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Watchers by Dean Koontz – Book Review

watchers dean koontzWatchers was the first book I ever read by Dean Koontz. I was a wide-eyed kid who was in heaven every time the bookmobile pulled up to the curb at the elementary school. When our school librarian saw me checking out a copy of Skeleton Crew by Stephen King, she told me I’d love Koontz’ writing as well. So I grabbed a copy of Watchers, which looked pretty unassuming–it had even lost the dust jacket.

I took it back to my desk, turned to page one, and basically vanished from the rest of the world until I had finished it. I no longer enjoy Dean’s writing like I used to, but I have always admired the man. He genuinely seems to love writing, and I think his books show that. He also seems like a good guy, which isn’t a must for me to read someone’s work, but it doesn’t hurt, either.

Plot summary of Watchers

A man, Travis, is out for a hike finds a golden retriever. For reasons I can’t go into without spoiling some of the backstory, he takes the dog with him when he leaves. But I’ll tell you that the dog alerts the man to a predator that is nearby in the woods. From the earliest moments with the dog, Travis can tell that the dog is very intelligent. How intelligent he couldn’t possibly guess, and the increasing revelations of the dog’s brilliance are fun to see.

But this isn’t a book about fun. If you’re looking for some heart-warming dog and man story, read Marley and Me. Whatever it was stalking them in the woods was created in the same place the dog was–and it is psychically linked to the dog. It can track them wherever they go, which means for most of the book, Travis, Einstein (the dog), and the woman they become involved with are on the run.

As if it wasn’t enough to have the monster called The Outsider chasing them, there is also a quite-human killer chasing them–again, for reasons I don’t want to spoil.

Watchers is fast-paced and, while I said it’s not really a fun read, that’s not true–it’s a lot of fun if you like thrillers. I still believe it is the best possible introduction to the Dean Koontz bibliography, and I still find a lot to love in this book. All good memories.

And since I mentioned it, I also highly recommend Skeleton Crew (my review) if you’re a short horror fiction fan. (short as in the length of the stories, not if you’re short in stature:)

Give it a try! Become Dean Koontz watchers. (I know, bad joke).


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