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Odd Thomas: An Odd Thomas Novel Paperback – April 24, 2012


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Product Details

  • Series: Odd Thomas
  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; Reprint edition (April 24, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345533429
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345533425
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 4.1 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,175 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,072 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Once in a very great while, an author does everything right-as Koontz has in this marvelous novel. Odd Thomas, who narrates, is odd indeed: only 20, he works contentedly as a fry cook in a small fictional California town, despite a talent for writing. The reason for his lack of ambition? A much rarer talent: Odd sees and converses with ghosts, the lingering dead who have yet to pass on, a secret he has kept from nearly everyone but his girlfriend, an eccentric author friend and the local police chief, whom he occasionally helps solve terrible crimes. Odd also has the ability to see bodachs, malevolent spirits that feast on pain and whose presence signifies a likelihood of imminent violence. The proximity of bodachs to a weird-looking stranger in town, whom Odd dubs "Fungus Man," alerts Odd that trouble is brewing; breaking into Fungus Man's house, Odd discovers not only hundreds of bodachs but a shrine to serial killers that helps him deduce that somehow Fungus Man will wreak widespread havoc very soon-so Odd is caught in a classic race against time to deter catastrophe. As with Koontz's best novels, this one features electrifying tension and suspense, plus a few walloping surprises. But Koontz fans know that the author has recently added humor to his arsenal of effects, and this thriller also stands out for its brilliant tightrope walk between the amusing and the macabre; one of the dead with whom Odd interacts frequently, for instance, is Elvis, still pining for his long-dead mother, Gladys. Above all, the story, like most great stories, runs on character-and here Koontz has created a hero whose honest, humble voice will resonate with many. In some recent books, Koontz has tended to overwrite, but not here: the narrative is as simple and clear as a newborn's gaze. This is Koontz working at his pinnacle, providing terrific entertainment that deals seriously with some of the deepest themes of human existence: the nature of evil, the grip of fate and the power of love.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School-Odd Thomas is just that. He works as a fry cook in the fictional California town of Pico Mundo. Should he ever leave that position, he sees a future in selling tires or shoes. What he lacks in ambition, he makes up for with a special gift. He communes with and sees the dead, some of whom enlist his help in avenging their deaths from foul play. His gift is a secret from everyone except his beautiful girlfriend and the Chief of Police, who never questions Odd's tips, advice, or presence at a murder scene. The man sees "bodachs" as well, small, evil creatures, fluid in shape, that feed upon horrific acts of carnage. He is horrified to see hordes of them gathering in his town. He spots a weird looking stranger in whom the bodachs appear very interested, nicknames him Fungus Man, and rightly assumes that he is involved in the impending disaster. Breaking into the man's house, Odd finds a mysterious black room, a shrine to serial killers, and a page from a calendar that tells him the date of the planned event. Now it's a race against time to foil the plot. The rapid pace, eerie circumstances, and bizarre characters will keep readers turning pages. Just when the suspense is almost unbearable, Koontz exhibits his wry sense of humor to break the tension. The last chapters are so powerful and heartrending that they should be read several times.
Katherine Fitch, Rachel Carson Middle School, Fairfax, VA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Dean Koontz, the author of many #1 New York Times bestsellers, lives in Southern California with his wife, Gerda, their golden retriever Anna, and the enduring spirit of their golden, Trixie.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

