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Odd Thomas (Odd Thomas #1)

3.92  ·  Rating Details  ·  201,121 Ratings  ·  5,857 Reviews
Now a major motion picture starring Anton Yelchin, Willem Dafoe, and Addison Timlin, and directed by Stephen Sommers

“The dead don't talk. I don't know why.” But they do try to communicate, with a short-order cook in a small desert town serving as their reluctant confidant. Odd Thomas thinks of himself as an ordinary guy, if possessed of a certain measure of talent at the P
Audiobook, Unabridged, 11 pages
Published December 9th 2003 by Random House Audio (first published 2003)
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Tom Dianne, I've been reading both King and Koontz for years and on the whole I find Koontz's books much less disturbing than King's, he's a devout…moreDianne, I've been reading both King and Koontz for years and on the whole I find Koontz's books much less disturbing than King's, he's a devout Catholic and very gentle person so I wouldn't worry too much, not that they can't be very disturbing sometimes because they can, but nothing a King fan would worry about IMO.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Aaron Woodsworth
I haven't read Dean Koontz in years, and I wanted to see if I'd made a hasty judgment about him being not so good. He wrote a book called "Lightning" that I liked, but others I read were, as they say, "Meh." I picked up this book and the next in the series, "Forever Odd," and thought "sure, why not?"

Let me answer that question for you:

Dean Koontz' 20 year old I-see-dead-people fry cook character reads like a 20 year old written by a 50-something year old that assumes he can write a believable 20
Not Now...Mommy's Reading
Best Read of 2004!!! Wow! What a way to start a new year. This is the first book I've read by Dean Koontz and I'm kicking myself in the behind for overlooking the man for some many years! After this review, I will make it a point to get my hands on a copy of everything the man has ever written.

I first mentioned this book to my ex-husband after coming across it in the bookstore early December. Back cover seemed interesting enough but, not being a fan of Koontz, I decided to put it on my "wish li
Jan 29, 2016 Lyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hooray for Odd Thomas!

That’s really his name, by the way.

Dean Koontz has made a winner with this 2003 publication that spawned ten other works (as of 2015) and a 2013 film.

First of all, Koontz crafted in Odd a very likeable hero. Notice I did not use the term protagonist, as Odd is a real hero, doing what is right, having fun with it, and being an all around great guy. Odd’s heroism is emphasized by his comparison to his thoroughly unlikeable and completely unsympathetic parents. By showing us O
Will M.
Dec 16, 2014 Will M. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014, paranormal, horror
Odd Thomas is a 20-year old fry cook, and he can see dead people. It's either a gift or a curse. In less than twenty-four hours, Pico Mundo will awaken to a day of catastrophe, and it's up to Odd to try and prevent it.

The thing with this novel is that the plot was terribly slow. Koontz served up a lot of character building, a lot being the first 1/3 of the novel. That is pretty normal, but the result should be satisfactory. While I am really liking Odd as a character, I just don't see him as a
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)
My sister and I listened to this in the car on our trips around town. In that week or more we spent together, I felt like Odd became part of my life. I was rather sad when it ended. I appreciated the audiobook format very much. I think it was very immersive, and Koontz words were very poetic. Odd is such a unique guy. He's got a pure heart and that's saying something. His gift has made his life very difficult, but he doesn't take it like a curse. It's his life, and he takes ownership of that. He ...more
As a kid, the first thing I did when I was coming back from school was stop by at the library. I used to check out various mystery novels - like those with The Three Investigators, a saga that has remained a favorite and to this day I'm fond of it - and one day the librarian (God bless her) decided that I was mature enough (meaning I started growing whiskers) and recommended Stephen King.

Needless to say, I started to read one King book after the other in quick succesion, sometimes even two at th
There are plenty of prolific authors out there with whom I'm completely unfamiliar. It was only a few years ago that I “met” (and fell hard for) Stephen King. So I decided to give Dean Koontz a whirl, and (as suggested by my lone star rating) Odd Thomas and I did't exactly hit it off.

I get the whole different strokes for different folks thing, but I just couldn't handle the saccharine sweet (e.g. “My favorite body part is my heart...”), at times infuriatingly repetitive narrative voice of
Chelsea ❤Peril Please❤ (of BADGER and Snake)

This book wasn't supposed to make me cry. This book was supposed to be simple, mindless fun. I wasn't supposed to fall in love with the tortured and unloved (by family) Odd. This story was supposed to be easy.

So why am I still crying?

I had not asked to be born. Only to be loved.

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Review to come.
I had no interest in reading ODD THOMAS when it first came out. Although Watchers, Lightning, and some of Koontz's older novels are some of my favorites, I had read a few of his more recent novels and had been a little disappointed. But...I was browsing in the used book store and decided what the heck, I will pick up a copy just in case I ever change my mind. It took 7 years.

