Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Odd Thomas -- Dean Koontz

I haven't read anything by Dean Koontz in many years, but Scott Cupp figured I'd like this one, so he bought a copy and gave it to me. It's apparently the first book in a series about a guy whose name is, yes, Odd Tomas.

Odd has strange powers. Like a kid in a well-known movie, Odd sees dead people. That's not all he sees, however. He sees creatures he calls bodachs, which are always a sign of bad things to come. Neither the bodachs nor the dead talk to Odd, which is too bad, since one of the latter is Elvis. At any rate, while Odd knows bad things are going to happen, he doesn't know exactly where or when. Most of the book is taken up by his race against time to prevent something horrible. Since this is a Koontz book, it's probably not a spoiler to say that Odd doesn't entirely succeed.

The setting of the novel is the little town of Pico Mundo in the Mojave Desert. Only a few people know about Odd's abilities. These include his sweetheart, Stormy Lewellyn, and the local chief of police, whom Odd has helped out on more than one occasion. In this little town, Odd's made a life for himself as a fry cook. He might move on someday to the tire store. He's not sure. After the events in this book, it's doubtful.

Odd, who's twenty, tells his story in first person, and some might find it a bit . . . odd that he sprinkles the narrative with references to Gene Kelly and other pop culture stuff that a twenty-year-old in this day and age would seem unlikely to k now about. Didn't bother me, though I did notice it.

The style of the novel is a lot different from the earlier Koontz books I've read, very engaging, I thought. I can see why the series developed a lot of fans, and thanks to Scott, I might even go on and read some of the other books to see what becomes of Odd and his friends in little Pico Mundo. I hope Elvis shows up again.


Anonymous said...

I've read all the Odd books to date. I think Elvis moves on in book two, and Odd travels outside his small town to save as many other people as he can.


Anonymous said...

Love the Odd Thomas books. He is such an endearing character.

Scott Cupp said...

Glad you enjoyed it. I love that whole cast of characters, especially Stormy.