Odd Thomas came to me as a gift, the entire first chapter of his first book having poured out of me as I was in the middle of writing The Face. I wrote it by hand, though I never work that way, and I never hesitated to think what should come next. He was fully-realized in my mind from the moment I began to write in that lined legal tablet. With other stories and characters, I can identify the source of the inspiration, but not with Oddie and his books. He just suddenly was. When I write about him, his narrative voice is so clear to me that I almost hear him in my head. For those among you who long have thought that I should be institutionalized, just relax: I said I almost hear him. Many times over the years, I said I would never write an open-ended series. Then along came Oddie, and he proved me wrong. Or so I thought. As I wrote the first chapter of Odd Hours, the fourth featuring my fry-cook hero, I realized that this was not an open-ended series, after all, but that it would conclude with six or seven novels. I now think seven. I suddenly saw the end point of his journey, the arc of it to the final book, and I was stunned. Beginning with this fourth story, the stakes were being raised dramatically; Oddie was going to face far more physical and moral danger than previously; and he was going to mature toward the fulfillment of a destiny that I had not seen coming until that moment. Initially, I tried to argue myself out of the direction that Odd Hours was taking. I didn't believe that the first three books had put down a sufficient foundation to support the formidable architecture that I saw rising from it in the next three or four novels. When I began to reread the first three books, however, I quickly discovered that I had unconsciously paved the road that the series was now taking. I had thought I was writing a series with an overall theme about the power and beauty of humility. Indeed I was, but it was also something more than that; and Oddie's ultimate destiny will not be merely purification to a state of absolute humility, but will be that and something else I find quite wonderful. What lies ahead will be a challenge to write--or perhaps not. The character of Odd Thomas was a gift to me, and now I see that the entire architecture of a seven-book series was another gift that came to me complete on the same day Oddie arrived, although I needed time to recognize it. This world is a place of wonder, and life is a mysterious enterprise; but nothing in all my years has been more mysterious than Odd Thomas's origins and my compulsion to write about him. -- Dean Koontz
Only a handful of fictional characters are recognized by first name alone. Dean Koontz’s Odd Thomas is one of those rare literary heroes who have come alive in readers’ imaginations as he explores the greatest mysteries of this world and the next with his inimitable wit, heart, and quiet gallantry. Now Koontz follows Odd as he is irresistibly drawn onward to a destiny he cannot imagine and to undreamed of places where the perils he will face and the stakes for which he fights will eclipse all that he has known. The legend began in the obscure little town of Pico Mundo. A fry cook named Odd was rumored to have the extraordinary ability to communicate with the dead. Through tragedy and triumph, exhilaration and heartbreak, word of Odd Thomas’s gifts filtered far beyond Pico Mundo, attracting unforgettable new friends—and enemies of implacable evil. With great gifts comes the responsibility to meet great challenges. But no mere human being was ever meant to face the darkness that now stalks the world—not even one as oddly special as Odd Thomas.
After grappling with the very essence of reality itself, after finding the veil that separates him from his soul mate, Stormy Llewellyn, tantalizingly thin yet impenetrable, Odd longed only to return to a life of quiet anonymity with his two otherworldly sidekicks—his dog Boo and a new companion, one of the few who might rival his old pal Elvis. But a true hero, however humble, must persevere. Haunted by dreams of an all-encompassing red tide, Odd is pulled inexorably to the sea, to a small California coastal town where nothing is as it seems. Now the forces arrayed against him have both official sanction and an infinitely more sinister authority…and in this dark night of the soul dawn will come only after the most shattering revelations of all.
Burnishing Dean Koontz’s stature as a master of suspense and one of our most innovative and gifted storytellers, Odd Hours illuminates a legacy of mystery and hope that will shine on long after the final page.
From the Hardcover edition.
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