Book Review: Dean Koontz’s Odd Thomas

Posted October 24, 2012 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Dean Koontz’s Odd Thomas

Odd Thomas


Dean Koontz

horror that was published by Bantam on August 29, 2006 and has 446 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Forever Odd, Brother Odd, Odd Hours, Odd Apocalypse, Deeply Odd, The City, Odd Thomas: You Are Destined to Be Together Forever (Short Story), Saint Odd, The Silent Corner

First in the Odd Thomas horror-lite series about a young man trapped in his small California town, Pico Mundo, by his gift.

In 2006, Odd Thomas was nominated for the Abraham Lincoln Award.

My Take

No, I’m not making fun of Odd’s name when I say this was an odd story. It’s slow to start, slow to move along, but compelling for all that. Just keep going and it will pick up. I couldn’t put it down once I got over halfway through it. I do confess that I only kept going because I had read something somewhere that made me think it would be worth it. And it is a Dean Koontz, so…I cried.

I don’t see why Odd didn’t just take the shoelaces and sheet right away. Why take a chance on the forensics or on being seen??

Nicely done if a bit slowish. Koontz fills us in on everyone’s background, fitting it in well.

The Story

It’s that dream he’s been having off-and-on for the past three years. The signs all point to it and Odd has got to stop it. He figures he’s been given this gift and he had better use it.

Then Fungus Man steps into the diner and the bodachs begin to gather. If it stays to just a few, it won’t be bad, but there are twenty some bodachs crowding Fungus Man, and Odd Thomas is worried. Enough so that he decides to follow the guy and see what’s what.

And it’s bad. That dream he’s been having? The signs are there.

The Characters

Odd Thomas is a twenty-year-old fry cook at the local diner with a gift for seeing dead people and helping them find justice. He has horrible parents. His mother is beautiful and a nutso, whacko. I kept hoping she would shoot! As for his father…oh, brother, what a con artist. He can’t die soon enough for me. Britney is his current, soon-to-be-ex girlfriend. Pearl “Granny” Sugars is his maternal grandmother and was quite a character who made a living playing poker and traveling around. Somewhere out there, his mother has a sister named Cymry whom no one likes to talk about.

Bronwen “Stormy” Llewellyn is the girl with whom Odd has been in love for years. They’ve decided that all the signs point to them being together forever. She’s an ambitious lass determined to own her own store by the time she turns twenty-four. She’s worked her way to manager at the ice cream store at the mall. And she’s finally said yes to Odd!

P. Oswald Boone, a.k.a., Little Ozzie, is an author of art, cooking, and mysteries. He’s also one of Odd’s friends who knows something of what he can do. Terrible Chester is his scary cat with a habit of peeing on people’s shoes.

Wyatt Porter is the chief of police for Pico Mundo. He’s one of the few who knows about Odd’s talents and he makes good use of them. Karla is his wife and they both love Odd like a son. Eileen Newfield is Wyatt’s sister.

Bern Eckles is new to the Pico Mundo PD and Karla and Wyatt are hoping to fix him up with Lysette Rains, a nail artist in town. Other policemen include Jake Hulquist who is the chief’s best friend, Simon Varner, Sonny Wexler, Izzy Maldanado, Jesus Bustamente, Alice Norrie, Rafus Carter, and Billy Munday.

Rosalia Sanchez is Odd’s landlady and it’s Odd’s task every morning to let her know she’s still visible. She had a traumatic year in 2001, losing her entire family. Joseph Mangione owns the Tire World which Odd obsesses over and where Tom Jedd‘s ghost haunts.

Terri Stambaugh owns the Pico Mundo Grille where Odd is a fry cook. She lost her husband after a long bout with cancer and his death was the catalyst that set her on her Elvis Presley obsession. The waitresses include Helen Arches and Viola Peabody who’s worried about a dream in which she died (she has two little girls: Nicolina and Levanna). Poke Barnet takes over for Odd at 2 p.m.

Shamus Cocobolo is a blind man who hosts the 1 to 6 a.m. time slot for KPMC; he calls Odd “Wizard” and plays mostly big band music. Stan “Spanky” Lufmunder is KPMC Radio’s engineer on duty at night; Harry Beamis is the producer of Shamus’ show.

Penny Kallisto is twelve years old. And dead. She helps introduce us to what Odd does best when he finds justice for her with Harlo Landerson. Fungas Man, a.k.a., Bob Robertson, is a wealthy young man living very simply, but it’s the crowd of bodachs that catches Odd’s eye. Gosset was a schoolteacher.

is the word a young English boy used to describe the shades who tend to gather wherever death and destruction are about to occur.

The Cover and Title

The cover is a cloudy gradient of black to pale lilac with just Odd’s legs showing, reflecting the black room he finds.

The title is our introduction to Odd Thomas. As simple and direct as the young man himself.