I’m not sure what motivated me to pick this book up, since mystery novels are not usually my cup of tea, but I am forever grateful that I made that decision. I have read and re-read this novel a few times and it never ceases to amaze me. The way Dean Koontz presents the content, yet odd, characters is a perfect way to rope someone in. It is quite difficult to drag your tired eyes away from this novel (even when it’s 4am and you know you have to work in the morning).
Odd Thomas lives up to his first name; he is a 20 year old short-order cook with the ability to see the ghosts of the dead and the shadowy faceless spirits he calls “bodachs,” who gravitate toward scenes of horrific violence and evil. Odd is a very likable guy whose ideal future rests with his girlfriend (and soul mate) Stormy Llewellyn and with a career in tires or footwear. Aware that his sixth sense is a burden that sets him apart and makes him appear otherworldly to others, he knows that he has received this gift for a reason. He feels a responsibility to make sense of the ghosts he encounters and to thwart the violence that the bodachs portend. When he spots a large congregation of bodachs converging on his hometown of Pico Mundo, he has a premonition of great disaster. He hones in on a villainous and twisted “Fungus Man” who he senses will most likely cause the violence. He must now discover the time and place where the bloodshed will occur. He races against the clock to prevent a tragic outcome. Narrated by Odd, this story is at times gory, at times inspirational, at times funny, and at times bittersweet. But the entire time it is flawless even though it can be unsettling, because it is worth it.
“We are not, however, a species that can choose the baggage with which we must travel. In spite of our best intentions, we always find that we have brought along a suitcase or two of darkness and despair.”