Film vs Novel – Odd Thomas

Some people have a hidden darkness inside, and others are just evil in a human suit!

Film vs Novel Odd Thomas Review by Casey CarlisleQuirky. That is the best word to describe this story – in either book or movie form.

Being a huge fan of Dean Koontz, I find his books comforting in a familiar way, he always has interesting characters, and most of the time it’s easy to visualise a movie created in your minds eye straight from his easy read narration. If I had to rate the book, I’d have given it three out of five kisses. While it was not anything new (with elements of previous stories evident in it’s composition,) left me feeling like I’d read it before. But it is darkly comic and filled with witty banter to keep you grinning from start to end.

The movie, in turn, remained true to the tone set in the novel, although more upbeat and focused more on the irony so that it would have broader appeal. If it had included a lot of the darker aspects in the book – like the backstory of Odd’s  parents – I can see how it would have not only interrupted momentum, but killed the delicate tone of the film. So too would the inclusion of Ghost Elvis – in the novel he complimented the narrative well, but if transposed onto the big screen, would have been seen as camp.

A new aspect to Odd’s character, psycometry, was introduced in the film production as a tool for presenting information to the viewer, and this by no means subtracted from the experience. I can see how it replaced the information dumping and internal monologue from the book. It was a very clever way to get the information across without distracting from the fast pace of the story.

Odd Thomas Review Pic 4 by Casey CarlisleThe special effects in the movie by far surpassed the visuals I’d dreamt up as I read the book. The addition of one of my favourite actors, Anton Yelchin, had me jumping with joy  – he is such delicious goodness! The person I’d imagined from the printed page had been much more clean cut and nondescript, so Yelchin’s interpretation of Odd greatly enhanced my appreciation for ‘Odd Thomas.’

Odd Thomas Review Pic 2 by Casey CarlisleHis co-star, Addison Timlin as Stormy was great in the role, however the version I had in my head was a little more sexy–girl-next-door; but that comes down to personal preference on physical attributes and her performance embodied everything that Stormy was in the novel right down to the tenor of the dialogue (and charades) of Odd’s journey to save the town of Pico Mundo.

It’s a pity that the film production was marred with contractual and budgetary problems, delaying it’s release and marketing campaign, leading to  straight-to-DVD release in some countries. I felt it deserved more fanfare, the issues surrounding production and release consequently hobbled any chance of the franchise being picked up… This adaptation is one of the better creations in the world of book-to-movie transitions.

I’d have to say that in comparing the value of both the book and the film it’s a strong tie with me. While the movie was a visual feast, the novel delves into the underlying darkness and its insatiable thirst to pollute everything around it.

Critique Casey by Casey Carlisle

© Casey Carlisle 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

One thought on “Film vs Novel – Odd Thomas

  1. Lashaan (Bookidote) says:

    Ah ha! Found it. Great film vs. book review. Love that you saw the advantages and disadvantages of excluding some of the scenes from the book from the film and even admired the way the movie adapted the book. I’ll definitely lower my expectations of the book whenever I get around to it though. 😀

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