Archive for September, 2007

Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz

September 18, 2007

“I see dead people, but then, by God, I do something about it.” –Odd Thomas

Odd Thomas is a man with few ambitions, content to work as a fry cook and maybe one day sell tires when the pressures of perfecting a fluffy pancake become overwhelming. Although he may have few ambitions as far as a career goes, his motivation runs high when it comes to his unique secret gift. Odd can see the dead.

The dead are drawn to Odd like a moth to a flame. He helps complete their unfinished business, right their wrongs, and make sure justice is served. It can be a dangerous, stressful thing, helping the dead. Fortunately, he has the love of his soul mate, Stormy, to help see him through. The Chief of Police as a caring father figure who appreciates Odd’s abilities in their symbiotic relationship, and Ozzie, a loveable eccentric author and mentor. Occasionally, Elvis likes to show up now and again for the pleasure of his company.

A strange man has caught Odd’s attention. A strange looking fellow he has dubbed “fungus man” with a worrisome file cabinet containing a collection of mass murders and their deeds and a trail of horrific shade creatures in his wake. Odd finds a damning clue convincing him he has a mere 24 hours to find out what Fungus Man is up to, how to stop it and how it will affect his life and the ones he cares about most. Odd’s strange gift has never been needed more when a simple grill cook is all that stands between good and evil.

ODD THOMAS is one of the best books I’ve read this year. It’s part horror, part love story, thrilling and delighting. Odd is one of my new all time favorite literary heroes ranking right up there with Atticus Finch, Sam Gamgee, Aslan, Mr. Darcy and Tom Joad. Odd is a humble sort and would flush red in the face if he knew about such claims, but it had to be said.

In this book, we discover a story that walks that fine line between horrible acts of evil and the sweetness of the most tender and chaste romances. It’s a wonderful combination that keeps us grounded from any one aspect being too overwhelming. Somehow, amidst the unspeakable evil that Odd encounters, he manages to give us hope and inspiration.

Koontz success can be attributed to a story founded on character. As fans of Koontz are aware of his reputation for unbelievable tension and suspense and surprises, they may not be aware of his clever use of perfectly timed humor. A quickly paced book, the final few chapters are worthy of re-reading. I believe the author has reached the height of great fiction, delving deep into the very nature of the soul: good and evil. Oh….and fluffy pancakes.

Keep It Or Pass It On? Definitely a keeper! I want to enjoy this one again.

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