"Loop me in, odd one."
"I see dead people. But then, by God, I do something about it."
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
Currently six Odd Thomas
novels have been released, as well as a four-episode web series, three graphic novels, and an interquel
novella. Dean Koontz
has indicated that he hopes the series will have seven novels in it.Titles, in Order of Release:
- Odd Thomas (2003)
- Forever Odd (2005)
- Brother Odd (2006)
- Odd Passenger (Web Series, 2008)
- Odd Hours (2008)
- In Odd We Trust (Graphic Novel, 2008)
- Odd Is On Our Side (Graphic Novel, 2010)
- Odd Interlude (eBook Novella, 2012)
- House of Odd (Graphic Novel, 2012)
- Odd Apocalypse (2012)
- Deeply Odd (2013)
- Saint Odd (expected 2014)
Recently, Stephen Sommers
(of Van Helsing
and The Mummy Trilogy
fame) wrote and directed a film adaptation of the first novel. Originally available through satellite tv provider DirecTV it is now available on Blu-Ray and DVD.Odd Thomas
movie was released in the US on February 28, 2014 and is now available on iTunes.
This series contains examples of:
- Abusive Parents: Odd's dad is a narcissistic attention whore. Odd's mom is The Ophelia who threatened her son and herself with a gun when she felt overwhelmed by the responsibility of having a child. 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.
- Action Survivor
- Alternate Continuity: While not confirmed yet, it's implied that the graphic novels take place in a different timeline than the main novels - mainly because Stormy is still alive and the events therein wouldn't make sense if they were all before the second novel.
- Arc Words: "Loop me in, odd one."
- "You are destined to be together forever."
- Badass Unintentional: Odd never wanted his powers and he'd rather have a boring, uneventful life cooking or selling tires or maybe even sticking promotional flyers on people's cars, but because of his gift he frequently becomes the only person with enough knowledge to stop something bad from happening and does so.
- Berserk Button: Don't murder someone, especially in a gruesome way. Don't ever, ever threaten a child. Never tell Odd that his pancakes suck.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Odd could be the poster boy for this trope. Gentle, kind, polite, tries to avoid violence, courteous... that is until he finds out you murdered, hurt, or tortured someone or threaten one of his friends or acquaintances, then, well, you've got one heck of a Badass Determinator on your tail and he will stop you from ever hurting anyone again.
- Blessed with Suck: Odd, by his own estimation.
- Cannibal Larder: In the first novel, Thomas finds a very tidy such larder in the killer's refrigerator. It's unclear if they are truly intended for eating, or are just trophies.
- Celibate Hero: Because Stormy wanted to wait until they were married and since her death he refuses because he's still staying true to her.
- Chronic Hero Syndrome: Not by choice, but see "The Determinator" below.
- Combat Pragmatist: Odd. Cats, brooms, mops, and, well, anything that is handy, and yes, he will use every dirty trick in the book if it means bringing a fight to a close.
- Comic Book Adaptation: as an OEL Manga
- Dark and Troubled Past: Happy childhood? The only part of his childhood that Odd recalls with fondness is when his grandmother would take time off from gambling and traveling the country to visit him.
- Deadpan Snarker: Odd himself falls into this category, but the real Snarker Award goes to the love of his life, Stormy.
- Demonic Possession: 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.
- Doesn't Like Guns: Odd, of the traumatic childhood tragedy variety. However, he will pick up a gun if the situation is dire enough; he doesn't want someone to die because he couldn't overcome his fear/aversion.
- Evil Is Petty: A recurring theme in the series. In almost every book there's a scene of one or more extremely evil characters acting either like petulant children or the dullest bores you ever met.
- Fights Like a Normal: Odd's powers are useless in a fight.
- First-Person Smartass: Subverted in that Odd is so hilariously humble about his smartassery. Many readers hear him speaking with Toby McGuire's voice.
- Friend on the Force: Chief Wyatt Porter
- Full-Name Basis: Rosalia Sanches calls Odd by his full name all the time.
