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3.94  ·  Rating details ·  2,170 Ratings  ·  217 Reviews
Toby was just a boy the first time he saw the creature in the woods. His parents convinced the terrified child it was only his imagination. The next time Toby saw the creature he was a lonely, unhappy teenager without friends. But the creature would be his friend. It would be there when Toby needed someone to talk to. And it would take care of the bullies who wouldn't leav ...more
Kindle Edition
Published (first published January 1st 2010)
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Dan Schwent
An awkward eight year old boy named Toby sees a Bigfoot-like creature in the woods one day, starting a friendship that lasts a lifetime...

I've been a fan of Jeff Strand's and a cheap ass for a long time so I snapped this up for the princely sum of ninety-nine cents one day. It's not as polished as his later works but still quite enjoyable. It features a lot of what I loved in later works like Kumquat.

Dweller is a coming of age tale about an outcast boy and his friendship with a flesh-eating mons
If you ever happen to want to befriend a Bigfoot/Dweller there are rules.
1)You must not run away from the animal when you first sight it out of fear.
2)Make sure you have no stings attached, no family and no women.
3)Relocate the beast miles from humans.
4)Cover your tracks and make sure it's not following you home and you are not leading people to it.
5)Never trust anyone with you're secret.
6)Never get personal, when push comes to shove and things don't go by the the rules you need to execute the b
Jan 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Jeff Strand does an amazing job with this book.
Young Toby encounters a monster in the woods, but when he tells his family no one will believe him.
So begins a lifelong relationship between Toby and the monster.
The reason I say Jeff Strand did an amazing job is twofold. First, you really care for Toby, even though his relationship with the monster takes some nasty turns (and when I say nasty, I mean VERY nasty). You can't help but feel sorry for him. Second, you really care for the monster alth
Jan 10, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Toby is a young, friendless, socially awkward boy relentlessly picked on by two school bullies. His only friend is a monster he meets in the woods and names Owen. Dweller follows Toby as he meanders his way through life trying to maintain a sort of “normal” life and maintaining his friendship with the man-eating monster who is his best pal.

Dweller isn’t an extraordinarily deep book and Toby is a bit of a mess but it’s touching, vaguely disturbing and very readable. Toby screws up big-time on mo
Gregor Xane
Jan 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
Jeff Strand lived in Ohio for a number of years and yet it's apparent that he didn't research* the Ohio Sasquatch before writing this book. Unlike the creature portrayed in Dweller, the line of Sasquatch native to Ohio does not have a mouth full of gnarly teeth and flesh-ripping talons. And the Ohio Sasquatch most certainly doesn't eat people! The Ohio Sasquatch is an herbivore and not savage in any way. In fact, you'll see Sasquatch all over Ohio lending a helping hand in various human communit ...more
Apr 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, 2010, bullying
What a great read Dweller is. It's one of those "coudn't put down" books that I love breaking open.

Toby and Owen's adventure begins back in 1953, when Toby is a friendless 8-year-old. He is out exploring in the vast woods behind his house when he sees a Bigfoot-like creature. He befriends the beast and names him Owen, after one good friend he had for a short while before screwing up the friendship.

This horror book doesn't progress the way one might think. There isn't some "feed the trouble-makin
This is currently on special offer for the next two days - $1.28 in the States and £0.99p in the UK.
Jason Parent
Jan 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
4.5 stars

Dweller is a fantastic read, though I wouldn't necessarily classify it as horror. More like a disturbing drama, at times heart-warming, at others heart-wrenching. But always with an undercurrent of mental instability and a dreariness that festers like a disease. This is where Dweller's horror dwells, in this undercurrent, and it flows through a lifetime of loneliness tempered with unhealthy coping mechanisms.


I have a feeling this book will stay with me. I found the story i
Apr 28, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dweller is one of the more unusual monster stories, more than once I felt my heart squeeze itself in my body because the story makes you feel for both the human and the creature for different reasons. After reading many crazy horror books through the years it was nice to finally enjoyed liking the monster this time, Owen reminded me of a big yeti but unlike most yetis he had a great sense of humor, at least what we could see of it. I instantly liked him even though he did some very bad things I ...more
Evans Light
This story about a boy and his bigfoot was good, not great. More comedy than horror, but not really laugh-out-loud funny. Mildly amusing.
I'd give this a solid 3.5 stars. Well written, but twice as long as the concept deserved - a book half as long would've probably been twice as good. I did think the ending was perfect, though. Recommended, but not essential.
Dec 21, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
A couple of years ago I read Strand's novel Pressure, and at last count, I am still the lone reviewer to have given that a one-star rating.
I simply couldn't buy into the main character's actions.
It was enough to put me off him, but then Dweller came along, and again I couldn't ignore the praises heaped upon it.

