Odd Hours: An Odd Thomas Novel
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Odd Hours: An Odd Thomas Novel

by Dean Koontz
Mass Market Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: Bantam

List Price: $9.99
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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
 
Only a handful of fictional characters are recognized by first name alone. Dean Koontz’s Odd Thomas is one such literary hero, who has 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 drawn onward, to a destiny he cannot imagine. 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.

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Amazon Exclusive Essay: Destiny and Odd Hours

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


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