Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Watchers” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


4.15  ·  Rating Details  ·  103,038 Ratings  ·  2,415 Reviews
On his thirty-sixth birthday, Travis Cornell hikes into the foothills of the Santa Ana Mountains. But his path is soon blocked by a bedraggled Golden Retriever, who will let him go no further into the dark woods.

That morning, Travis had been desperate to find some happiness in his lonely, seemingly cursed life. What he finds is a friend-a dog of alarming intelligence-and
ebook, 624 pages
Published May 6th 2008 by Penguin Group (USA) (first published 1987)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Watchers, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Alex Yasin In order to stop the United States' Research they had to kill the scientists, The Soviets had a similar project going as well-- its later in the book…moreIn order to stop the United States' Research they had to kill the scientists, The Soviets had a similar project going as well-- its later in the book when they are discussing it
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
I haven't read Dean Koontz in years. I don't think I've missed much after reading this one though. BUT some of my other buddy readers think differently. They are wrong.
Dean Koontz can't even wash his panties in the same room with Stephen King.
Palm Springs commercial photography

Now that I've put that image in your head, I'll ramble some about the book. You have this lab who had been creating super smart critters to fight. They never really tell how so don't be getting your sciency on for this one. There is a hit man who is offing
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

Somehow I’ve managed to live over five and a half dog years without ever reading a Dean Koontz novel. However, when I was presented with the opportunity to do a buddy read with . . .

Palm Springs commercial photography

I jumped at the chance. What do I have to say now that I’m finished?????

Palm Springs commercial photography

I mean LOTS better because I really had a pretty horrible time while reading this one. In case you too have spent decades ignoring Koontz, here’s the lowdown of what Watchers is abou
Edward Lorn
Mar 27, 2016 Edward Lorn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Menstruating lemurs and people who liked Hitler before he was Hitler-Hitler
What started as a buddy read involving Stepheny, Dan 2.0, Delee, Kells. and Shelbs, soon descended into organized Koontz-shaming. Our seemingly harmless group excursion into one of Dean Koontz's best books became a game of Who Can Take the Hottest Squat On E.'s Childhood? That's fine, though, because Kells's and Shelbs's brains have been rotted by reading too much porn, and we all know that Dan 2.0 suffers from Ridiculous Disease, a disease that confuses fiction with real life and makes its suff ...more
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
Ɗắɳ  2.☠
Apr 11, 2016 Ɗắɳ 2.☠ rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ɗắɳ 2.☠ by: Delee

Alright, I’m jumping this review ahead of a few others in order to silence some of that grumbling from the peanut gallery. And before they point out that I'm still a week late, please note that I delayed releasing this due to Delee's ongoing internet troubles, so zip it!

“We have a responsibility to stand watch over one another, we are watchers, all of us, watchers, guarding against the darkness.”

Travis Cornell truly believes he’s cursed. Seemingly everyone he’s ever loved has suffered an untim
Oct 28, 2011 Simeon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jan 01, 2013 Jamie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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 it was amazing  ·  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
Jul 25, 2013 Bark's Book Nonsense rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
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
Jan 22, 2013 Richard rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, horror

I did not enjoy this book at all. I seem to be one of the few people though judging on the reviews on Goodreads and Amazon. I pretty much skimmed the last 200 pages which is the first time I’ve ever had to do that with a book but I knew I would be reading it all month otherwise.

The concept/plot of this book was intriguing to me and the whole ethical dilemma of animal testing with a bit of action thrown in for good measure sounded like it could be onto something. Add into that there is a Lab

So, I guess it’s time to come clean, guys.

My name is Stepheny and I push books. *hangs head*

I know many of you had noooooo idea that I was a book pusher, but a select few have seen me doing it. It’s time to clear the air once and for all. I push books because I like doing it. I like forcing encouraging others to read books that I love. I don’t discriminate. I push books on kids, teens, adults and the elderly. I do it subtlety as well as in an in-your-face manner. I push big books, small book
Sep 09, 2013 Alejandro rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 07, 2010 Rachel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
I went in to this hearing that this was the best Koontz book ever. Of his books I have read, I would not say that this was my favorite (maybe not even in the top 5) - but it was still pretty good.

The following may get me "booed" by some, but I am not really a dog person and Koontz often has a golden retriever as a main character. I think that fact may have tainted my feelings about this book a bit. I don't mind having a pet or an animal as a main character in a book, but here it felt like a bit
Alissa Patrick
Apr 21, 2016 Alissa Patrick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not a Dean Koontz fan. I've only read one other book of his- Intensity- and it was okay. I'm a Stephen King fan through and through, but sometimes I need to step outside the SK box and try other authors. I know I need to give DK more of a chance since I've only read one book of his, but his latest works have gotten crappy reviews. However, this book continuously popped up in my newsfeed because a group of pals were reading it together for a Buddy Read. I value all of their opinions very high ...more
Erin (Paperbackstash) *Proud Book Hoarder*
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
Jun 27, 2014 Carol rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!
Scott Rhee
Apr 18, 2013 Scott Rhee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
May 30, 2011 Marvin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: autographed, horror
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 really liked it  ·  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
Feb 10, 2009 Gena rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
Rebecca McNutt
Watchers was a typical Dean Koontz novel - nothing all that wonderful, but a cut above many of the mass-market fictions out there. And the canine theme was very different, a little like Koontz' The Darkest Evening of the Year, but more sci-fi than thriller.
Mano (Leslie)
Jan 23, 2008 Mano (Leslie) rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Olga Kowalska (WielkiBuk)
Dean Koontz stole my heart <3 It was an extremely emotional read for me and I can't be fully objective in this case, however... As this was my first Dean Koontz novel ever, I've realised that his style reminds me a perfect mix between Michael Crichton and Stephen King. I know one thing - I need more Dean Koontz in my life :-)
Nov 13, 2015 Ashley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Closer to 3.5
Ken McKinley
Feb 21, 2015 Ken McKinley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, own-kindle
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
Jul 18, 2009 Matt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 23, 2008 Brett rated it it was ok  ·  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
Apr 14, 2010 William rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Need to know title and author 1 28 Jun 02, 2015 04:32AM  
Koontzland - Dean...: Watchers (Group Read - April 2015) 121 47 Apr 24, 2015 02:25PM  
Koontzland - Dean...: Watchers (Group Read - January 2010) 322 151 Mar 01, 2015 08:06AM  
Stephen King/Dean Koontz 68 384 Jan 25, 2015 07:42PM  
Movie? 12 123 Jan 18, 2015 10:52AM  
  • The Eyes of Darkness
  • The Voice of the Night
  • The God Project
  • Dean Koontz's Frankenstein, Volume 1: Prodigal Son
  • The Dean Koontz Companion
  • Fear that Man / Toyman (Ace Double, 23140)
  • Dragonfly
  • The Wolf's Hour
  • Invasion
  • Demon Child
  • The Midnight Tour (Beast House Series)
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
More about Dean Koontz...

Share This Book

23 trivia questions
2 quizzes
More quizzes & trivia...
“You've taught me that we're all needed, even those who sometimes think we're worthless, plain and dull. If we love and allow ourselves to be loved...well, a person who loves is the most precious thing in the world, worth all the fortunes that ever were. That's what you've taught me, fur face,and because of you I'll never be the same.” 21 likes
“the worst happens when you least expect it” 14 likes
More quotes…