Thursday, July 03, 2008

A Little Odd

Odd Hours by Dean Koontz: I used to be a horror fan, but rather than getting desensitized to violence, it seems to go the other direction with me so that I can't really stomach violence in films/books/the news. So, though I had been a Dean Koontz fan in the past (especially Watchers and Lightning), I hadn't read him for a while. My dad gave me Odd Thomas and said, "You might like this. It's really different." And it was! Odd is a humble fry cook with a simple way of looking at life. He also sees dead people. He's also incredibly well-realized, nuanced, and sympathetic. I couldn't help but like him and feel for him as he has to make difficult decisions. So if Odd Hours isn't the best entry (it's #4 of a planned 7-book series), if the bad guys' plot has a bit of "Snakes on a Plane" improbability, and if the description sometimes goes on a bit long, well, that's okay. The Sinatra bits were really memorable, and I loved Hutch and Birdie, two quirky characters compelling enough that I would like to know more about them. And Koontz is clearly an animal lover, given the appearance of a dog to help Odd out a bit (note that I resisted the urge to say "give him a paw"...oops, guess I didn't!). Odd's complex relationship with Annamaria is intriguing, and the way is clearly set at the end for more adventures for Odd. His story is haunting and memorable, and I'd start at the top, with Odd Thomas.

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