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Odd Hours Hardcover – May 20, 2008

4.1 out of 5 stars 836 customer reviews
Book 4 of 7 in the Odd Thomas Series

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Amazon Exclusive Essay: Destiny and Odd Hours

Odd Thomas came to me as a gift, the entire first chapter of his first book having poured out of me as I was in the middle of writing The Face. I wrote it by hand, though I never work that way, and I never hesitated to think what should come next. He was fully-realized in my mind from the moment I began to write in that lined legal tablet. With other stories and characters, I can identify the source of the inspiration, but not with Oddie and his books. He just suddenly was. When I write about him, his narrative voice is so clear to me that I almost hear him in my head.

For those among you who long have thought that I should be institutionalized, just relax: I said I almost hear him.

Many times over the years, I said I would never write an open-ended series. Then along came Oddie, and he proved me wrong. Or so I thought. As I wrote the first chapter of Odd Hours, the fourth featuring my fry-cook hero, I realized that this was not an open-ended series, after all, but that it would conclude with six or seven novels. I now think seven.

I suddenly saw the end point of his journey, the arc of it to the final book, and I was stunned. Beginning with this fourth story, the stakes were being raised dramatically; Oddie was going to face far more physical and moral danger than previously; and he was going to mature toward the fulfillment of a destiny that I had not seen coming until that moment.

Initially, I tried to argue myself out of the direction that Odd Hours was taking. I didn't believe that the first three books had put down a sufficient foundation to support the formidable architecture that I saw rising from it in the next three or four novels.

When I began to reread the first three books, however, I quickly discovered that I had unconsciously paved the road that the series was now taking. I had thought I was writing a series with an overall theme about the power and beauty of humility. Indeed I was, but it was also something more than that; and Oddie's ultimate destiny will not be merely purification to a state of absolute humility, but will be that and something else I find quite wonderful.

What lies ahead will be a challenge to write--or perhaps not. The character of Odd Thomas was a gift to me, and now I see that the entire architecture of a seven-book series was another gift that came to me complete on the same day Oddie arrived, although I needed time to recognize it.

This world is a place of wonder, and life is a mysterious enterprise; but nothing in all my years has been more mysterious than Odd Thomas's origins and my compulsion to write about him.

-- Dean Koontz

From Booklist

The fourth adventure of Odd Thomas, the young man haunted by the deceased who can also foresee potential murderous disaster, may not be the best—his eponymous initial outing is—but darned if it isn’t the most purely entertaining. Observing Koontz’s SOP, it starts with a bang and goes like a house afire straight through to the penultimate chapter (the last chapter cleans up). Odd goes out for a walk on the boardwalk to find the Lady of the Bell, a pregnant girl roughly his own age (21), who has appeared to him in a troubling dream. He succeeds, but then a blond gorilla and two skinny redheaded guys packing heat show up. When Odd touches the gorilla, he gets a flash of the dream. So does the gorilla, who is immediately, murderously suspicious, so Odd, after sending the girl packing, takes a header off the boardwalk. For most of the rest of the book, Odd flees the three baddies, discovering that the local police chief and a liberal minister are in cahoots with them, until he reverses the procedure to prevent very serious destruction, indeed, aimed at regime change in America. Choosing so grandiose an objective for Odd, Koontz forges the kind of sweeping melodrama, complete with screwball laughs, nail-biting moments, and surprises, that is the bedrock of American narrative entertainment. --Ray Olson

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; First Edition edition (May 20, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553807056
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553807059
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.3 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (836 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #331,798 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Thriller Lover VINE VOICE on May 21, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Dean Koontz is one of my favorite genre writers, and the original ODD THOMAS novel is my second favorite of his books, right after his 1987 novel WATCHERS. Given the enormously favorable response to ODD THOMAS, Koontz decided to turn the book into a series, and now plans to write six or seven novels featuring the character. ODD HOURS is the fourth book in the sequence, and is probably the best of the sequels so far.

