Odd Thomas, by Dean Koontz

Cover ImageFinished 8-7-10, rating 4/5, fiction, pub. 2003

My name is Odd Thomas, though in this age when fame is the altar at which most people worship, I am not sure why you should care who I am or that I exist.

I am not a celebrity.  I am not the child of a celebrity.  I have never been married to, never been abused by, and never provided a kidney for transplantation into any celebrity,  Furthermore, I have no desire to be a celebrity.

first lines of book

Odd Thomas is a 20-year-old fry cook who lives in a small California town whose big aspiration is to someday go into selling tires or maybe shoes.  You see, Odd has a gift, he sees dead people.  These ghosts are stuck in Pico Mundo because they have not yet crossed over and Odd is sometimes able to help them do that.  A few people know his secret, his girlfriend Stormy, the police chief, and Little Ozzie who convinces him to write this book.  Odd finds it easier to live within in the confines of Pico Mundo, I mean who knows how many ghosts he may be inundated with in a large city, and to live with low ambitions.  To do anything else might threaten his sanity, he thinks.

Then one day the bodachs arrive and Odd is scared.  Bodachs are evil beings, not ghosts and not able to hurt the living, but they follow evil and Pico Mundo has just been overrun with hundreds and thousands of them.  Odd needs to find out what’s going on before his town is devastated by unseen evil.  With the help of his friends and a ghostly Elvis as a sometime companion, Odd is on the case.

This book was not what I expected.  I love much of what Dean Koontz writes, they are often fast paced and intense, but this one was more introspective than the others I’ve read.  Odd is a character that is fully fleshed out and his story grabs your heartstrings while at the same time engaging the reader in a thrilling mystery.  There is humor and evil and heartbreak and Odd, a character you won’t soon forget. So, while I expected maybe more of a gripping thriller I was completely satisfied with the more fully realized story of Odd. 

Koontz has written more books about Odd and I do plan on reading them. 

This is from my personal library and was chosen by Donna, Sandy, and Sharon.  Here’s what they had to say…

“A great book with wonderful characters. My whole family just loves Odd.”  Donna

“I love Odd, he is a gentle soul.”  Sharon