- Good Is Not Dumb
- Hero's Muse: Stormy. One of the things that keeps Odd going when things get really is that he doesn't want to disappoint her by backing off when he can do something to stop something terrible from happening.
- Humble Hero: Odd, full stop.
- Improvised Weapon: Odd usually uses some normal, everyday item as a weapon at least once per book.
- Indy Ploy: This is the way Odd works in dangerous situations, he's helped by his psychic instincts.
- 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
- Limited Wardrobe: Odd has a small wardrobe of simple clothes like jeans, chinos, sneakers and T-shirts. This is partly because he has no interest in fashion and partly because he often finds himself travelling at a moment's notice, a situation where bringing a large amount of luggage wouldn't be practical.
- Living Shadow: The bodachs, which appear as intangible shadows near sites of impending violence.
- Memento Macguffin: The fortuneteller prediction ticket that says "You are destined to be together forever."
- Mysterious Waif: Annamaria.
- Narrative Profanity Filter: After the first couple books, Odd describes profanity more often than transcribes it, usually by replacing it with a more literal and formalized version of the word:
Odd: "He called me a rectum."
- Nice Guy: Odd.
- 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.
- Once Killed a Man with a Noodle Implement: (Probably) non-letal case. Once Odd recounts a list of improvized weapons, which he effectively used for self-defence:
Over the years, in pinches and crunches, I have survived—often just barely—by the effective use of such weapons as fists, feet, knees, elbows, a baseball bat, a shovel, a knife, a rubber snake, a real snake, three expensive antique porcelain vases, about a hundred gallons of molten tar, a bucket, a lug wrench, an angry cross-eyed ferret, a broom, a frying pan, a toaster, butter, a fire hose, and a large bratwurst.
- 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).
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Chief Wyatt Porter, one of the few people who knows about Odd's gift.
- 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, the fifth are a group of people who think they're gods, and the sixth are another (even worse) group of Satanists.
- The first graphic novel has a man who believes he sold his soul to the Devil for immortality, but the second averts this.
- Right Man in the Wrong Place: Pretty much the consequence of Odd's being Blessed with Suck.
- Self-Deprecation: Odd is a master of this trope.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Again, Odd Thomas. He starts out this way, having been through numerous life-or-death situations before the series ever begins. Then Stormy dies.
- Spirit Advisor: Inverted. Odd is an adviser to ghosts.
- Stealth Insult: Odd is very, very good at these.
- Unreliable Narrator: Odd again, at the behest of Little Ozzy, to keep the tone of the books light.
- 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 (i.e., the Monster). They meet at St. Bartholomew's, setting of Brother Odd; and there are other references to that setting.
- Would Hit a Girl: Odd is very reluctant to, but will if she is going to kill or hurt someone else.
- Action Girlfriend: Stormy, who, unlike Odd, has no problem about using a gun.
- 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.
- 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.
- Character Title
- 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.
- Disc One Final Boss: Fungus Man.
- 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.
- 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.
- Heroic BSOD: Odd after the events at the mall.
- 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.
- 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.
- In-Series Nickname/Only Known by Their Nickname: "Fungus Man".
- 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.
- Peaceful in Death: Granny Sugars died in her sleep at age 72. According to Odd, "They found her with a nearly empty snifter of brandy on the nightstand, a book by her favorite novelist opened to the last page, and a smile on her face."
- 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.
- Technical Pacifist: Odd is afraid of guns (thanks to his psycho mom), but he manages to shoot two would-be mass murderers.
- 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."
- Wham Episode: At the end, when it's revealed that Stormy died in the shooting at the mall.
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: Occasionally Odd wonders if his gifts are related to the insanity that seems to run in his family.
- Absurdly Spacious Flood Drainage Tunnels: Under Pico Mundo, and suspected to be part of a conspiratorial government project.
- Axe Crazy: Datura. And how!
- Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick / Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Odd describes the fallout of a deadly casino fire, listing off fraud indictments, bankruptcy claims, federal charges, "... and one sex change operation."
