characters, swift-moving plot, great narration .... funny, sad, exciting, entertaining, compelling. Read / Listen to this book!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mel Aclaro ANAHEIM, CA, United States 12-29-10
    Mel Aclaro ANAHEIM, CA, United States 12-29-10 Member Since 2008

    My wife says she can read me like an open book. Though she regrets not being able to shut me up the same way. :)

    HELPFUL VOTES
    82
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    Overall
    "A steady-paced drama with great characters"

    I was sort of expecting a supernatural thriller. And, while supernatural is definitely the context, I have to say that the story really ran more like a drama.

    Character development was great. You'll feel an affinity with each character in the story.

    This tale starts off with much more monologue than what I usually like. After a few chapters, it finally developed into dialog... though, it did continue venturing back into that first-person narrative. (It's told from Odd Thomas' perspective as the writer of the story.)

    I like a lot of dialog. What can I say? Still, it works.

    But, I think I would have rated it higher had my expectations been aligned with a drama instead of a thriller. Check that... I guess it still "thrills," but at a slower pace.

    The reader, David Aaron Baker, did a wonderful job. Though, I do wish that his future works will see him develop more breadth in character voices. That said, I found him enjoyable to listen to.

    Overall, not a bad credit investment. Lukewarm, I know. But, that's about what 3 stars feels like, right?

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Liana Ballston Lake, NY, USA 02-12-06
    Liana Ballston Lake, NY, USA 02-12-06 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
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    75
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    "A must read, even if you're not a Koontz fan"

    Not a Dean Koontz fan, or suspense reader in general, I was drawn into his world by the awe-inspiring, never-set-down Life Expectancy. Afterwards, it was a quick decision in the affirmative to read Odd Thomas. Koontz provides an amazing array of characters centered around Odd Thomas, a 20-year-old man whose name, yes, really is Odd, and can see and somewhat communicate with the deceased. Coming from a home life one has to read to believe, Odd emancipated himself and has become the town's favorite fry-cook who looks to three adults--his boss, the sheriff, and a mystery writer as surrogate parents. While sounding quite comical, this book is beautifully written, heart-wrenching, suspenseful and love story. It has all aspects of every genre on literature. It even got this hard-core "chic lit" fan to shed some tears and pick up the sequel.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shelley Montgomery, TX, USA 01-22-06
    Shelley Montgomery, TX, USA 01-22-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
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    7
    3
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    "Surprisingly Entertaining"

    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.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
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