Offbeat

Dean Koontz and Dead People: The Odd Thomas Series

There are some literary diehards who say that that these modern times have evolved without benefit of many Catholic writers and old standbys such as Flannery O’Connor, Graham Greene and Walker Percy continue to fill in the gap. One can only wonder if these skeptics have read Dean Koontz’s Odd Thomas series, which is the darkest of his books and highly absorbing fiction.

Evil lurks and has many faces. For prolific author, Anne Rice, they were vampires, and although the average reader may not identify Koontz’s work as being Catholic per se, looking closely at the fictive world view of horror he weaves so subtly reveals the threads of deep religious conviction within another suspenseful story.

Dean Koontz never glorifies his villains or the concept of evil but rather pits them against the forces of his protagonists in a battle between good vs. evil that always confronts the importance of faith in God.

In a 2007 interview, Koontz said:

“Evil walks among us. We don’t always see it. Each of us, in our daily lives, encounters evil; we are tempted to evil every day of our lives… We have to acknowledge it, face it and defeat it. That’s what each of my books is about.”

Odd Thomas is a different diversion, and so far the most popular of all his books. A gentle and humble character who works as a short-order cook in a small desert town, his life is devoted to the realm of ghosts. He lives among them and helps them move onto the next plane of existence.  Koontz’s writing has no Christian agenda and is adventure in its purest form, but at the core of the Odd Thomas series are unexpected traces of religious thinking that have affected his readers more than his other works of horror.

Evil sells and Dean Koontz creates its menace in his own unique way, leaving those who read it to wonder just where the line of fiction ends and reality begins.

 

 

 

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