- Hardcover: 180 pages
- Publisher: Grand Central Pub; First Edition edition (September 1, 1988)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 044651490X
- ISBN-13: 978-0446514903
- Package Dimensions: 10.8 x 9 x 0.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 218 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #533,791 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Oddkins: A Fable for All Ages Hardcover – September 1, 1988
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From Publishers Weekly
Though it looks and reads like a children's book, the latest work by bestselling novelist Koontz ( Watchers , Lightning ) is being marketed for adult audiences. As such, it falls far short of even adequate: both stylistically and in terms of characterization, it lacks the complexity that would engage an adult reader's interest. The living toys Isaac Bodkins makes in his magic workshop are designed to be sent out into the world to befriend troubled or mistreated children. As the book opens, Bodkins has just died, and the toys must attempt a long trek across town to tell young Colleen Shannon that she is the new magic toymaker. Now that Bodkin's benign spirit has departed, however, the evil toys in the sub-basement are coming to life, and they are intent on destroying their benevolent counterparts and installing their own dark-souled creator to spread sorrow and fear among children. The trip across town becomes a harrowing adventure, providing enough excitement and humor to hold a child's attention but not enough to motivate an adult to appropriate the work for the family bookcase. Parks's illustrations are excellent.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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I had originally thought that I would read this with my 7 year old granddaughter but I think that I had better wait. The evil toys are frightening.
I enjoyed the Biography with photos
Dean Koontz is one of the greatest writers of our time.
P.S. I have no children or grandchildren, but do have a beloved collection of stuffed animals. Mostly bears, my favorites.
We don't really need to speak to the quality of the writing. The Oddkins is very well written, and to say the least, it holds one's attention. You can't help it; you'll keep turning the pages. It's the characters and the fantasy that Koontz created that fascinates. There's Gibbon, who has all the information about the toymaker and the Oddkins history. Then there's Amos, the teddy bear and leader of the group, the alpha, the omega. There's the cavalier cat, Patch, the elephant named, Burl and others. You'll be invested and worried about them right from the start. Along the way, Koontz does not fail to offer some well-meaning morals;
"And if you're always dreaming about being something you're not, then you'll never have time to appreciate the joy and wonder of what you are."
[Butterscotch the dog].
The story is about Isaac Bodkin, a toymaker that imparted magic into his toys. He built in love, thus created life. At his death, his creations must undertake a quest to contact the new toymaker, Colleen Shannon, chosen by Isaac to take his place. Amos, and his fellow Oddkins must travel to the city to find her. Now you begin to worry. How will a bunch of stuffed animals travel to the city? How will they find Colleen?
Here's where the dark comes in - there is another set of toys, led by an evil marionette name Rex. They have been packed away in the sub-cellar of Isaac's toy store, and it isn't until Isaac has died, and Isaac's goodness is weak enough, that they come alive. They, the evil toys, have a goal too. Like the Oddkins they must connect with their new toymaker, a toymaker chosen by the dark one, his name is Nick Jagg. These bad toys want to make children's lives a misery. Rex and his miserable cronies have weapons, and their goal is to destroy the Oddkins before they can reach Colleen.
There is a bit of ripping, tearing and some stuffing leakage, but this is Koontz, remember. The story is a race of good against evil. Isaac can be viewed as God and there is a Satan (the Dark One), who remains in the background and drives the evil characters on.
I don't want to be a spoiler so I won't tell you how the story ends. I will tell you that this is a super fantasy, and I highly recommend it. If you are concerned about children being frightened by the content, I recommend that you read it first - you'll enjoy it.
I also purchased the narration that went with this book. While it might not be an issue for Amazon directly, perhaps you should know that this was without a doubt the WORST narration I have ever heard. The reader mispronounced many words (such as Amos, for Pete's sake), and read with ridiculously inept inflection or none at all. I intend to contact Audible about this. I don't usually purchase books for my Kindle unless it has narration, so I can listen in the car. I hope I can listen to the narration while sampling a book, and if it is this person (or machine, perhaps!) I will not purchase the book. This same narrator was on "Deceitful Moon" and the "Ann Stories". They are all terrible.
How surprised I am to find this simple, charming tale jump into first place in my love of his books. The characters are alive and the story touching and full of love, with plenty of Koontz's trade-mark humor.