- Flowery Insults: Danny Jessup describes Datura as being "crazier than a syphilitic suicide bomber with mad-cow disease." After meeting her, Odd thinks that this description was a severe Understatement.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: There're hints that Datura's servants might be zombies, but ultimately their nature remains a mystery.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Datura is a genus of poisonous plants, which can have quite unpleasant physical and mental effects on humans.
- No OSHA Compliance: The people who built the Panamint Resort and Spa cut corners in several ways. For example, they hung a chandelier from a wooden beam when they should have used a steel beam and they didn't put in all of the fire safety equipment that the blueprints called for. When an earthquake hit, the damage to the hotel was much worse than it should have been and several of the guests and staff died.
- The Vamp: Datura.
- Villainesses Want Heroes: Datura has a bit of a Villainous Crush on Odd, but only because he can do the one thing she can't, which is see the dead.
- Woman in Black: Datura again.
- Alternate Self: Cloyce killed Tim, then went back in time to save him and bring him to the future but it makes a paradox that both things are true; Tim's dead body still exists, and he remembers both getting killed and not getting killed.
- Badass and Child Duo: Odd and Tim.
- Bad Future: The shifts into the future feature a dystopian future where swarms of ferocious giant-batlike creatures and packs of man-eating pig-man things that are the result of messing around with DNA. Odd's effect with disabling Roseland somewhat lessens the terribleness of this future.
- Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: Nikola Tesla invented a way to time travel, though considering the man this doesn't really seem that far out.
- Big Brother Instinct: Odd feels this way towards Tim.
- The Constant: Roseland and it's inhabitants.
- Cool House: Designed by Nikola Tesla no less, as a time machine and immortality generator.
- Immortality Seeker: Cloyce and his household.
- Living Memory: The image of Nikola Tesla that keeps popping up around Roseland, in his own way trying to get someone to stop what's going on there and helping Odd in the small ways he can. Even Odd's not completely sure what exactly he/it is.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Is done to Odd by Cloyce. Thank goodness for a time machine that can return your body to how it was at a specific point in time.
- Not Listening to Me, Are You?: Odd tries to ask Chef Shilshom some questions about Roseland, but the chef is busy preparing food and answers most of the questions with an absent-minded "Mmmmm." Odd starts saying weird things to get his attention, but it doesn't work.
- "Is that a mouse by the refrigerator?"
- "No. Sorry. It's a big old rat."
- "Well, I don't know why, but I think I'll go set my hair on fire."
- "Maybe it grows back thicker if you burn it off once in awhile."
- Our Time Machine Is Different
- Really 700 Years Old: Tim is really closer to his nineties than the ten-year-old he looks, and the rest of the inhabitants (who look in their thirties to middle-age) are even older.
- Serial Killer: Cloyce.
- Wax Museum Morgue
- What You Are in the Dark: Odd has a chance to use Roseland to go back in time to save Stormy, but decides that would be selfish of him since she is in a better place and he doesn't want what happened to Tim to happen to Stormy just to make himself happy.
- Who Wants to Live Forever?: Henry Lolam hates living forever as much as he wants it, and Tim is a ninety year old man stuck in a young child's body.
- Would Hit a Girl: Odd would to knock her out so she wouldn't alert any of her compatriots. He ends up killing her later when she escapes and threatens to kill Tim.
- Angel Unaware: The mysterious and slightly unearthly people that help the children who were captured by the satanists forget the trauma they suffered and whose presence helped Odd to heal emotionally somewhat from his recent experiences are implied to be something of the kind.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Mrs. Edie Fischer is the sweetest, cutest old lady you'll ever meet. When she finds out that the Rhinestone Cowboy intends to murder three children, she threatens to cut off his testicles and feed them to a coyote while he watches.
- Cool Old Lady: Mrs. Edie Fischer regularly drives over one-hundred miles an hour in a souped up limo, has got more pluck and courage in her little old body than people a fourth her age, and is funny and mysterious as can be.
- Crazy Awesome: Edie Fischer.
- Dark World: The other side of Elsewhere.
- Deadpan Snarker: Alfred Hitchcock; not surprising, except when you remember that "the dead don't talk."