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The great thing about it taking 7 years is I forgot what the book was about so I got to have the "Big Ahhhaaaaa" moment in
UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish

Dean Koontz is an incredible author - one of my favorite in the PNR/Horror genre, and every Koontz book I've read has been fast paced, scary but not terrifying and, start to finish, grabs hold, doesn't let go.
“The dead don't talk. I don't know why.” But they do try to communicate, with a short-order cook in a small desert town serving as their reluctant confidant. Odd Thomas thinks of himself as an ordinary guy, if possessed of a certain measure of talent at the Pico Mundo Grill and rapturously
This was one weird story that ramped up to great 4 star finish. I was skeptical through the first 3/4 of the book or so, I even had a hard time staying interested, but the end was great. I look forward to more in the series.
Dec 13, 2011 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Caution: comments contain spoilers.

I like Dean Koontz but I am not a big fan. I don't know if the stories seem too generic or the characters are too standard in my view, but he gets me about 60% of the way there most times. I have actually put down a few of his books after about 50 pages because I simply lost interest. I know that he is wildly popular so obviously others don't share this view. Odd Thomas, both the novel and the character, were different for me though. The idea of someone being a
Scott Seaborn
I REALLY wanted to like this novel. The first chapter hooked me-- bad stuff is going to happen to the likable guy who sees dead people. And NOTHING happens for the next 200 pages. Well, almost nothing-- Odd discovers this Black Room with mysteriously cool properties. The Black Room keeps me hooked a little bit longer....but Koontz doesn't even explain what it is or why it's important to the plot. I spent the next 300 pages waiting for Odd to go back to the room, but it's not even mentioned again ...more
Mar 11, 2009 Imogen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Isla was going to get this, but she was equivocating, so I knocked her over and took it. I have read a lot of Dean Koontz! Back when he was Dean R. Koontz. According to Wikipedia, in 1992, when I was thirteen, I had read every book he'd published under his own name- which was, what, like, a dozen or so? I used to get them from the library and read them at other kids' little league games... which sounds a little nerdy, in retrospect.

Anyway, I loved 'em! I was a little nerdy serious kid like "Mom
Jun 21, 2015 Carol rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great start to a series

There aren't many books that hook me in and keep my undivided attention from beginning to end, but this is one of those rare instances in which I simply could not put the book down. I look forward to reading the rest of the series!!
Apr 13, 2016 Donna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
This was my very first Dean Koontz book so I wasn't sure what to expect. Plus, this was in the Horror genre, which I don't find myself reading a lot of. So this book was a huge surprise, because I liked this one a lot. It took a little more time than I like to really get into this, but I was definitely in. I think it was because of the characters. They were so well drawn that I found myself really caring about them. The MC was so sweet and endearing. I also liked the dialogue between him and the ...more
Duchess Nicole
Folks, I just can't do it. I made myself get to around 65% on audio, and I've had to backtrack to re-listen about five hundred times (slight exaggeration). I'm just wasting valuable reading time at this point.

This is the second DNF for me this year, out of over two hundred fifty books, so I don't do this lightly. The genre just isn't for me. I've read and enjoyed Koontz other works up to a point. I find his characters to be a little to nice, a little too real for the horror/mystery genres. I sa
Aug 26, 2008 Cheryl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: koontz
Book 1 is my favorite Odd Thomas book, to-date. Awesome story with a memorable character. I thought about Odd long after I put the book down, and it definitely made me want to read more. I started on Forever Odd (book 2) the same evening.

Dean Koontz has created a very interesting character and some witty dialogue and humor. While it might not be as dark as most of his other works, Odd Thomas has an eerie foreshadowing that really works. You have to keep reading to find out what happens.

I can't w
Alissa Patrick
Jan 09, 2016 Alissa Patrick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't know why I put this series off so long. Maybe because I am not a huge fan of Koontz
I've only read a few of his novels and they were okay. But I kept reading how great his Odd Thomas series is so I decided to give it a shot.

Love this character! I love the "I see dead people" concept but even more with Odd's humility. I love that he's a fry cook, I love that he lives in a small town, I love how he surrounds himself with caring and colorful characters.

I was riveted from page one and the e
Jun 22, 2008 Terry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, fiction
"Odd Thomas" by Dean Koontz is the first book in his “Odd” series. This novel probably inspired the television series Medium. There are several similarities between them, including the ability of the main character to speak with the dead and use information gleaned to solve crimes. Both also involve lots of action and some romance.

Odd Thomas is the protagonist and narrator of the novel. He is a 20 year old short-order cook at the local grill in a small desert town. He is surrounded by several qu
Rebecca McNutt
Odd Thomas is one of my favorite Dean Koontz novels. With a seemingly average character whom any reader can relate to, fantasy and eerie happenings, it's a very different and unforgettable story.
Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead
Read my mini review here...

Or below..

