Haven't we all looked at the expression on our pet's face and wondered what were they thinking at one time or another? Koontz takes this notion and runs with it in Watchers. Travis is an ex-military that has lost the loved ones in his life and was taking a walk in the mountains trying to rediscover happiness. He comes upon a Golden Retriever that acts as if he is trying to warn him of impending danger ahead on the trail and convinces Travis to high-tail it in the other direction. He takes the dog home with him and learns that this is no ordinary mutt. This is an escaped secret lab experiment with the intelligence of a human. Travis names him Einstein. Nora has been sheltered her whole life by her extremely overbearing aunt. After her aunt's death, she struggles with coming out of her shell and adapting to the ways of society. Instead, she holes herself up in her aunt's house and trusts no one. In a moment of danger for Nora, she is saved by Travis and Einstein. From here the story really takes off as the two learn the extent of Einstein's intelligence and ability to learn and communicate. They discover that Einstein isn't the only lab experiment that escaped that day. The other one, called "The Outsider", is a monstrous killing machine that will stop at nothing to locate the dog through a mental telepathy bond and destroy him and all who get in the way. Throw in secret government agents trying to get their experiments back and a deranged mafia hit man and you've got a classic Koontz story for the ages.
Koontz can be the cock-eyed optimist with his characters. A good always prevails against evil type of tendency. Watchers is no exception. But, the characters are so good and its easy to wish your own dog could do a fraction of the things that Einstein can. The story moves along at a nice pace and even though there are a few times where you roll your eyes at Koontz's infatuation with Golden Retrievers, it all works. Five stars for the dog lover. Four for those that don't.
One of my favorite Koontz books (tied with Odd Thomas). I just fell in love with Einstein - who wouldn't want a dog like that - and I'm not even a "pet person"! Highly recommended.
This is my favorite Koontz novel. I re-read it every few years. It is a great story and I've passed my original copy around to friends so many times(and demanded it back )it's getting a little worn!
I haven't read this in ages, but I always that it was Koontz's best novel.
Koontz says this is one of his books, and it is. Although it is "dog" story, the tension is always rising. You have to keep reading because you might miss something.
Without a doubt, my favorite Dean Koontz book!! Who doesn't suspect their dogs know more than they tell? Made me look at my golden retrievers in a whole new light. Reccomend this to any Dean Koontz fan.
This is my all time favorite book! The characters are so well drawn that you can actually see them in your mind. The story is interesting, funny, believeable and suspenseful. A real page turner that makes you want to see what happens next. I usually read this book in less than two days. (have read it at least 3 times and it still gets me) Einstein is awesome! I can't help wondering how many people who read this book go out and get themselves a Golden Retriever.
My only criticism is that there is no sequel. I want a Watchers II!
I absolutely loved this book! A fantastic read for Koontz lovers, dog lovers, anyone looking to enjoy a book a little bit out of the ordinary!
The absolute best Dean Koontz book. This is the book that started it all for me. I could not put the book down. You will love the characters!
this is my favorite Koontz book. I read this over 10 years ago, and it has stayed with me, i think of it often, it haunts me... in a good way. If there is one Dean Koontz book you are going to read, make it this one!
One of his best book. A can't put down book.
Tragic, wonderful book about man's creations. A page-turner, and one that I re-read.
I loved this book, who could resist a smart retreiver ?
Great book, but what book by Koontz isn't? Very fast paced, one that pulls the reader into it immediately. A must read!
This is the first Dean Koontz book I read, which made me fall in love with his writing!
Classic Koontz. Government laboratory, superintelligent dog, hybrid monster, both on the loose. Suspenseful to the end!
first koontz i read, thought it was real good, kept you wondering, A++ in my book
I recently reread this old favorite of mine as an unabridged audiobook. It was one of my childhood favorites so I was almost afraid to touch it and ruin the mystique I'd built up around it. Surprisingly enough, I managed to enjoy most of it despite the fact that I've become much pickier and crabbier about my reading choices as I've, eh, matured.
This is Koontz's famous tale about genetically engineered animals which is probably much more probable and frightening now than it was in 1987! Political bigwigs have managed to fund and create "The Outsider", an intelligent killer who lives for the thrill of the kill. They've also created a golden retriever with the intelligence of a bright human (I state this because many dogs I know are smarter than many humans I've come across). The government intends to use the dogs as spies to learn about the ever elusive "enemy". After all, who would ever suspect a goofy retriever of spy tactics? These two genetically altered creatures are so smart they outsmart the scientists and escape the lab. The "Outsider" goes on a killing spree while the retriever finds a loving home with a kind man who names him "Einstein". For some inexplicable reason, "The Outsider" hates Einstein. Hates him with an undying passion and wants him dead (jealous of his doggy beauty, perhaps?). Because the two are psychically linked, it spends its time tracking down the dog when not decapitating innocent people and animals, that is.
