“The most identifying trait of humanity is our ability to be inhumane to one another.”
– DEAN KOONTZ, Odd Thomas
Dean Koontz. How I love this teller of tales. He’s not the greatest in many ways, but I love his books. I love the words he chooses, his perspectives on life. They resonate with me. There are descriptions from his novels I remember to this day and I read a lot of books. His wordsmithing is unbelievable. I also appreciate his endings. No matter how dark the subject, how intense the tale, the ending is always good. He never leaves you with the eviscerated feeling Steven King does. For some of you, this makes you love King more. I understand. King has a way of ripping you open and leaving you bare to the world. He leaves you feeling sick, dark, and grim, which is all well and good, but easy to overdose on. I can only read so many King books before I have to go find rainbows and silver lining.
With Koontz, I get both my gore, grim evil, and scary villains along with my love story, happy ending, good winning over evil in a way which lets me face my day without wanting to hide under the blankets.
Now, Odd Thomas. Odd Thomas is more about Odd than anything else. I honestly found the main villains a little too contrived and easy. I found them to be a little too predictable. I never once felt my gut clench or shivered over the vile destruction they waged. In fact, the villains felt like cardboard cutouts, while Odd’s parents presented a far more frightful visage of the damage one human can bring upon another. They are the true villains in Odd’s life.
I did like Odd Thomas. For him, I continued to read the book and enjoy it. Koontz’s dialogue is fun, clever and sarcastic. His heroes are weighed down with the difficulties their powers bring in their lives, but not broken. Odd’s friends keep him going, his love makes him strong, and his powers are used to help others.
The magic of this story came when Koontz made you forget Odd’s unique power just when you needed to remember it the most. Pure magic!
I plan on finding time to read the other Odd Thomas books along with anything else Koontz writes. I would describe him as one of my biggest literary influences in my own writing. (Though my brother tells me he likes my serial killers better. :-) )
Just a few thoughts…how did you like the book?