Sunday, March 3, 2013

Marking Books: Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz

Years ago (dare I say decades?), my best bud told me she had just read a good book and that I should give The Bad Place by Dean Koontz a try. While I have been known to enjoy the seriously strange and unusual, The Bad Place was a shade too “out there” for my taste and, after finishing it, I promptly swore off the works of Dean Koontz.

When Greg, never shy to recommend a series I might like, suggested not only that I read Odd Thomas but read it aloud to him even though he had already read the series, I was intrigued. It turns out, as it invariably does, I was wrong about Mr. Koontz and so, now publicly apologize for not having given his work another chance before now.

Being written in first person, Odd Thomas endeared himself to me almost instantly – the simplicity, honesty, and… well, oddness of his character is hard not to love. Throughout the twisting plot and string of otherworldly incidents, I found myself rooting for Odd and his soul mate Stormy – cringing when I knew they were walking into something sure to be bad and laughing at the absurd bits of humor tucked into all the right places. It is also the first book in quite some time that elicited such sudden sadness in me that I had to put the book down for a moment to cry.

I recommend the book for those who like suspense with a bit of weirdness and humor – albeit dark humor at times. Odd Thomas is definitely character driven with a fast-paced heavily atmospheric story line. It is a good read and I’m looking forward to the second book (Forever Odd) as soon as Greg and I get through our current tome (11/22/63 by Stephen King).


Marking Books: Gator a-go-go by Tim Dorsey

Okay, I finally get what my brother and Greg (and a whole slew of other people) have been talking about. Yes, I absolutely adore Serge A. Storms. Never mind that he is seriously manic, a bit deranged, and kills people in a variety of interesting and inventive ways – they are usually… I won’t say deserving but… let’s just say they are usually not very good people.

Gator a-go-go is yet another of Dorsey’s insane romps through the Sunshine State – this time documenting the history of Spring Break and all its debauchery. FBI agents and a cocaine kingpin bob and weave with Serge, his sidekick, Coleman, and their expanding following of college students as irony and near-miss encounters mount in a frenzy of hilarity. While not for the faint of heart or for the easily offended, Gator a-go-go is a fun ride.

After spending six weeks resident training at Southeastern Academy of Travel and Tourism in Kissimmee, FL back in 1988, I was convinced Floridians were crazy and that I would never want to live there. After reading Gator a-go-go, I feel my initial impressions were correct and my aversion to the state has been validated. ;)