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4.13 of 5 stars 4.13  ·  rating details  ·  91,481 ratings  ·  2,116 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...

Bestselling author Dean Koontz presents his most terrifying, dramatic and moving novel: The explosive story of a man and a woman, caught in a relentless s
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Published April 10th 2004 by Brilliance Audio (first published 1987)
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Very overrated...I had high expectations for the book, because of the almost universal applause it gets...and it turned out to be yet another Koontz dog novel.
The characters in this novel are shallow and cardboard - the ex delta force soldier, a widower, falls in love with an abused woman. Of course despite her abuse lasting for years she gets out of the shell in several months and gets pregnant, drives a car, even uses weapons !
The scene when they have weapons hidden all over their house is qui
Unputdownable, with surprisingly deep characterization, and a super-smart dog that runs around adorably.

+ a nightmarish monster that escapes a laboratory and starts munching on the peaceful population of modern suburbia.

An immaculate mix of horror, romance, and action.
blah.... Now, I know that when someone writes a book it doesn't have to reflect real life, but does that mean that they couldn't at least try to make it seem real? Like whatever is going on in the book could really happen in the 'real' world?
Do you think that Dean Koontz could have wrote a book that wasn't so drippy with sentimentality towards his favorite breed of dog, that other people could actually get through it?

Well, I did - barely. It was soooo dang painful too. All his annoying story rec
Mar 04, 2008 Bianca rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mark and anyone else who enjoys reading about dogs..
I totally enjoyed Watchers. Honestly? it is what it is, and, yes, some of the characterizations and descriptions were a bit, well, heavy handed. But--the dog, Einstein, is completely irresistible. Mostly is a real page turner. It was my before bed reading, and most nights it gave me nightmares, but I couldn't stop reading. And did I mention the dog?

In the first chapter, Travis Cornell is hiking in Santiago Canyon, and he finds (or perhaps is found by?) a stray dog, who seems to be warning him a
Bark's Book Nonsense
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
I have read this book several times over the years, but it has been a while since the last time I read it.

One of the things that amazes me about Koontz is his ability to create characters that pull you into the story and root for them. The main characters, Travis and Nora, overcome difficulty early on in the book and it is clear that Koontz wants us to be on their side. Additionally, there is the absolutely pure character of Einstein (the Golden Retriever) who it is nearly impossible NOT to like
Scott Rhee
I once went through a Dean Koontz phase, which involved me going to the bookstore and completely clearing an entire shelf's worth of Koontz paperbacks. I voraciously devoured (not literally, of course) them all in a relatively short span. (I'm pretty sure I missed a few meals and a shower or two.) What Koontz lacks in literary depth, he more than makes up for in readability, suspense, and just plain, old-fashioned good storytelling. "Watchers" was, hands down, my favorite of his mainly because t ...more
Watchers is as good as Dean Koontz gets and it is pretty damn good. There are all the hallmarks of what put Koontz on the top of his game, which he was in the late 80s. There non-stop storytelling. There's a believable and likable protagonist. There's a terrible but fascinating villain (Koontz writes some of the best villains in modern horror). And, of course, there is a really cool dog...Golden retriever of course. It is this intellectually enhanced dog that really carries the tale and makes it ...more
Jan 05, 2010 SJane rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: dog lovers
I read this book way back in high school when I didn't do a whole lot of reading.

The story revolves around a man and a woman who both happen to own super-intelligent golden retrievers who can communicate with their humans. I loved the idea and tried for weeks (in vane) to get Robin, our resident golden retriever, to give me a glimpse of her hidden genius. She chased her tail and humped a pillow. Darn.

