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Forever Odd: An Odd Thomas Novel Kindle Edition
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"The nice young fry cook with the occult powers is [Dean Koontz's] most likable creation. ... candid, upright, amusing and sometimes withering, especially when thinking about the state of contemporary popular culture."—The New York Times
"Inventive.... It's refreshing to come across a character as good-hearted as Odd.... [Dean Koontz is] an interesting writer with a voice all his own."—Washington Post
"Odd's strange gifts, coupled with his intelligence and self-effacing humor, make him one of the most quietly authoritative characters in recent popular fiction."—Publishers Weekly, starred review
From the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
- ASIN : B000SEI5CI
- Publisher : Bantam (June 29, 2007)
- Publication date : June 29, 2007
- Language : English
- File size : 1908 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 354 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #45,644 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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There is, however, throughout this book a typical Koontz literary tic that has always annoyed me and is present in this novel, to its detriment. It is the sarcastic aside, the mean-spirited generalization, and the snide politically tinged remark.
Normally, I just shrug at these things because it's up to the author whether a protagonist has the particular worldview that despises the "politically correct" culture around him. It never ruins the book for me, but does signal to me that author has Opinions.
But the Odd Thomas books purport to be manuscripts entirely written by Odd Thomas himself and these sorts of remarks do not at all work for his character. Odd Thomas -knows- that the afterlife exists and accepts his role in easing the dead to peace. No other human being can possibly comprehend the depth with which he knows the human condition and his compassion and empathy for people who are not evil, but perhaps misguided or flawed. He forgives and does not insult the dead by complaining about their thoughts on popular culture. -That- is the essence of who he is. He is humble, self-deprecating, and deeply committed to this work which he -knows- will conclude when he reunites with Stormy. The opinions of the dead are not his business, only peace for their immortal souls. It is what makes him so compelling and endearing. But when he offers snarky observations about Indian casinos, the naming of sports teams and the supposed vapid inner life of anchorwomen, it instantly takes me out of the story. Odd would -never- be so ungenerous. Not to mention, he is -not- a media consumer, or creature. He often remarks about how detached he is from the culture around him. So, why would he have opinions about such trivial matters?
Koontz has obviously taken to heart some of the criticisms of his work, including his heroes' facility with guns and violence, the hyperintelligent dogs, and the ever lurking danger of global government conspiracies. I would be glad if he would also jettison the sarcasms. They do not respect Odd Thomas. They make him seem like a jerk.
That said, I will read all of these books. Odd's journey is one of tragedy and poignancy. I long for the last book and his final reward - to be of service with his beloved Stormy.
Addendum: I forgot to add one last note that I regard as an oversight by the author. There should have been a line or two about Odd visiting the sisters of Maryanne, from the casino. They needed solace (one of them desperately needs law enforcement help) and Odd needed to do that for them and Maryanne, especially to honor her sacrifice, since she was so instrumental in a particularly important plot point and suffered so terribly at that moment.
Top reviews from other countries
Set not long after the first book Odd is still reeling from events but trying to get on as best he knows how. Woken up in the middle of the night by his doctor, now a ghost, Odd follows him to find he had been brutally murdered and his son Danny, a close friend of Odd, is missing. Using his supernatral abilities Odd gives chase after the villains of which the lady is an amusing yet sinister basket full of crazy.
The basic story is good as are the locations Odd travels through and I rather liked the main villain. The conversations between characters are still witty and often funny but the problem is there isn't enough of that. Odd spends an awful lot of his time in this book alone and the pace feels pretty slow in the middle as he tracks the culprits who have taken Danny. The end sequence is all pretty interesting, it just takes it's time getting there.
All in all it was still a pretty good novel i'm glad I read, and if you liked Odd Thomas than it is worth reading on to Forever Odd even if it isn't quite as good.
+ Nice plot premise.
+ Crazy villain.
+ Odd is a great character.
- Awfully slow in the middle.
Through his character, Koontz made it clear in the first novel that he intended to keep the tone light and the story swift-paced. He kept his promise for "Odd Thomas", and has done the same for the sequel. Every page in this novel feels relevant and un-belaboured, making this every bit the page-turner that the cover says.
The light tone occasionally feels forced, however, with Odd spinning out weak jokes and sometimes excruciatingly unfunny extended similes. Odd's young friend Danny, who Odd claims has a rapier wit and unparalleled sense of self-deprecating humour, is even worse, making the reader wish that Koontz just hadn't bothered.
Aside from that, the story is solid and still often amusing, and very occasionally emotional and chilling when intended. The conclusion and its admittedly minor revelation about the villains of the piece manages to shed a whole new layer to the narrative the reader has just finished, making up for minor niggles with a suitably uneasy conclusion.
The third and fourth books are already out as I write this, and I'll definitely be getting the next in the series at least; it looks like the overall story is strengthening significantly with each instalment.
Odd spends little to no time in Pico Mundo, instead getting dragged out into the desert to crack on with a new mystery; ok, great, a change of scenery is always good. But, for me, it just didn't work and I didn't enjoy the book as much as the first. I felt it was a little 'too over the top' compared to the first, where the storyline, whilst being 'out there' ran linearly and just worked. I don't think this was necessarily a bad storyline, but I did not enjoy it nearly as much as the first book. However, that being said, once you get back into the world of Odd, you start to pick up on the little quips and the bursts of wisdom and you once again feel the connection; towards the end, you do get a real insight into Odd, and it does open him up a great deal, which is good, and is also the highlight of this rather disappointing book.
Like I said - if your a fan of Odd, buy this book so you can continue reading the series, because the third book (after this) is a lot better, and rivals the first.
3 stars from me.