Being a protagonist is hard. Everything hinges on you: story, action, conflict—to top it off, there’s no privacy. All your foibles, your deepest fears, desires, stuff you’ve barely found out for yourself—right there on the page for any reader to see.
|The Odd Thomas Series, by Dean Koontz|
As enthralled as I am by stories, I always feel a pang of voyeurism-sparked shame at invading foreign lives like that. Nowhere was that most evident than when I met Odd Thomas.
He’s such a delightful and sensitive kid, that Odd. So polite, so—normal, in every way but one. He sees the "lingering dead", and although they don’t speak (not as far as he knows), they do communicate in some way to ask for justice. Now, another kind of person would ignore them, turn their back, scream and run (sometimes these dead show up with the gore and mess that killed them), or perhaps simply go mad. But not Odd. He doesn’t like it, but he accepts that this is his lot with an equanimity that leaves no place for the melodrama of "why me?". And I love him for that.
Odd touches my heart. He’s a good, good man—but he doesn’t know it, doesn’t believe it. Odd Thomas’s humanity jumps out of the page, weaknesses on his sleeve. He seems almost apologetic for telling his story, for making any claim of importance.
But he is important. His qualities are in extreme danger of extinction.
Read the other Killer Character 'Fest-ers choices for Killer Protagonists here.