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2/28/08

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I've never understood why more of Dean Koontz books haven't been adapted for film. Watchers and Phantoms are probably the two most popular adaptations, both which suck as films and failed at the box office. And from looking at his IMDb page, it looks like a few of his novels have made it to television, but I've never seen or heard anything about them. He's insanely popular as a writer, and even though he's not as talented of a writer as Stephen King, I believe his books offer themselves up for adaptation much easier than King's, who has near a 100 films from his works. Most of King's books have more inner conflict, while Koontz is more story, which easier to get across on screen.


Odd Thomas is the perfect example. Although I think Odd has much more going on in his head than some of Koontz's characters, his story would make a fantastic film. I've read 25-30 Koontz books in my life and this is my favorite. Odd, being his actually given name, has the ability to communicate with the dead. Yes, much like The Sixth Sense, but it's as if that character is now grown up, completely used to his role as speaker for the dead, accepted it, and tries to help out where he can.


He has a beautiful girlfriend, many wonderful friends, a job he loves as a short order cook, and a small town that he's never left. He likes to keep his life simple, because talking to ghosts makes it difficult. Besides seeing the dead, he is also able to see other unworldly things; such as bodachs, which feed off people's misery. They often lead Odd to tragedies about to occur. When a strange-looking-dude, Odd takes to calling Fungus Man, comes into his restaurant, with over a 100 bodachs following him, Odd is determined to find out what catastrophe is about to happen. It's a horrendous, real world event, that only he can stop; with quite a few scares and deaths along the way.


Odd Thomas, moves along at a brisk pace, keeping you excited and guessing what's going to happen next. With the immediate similarities to The Sixth Sense quickly out of the way, it moves into much deeper, philosophical territory. I could have done without Elvis showing up to hang out with Odd every so often, it dragged it into a cheesy area. But for the most part, it's a fantastic read; I really fell in love with Odd as a character, and am looking forward to reading the sequels, Forever Odd, Brother Odd and Odd Hours. Somebody with the right sensibilities could make a kick-ass film out of this book, but I won't hold my breath. - Grade: B+


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