Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Odd Reading, Short Review

A few years ago I read some reviews of a novel by Dean Koontz called Odd Thomas. I've only read a few things by Koontz, but one novel, From the Corner of His Eye, was great. The reviews for Odd Thomas were pretty strong too, so I marked it down as a high priority on my enormous to-be-read list. Since then Koontz has turned Odd Thomas into something of a franchise, with three sequels and a comic book.

Odd was my traveling companion on a long train ride, and he was a very good guy to have along. The novel is told in the first person by Odd (that's his real first name), a nice young man with a gift. He sees dead people. They sometimes need help, and he does something about it.

Okay, that doesn't sound very original, but don't worry. Koontz was really hitting on all cylinders with this one. Odd is an exceptionally well realized character, a guy who strives for simplicity while bearing the burden of supernatural complications. I grew to like him, his cool, quirky girlfriend, and their friends, living and dead. Koontz expertly weaves a tale of suspense, humor, and genuine warmth that was more than just a first-rate thrill ride. I found some of the book to be surprisingly moving. I was glad I had a seat to myself when I gasped aloud at one particular shocking plot twist. I was still glad to be alone when the book brought tears to my eyes. I like Odd. I plan to spend some more time with him. The sequel just went on my reading list.

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