Thursday, November 28, 2013

Sampling Me Some Koontz

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1452477.Odd_Thomas
Odd Thomas, Dean Koontz
I was pointed towards this book by a fellow book-lover, and so I placed a hold.  And I read it.  And I was surprised to find I like the writing.  Why?  Because Koontz meanders.  I have little tolerance for meandering.  But Koontz is discerning in selecting particular points of fascination; these literary lilts in the story supply spontaneous, quirky details, in a tone suited to the first person flash-back narration he has employed.  I was patient with it, and less distracted by it, than I usually would be. (Imagine me crying, "Are the colour of all of these dwarves hoods going to be relevant to the story?!" and you have my usual exasperation for the habit.)  Koontz took a risk meandering, especially given that the entire book's time spans little more than a full day.

Furthermore...
  • It is often funny.  Sometimes it tries a little too hard to be so, but often it is very intelligently funny, and those lines, you read twice.
  • It is dark.  Be warned.  I'd go so far as disturbing.  For that, I cannot recommend it to all.  If you like Patricia Cornwell, you're probably safe.  If your devour Stephen King, you're in for a treat here -- I think Odd Thomas is like funnier, better-written Stephen King.  It's like a smoother Stephen King writing Ghost Whisperer.
  • It has interesting characters (if even unbelievable)...
  • ...and excellent dialogue.
  • The story (and idea) have been done.  And more cheerily.  But the characters make this treatment of the same a good read.  
  • But as I say, not a great read for me; to go with the disturbing content, there is also some swearing.  Second warning.
  • But (second "but") the lead characters have good morals.  The story is tight.  And as I mentioned in detail, Koontz pulls off meandering!  So I'll leave it to you whether this is your kettle of (paranormal thriller) fish...
  • I am not sorry I read it, but I'm happy to leave it as one good book, with a series of follow-ons for others; I've had enough of this particular brand of Odd.
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