If you've read ODD THOMAS (and you MUST read the four novels in order to properly enjoy them) you know that these books are a unique combination of suspense, dark comedy, and spiritual uplift. Odd is a character with a very unique voice, one that I very much enjoy listening to. The pleasure of the Odd Thomas novels is not really the plots, which are often thin and unrealistic. Instead, the pleasure is in watching how Odd wryly reacts to all the insanity taking place around him. The results are often hilariously funny, yet at the same time emotionally moving. There are no other books quite like them.

In ODD HOURS, the story involves a terrorist plot to smuggle nuclear weapons into a small California coastal town. This plot is in no way believable. But again, Koontz simply uses this rather silly storyline as an excuse to allow Odd to have another wild adventure, encounter another cast of eccentric characters, and pontificate about the absurd yet wonderful nature of life. After a slightly slow start, this novel works wonderfully well at this level. The end result is the best Koontz book I've read for quite some time.

Admittedly, ODD HOURS isn't for everyone. Some readers I know have lamented Koontz's new style of writing, often proclaiming that his books aren't as well written as his horror novels of the 1980s and early 1990s.
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Format: Hardcover
I really enjoyed the previous Odd Thomas books, especially the first one. I do not think this book stands alone. If you have not read the others I think you will be completely lost. Having read the others I have such mixed feelings!

I love the dialog and humor of Odd Thomas with Hutch, Utgard, and Chief Hoss Sackett. The downright profound observations made with Birdie on pages 218 and 219 were amazing! Yet the dialog with Annamaria drove me nuts.

The first scene at the pier seemed endless... had I not read his other books I would not have read beyond this point. What was with the coyotes??? The bell??? The sea glass??? The grate with the lightning bolt ring???

I love the character of Odd and thought Birdie could make a very interesting main character someday. Blossom was another very interesting character. I wanted so much to like this book. I think generally speaking Dean Koontz is a wonderful, thoughtful, and witty writer and yet this book disappointed me.

I hope he can make Annamaria a more interesting person in the next book... yes I will read the next one.

I really like Dean Koontz. Not every book can be the best one. When you've written as many books as he has there are bound to be some that are better than others. I hope he doesn't get discouraged by negative comments because we will all lose if he doesn't continue to share his observations, humor, and creative ideas - they are a gift.
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Format: Hardcover
It should go without saying that at this point in his career Dean Koontz is an absolute master at devising and then executing a story. Throughout his career, Koontz has continued to develop as an author with each new story better than the previous one. In his Odd Thomas series this is certainly true.

It began with Odd Thomas, a strange young fellow living in a small California town of Pico Mundo and working as a fry cook. Then came Forever Odd, Brother Odd and now Odd Hours. Odd Thomas, the fry cook, has remained a steadfast character from the first book to the fourth even though life has not been kind to him. But while Odd has remained the same humble, innocent, and generally good guy he has always been, he has continued to develop as a character with new facets added in each story. Odd has had two companions, a ghost dog name Boo and his long time friend Elvis Presley. In Odd Hours, Elvis is seemingly replaced with Frank Sinatra.

In Odd Hours, Odd is faced with perhaps his most profound challenge yet. A dream and all encompassing red tide haunts Odd. At the close of Brother Odd, Odd wants nothing more than to return to Pico Mundo and resume his quiet life as a fry cook. However, fate steps in and he lands in a small coastal town of Magic Beach working for a former movie actor and author of childrens books. With terrific characters such as Annamarie and Brush Cut, Koontz has written another terrific page turner. Packed with suspense, a dark eerieness, fast action, and tight plot, Odd Hours will not disappoint. You'll have to suspend plausibility, but you'll enjoy this fourth Odd Thomas installment.

I highly recommend.

Peace always
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
First off, I am biased... I really like Odd, the character that Koontz has developed in these books. This installment is a continuation of the series and was a very engaging read. I finished it in one sitting (and here I am at the computer at two in the morning!). Koontz' style was very strong on scene description. I could actually imagine the sensations of a heavy salt water fog he described in one of his scenes.

Of course, I am a sucker for self effacing hero types, dogs, and good friends. There are as much of these in this book as any of the previous. And of course there are ghosts (alas, no Elvis - he left the building in the last book!).

I would say that some of the witty repartee between Odd and others was reminiscent of Koontz' character in 'The Good Guy'.

If you liked the other books, I think that you will definitely like this one - I highly recommend.

All the best,

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