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on February 11, 2004
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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on December 17, 2007
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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on December 24, 2003
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. Stormy talks about the lives that exist beyond this one, and she refers to this life as a mere "boot camp" for the tests and rewards of the life to come. Odd's ghosts are waiting in limbo, held back by unresolved issues before moving on to the next plane of existence. Odd acknowledges that there are universal truths more complex and meaningful than those of the material world.

This is not one of Koontz's best books, but it is still a good one. The ending of the story has a slightly different tone than in his other books. His fans might feel a bit put off by it or perhaps more uplifted by it. Although I was in the former category, I still give the book four stars and recommend it for its eerie scenes and for its protagonist, who is so human and yet so unique.

Eileen Rieback
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VINE VOICEon December 10, 2003
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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on January 21, 2005
Wow! What a way to start a new year. This is the first book I've read by Dean Koontz and I'm kicking myself in the behind for overlooking the man for some many years! After this review, I will make it a point to get my hands on a copy of everything the man has ever written.

I first mentioned this book to my husband after coming across it in the bookstore early December. Back cover seemed interesting enough but, not being a fan of Koontz, I decided to put it on my "wish list". A few days later, my husband handed me the book (God Bless The Man! *grin)and with the first words ("My name is Odd Thomas...") - I was hooked!

There are no simple words to describe this book - it is a literary masterpiece. There were times when I forgot that I was reading a book and felt as if I were reading a memoir of sorts (in fact, it is from this view that Odd presents his story to the reader). You not only get to know each of the different characters Odd encounters in his life (each unique in their own ways) but you begin to care about what happens to these people. Many times I held my breath, struggling to keep my eyes from leaping to the paragraph below to see what fate awaited a member of Odd's "family".

I've read some pretty good books in '04 but one of my biggest complaints have been that the books start off very well but I find myself rushing through the ending. I clung to every word in this book, sometimes stopping to savor a particular phrase delivered by the narrator. And the ending delivered! Man, the writing is nothing less than awesome! So simplistic and yet so genius!

Hats off to Mr. Dean Koontz for a magnificent job!
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on July 6, 2007
Once again, Dean Koontz has taken us on a riveting journey. Through scary moments, humor, romance, and violence, he has captivated the reader and keeps the pages turning; a true testament to his easy flowing and enjoyable writing.

Odd Thomas is one of those characters the "everyman" can identify with, although we can not share his special/supernatural abilities. Not unlike the character Forrest Gump, Odd Thomas is humble, vulnerable, comes from a troubled past, and has unwillingly risen to greatness when necessary; all of this despite his reluctance to be the center of attention and fawned upon. Like Jimmy Tock of Life Expectancy, one can't help but root for,and perhaps most importantly, relate to and empathize with Odd Thomas as he describes Stormy, converses with his troubled parents, discusses his "gift" (or perhaps more appropriately, his burden), and ponders the questions that many of us faced when we were twenty and had a dead end job, small apartment, and no car. Through him, we see the optimistic side of life despite being afflicted with what many of us in the real world would consider a curse. Although a flawed and fallible hero, Odd Thomas may well represent the compassion and persevering spirit lacking in many of us.

To date, I have yet to be disappointed with a Koontz book and Odd Thomas is no exception. I hope it is enjoyed by others as much as I have enjoyed it. And to Mr. Koontz: Thank you and please keep up the good work!
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VINE VOICEon May 3, 2006
I'm back-and-forth on Koontz most of the time. When he's on, he can craft a great novel, but when he's not he sticks to the same formulas time and again. This book, to his credit, avoids those formulas and gives us a story which, while not blisteringly original, is at least off the path he usually treads.

Odd Thomas is a young man with a strange gift -- the ability to see the "lingering dead," ghosts who often recruit him to help fix some unresolved trauma from their life. Odd has other gifts as well -- rare precognitive dreams, a sort of "psychic magnetism" which brings him to anyone he seeks and the ability to see dark spirits he calls Bodachs that swarm upon scenes of violence. In this book, Odd goes forth to track down a man the Bodachs have taken a particular interest in, a man with a penchant for scenes of horror and their perpetrators.

