Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Killer Character Blogfest -- Challenge #2: The All-Important Protag

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.


  1. Oh, I love this choice! Odd Thomas is one of my favorite Dean Koontz books. Odd's lack of feeling important made me cheer him on. Good job!

  2. I LOVE Dean Koontz, but I haven't read one of his books in a while. This is SO going on my TBR list. You did a great job.

  3. Oh, I haven't read this book! I am definitely going to check it out, Odd sounds fascinating. His name alone is really cool. :)

  4. I haven't read this but he sounds like an amazing character.

  5. So glad you liked this, guys! Yep, Emily--Odd rocks :) Jenny, Julie and NIcole: the Odd series is four books, and they're all great. You know that Dean magic of horror and suspense with just the right dose of hope (and blasts of humor)... I don't know how he does it, but it's fantastic.

    Thanks for the visit!

  6. I haven't read this, but Off sounds like a great character. I will have to check it out.

  7. Odd Thomas eh? Never heard of the dude, but cool name. And great explanation. I am totally learning.

  8. Odd really is one of kind! I'm thrilled to see him listed:)

  9. He does sound like a killer character. Humility is a huge draw.


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