Oops! I stand corrected - t'was only one genius dog. One dog, bringing people together - saving
I absolutely LOVED this book!!!! I bought it because it had a Golden Retriever on the cover and since I love Dogs I was hoping I would enjoy it. I have to say that this book is probably one of my most favorites books I have ever read!!! I laughed, I cried, I was scared (which is rare) and I was very intrigued through the whole book! Great characters and the story was very believing. I couldn't believe that this book came out 20 years ago. I highly recommend it!
An entertaining and touching story that is part sci-fi, part romance and part thriller resulting in a fast-paced read. If you are an animal lover, you will surely love Einstein the dog, but probably feel sorry for the Outsider too. One of my favorite character's, other than Einstein of course, was the attorney, Garrison Dilworth. What a tough old dude! Enjoyed it!
This is one of the most popular novels of Dean Koontz. The story appeals not only horror fans but I think that readers who like techno-thriller may find quite amusing the book, since the story uses in a very creative way elements of science fiction and indeed you have a plot full of suspense. Also, the book has clearly many of the trademark things of Dean Koontz. You have a smart dog and can be easily one of the smarter dogs in Koontz's book, if not the smartest of all. If you are a dog-lover, t ...more
Mano (Leslie)
Jan 23, 2008 Mano (Leslie) rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of horror, and hybrid genres.
NEVER see a movie based on this book, because they aren't anywhere close to the actual content of this story. They failed to touch on the heart of another excellent Koontz take on good vs evil, and genetic engineering gone right and horribly wrong. I actually cried a lot when I read this, lol. I read it over and over when I was a youngin'...along with everything else he wrote-- that is largely my dad's accessible collections' fault. If you enjoy this I also recommend his books The House of Thund ...more
Sarah (Tail-Kinker)
I've long said that my favorite Koontz book ever is One Door Away from Heaven.

But this one comes a close 2nd. In fact, I'm re-reading One Door again just to be sure it really is my favorite. I suspect it will remain so, if only because I read it first.

The one thing I've always liked Koontz more than King is his abiding themes of hope and love. Not to get too Disney, but the optimist in me finds more to relate with in Koontz's writing than King many times.

What's not to like? Edge of seat tension
This is one of Koontz's early works, but it's also one of his finest. If you're a dog enthusiast, you will love this novel. As with most Koontz works, there are elements of either horror, science fiction, psychological thriller, mystery novel, or a combination of all/some of these that keep the novel chugging along. This is one of those that pack all of these elements into its pages.

Not to spoil the plot, it is about mankind's tampering with science, without realizing the consequences. It's abo
Erin ㋡ is in a reviewing slump
I struggled between three and four stars, ultimately deciding on three as I think a bit more could have been diced into the plot to make it more exciting. A good story, unique and I dug the simplicities of it. The dog was awesome and he and the Outsider, by far, the best characters of the book. I liked everyone, but as I said in a status update (sort-of), Koontz is more of a plot guy rather than a character one. His strength is in the story, which is cool, but sometimes his characterization skil ...more
Easy, interesting read. I have never really gotten into Koontz but this book was ok. There is nothing deep here nor did I expect it to be. I liked the premise of a highly intelligent dog. We all talk to our dogs but never really expect them to communicate back.
Can I give more than 5 stars?! I've never been into Dean Koontz books, but this one is different. It tests the boundary between real and sci-fi. Koontz can be brilliant, mediocre, and really bad (I couldn't even finish Darkfall). But when he gets it right, he gets it really, really right! Though I rarely re-read novels, I was excited to pick this one up again after all these years.

You will simply fall in love with the characters...including (perhaps especially) the dog. The dog (Einstein) is a b
Ken McKinley
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 do ...more
I was a little worried about reading a Dean Koontz. I read one of his in high school and it gave me nightmares so I never picked up another. However, I must say that I enjoyed this book. I thought it was a remarkable story, it was well written and I enjoyed the development of the plot and the characters. I like a story where the characters are real, believable and grow.

The only issue I had with the book was with the hitman Vince. I thought he was sadistic and was a little grossed out at first re
A top secret lab in California has created two new weapons for the US government – a gentle golden retriever and a savage best, both astonishingly intelligent. One night they both escape and the NSA mounts a search, but before either can be found one is taken in by a lonely man and one begins killing at will.

Cursed Travis Cornell was looking for some happiness and found the golden retriever, who he named Einstein because of his human-like intelligence. Through Einstein he found an equally lonely
The last time I read a Dean Koontz novel (Fear Nothing, I believe) I thought it was okay, but there was nothing in it that would make me hurry back for more.

I feel much same about Watchers.