The remainder of the book is filled with the antics of a crazed killer-for-hire, corrupt political goings-on, "The Outsider's" quest for death and destruction and the gooey-sweet love story between Travis, a victimized woman who is so naive as to be completely unbelievable and whose name I've already forgotten and Einstein the dog. This is the kind of love triangle I enjoy, haha.
I still loved Einstein this time around but spent a large majority of the book annoyed at the woman character who was all helpless, pathetic and needed rescuing. She was 30, THIRTY folks, and so sheltered and beaten down by a crazy old aunt that she had absolutely zero life experience and was completely missing a backbone. I don't remember noticing those things when I was a teenager or maybe I just accepted them as normal because I didn't know any better at the time. If that's the case, maybe getting older isn't such a bad thing ;)
I enjoyed the re-read and recommend this book to any dog lover and Koontz fan. It's still one of his best but not quite the five star read I remember
"His best story yet!" -Publisher's Weekly
"A breakthrough for Koontz...a fable about love and trust...imaginative and unusual...HIS BEST EVER." -Kirkus Reviews
From a top-secret government laboratory come two genetically altered life-forms. One is a magnificent dog of astonishing intelligence. The other, a hybrid monster of a brutally violent nature. And both are on the loose...
One of the best books I've ever read. Certainly Koontz's best!
Dean koontz... what more do I have to say? One of his best!
Very typical Dean Koontz. Strange, but entertaining.
Exciting book. A real page turner.
So my first experience with this story is the Corey from the late 80s early 90s. I loved it and when I realized it was based on a novel it was immediately added to my TBR. I listened to the audiobook version and the narrator brought Fur Face to life. And yes, I realize his name is Einstein, but he was Fur Face in the movie and will always be that for me. The performance was excellent. I could really picture everything thing happening and I felt the emotion of the situations.
So Fur Face is a genetically engineered golden retriever that escapes the lab he was created in. He finds his way to Travis who is a lonely man at the end of his rope. He's not quite suicidal, but he's pretty much given up on life. Fur Face is just what he needs to bring him back to life, especially when the dog reveals his human-like intelligence. Travis instantly falls in love with Fur Face. Travis now has a companion to love and care for, and Fur Face gets the same on top of having freedom from the tests and cage he was in at the lab.
Fur Face leads Travis to Nora, a woman who was raised almost entirely by her miserable, horrible aunt. She never went to school or had friends, her life was completely controlled by her aunt until the woman's death. While Nora is attempting to learn how to live a life free of her aunt, she is targeted by a creepy man who wants to control and use her until he's had his fill. Fur Face leads Travis to her and together they rescue her from the horrible man. The two develop a friendship that eventually develops into love.
Together Travis and Nora discover just how intelligent Fur Face actually is and create a means of communication. They learn about his past and that he was not the only experiment that escaped the lab. The Outsider is an abomination that has a deep hatred for Fur Face. Somehow they are bonded and can sense other another. The Outside is searching for Fur Face because he wants to destroy him. And then there's the problem of the NSA and a hired hitman on Fur Face's trail.
The trio go on the run getting far enough away to give them time for The Outsider eventually finding them. They have a final battle where the Outsider nearly kills Fur Face, and Travis kills both the hitman and The Outsider.
This is so ridiculously well written I could literally listen to the audiobook all over again. I felt the emotions and humanity in Fur Face, but also you felt empathy for the Outsider. He was created to be a monster, a killing machine. He grew to hate himself for being an ugly monster and his hatred toward Fur Face was really his envy at being the beloved child while The Outsider was clearly feared and even hated. In the end I felt for the Outsider and wished that he could have been saved. His death was actually very sad.
I enjoy the heck out of this book. It was excellent from start to finish. I felt completely satisfied with the ending. I don't know why anyone would need a sequel. Travis and Nora lived happily ever after. And Fur Face lived, got a mate of his own and had children. What more was needed?
Again, Kootze brings a pet into the realm of humanism and mystery due to a government lab genetically mess'n around developing one good and one a monster.
A good tail to keep you reading and hard to put down.
From a top secret government laboratory come two genetically altered life-forms. One is a magnificent dog of astonishing intelligence. The other, a hybrid monster of a brutally violent nature. And both are on the loose. An explosive story of a man and a woman, caught in a relentless storm of mankind's darkest creation.
There is no books that this man writes that I just don't love. This book is so good . You must read this book.
One of my criteria for a book is that a book has to be interesting enough to so engage me in the story that I don't skip ahead and read the ending first. Well, this book failed that test. It was an ok book but rather predictable. I was a little disappointed because it was highly recommended to me by a friend. Oh well, there is room in this world for a lot of different kinds of reading tastes. That's why there are so many books.
WATCHERS is the first Koontz novel I've ever read, but I doubt it will be my last. In his afterword, Koontz says that this is his favorite book. I can see why!
This one has everything you could ask for: a little sci-fi (I hope!), a wonderful love story, government agencies trying to protect national security and a wonderful dog (pictured on the cover).
I would tell you more, but I fear it would spoil the book. If you love thrillers AND dog stories, you'll love this one!