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Odd Thomas lives in Pico Mundo. Odd Thomas is a fry cook at a short order grill. Odd Thomas is polite, friendly, and well-liked by his neighbors.
Odd Thomas can see the spirits of the restless dead.
There are currently five Odd Thomas novels in the series written by Dean Koontz, plus a 4-episode webisode series:
- Odd Thomas (2003)
- Forever Odd (2005)
- Brother Odd (2006)
- Odd Hours (2008)
- Odd Apocalypse (scheduled for July 2012)
- In Odd We Trust (graphic novel) (2008)
- Odd Passenger (webisode series) (2008)
- Odd Is On Our Side (graphic novel) (2010)
- House of Odd (graphic novel) (2012)
Mr. Koontz has indicated that he hopes the Odd series will have six books in it.
This series contains examples of:
- Hollywood Satanism: Invoked. The real Big Bad of the first novel was disappointed that real satanists didn't fit the stereotypes from horror movies, so he and a small group of friends started their own little offshoot that indulged in all that stuff.
In Odd We Trust
Odd is on Our Side
- Absurdly Spacious Flood Drainage Tunnels: Under Pico Mundo, and suspected to be part of a conspiratorial government project.
- Abusive Parents: Odd's dad is a narcissistic attention whore. Odd's mom is The Ophelia. Stormy's adoptive father apparently just adopted her as some kind of sex toy and did so until she finally worked up the courage to call social services.
- Alien Geometries: Pops up in Brother Odd.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: When Odd catches up to the murderer in In Odd We Trust, he says "This is for murdering Joey!" while kneeing him in the gut, "This is for kidnapping Sherry!" as he slaps him, and "And THIS is for saying my pancakes suck!" after delivering a HUGE punch to the face. Figures that the fry cook would be more upset about an insult to his craft.
- He's known throughout Pico Mundo as a great cook. That carries a lot of weight for him.
- Axe Crazy: Odd's mother frequently threatens to shoot herself if faced with any situation that she doesn't want to handle. This has, in the past, included pregnancy with and raising Odd himself.
- She also threatened to shoot him with it when he was sick because he was coughing too much and crying for her.
- Also, Datura, in Forever Odd. And how!
- Berserk Button: Never tell Odd that his pancakes suck.
- Beware the Nice Ones: DO NOT piss off the ghost of Frank Sinatra. He will go poltergeist like you will not believe.
- Blessed with Suck: Odd, by his own estimation.
- Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick / Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: In Forever Odd, Odd describes the fallout of a deadly casino fire, listing off fraud indictments, bankruptcy claims, federal charges, "... and one sex change operation."
- Cats Are Mean: Little Ozzie's cat, Terrible Chester, who endeavors to pee on the shoes of everyone he doesn't like. This category includes pretty much everyone in Pico Mundo except Ozzie.
- Chronic Hero Syndrome: Not by choice, but see "The Determinator" below.
- Cool Old Lady: Granny Sugars.
- Comic Book Adaptation: as an OEL Manga
- Deadpan Snarker: Odd himself falls into this category, but the real Snarker Award goes to the love of his life, Stormy.
- Death by Sex: Painfully subverted. Odd and Stormy have been holding off on having sex in order for the first time to be just right. That doesn't save her.
- Demonic Posession: House of Odd and maybe Odd Hours. These are not the ghosts Odd usually sees.
- The Determinator: Odd Thomas. Once he is contacted by the unquiet dead, no amount of reasoning or threatening can get him off the case. Odd himself comments on how much trouble this gets him in.
- Disc One Final Boss: Fungus Man in the first book.
- Doesn't Like Guns: Of the traumatic childhood tragedy variety
- Embarrassing First Name: Stormy's real first name is Bronwen. Use it at your peril.
- Evil Detecting Cat: Terrible Chester arches his back and hisses when he sees the ghost of Fungus Man standing on Little Ozzie's front lawn.
- First-Person Smartass: Subverted in that Odd is so hilariously humble about his smartassery. Many readers hear him speaking with Toby McGuire's voice.
- Foreshadowing: One of the warning signs that Stormy dies at the mall is that Odd goes through the store that she works in and there's a small group of people clustered together crying.
- Full-Name Basis: One of Odd's neighbors calls him by his full name all the time.