The plot concerns a highly intelligent canine (so anthropomorphic Beatrix Potter would raise an eyebrow) and its genetically-bred evil nemesis. There are some exciting and suspenseful parts to this story, but it’s probably about a hundred pages too long and the subplots don’t come together as neatly as I would
Andrew Webb
While the premise of "Watchers" is interesting, the characters fail as engaging or realistic people. Each character seems to have one major characteristic or life-changing past event from which all of their actions grow.

Take, for example, Nora. Essentially locked away for the first thirty years of her life by an emotionally abusive aunt, she experiences wonder and liberation when Travis introduces her to the outside world. While this leads to some sweet scenes, it is largely unrealistic. Lack of
Apr 15, 2008 Ryan rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: adults, Koontz fans
Classic Koontz. Interesting concept. Well executed.

On the other hand, nothing much new, though.

There's a wonderfully horrific dark being that you almost have to take pity on in the end.

There's a dog. A really smart dog. Basically a human confined within a dog. But still a lovely dog.

There's an assassin. There's a person that's not quite square with the world around him. There are interesting main characters and well rounded sub-characters. There's romance. Albeit not much, but it's there.

There a
"...we are watchers, all of us, watchers, guarding against the darkness".

What a fantastic read! Thrilling from start to finish, Koontz really knows how to ramp up the tension and make you fear for the protagonists. The concept of the novel is well realised, and, what could easily fall into farce somehow becomes believable and real.

The themes tackled by the novel pose intriguing points for reflection. Koontz promotes this through detailed character introspection investigating the ethics of certa
Nov 23, 2008 Brett rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: my enemies
Shelves: horror
Yet another terrible novel by Dean Koontz. It is evidently fondly remembered because there is a "lovable" dog in the story; also, I suppose, because it was made into a series of B-horror films. It is no better than any other Koontz schlock. Two stars is actually a pretty good rating for a Koontz novel, though, and this is far from his worst. Still definately a waste of time--I don't think I'll ruin your reading experience if I tell you that the monster is some kind of genetically engineered babo ...more
Donna Galanti
This is my all time favorite Koontz book. Stayed up all night reading it. 1st book I cried over, at the end when...(wont give it away). Koontz's formula works. Its his characters we care about, even an animal. The humanity he brings to a dog is a rare gift, without making it seem silly. He shines light into the darkest of characters, gives us hope they can be redeemed. That is what makes this book work. As so many of his others.
Apr 14, 2008 Sarah rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sarah by: my mother
This was the first Dean Koontz book I read. Everybody loves this book. I think everyone's favorite character is the super-smart dog, but I liked the super-crazy bad guy who considered himself invincible. I think Koontz stands out as an author because he comes up with some really interesting villians.
Jason P
I initially picked this up and was thinking, 'Dean Koontz eh?.....hmmmm, I don't know if Unlce Steve would be happy about this', but I figured that since it is a new year, I would try my very first Koontz novel.

Well, I am glad that I did, the story was good and somewhat in depth, the prose was decent and, really my feelings toward it was - 'it was okay, but I liked it'. Hence the three stars. It didn't really have me by the edge of my seat, like, at all. The characters were believable, but ove
I read this early, classic Dean Koontz novel as part of a Goodreads group read ( Koontzland - Dean Koontz), and am glad I did. A depressed, suicidal man, Travis, hikes in a canyon that brings back childhood memories where he is rescued by a disheveled golden retriever that is apparently running from something horrible. The man and “Einstein” then rescue a mousey, unloved woman, Nora, who is being stalked by a sexual predator. Einstein seems unusually smart, even for a golden retriever. The Other ...more
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Stephen King/Dean Koontz 68 371 Jan 25, 2015 07:42PM  
Movie? 12 122 Jan 18, 2015 10:52AM  
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Acknowledged as "America's most popular suspense novelist" (Rolling Stone) and as one of today's most celebrated and successful writers, Dean Ray Koontz has earned the devotion of millions of readers around the world and the praise of critics everywhere for tales of character, mystery, and adventure that strike to the core of what it means to be human.

Dean R. Koontz has also published under the na
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