Dean Koontz fourth installment in his Odd Thomas series brings us Odd Hours. Odd Thomas is a simple, ordinary fry cook from a dinky little California town, Pico Mundo. Odd would have preferred to spend his life in a quest to create the perfect omelet and home fries, but he has an extraordinary gift. He communicates with the dead. Odd finds himself in the, well, oddest situations. He is drawn to places and people that need his help, and it almost seems like he has been tasked with keeping the evil that men plot and plan at bay. Having been accompanied by Elvis and a ghostly dog, Boo in the past, now Odd finds himself and Boo with a different companion. With their assistance Odd must come to understand the frightening dream he has been having; a dream of red ebbing tides and horrible light hanging over the sea.
It’s hard for me to say what I love the most about the Odd Thomas books. It could be Odds humble and humorous way of dealing with life, his wry delivery when speaking about the strangeness he lives with. It could also be the fascinating characters that fill the pages. Odd always finds the most unique and interesting people. These people are folks we see every day and Odd Thomas discovers their stories. I finish one of these books and find myself looking at the people I see daily and wondering if they have an interesting story too.
I find the thoughts of the protagonist particularly refreshing…
“This will go a long way toward encouraging the New Civility and toward discouraging the endless quarreling and tiresome debate that characterize our current society, which to so many impatient citizens seems old and tired. All that has been will be blown away, and you may be frightened sometimes by all the changes, but those who have the perspective and the ability to shape societal consensus are as sure as they have ever been about anything that, in the end, you will like your new world and feel that it is a paradise on earth, so just shut up already."
I was given a copy of Odd Hours and also had the audio book, so this was a combination of listening and reading. David Aaron Baker read the audio book in an absolutely spectacular performance. Odd Hours could most likely stand alone, but really why would you want to ignore the other three books in the series? The whole series is very good, and Odd Hours is just great!