- Hyperspace Is a Scary Place: When Odd enters a portal that spawns bodachs, he finds a dark void with a red light in it before being dumped back out several minutes in the past. When he tells Stormy, she says it's the portal to Hell (since the bodachs are dark spirits that usually serve as harbingers of suffering). Odd stews on this, and comes up with a more horrifying theory: The portal actually leads to a distant Bad Future where humans are so downright evil that they go back in time just to view death and destruction. They can't actually manifest fully in our time, so they become the canine-esque bodachs when they travel here.
- Intangible Time Travel: Odd's theory about the bodachs.
- Ironic Nickname: Little Ozzie, who weighs 450 pounds.
- I See Dead People: Odd can see the spirits of the dead. They can't speak to him, but he does his best to help them find rest anyway.
- Jacob Marley Apparel: Played straight, with major exceptions made for Elvis and Sinatra
- Living Shadow: The bodachs, which appear as intangible shadows near sites of impending violence.
- Lolicon: Odd's dad likes dating 19-year-old girls who look 16. Odd's mother was one such girl. It is implied that this started after Dad got in trouble for soliciting a minor.
- The Messiah: Odd again.
- Noodle Incident: Odd peppers his narrative with references to previous adventures that he never explains in detail.
- The first mentioned is him being dumped into the Malo Suerto Lake chained to a pair of dead bodies. He lives.
- There's also mention of an angry cross-eyed ferret that was able to get him out of another scrape.
- And the men in porkpie hats who tried to crush him to death with heavy machinery.
- Parental Abandonment: Odd's parents are so messed up that Odd was essentially raised by his grandmother, and started living independently at 16.
- Poltergeist: The vast majority of the ghosts Odd encounters are intangible, and none of them can directly harm the living. However, get certain powerful ghosts riled up enough, and you will find yourself being bombarded by anything that's not nailed down - and a few things that are...
- Psychic Dreams for Everyone: Odd is occasionally troubled by these. So is one of his neighbors.
- Psychic Powers: In addition to being able to see the dead, Odd uses what he calls "psychic magnetism" to find people, and he seems to have an almost supernatural ability at card playing, which he attributes to "sensing" when his hand is better or worse than others'. Other people have (inaccurately) attributed to him things like precognition and dream interpretation (but see above).
- Red Herring: As it's a staple of the mystery/suspense genre, even Odd's psychic powers and great intuition occasionally lead him to false conclusions, however briefly.
- Religion of Evil: Basically every book is Odd having to deal with one of these. The first book is Satanists, the second a psycho woman that has traveled all over the world studying occult stuff, the third is a guy that thinks he can create life, and the fourth is a radical Islamic group that had planned to nuke several cities after assassinating key government figures.
- The first graphic novel has a man who believes he sold his soul to the Devil for immortality, but the second averts this.
- Shell Shocked Senior: Again, Odd Thomas. He starts out this way, having been through numerous life-or-death situations before the series ever begins. Then Stormy dies.
- Shout-Out/Literature: "I see dead people. But then, by god, I do something about it."
- Skeleton Key Card: Odd uses his driver's license to break into "Fungus Man's" house in Odd Thomas.
- Spirit Advisor: Elvis Presley in the first three books, then Frank Sinatra. Odd is also visited and guided by a number of one-off ghosts.
- Talking with Signs: Ghosts are mute, but the ghost of a young girl communicates with Odd in the second manga via candy hearts with words on them. (She was murdered with poisoned Halloween candy, and still has her trick-or-treat bucket.)
- Technical Pacifist: In the first book, Odd is afraid of guns (thanks to his psycho mom, above), but he manages to shoot two would-be mass murderers.
- The Verse: Brother Salvatore, aka Brother Knuckles; the ex-mafia enforcer turned Monk from Brother Odd has a brief cameo at the beginning of Lost Souls, the fourth book of Koontz's Frankenstein series; where he is an associate of Deucalion. (The Monster.) They meet at St. Bartholomew's, setting of Brother Odd; and there are other references to that setting.
- Through the Eyes of Madness: This is pretty much used in the fact that it's made to seem that Stormy lives through the mass murder at the mall, when instead it's just Odd's ability fooling the reader into thinking she's alive. Odd even says, "For a while I had gone mad."
- Unreliable Narrator: Odd again, at the behest of Little Ozzy, to keep the tone of the books light.
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Occasionally Odd wonders if his gifts are related to the insanity that seems to run in his family.
- Wham! Episode: At the end of the first book, when it's revealed that Stormy died in the shooting at the mall.