- Eldritch Abomination: The thing that the Rhinestone Cowboy is carrying around in his truck.
- Hollywood Satanism: The group who stole the children.
- Humanoid Abomination: The Senoculus, which takes on Odd's form with some quite gruesome and creepy differences.
- Invisible to Normals: The Rhinestone Cowboy. People, normal people, can't notice him. Also the estate at which his fellow Satanists are gathering.
- I See Them Too: Verena one of the children Odd is trying to rescue can also see ghosts, which works out plotpoint-wise when he has her follow Boo to safety while he draws off the Senoculus.
- It Gets Easier: Odd notes that killing bad guys is getting easier, and it scares him.
- Mistaken for Gay: Edie briefly thinks Odd is. Some amount of humorous arguing ensues before the misunderstanding is straightened out.
- Never Mess with Granny: Edie Fischer. Odd says that he'd rather have her at his back than pretty much anyone he could think of.
- Sadist: The Rhinestone Cowboy and the rest of the Satanists.
- Silk Hiding Steel: Mazie is a kind, soft-spoken woman... who happens to be the moving and driving force of Casa Bolthole which is a a bunker fitted with an arsenal to rival most military bunkers and she and her family are always inventing more weapons and technology with which to outfit The Resistance.
- Spirit Advisor: Alfred Hitchcock.
- The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: Odd's list of possessed car movies: "The Car, Maximum Overdrive, The Love Bug."
- Void Between the Worlds: Odd calls it "Elsewhere," a place between our world and a dark dimension, where the only defense against those things that prowl in, and strain against, this boundary is quick thinking.
In Odd We Trust
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: When Odd catches up to the murderer, 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, especially since he is considered a great cook in his hometown.
- Mobstacle Course: Odd and Stormy are rushing to rescue Sherry and Pico Mundo's streets are very crowded because of a parade. Odd comments, "There's never a parade when you need one, only when it screws things up."
Odd is on Our Side
- Mundanger: Odd usually has to deal with supernatural threats. This time, the culprit is an old man who really, really hated kids trampling his prizewinning flower garden.
- Symbol Swearing: Odd pulls a little girl from the path of a speeding car and the startled driver exclaims "!@#$%!" Odd narrates, "I really despise potty mouths who speak in symbols."
- 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.)
House of Odd
- Falling Chandelier of Doom: It's mentioned that some contractors were working in Nedra's house when a large chandelier crashed to the floor for no apparent reason. No one was injured, but this event frightened the contractors into quitting.
- Malevolent Architecture: Nedra's house. Doors lock people in rooms even though there are no locks on the doors. A dark shadow with no apparent source is taped walking into the house. Disembodied screams are heard. Then the house starts becoming more massive, hallways twist and turn unnaturally, and the floor plan no longer matches the blueprints. Oh, and there's a portal to Hell in the basement.
- Techno Babble: Vern Ainsley Smith loves to use large scientifically-sounding words to describe his ghost-hunting experiences. But he's really just a huge fraud and none of the Techno Babble actually means anything.
Odd Thomas (2013 Film)
- Adapted Out: Elvis Presley doesn't appear as a character in the film, though a life-size cardboard cut out of him can be seen in Odd's apartment.
- Age Lift: Viola, though not old in the book, is aged down a few years to be Odd and Stormy's school friend; in the process, her daughters via her ex-husband from the books become either her little sisters or step-daughters (it's never entirely clear which, it's only mentioned that their drug-addicted biological mother dumped them on Viola when she was "barely eighteen").
- All-Star Cast: For a relatively low-budget movie released with little fanfare, there are some well-known names involved: Anton Yelchin (Odd), Willem Dafoe (Chief Porter), and Patton Oswalt (Ozzy Boone).
- Demoted to Extra: Ozzie Boone only appears in one scene, and his character is quite different from the books.
- Easter Egg: Elvis Presley doesn't act as Odd's spirit companion in the film (presumably due to issues with licencing his image); but as a nod to the books, Odd has a life-size cut out of Elvis in his apartment.
- Pragmatic Adaptation