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Watchers Paperback – May 6, 2008

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley; Reprint edition (May 6, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425221806
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425221808
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.1 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,316 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #254,417 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Cross Lassie with E.T., add a touch of The Wolfen and a dash of The Godfather, and you get a sense of some of the ingredients in this supernatural thriller, which should move Koontz ( Strangers a notch closer to Stephen King's high-rent district. When Travis Cornell, Koontz's appealing hero, encounters a stray dog while hiking, he quickly realizes that the animal is most unusual and that something terrifying is stalking them both. The encounter with the dog is the beginning of a tightly woven plot involving genetic manipulation that has created two extraordinary animals; one is the dog, named Einstein, the other is a murderous hybrid called "The Outsider." Hunted down by both the government and a professional killer who has learned the secret of the animals, Travis, Einstein and Nora Devon, a lonely woman befriended by man and canine, attempt to escape their pursuers all the while knowing that a confrontation with The Outsider is inevitable. Though the climax packs a little less wallop than it deserves, this is the sort of thoroughly frightening and entertaining tale that has its readers listening for noises in the night. 100,000 first printing; 100,000 ad/promo; Liteary Guild main selection.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

YA A book that incorporates elements of both the horror tale and the action thriller, and the result is an intriguing and enjoyable novel. Watchers is a retelling of the Frankenstein theme with a twist: two creatures, quite different from each other, roam the land. Two animals who are unlike any other animals as a result of DNA research escape from a top-secret laboratory. One is divinely inspiring, engendering love and caring. The other is a hellish nightmare that leaves unspeakable slaughter in its wake. The two creatures and a supporting cast of charactersa government agent, a hired killer, a decent recluse, and a lonely womanare inevitably brought together in a climactic and satisfying showdown. While the plot developments occasionally seem a bit forcedthis is one book that could actually have profited by some extra lengththe shortcomings are minor. Watchers is a satisfying example of good storytelling. Karl Penny, Houston Public Library
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

A great story with well developed characters and an action filled plot.
J. Austin
I love this book, it makes me cry, makes me laugh and it has to be the best book I have ever read - and I just know that you will love it too.
Kazzie K
I read about 80 pages that night, and I could hardly put the book down until I was through the good parts.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

149 of 150 people found the following review helpful By sweetmolly on September 13, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is Dean Koontz at his finest. The man is first and foremost a storyteller par excellence, and "Watchers" reels you in just-like-that---zip! All of his favorite elements are in play: the hulking government-sponsored lab, the super dog, the pathetic monster, the burnt out protagonist and redemption. It may be a formula, but then so is the chef's masterpiece. When it's done right, it's a work of art. The dialogue is Koontzian stiff (the dog has the best lines), but with such strong characterizations, it is but of small moment.
Travis Connell is a man in bleak despair. He has lost everyone who meant anything to him and is convinced he is a jinx. With great serendipity he meets an extraordinary golden retriever and one of life's misfits, Nora Devon. The dog and Travis meet and mutually support one another in a wilderness area where something unknown is threatening them. They in turn meet the sheltered, totally repressed Nora and save her from a sexual predator who is insinuating himself into her life. The three are inexorably drawn to one another and each almost miraculously strengthens the others.
The story shifts among the trio, a workaholic NSA agent, and a particularly repellent professional hit man with a God complex. The hit man Vince is wonderfully rendered and, unfortunately for the reader, we understand all too well his skewed logic. Lemuel Johnson, the NSA agent, has too much personal baggage and sometimes retards the story. The golden retriever, subsequently named Einstein, is a perfect realization of a dog that has been genetically engineered for high intelligence. He thinks, he reasons, he communicates (no, he can't talk, thank God!), but he remains very much a dog with all the traits we human dog lovers treasure.
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104 of 107 people found the following review helpful By Donald Brickeen on January 19, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the first novel I ever read written by Koontz, and to this day I must confess that it is still my favorite. Indeed, it may very well be my favorite book of all time.
The strength of the story, of course, lies with "Einstein", and his interaction with the other characters in the story. I'm not a dog lover by any stretch of the imagination, but I fell for this dog deeply. Koontz does a brilliant job of describing Einstein's feelings (read the book and this statment will make more sense, I assure you), so as you begin to view the dog as a human. It happens so gradually through the novel that you don't even realize it till it's too late.
The main theme of this book is LOYALTY. Not just with Einstein and the other characters, but more so with the humans he comes into contact with. I'm not sure if Koontz is a dog lover or not, but he sure made one out of me!
I have read this book more times than I care to mention, and each time I am still filled with the same emotions at the same incerpts on the same pages...This novel is indeed THAT powerful. Regardless of whether you enjoy pets or not, do yourself a favor, and read this novel.
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75 of 80 people found the following review helpful By Brandon Massey on September 10, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In WATCHERS, Dean Koontz weaves some of his most powerful, recurring themes into a story so compelling it demands to be read again--and again! Dangerous government experiments run amok; characters tortured by terrible childhoods and fears of losing those they love most; and the redemptive power of love and hope. These themes serve to give this novel an emotional punch that few thrillers can match these days.
Perhaps Koontz's greatest accomplishment with this novel is that the story succeeds on so many levels. Readers who appreciate finely-tuned phrases and scalpel-clean, lyrical prose can delight in the prowess of a master wordsmith. Other readers, seeking only a story that delivers an entertaining plot, will be riveted by the twists and turns and "Oh, My God" moments that this story delivers. Lastly, those readers who have followed Koontz's career for many years can read WATCHERS simply to appreciate the spectacular progression of this author's skill.
I've read WATCHERS many times, and every time, I pick up a technique that I can apply to my own suspense novels. Needless to say, this book has gained the "must read, then re-read" status on my personal reading list!
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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Duaa Anwar on December 12, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
You have not read a book until you have read Watchers by Dean Koontz. Why? I will try to be brief.. no book can ever match the powerful beginning of this novel. It was gripping, thrilling, from page 3. There is a lot of description, but Dean has a way of making every description useful and enjoyoyable - unlike some authors who bore you to death with totally irrelevant paragraphs. His characters may be extreme in some ways, nevertheless, they were painted into realistic people that can indeed exist in real life. For the first few chapters.. you will be intrigued at how different incidents can be connected.. then slowly and with a lot of mystery, the story begins to connect and become clearer.
Travis, Nora, Einstein, and Vince are the main characters in the book. Dean allows you to see the world from their eyes, which can be fascinating because they are fascinating characters!
Einstein, the dog, will capture your heart. Even the evil presence in the story will have you sympathize with it. The plot is structured so well that there is no spot where the action slows down. Given the long time within which the story takes place, this novel is very fast paced and will leave you at the edge of your seat.
And I have to confess that Koontz does not leave you unsatisfied or frustrated at any point. The characters will ask the questions that you have in your mind, and the action will keep you fully aware of the current situation. The suspense will leave you shuddering, and the romance will warm your heart. This is a story that is full of emotion.. where there is a lesson at the end for mankind. It will stay in my heart to the end of my life.
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More About the Author

Dean Koontz, the author of many #1 New York Times bestsellers, lives in Southern California with his wife, Gerda, their golden retriever Anna, and the enduring spirit of their golden, Trixie.

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