Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Brother Odd: Dean Koontz

I’ve always liked Dean Koontz; he knows how to be compassionate and funny at the same time. When I showed books I had bought, my long-time friend Momcat said “Oh, you’re going to like that book!” and oh, how right she was. I like it so much that now I have to go back and buy the previous ones to catch me up.

The main character, whose name, to his embarrassment, is Odd Thomas, has secluded himself in a monastery in search of spiritual peace. Or was he brought here for another reason? Odd Thomas has some very odd gifts; he can see the undeparted dead, for example, and he can sense things that normal humans can’t. You would think these would be very cool talents, but Odd is in his early twenties, and his talents only serve to isolate him and make him feel a little alien.

The monastery / nunnery is a good place for him, full of very human monks and nuns, some of them very wise and very compassionate, as well as competant. It’s a good place for Odd Thomas, a healing place and a place where his strange gifts are protected by his spiritual cohabitants. The monastic life attracts a lot of people trying to put their pasts behind them to seek spiritual goals, and also attracts those with their own agendas.

The monastery is well endowed, and contains a special school for young people who have physical and/or mental disabilities. Some can learn enough to return to society, and some will probably spend the rest of their shortened lives under the safety and care of the nuns – until, all of a sudden, a threat appears, directed at the children.

Dean Koontz writes interesting books. He often includes benign animals, he often focuses on threats to women and children, and while his books are not difficult to read, neither are they something you read and easily forget. Both AdventureMan and I read an earlier Dean Koonz book, Watchers, to which we have often referred through the years, as one of his characters ends up homeless and living in a car with her son. She talks about money just giving you more options, and about those who are one paycheck away from homelessness. It was an easy read, but he includes some tough ideas, things you find yourself mulling over even years later. That’s a good read in my book!

The only problem with this book was that it was so good I finished it in one flight. Good thing I had packed a back-up book in my carry-on!

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December 13, 2007 Posted by | Books, Bureaucracy, Crime, Fiction, Health Issues, Poetry/Literature, Relationships, Social Issues, Spiritual, Travel | , , | 11 Comments