226 of 241 people found the following review helpful By Michael Hogan on February 11, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I have been a long time Dean Koontz fan. I've read just about every book, including some by his pseudonyms. Almost every book was a great read. I would close the book after the last page feeling both fulfilled and sad. Fulfilled because of a great story, sad because it was over. Lately, however, Koontz's books have been slipping.
I think it began after Seize the Night. His books became harder to read and filled (and I mean filled) with metaphors and similes. And the ultra-sappy happy endings were very unlike the author.
I didn't read The Face because of the bad reviews I heard. So, when Odd Thomas came out, I was reluctant but curious. Am I glad I picked this book up!
The story was fast-paced and exciting. The subject (Odd sees dead people) may have been used before, but Koontz put his own special touch in there. The characters were vivid, especially Odd and Stormy. And the humor...Koontz has a gift when it comes to humor in his books. I literally laughed out loud more than once.
Odd Thomas is classic Koontz. A great story, a quick read, funny, sad, scary, and moving.
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71 of 82 people found the following review helpful By Eileen Rieback on December 24, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Odd Thomas lives up to his first name; he is a 20 year old short-order cook with the ability to see the ghosts of the dead and the shadowy faceless spirits he calls "bodachs," who gravitate toward scenes of horrific violence and evil. Odd is a very likable guy whose ideal future rests with his girlfriend and soul mate Stormy Llewellyn and with a career in tires or footwear. Aware that his sixth sense is a burden that sets him apart and makes him appear otherworldly to others, he knows that he has received this gift for a reason. He feels a responsibility to make sense of the ghosts he encounters and to thwart the violence that the bodachs portend. When he spots a large congregation of bodachs converging on his hometown of Pico Mundo, he has a premonition of great disaster. He hones in on a villainous and twisted "Fungus Man" who he senses will most likely cause the violence. He must now discover the time and place where the bloodshed will occur. He races against the clock to prevent a tragic outcome. Narrated by Odd, this story is at times gory, at times inspirational, at times funny, and at times bittersweet.

Koontz is still a master at interweaving scenes of horror with humorous dialog and action. The ghost of Elvis materializes at incongruous moments. There is an exploding cow to add comic relief. The author portrays many humorous and colorful characters including Odd's oversized six-fingered mentor Little Ozzie and his landlady Rosalia who fears she will become invisible. As the author's writing career has progressed, his books have adopted more and more of an undertone of spirituality and religious optimism. His latest effort expands on this trend as he juxtaposes Satanism and the paranormal with an uplifting message.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Cory Nagel on December 17, 2007
Format: Paperback
I am not a Dean Koontz fan at all, but because of the large number of people who are, I occasionally give one of his books a shot. Most of the time I am simply reminded as to why I am not a Dean Koontz fan. Odd Thomas, however, was a massive exception to this rule. It just seemed to have all the ingredients and to fit them together so well: an interesting premise, an endearing main character, and witty story-telling. Even if you're not a fan of the author, or even the genre, this book is well worth taking a chance on.
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43 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Robert Busko TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 10, 2003
Format: Hardcover
For the first time in a long time Dean Koontz has written a book that delivers on any level you can name. Odd Thomas is a suspenseful, powerful, imaginative, and entertaining story. The characters are believable and seem to leap off the page at the reader. Of course, I like all of Koontz's works, the early stuff and his later, more spiritual works.
Odd Thomas is a short order hash slinger in a small out of the way town of Pico Mundo. Besides being a talented writer, Odd sees and communicates with ghosts. Not just any ghosts mind you, but all types of ghosts. One type that is especially bad are the "bodachs" a particularly malevolent spirit that is attracted to and seem to feed off of violence. These spirits are in town and associated with a character Odd names "Fungus Man." As you read you realize that Fungus Man is much, much more than he appears on the surface to be.
This is an unsettling read. Koontz manages to keep the reader slightly off balance. This causes a little disorientation and some readers may be critical on this aspect of the novel. However, when you reach the end of the book you'll be glad that you hung around to the end.
Koontz is a talented writer. His books are meant for intelligent readers. Odd Thomas will not disappoint.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Cheryl Tardif on September 19, 2008
Format: Paperback
Book 1 is my favorite Odd Thomas book, to-date. Awesome story with a memorable character. I thought about Odd long after I put the book down, and it definitely made me want to read more. I started on Forever Odd (book 2) the same evening.

Dean Koontz has created a very interesting character and some witty dialogue and humor. While it might not be as dark as most of his other works, Odd Thomas has an eerie foreshadowing that really works. You have to keep reading to find out what happens.

I must start book 4 soon...

Cheryl Kaye Tardif,
Author of Divine Intervention
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