“I was only a fry cook with paranormal abilities that were not a blessing but a weight to carry. And considering that I had no job, I couldn’t claim to be even a fry cook, but simply a man with a burden, which was one of the most common creatures on the earth.” (Deeply Odd, pg 209). I like this quote. I think it helps to show how Odd Thomas acts and thinks. He is a humble man who is just trying to do the right thing and use his gift to see the lingering dead to help others.
Deeply Odd is the sixth and latest novel in the Odd Thomas series. I have been reading the Odd series for a few years now but it is kind of a funny story as to how I stumbled upon it. I saw a paperback copy of ‘Brother Odd’ and thought it looked interesting so I got it with the plan on reading it right after I finished whatever book I was reading at the time. I believe I bought the book at a bus or train station…there was some form of travel involved, it might have even been an airport. Either way, I got the book and was about to start it. I opened the cover and that is where I saw it. Two other novels with very similar titles were suggested. It could only mean one thing–this book was not a standalone as I initially thought but rather a book in a series and not the first book either. I almost made the mistake of starting in the middle of the series! Luckily I noticed before any real harm was done and was able to get my hands on the first two novels. I quickly devoured them as tends to be the case with any book that I find and enjoy. The series is about a young man named Odd Thomas who has special paranormal abilities. He can see the lingering dead and he gets visions of a kind. Typically he can sense when something bad is about to happen and then he takes it upon himself to stop evil wherever he can.
I found Deeply Odd to be a very entertaining novel and I think that the series overall is a very worthwhile read. The books would appeal to both those who have been reading Dean Koontz for awhile and those who have never picked up one of his books. I think that the books would appeal to both male and female audiences. I wrote my recommendation up here so that those who haven’t read the series can stop reading here and not run into any spoilers.
SPOILER ALERT FOR THOSE WHO HAVE NOT READ THE FIRST ODD THOMAS NOVEL: DO NOT READ BELOW
Deeply Odd sets up almost immediately after the last book left off. It has been sixteen months since the shootings at the Green Moon Mall in Pico Mundo. That was the first book. It is in the first book of the series that we meet Odd Thomas and find out about his gift and then witness him using his gift to try to help those that he can. He senses that there is something terrible about to go down but he doesn’t know what and he spends most of the book trying to figure out what it is and how to stop it. Once Odd finds out that a group of men is planning on shooting up the Green Moon Mall, he heads for it to save the day. He does save an awful lot of people, but sadly not everyone. One of the victims of that day’s shooting was Odd Thomas’s soul mate, Stormy Llewellyn. Ever since she passed on to the next world, Odd Thomas has been wandering the country trying to find meaning and trying to stop the horrible things that are inevitably planned by those who have evil in their hearts.
Odd Thomas has not had an easy life. He had rather neglectful parents, he has to deal with the burden of seeing the dead and not always being able to help them, and he has a great love whom he is separated from by death. He has many burdens to deal with, and yet he remains a very grounded, kind, polite, optimistic young man. That in itself is amazing to me. Most individuals who have been through what he has would not work so hard to make the world a better place, but rather just focus on how to dull the pain. For Odd Thomas, he finds the best way to dull the pain is to help others.
Deeply Odd is a very entertaining book. I really like Odd Thomas’s view on life. He seems rather insightful in most of what he says. There was this one soliloquy that just really struck me when I was reading. It is a little long, and originally I was going to only include a few sentences, but I think that reading the entire thing is better. It gives the full effect and hopefully will inspire you to go pick up this book.
“Among the nations of Earth, in all its history, ours is one of the precious few that has not brought forth its Hitler, its Stalin, its Pol Pot, its Mao Tse-tung, its Vlad the Impaler, the one who is never satisfied to have every knee bend to him but wants also to be the architect of a new world by destroying the existing one. But something is afoot. Atrocities like this, once rare but ever more frequent, would have at one time shocked the country but now seem to titillate as many people as they shock. My vision on the freeway in Los Angeles, others that have come in dreams, and thinks like this collection lead me to fear that our turn on the rack and wheel is coming. In this age when innocence is ever more mocked, when truth is aggressively denied if not actively hated, when so many people despise those with whom they disagree, when priests and teachers molest those whom they should protect, when power and fame are celebrated but true law and modesty are disparaged, what fire wall remains between the people and the forces that would devour them?
I am just one fry cook with a special talent, not David certain to bring down Goliath, one mortal man trying to make his way through a storm in which swarm uncountable leviathans. I am only you, like you, born of man and woman, but with this gift or burden.” (Deeply Odd, pg 232-233)