Friday, February 6, 2015

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Deeply Odd

Deeply Odd (Odd Thomas, #6)
Speaking with a cashier at a local store a day or two back we got into conversation about books. She told me she loved reading Dean Koontz. By chance I hadn’t read one of his since jail until about a month ago. In prison I never read them with any great deal of enthusiasm, regarding them as a poor stand in for Stephen King, whom the cashier had also read. Koontz could tell a story but he couldn’t pack the mundane with the menace that King could conjure up in works like The Stand or Pet Sematary. I actually preferred Koontz when he laced his tale with secular suspense rather than the supernatural.

This one, I picked up in used book shop, while browsing one day. Being hauled into  bookshops by something beyond my control is my OCD syndrome of ... or rather not of ... choice.  It was only a Euro, and nostalgia for reading him, not for the location where I read him, prompted me to bag it for a quick read while sitting on the settee at home. Its title was Deeply Odd. It left me deeply disappointed.

It starts out okay, but then went on a marathon bore. I held on because as much as I love books I dislike being defeated by them. Besides they are not like chess where you always at the mercy of your opponent: a book can always be mastered. So I stuck it out, using up time that could have been put to something much more productive and grumping about it to my wife. A bored reader is not a happy reader. 

Deeply Odd is not the first in the Odd Thomas series. By now Odd Thomas has become Koontz’s “most celebrated character” Perhaps the earlier books allow an affinity to be built with the character, permitting the reader to glide effortlessly through later books. But it looked pretty much a standalone story. Odd is despite his youth a wise owl, aided by the gift he has for seeing into the future and glimpsing the tragedies and disasters that await many people ... unless Odd intervenes off course. Of course it would be odd were such intervention not forthcoming. There are no surprises. 

Children have gone missing and Odd along with an elderly but sprightly companion, Edie Fischer, are on the trail. But the journey is not straightforward. A malign character called the Rhinestone is determined to kill Odd before Odd can make the life-saving intervention the reader is primed to expect. Throughout Odd conducts a witty rapport with the ghost of Alfred Hitchcock, with the long dead maestro of suspense advising Odd from beyond the grave. 

A boreathon is the best way to describe Deeply Odd. It picked up a bit in the closing pages but not enough to compensate for the tedium. Shocks, brilliant characters meeting wholly unpredictable ends? Afraid Not. I have to watch House of Cards for that type of titillation.

Dean Koontz, Deeply Odd, 2013. Harper Collins: London. ISBN 978-0-00-732706-5

4 comments :

ozzy said...

Hi Anthoiny.
I only ever read one of this guys books.
The Face of Fear..I thought it was good enough.
Mind you previous to that I was reading Jack Higgins.. So there is that.
But I then picked up a copy of Michael Connellys " A concrete blonde" He has since become a firm favourite of mine with his Bosch Novels.
I figure I must have read them all...but out of sequence.
Perhaps he is not ads good as he used to be..but boy he was good.
Ofc then there is Jo Nesbo. he has some great books..although some of his earlier works which are just been translated such as "The Bat" whilst are by no means bad are not his best..My first book of his was "the snowman" and I get his other books from the library in more or less sequence after that.
Although I have to say one of the better bookdss I read in a while was "homicide" by David Simon.
This was the basis to two excellent TV series "the Wire" and "Homicide Life on the Streets"
It's a huge book..gotta be close on 1000 pages...But it's a cracking great read..
One of the few books that I didn't want to ever end!!!!
"the corner" by him is also quite good. Both are true stories too.

ozzy said...

Oh Michael Dibdin and his Aurelio Zen Series set in Italy are excellent reads.
I enjoyed Andrea Camilleri and his Inspector Montalbano Detective stories are a great little read.Very short small books..Probably best to read these in order though.
And the master of the All Colin Dexter and his Inspector Morse series..Far better than the TV show.
And that's about it. Wallander series are good..but quite slow.

marty said...

Well thats one book that will join my bible list not to read, have you still not read Whambaughs Choir Boys a cara , It,ll brighten up your life no end ,

Simon said...

Nothing like poor popular fiction to push you towards the non-fiction genre.