Odd Thomas Series

Odd Thomas
by Dean Koontz

Many years ago, I read Demon Seed by Dean Koontz. Since it has been such a long time, I cannot remember the details of the novel or even the denouement. Nevertheless, I remember never wanting to read another Koontz’s novel. It was an interesting plot, a home monitoring smart computer develops humanistic emotion of obsession for the lady of the house (Susan), who is a twice survivor of abuse. I recall enjoying the fast pace novel, but hating the conclusion. Now, today, I cannot remember why I hated the end, but it is the reason I have shunned Koontz’s novels.

A few weeks ago, I noticed that Dean Koontz published Odd Hours, fourth installment to his Odd series, which is currently seventh on the New York Times book review bestseller list. I had heard that the series is very interesting, narrated by a young man (Odd Thomas) of twenty-years-old, who is a short-order cook in the arid Californian town of Pico Mundo with the gift to see dead people and other things. Odd creates a memoir recounting his life experiences seeing the dead, conveying, and fulfilling their wishes. In Odd Thomas (book one), Odd takes a proactive approach when an abundant amount of ominous visitors “bodachs” surround a strange man and then denizens of Pico Mundo. Odd must protect the people he cares for and save Pico Mundo from a grand massacre.

I am glad I gave Dean Koontz another try. Even though M. Night Shyamalan has already made The Six Sense, and it is a great movie, Odd Thomas is nevertheless creative and interesting though it does have similar aspects to Shyamalan’s most popular film.

The first chapter is gripping, disclosing Odd Thomas' talent and his proactive approach towards the dead. Aspects of the story unfold slowly never revealing too much but not being overbearingly concealed. There is a stirring plot twist; just when everything seems to be revealed and only the pursuit seems to matter, more questions arise. In addition, even an element of the conclusion was unexpected.

I will surely be reading Forever Odd soon.

For more information on Dean Koontz's Odd Thomas series visit Odd's website Odd Thomas. There you can view Odd's webisodes called the Odd Passenager An Odd Thomas Story.


Horror 100 Best Books

Even though I am a horror veteran enthusiast, there is always more that I can discover about the genre. Close to ten years ago I bought Horror 100 Best Books edited by Stephen Jones and Kim Newman; a long time has past, but I still find myself skimming the pages to find another worthy horror book to read. The book is the collaboration of renowned horror authors writing about their favorite horror (meaning anything that is disturbing, aberrant) novel.

I would recommend horror fans to purchase or borrow this book, for there are more reading recommendations. The list is not a definitive ranking of the best horror novels but should be approached as a guide.

Note: This is an old edition, which was published in 1998.  The most recent edition was published in 2005.  

The list:

1. The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe
2. The Tragedy of Macbeth by William Shakespeare
3. The White Devil by John Webster
4. Calbe Willimas by William Godwin 
5. The Monk by Matthew Gregory Lewis
6. The Best Tales of Hoffman
7. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen 
8. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
9. Melmoth the Wanderere, by Charles Maturin
10. The Confessions of a Justified Sinner by James Hogg
11. Tales of Mystery and Imagination by Edgar Allan Poe
12. Twice-Told Tales by Nathaniel Hawthorne 
13. The Black Spider by Jeremias Gotthelf
14. The Wandering Jew by Eugéne Sue
15. The Confidence Man by Herman Melville 
16. Uncle Silas by J. Sheridan Le Fanu
17. Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Rober Louis Stevenson
18. She by H. Rider Haggard
19. The King in Yellow by Rober W. Chambers 
20. The Island of Dr Moreau by H. G. Wells
21. Dracula by Bram Stoker
22. The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
23. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
24. The Jewel of Seven Stars by Bram Stoker
25. Ghost Stories of an Antiquary by M. R. James
26. The House of Souls by Arthur Machen
27. John Silence by Algernon Blackwood
28. The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton
29. The House on the Borderland by William Hope Hodgson
30. The Collected Works of Ambrose Bierce
31. Widdershins by Oliver Onions
32. The Horror Horn by E. F. Benson
33. A Voyage of Arcturus by David Lindsat
34. The Trial by Franz Kafka
35. Something About Eve by James Branch Cabell
36. Medusa by E. H. Visiak
37. The Werewolf of Paris by Guy Endore
38. The Last Bouquet by Marjorie Bowen
39. The Cadaver of Gideon Wyck by Alexander Laing
40. A Second Century of Creepy Stories by Hugh Walpole
41. The Dark Tower by C. S. Lewis
42. Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo
43. The Outsider and Others by H.P. Lovecraft
44. Out of Space and Time by Clark Ashton Smith
45. Conjure Wife by Fritz Leiber
46. Night Has a Thousand Eyes by Cornell Woolrich 
47. The Lurker at the Threshold by H. P. Lovecraft & August Derleth
48. Deliver Me from Eva by Paul Bailey
49. And the Darkness Falls by Boris Karloff
50. The Sleeping and the Dead by August Derleth
51. Track of the Cat by Wlter Van Tilburg Clark
52. The Sound of His Horn by Sarban
53. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
54. I am Legend by Richard Matheson
55. The October Country by Ray Bradbury
56. Nine Horrors and a Dream by Joseph Payne Brennan
57. Psycho by Robert Bloch
58. Quatermass and the Pit by Nigel Kneale 
59. Cry Horror! by H. P. Lovecraft
60. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
61. The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch by Philip K. Dick
62. The Painted Bird by Jerzy Kosinski
63. The Crystal World by J. G. Ballard
64. Sub Rosa by Robert Aickman
65. The Green Man by Kingsley Amis
66. The Compleat Werewolf by Anthony Boucher
67. Grendel by John Gardner 
68. The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty 
69. The Sheep Look Up by John Brunner 
70. Worse Things Waiting by Manly Wade Wellman
71. Burnt Offerings by Robert Marasco
72. 'Salem's Lot by Stephen King 
73. Deathbird Stories by Harlan Ellison
74. Murgunstrumm and Others by Hugh B. Cave
75. Sweetheart, Sweetheart by Bernard Taylor
76. All Heads Turn When the Hunt Goes By by, John Farris
77. The Shining by Stephen King
78. Falling Angel by William Hjortsberg
79. The Wolfen by Whitley Strieber
80. The Totem by David Morrell
81. Ghost Story by Peter Straub 
82. The Land of Laughs by Jonathan Carrol
83. The Cellar by Richard Laymon
84. Red Dragon by Thomas Harris 
85. The Keep by F. Paul Wilson
86. The Dark Country by Dennis Etchison
87. In a Lonely Place by Karl Edward Wagner
88. The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers
89. The Arabian Nightmare, by Robert Irwin
90. The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks
91. The Ceremonies by T. E. D. Klein
92. Mythago Wood by Robert Holdstock
93. Who Made Stevie Cry? by Michael Bishop
94. Song of Kali by Dan Simmons
95. Damnation Game by Clive Barker
96. Hawksmoor by Peter Ackroyd
97. A Nest of Nightmares by Lisa Tuttle
98. The Pet by Charles L. Grant
99. Swan Song by Robert McCammon
100. Dark Feasts by Ramsey Campbell