The way this story is crafted is a bit offputting -- Odd's first-person narration is often handled in short, choppy paragraphs that feel as though they were written by a teenager that hasn't quite learned how to smooth out a transition yet. He frequently refers to previous adventures as well, and does it SO frequently that it felt like I was reading a book several installments into a series (in fact, it is the first -- a sequel is already available). The twist ending was choreographed quite early as well. Still, the characters are propelled by their sheer bizarre nature and the plot is fed by the same into a book that's ultimately entertaining, if not enthralling.
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on October 2, 2015
I do not remember when I last read book that kept me "on the edge of my seat" as much as this one! The one term for the mood of the book was a very difficult question because it was hopeful, sometimes very dark, extremely suspenseful at times, but overall hopeful. bought the kindle edition, and was up almost all night the two days it took me to finish the book. To me the ending was surprising, but I will not give away why. I highly recommend this book. I have read and listened to many of Mr. Koontz"s books. The are all distinctly different, yet all intriguing and thought provoking. Inspired writing, as far as I am concerned. Strong moral values accentuate this man's amazing talent.
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on August 22, 2011
This is one of the best books I have ever read! It is also the first Dean Koontz novel I have ever read. This story sends electricity surging down your spine from the very first page. Odd Thomas is an ordinary fry cook at the Pico Mundo grill, who's main ambition is to become a tire salesman at the local tire store.
Odd see's the dead. He claims the dead don't talk, but they sure did to me in this electrifying story. The spirits of the lingering dead seek Odd's assistance to cross over into the everlasting if they have been murdered or killed in some otherwise "strange" nature. Odd is a very kind, compassionate person who has mercy on them and helps them to "move on".
One of the bonuses of this wondeful book, is that Mr. Koontz has added Elvis Presley as a main character and friend to Odd. He constantly seeks to entertain and amuse the protagonist (and the reader)with the same wit and demeanor as he did in life. I think it made this story so much more fun to read because of this humorous addition. (I'm with Mr. Koontz-Elvis will never really be gone!)
With the help of Odd's beautiful, Egyption looking girlfriend, Stormy Llewelyn, he uncovers a plot to destroy the Pico Mundo Mall and everyone in it.
Needless to say, Odd becomes the town hero, but with devastating consequences that will forever change his life.
I found this book to be thrilling, suspenseful, mysterious, and wonderfully romantic all in one. I honestly have to say that this is one of the best books I have ever read, and therefore, I give it five stars(very well deserved)and recommend this quickly read novel to everyone. I am now an official Dean Koontz fan!
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on April 11, 2014
Odd Thomas is the international best-selling novel by Author Dean Koontz, the beginning in the Odd Thomas series.

I had heard of this novel multiple times in the past, but hadn't paid it much attention until I learned of the movie. I hate being one of those people who read a book just because it was made into a movie, but when I ended up loving the movie I knew I had to read the book. The book is always better than the movie, and if you like the movie then you'll love the book.

I'm a little on the fence about this one. It's very rare where I can say I enjoyed the movie a bit more than the book, but that seems to be the case here. Don't get me wrong, I did enjoy this book, I just found it to be a little slow in starting and there were a few parts where I was wondering when the action would start up again. The lull in parts were boring, but they were worth it when the action finally started up.

The writing was magnificent, as to be expected of a best-selling author such as Dean Koontz. The imagery was crystal clear and the humor that was spiced into the dialogue was an added bonus. I had more than one good chuckle while reading this novel, and found myself smiling for more than half the novel. The paranormal element was interesting, but at times a bit comical. I felt it didn't take itself as seriously as it should, but in the end that's only a slight blip.

All in all, I enjoyed Odd Thomas and look forward to seeing what drama he gets himself into next!
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