Odd Thomas (Odd Thomas #1)by Dean Koontz was so good and I’m so annoyed. I’m a huge Koontz fan, I’ve been reading his books since I was a teen. He basically started me on horror novels. For some stupid reason, I was hesitant in starting Odd Thomas. I’m not sure why. Maybe because the book seemed so mild compared to his other books. I’m so dumb. I loved Odd. I loved everything about him. I loved the story, all the mino
Lit Bug
The back of the cover gave an impressive feel - Odd Thomas, a 20-year old something sweet guy, living in Pico Mundo, a sweet little peaceful town works as an excellent fry-cook and is going steady with his gorgeous, adorable, avid feminist girl Stormy. And this guy is odd - because he can see ghosts, talk with them and see the mysterious bodachs that follow people just before they are destined to die.

A mysterious man with a ravenous appetite appears and bodachs follow him - they haunt his house
Sep 06, 2008 Ruth rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have never read Dean Koontz before, and have never found any real draw to him or his typical genre of writing. However, I've found myself suitably impressed with this first venture into his collection of novels.

The book was written in a fashion that I found very entertaining and engaging, staying light just long enough to knock me a bit off balance when it grew darker. The characters were nicely fleshed out in all their oddness (pun not intended but unavoidable) and were quite enchanting.

If po
Mar 30, 2015 Rade rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Some would even say I am generous with my rating but I guess it will do. This book was one of those paperbacks that I found in a local store that I bought but did not realize I did so until I was out of the store. I liked some of his early work but I never saw Koontz as my choice for a well thought out read. I mainly dislike his characters, but in this case I did not like the ending.

Odd, who is an average guy working as a fry cook, can see dead people. Most just linger around him or places they
Jan 09, 2009 Shannon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: just about any one
Shelves: faves, library
Ok - I saw the cover of Brother Odd in the bookstore and really wanted to read it, but I knew it was a sequel and I didn't want to start in the middle of something. Am I glad I did start at the beginning!

This is one of the best books I have read in a long time. First of all, I have never read anything else by the author, but this character was too much to pass up. Odd is just about perfect. He is a wonderful, somewhat tragic boy. And funny as hell to boot. I don't usually read books set in moder
Feb 22, 2008 Ian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: suspense
This was my first Koontz book, and I read it on the recommendation of a friend. After reaching the last page I have to say that I'm surprised at how good the book ended up being!

For me, the book really took off at the end, and when I reached the more exciting parts I was more accepting of the bulk of the previous parts which set up the big climax. Aside from one single plot point, which I assume is explored more in the later books, everything tied together in an interesting and original way that
Mar 17, 2012 Kasia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’m extremely impressed at how Koontz handled this story considering that I prefer his older stuff. I have been a fan of his for years now but this take takes a fork, stabs you in the heart and scrambles it a around a bit… yeah it will make you sit up while reading, I read this months ago and I still feel jolts of adrenaline when certain creative scenes come up in my memory ( the black room… brrr)… I have the whole series and let me tell you, the act of writing this review makes me want to stop ...more
Neal Shusterman
I get all of my book recommendations from avid readers. When someone suggest something to me passionately, it’s that passion that makes me want to read it. I avoid best-selling authors because I’ve come to find most best sellers to be seriously underwhelming -- “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” as a case in point. The best I can say about it is “eh, who cares.”
I mentioned this to someone, who said I should give Dean Koontz a chance. I remember reading a Koontz novel years ago. Underwhelmed. Bu
Jan 17, 2009 Audrey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's been a really long time -- high school, I think -- since I've read anything by Dean Koontz, but the description of Odd Thomas caught my attention so I grabbed this from the library. I'm so glad I did. Odd Thomas is one of the best characters I've met in a long time. Koontz's writing is sharp and clear and very witty, and he can really amp up the suspense. And the ending -- never saw it coming, though I probably should have. I'm looking forward to reading more books about Odd.
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  • The Voice of the Night
  • Dean Koontz's Frankenstein, Volume 1: Prodigal Son
  • Black House (The Talisman, #2)
  • Legacies  (Repairman Jack, #2)
  • The Dean Koontz Companion
  • The God Project
  • Chase
  • Soft Come the Dragons / Dark of the Woods (Ace Double, 13793)
  • The Stake
  • Swan Song
Acknowledged as "America's most popular suspense novelist" (Rolling Stone) and as one of today's most celebrated and successful writers, Dean Ray Koontz has earned the devotion of millions of readers around the world and the praise of critics everywhere for tales of character, mystery, and adventure that strike to the core of what it means to be human.

Dean R. Koontz has also published under the na
More about Dean Koontz...

Other Books in the Series

Odd Thomas (7 books)
  • Forever Odd (Odd Thomas, #2)
  • Brother Odd (Odd Thomas, #3)
  • Odd Hours (Odd Thomas, #4)
  • Odd Apocalypse (Odd Thomas, #5)
  • Deeply Odd (Odd Thomas, #6)
  • Saint Odd (Odd Thomas, #7)

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“From time to time, I do consider that I might be mad. Like any self-respecting lunatic, however, I am always quick to dismiss any doubts about my sanity.” 328 likes
“Given my heritage and the ordeal of my childhood, I sometimes wonder why I myself am not insane. Maybe I am.” 138 likes
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