Odd Thomas (novel)
|Preceded by||In Odd We Trust|
|Followed by||Forever Odd|
Odd Thomas is a thriller novel by American writer Dean Koontz, published in 2003. The novel derives its title from the protagonist, a twenty-year-old short-order cook named Odd Thomas. The book, which was well received and applauded by critics, went on to become a New York Times Bestseller. Following the success of the novel, two sequels, Forever Odd (2005), and Brother Odd (2006) were also written by Koontz. A third sequel, Odd Hours, was released on May 20, 2008 and a fourth sequel, Odd Apocalypse, was released on July 31, 2012. Two graphic-novel prequels, In Odd We Trust and Odd Is On Our Side have also been released. In the postscript to the graphic novel, Koontz states that "God willing, there will be six Odd Thomas novels." A Special Odd Thomas Adventure (short novel), Odd Interlude, was released on December 26, 2012. A sixth novel, Deeply Odd released in 2013, offers no closure to the Odd Thomas story and allows the possibility of further novels in the series.
In the beginning of the book, Odd Thomas is silently approached by the ghost of a young girl brutally raped and murdered, and through his unique ability to understand the dead, is psychically led to her killer, a former schoolmate named Harlo Landerson. With this opening, we are introduced to Odd's world. Koontz soon discloses how Odd was named and begins, layer by layer, to show how Odd's dysfunctional upbringing has shaped his life, and as those details are uncovered, his supernatural abilities begin to make more sense.
We see Odd at work as a short order cook in a California desert town, and in a fateful 24-hour period, he meets a suspicious-looking man in the diner followed by bodachs, shadowy spirit creatures who appear only during times of death and disaster. This man, who Odd nicknames "Fungus Man" (due to his waxy complexion and blond hair that resembles mold), has an unusually large swarm of bodachs following him, and Odd is convinced that this man is connected to some terrible catastrophe that is about to occur. To gather more information about him, Odd uses his gift of supernatural intuition, which his soulmate Bronwen (a.k.a. Stormy) Llewellyn calls "psychic magnetism," to track him down.
Odd's sixth sense leads him to Fungus Man's home, and Odd begins to uncover more details about the man and a mysterious other-worldly link to the dark forces about to be unleashed on the town of Pico Mundo. Accompanied sometimes by the ghost of Elvis Presley and encountering other memorable spirits, including a murdered prostitute, Odd is soon deeply involved in an attempt to prevent the disastrous bloodshed he knows will happen the next day.
"I see dead people. But then, by God, I do something about it." – Odd Thomas pg. 32
Odd could see the dead and also see shadowy figures that normally lurk around people that will cause deaths or will die. They are called bodachs and feed on the pain of others. Odd is a short-order cook at a breakfast joint in Pico Mundo. His girlfriend is Stormy. Little Ozzie is his best friend. Odd leads a simple life because he has to, since he finds the job of speaking to the lingering dead complicated enough. Odd is an optimist seeing the good in most individuals despite his troubling life; he fears going anywhere with a large population because it would interfere with his "simple life". He never told his father or mother because he thought that his father would use his son's powers to make himself rich. He once met a boy who also saw bodachs but when the bodachs realized this, they seemed to cause a fatal accident, killing the little boy instantly, so Odd keeps this ability a secret.
"Loop me in, Odd One." – Stormy Llewellyn
Odd's destiny. Stormy's real name is Bronwen, but she prefers to be called Stormy because she thinks this makes her sound less like an elf. She is the manager of an ice cream shop and hopes to own a shop of her own some day. Stormy's parents died when she was very young. She was adopted by a couple when she was 7. Her foster father sexually molested her for almost 3 months. She reported him to a social worker and was moved to an orphanage where she lived until seventeen, at which point she was cared for by her uncle, Father Sean Llewellyn, rector of St. Bartholomew's church. She remained under his legal guardianship until she could become independent. She is a strong believer in delayed gratification, that this life is a "boot camp" for the next, which she calls "service," and that finally in the third life are the rewards. She insists on waiting for sex with Odd until marriage, hoping to make their first time together a meaningful experience and as not to bring the memories of her abuse on their bed. She also is the only person that knows everything about Odd seeing the dead.
Chief Wyatt Porter
The Chief helps Odd many times, acting almost as a surrogate father. He is one of the few people that know Odd sees the dead but he does not know all of Odd's secrets. He is shot 4 times by one of the people who would later shoot people at the mall, but survives.
Robert Thomas "Fungus Man" Robertson
Fungus Man or Robert Thomas Robertson is initially portrayed as the main antagonist. He comes to Pico Mundo surrounded by bodachs and immediately Odd is suspicious of him. Little is explained about Robertson directly. Odd finds that he is obsessed with serial killers as evidenced by the files he keeps on them. Robertson was approached by Eckles, Varner, and Gosset a few months before the incident at the Green Moon Mall, having met them at a satanic cult gathering. They were interested only in his mother's money. Eckles, Varner, and Gosset killed Roberston's mother (with his permission) and gave him her ears as a trophy. Robertson is murdered by one of his conspirators when they find out that Odd's attention is being drawn towards them and their plans. Robertson then becomes one of the lingering dead and stalks Odd for a short time as a poltergeist. When Robertson's ghost confronts Odd at his home, he goes into an uncontrollable rage, destroying much of the kitchen. Odd leaves him there in the house where he is assumed to still be haunting.
Bern Eckles, Simon Varner, and Kevin Gosset
These three had conspired with Robert Thomas Robertson to have a mass killing at the mall. The three had gotten involved in ritualistic satanism as teenagers and first killed when they were 15 on a "dare." They pledged their loyalty to their "dark god," vowing to go into careers in which they could promote satanism and chaos. Varner and Eckles became cops, while Gosset became a school teacher. Varner had killed Robert Thomas Robertson after he found out that Odd had been in Robertson's house and suspected him, he then tried to frame Odd for the murder. Eckles and Varner were the two gunmen that Odd subdued; Eckles first with the bat then Varner with a shot to the shoulder and head. Gosset had shot Odd twice in the back, Odd managed to pull the wires out of the bomb, thereby disarming it as he fell to the ground. Gosset later told everything that had happened between all the conspirators. They called the atrocity "just another way of worshipping."
Nicknamed 'little' despite being larger than his father, Ozzie has a 6th finger on his left hand and has published many very successful detective novels. He has a pet cat named Terrible Chester who Ozzie claims is over 50 years old, and has pictures to prove it. Terrible Chester does not like Odd and Little Ozzie is one of the few people who knows about Odd's powers.
Odd Thomas film adaptation
Novelist Dean Koontz told San Diego Comic-Con attendees on July 26, 2008 that he had a movie script adapted from his book Odd Thomas and he's very pleased with the results. Koontz also teased that an unnamed actor has signed on to play the title character, but refused to reveal any further details. Koontz added that after reading the script, which was written by an unnamed screenwriter, he 'fell over' because it was 'so perfect.'