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Watchers

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4.18  ·  Rating details ·  150,911 ratings  ·  3,894 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 sto ...more
Paperback, 624 pages
Published January 28th 2003 by Berkley (first published February 2nd 1987)
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Lynxie Brat Lightning, Coldfire, The Key to Midnight, The Door to December; all by DK are about as good as Watchers...though Watchers is at the very top of that l…moreLightning, Coldfire, The Key to Midnight, The Door to December; all by DK are about as good as Watchers...though Watchers is at the very top of that list.(less)
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Cheryl He didnt die. Apparently they only thought he was dead. Maybe the Outsider had some sweet remembrance and couldn't go through with it. Seems had actua…moreHe didnt die. Apparently they only thought he was dead. Maybe the Outsider had some sweet remembrance and couldn't go through with it. Seems had actually had taken on the human quality of speech in the end and perhaps developed some heart.(less)

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Average rating 4.18  · 
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 ·  150,911 ratings  ·  3,894 reviews


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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 off
...more
Emily May
I know this is a classic for many readers but I expected more, honestly. Watchers is my first read by Koontz so I have nothing to compare it to, but my first wander into his mind was disappointing. And a little weird.

It could partly be that this particular book doesn't withstand the test of time. There are definitely aspects that feel dated (I got a bit of shock when I realized how long ago 1987 actually was!). Even the array of stereotypical characters here felt old-fashioned-- ex soldier hero,
...more
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

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 i
...more
Emma
May 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don’t even care about all the things wrong with this book, I love it, I’m going to 5* it, and I’ll internet fight with anyone who wants to question it.
Edward Lorn
May 13, 2012 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
Maciek
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
...more
Simeon
Oct 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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.
Ɗẳɳ  2.☊
Mar 21, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ɗẳɳ 2.☊ by: Delee
★★☆☆☆½

“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 untimely death, including his entire army unit and more recently his wife. He’s all alone in the world, scared to make any new connections, slowly slipping into a dark depression. In an attempt to lift his spirits, he revisits a favorite childhood destination—the Santa A
...more
Bianca
Jan 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Jonetta
Sep 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
This was one of the first books I ever read by the author and I was hooked. He has a way of frightening you witless but not allowing you to put the book down. I HAD to know how it ended. A classic.
Jamie
Apr 23, 2008 rated it did not like it
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
...more
Alejandro
Dec 06, 2007 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
*TANYA*
Wow!! Just wow!! I loved it. This book had EVERYTHING!! It’s my first Dean Koontz book, the writing, the story, all of it was fantastic. Great characters as well!! One of my all time favorite books.
Bark
Feb 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
...more
Carol
Oct 16, 2013 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!
Richard
Dec 13, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, horror
3/10

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
...more
Matthew
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
...more
Kevin
Dec 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite Koontz books! If you are a dog lover this will be a favorite. If you're not this book might just change your mind. Fantastic!
Scott Rhee
Apr 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: dogs, horror
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
Veronique
Aug 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
It is always a little bit scary to return to a book you loved a long time ago. It’s been over 20 years (not 10) since I read this, remembering only really enjoying it, the dog and the uber ‘bad’. Well, I am happy to report that I still enjoyed it, but a little differently.

Koontz still offers a great thriller with shades of horror and romance. It is a great story but I must admit that parts of the book are at times a little slow. I do understand why this happens - in order to give time to the mai
...more
Rachel
Aug 25, 2008 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
...more
Stepheny
3.5

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
...more
Melissa Crytzer Fry
This is the book picked by a member of our book club (for end of December), and I never would have read a Dean Koontz book otherwise. And, well… maybe I still haven’t, as I listened to this on audio book (narrated by Edoardo Ballerini).

While I appreciate the creativity of the story, and the wonderful dog at its center, suspense thrillers – with Russian connections, organized crime, detectives sniffing around for ‘clues’ – are just not the kind of reading I enjoy. I found much of it predictable
...more
WhiskeyintheJar/Kyraryker
3.5 stars

I read this for the '80s Horror square for Halloween Bingo

When the telephone rang, it startled her. She put down her pencil and reached for the receiver. "Hello?"
"Funny," a man said.
"Excuse me?"
"They never heard of him."


I know this story has monsters, psycho killer, semi-curses, awful bitter aunt, and government agents, but this was the moment that sent a chill down my spine.
Nora's aunt that kept her just about child protective services needed isolated dies and leaves Nora alone a
...more
Obsidian
Well damn, a Dean Koontz book made me cry. The last one that made me cry was "Odd Thomas." This book hits me everywhere. Though I could have done without the whole ssnap guy (Vince) the rest of the book just works perfectly. I loved the characters (Travis and Nora) I fell in love with Einstein and also with everyone along the way who wanted to keep Einstein free. This book hits all the feels and I can see now why after the success of this book Koontz had to just have a dog in every book he put o ...more
Abbie | ab_reads
My first Dean Koontz novel and what a surprise it was! I was not expecting to go into this one and come out with a new favourite on my hands! I defy any dog-lover to read this book and not fall in love with Einstein and the whole story.

In a way, the plot reminded me of Frankenstein: scientists messing around with genetics, creating things that probably should not be created and then reaping the consequences. Koontz raises a lot of interesting questions and though I don't agree with some of his o
...more
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. ...more
Paul
Jun 06, 2020 rated it liked it
Started out so good. Nice character development, danger, mystery, horror. And then Koontz trys to write romance. No! No, no no no! Very unpalitable. The characters lost their development (I don't know who they were at the end). And Koontz's love for dogs (all-be-it touching), just doesnt work.
What was a solid 4 star turned into a weak 3 star. So-be-it 3 it is. ;-)
Fred
Apr 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror, movie
Koontzland - Group Read - April 2019

National Security Agency (NSA) - A government lab crisis occurs when 2 experiments escape - Einstein, a intelligent golden retriever & “The Outsider” monster.
The Outsider wants to kill Einstein.

Travis Cornell & Nora Devon find Einstein, protect him & learn of his superior intelligence. They fall in love being with Einstein (the golden retriever). Einstein continues to prove his intelligence, answering questions by arranging Scrabble Tiles into WORDS & wa
...more
Mike (the Paladin)
Sep 27, 2009 rated it liked it
Good story more of an "early Koontz" which you can tell from the attitude and the language. Good story though. Do you love dogs...I do and so does Koontz. Especially Golden retrievers. I want to say I liked this book more than the rating may indicate. the story was good and drew me in, I didn't mind the predictability or formulaic parts so much...they exist in a lot of modern "thriller" and "drama" fiction, sort of just "part of it". I "dropped" it from 4 to 3 mostly on Koontz's use of profanity ...more
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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, the author of many #1 New York Times bes
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Articles featuring this book

  Dean Koontz has been a long-time master of the suspense, with his bestselling Odd Thomas and Jane Hawk series as well as his many standalone h...
37 likes · 24 comments
“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.” 32 likes
“the worst happens when you least expect it” 19 likes
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