I guess I'm the only one around here who doesn't love his works. I'll give him this: he does pace his stories extremely well, and I did burn through both of his novels because I had to see
Adam Light
There are so many wonderful coming of age tales I can think of at this moment, stories in which a young lad finds his first love or a group of friends discovers ancient evil and battles it with the power of their unbreakable bond and the uncompromising power of innocence and friendship... or there is this one. The tale of a boy and his monster.

I read this book after reading Pressure, also an amazing novel by the talented Jeff Strand, and even though the styles were polar opposites, the books wer
Mar 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was really more like 6 or 7 stars, but alas the format limits me. I think in terms of storytelling, character development, flawless natural dialogue, plot nuances and depth this book is absolutely incredible. I read a fair amount and this is definitely the best book I've read in a long long time. I hope Jeff Strand has a great long prolific career just so there are more books like this one out in the world. I highly recommend this one.
Trev Twinem
Feb 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lovehorror
I've never read anything quite like this before, in fact I am stunned by what I see as one of the most amazing horror...come fantasy...come friendship..come relationship stories I have ever read. Toby Floren is bullied at school and his whole world changes when he meets a monster in the woods near his home, a monster that becomes his best pal and life long friend. Let's face it what would life be without true friendship and we follow Toby from his young innocent years to the twilight of his life ...more
Ms. Nikki
A thoroughly fleshed out read of the life and goings-on of Toby, a child, who found Owen, the creature, whose family was killed in the forest. I love the way the author alienated Toby with the bullying and the fear of his father. Toby's ruminations of killing aliens and the child-like thoughts even as he grew up made him somewhat endearing. A quick read that flowed very well. A tale of a twisted friendship; one of them just happens to be a monster. Recommended.
Jul 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, horror
I absolutely loved this book! The great story telling, unique plot and most importantly, how much it touched my heart makes this one of my favorite reads of 2015.
Credit where credit is due, Dweller does not tread the well worn path most seasoned horror fans will be assuming after 30 pages. Instead, it becomes a life-long story of an unlikely friendship, with a large side-serve of mental health issues. And it's kind of like watching a train wreck in slow motion.

Jeff Strand is instantly recognisable. Not by face. But by his writing. If I was to blind read five novels, and four of them were by Strand, I'd be able to pick it was by him at least 80% of the ti
Melissa Helwig
May 31, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, favorites
After reading Dweller by Jeff Strand (author of Pressure) I have decided that I want a monster BFF/pet. I have a cat, but she doesn’t hug me, or say my name, or even communicate with me through our own made-up sign language. She doesn’t like to eat people though, so I suppose that’s a good thing.

The first time Toby Floren sees the monster in the woods, he is only 8-years-old and he flees in terror. Seven years later, at age 15, Toby is an outcast. When he encounters the monster this time, his lo
Nick Cato
Jan 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Who among us horror fans--during our childhood--didn't daydream about being friends with Kong, Godzilla, Freddy, Jason, or some kind of monster who'd be our friend and watch our backs? You didn't? Liar! I have many, many times.

In Strand's second "serious" novel, a young boy named Toby wanders into the woods, led away by his active imagination. He runs out with everything he has after an encounter with a bigfoot-type creature and eventually wonders if he's losing his mind. His parents help him to
Not Now...Mommy's Reading
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
To those clueless few unaware of Jeff Strand, he's known for his trademark blend of whacky humor and twisted horror and he's been doing his thing successfully for years now. Before the Leisure Books meltdown, he'd published two horror novels from them, Pressure and Dweller, and I'm ashamed to admit I'd just now gotten around to reading this amazing (and to-date, my favorite) novel. The book opens up in 1946, in Ohio, where a group of postwar soldiers are out on a camping trip with their girlfrie ...more
This story and these characters will stay in my mind for a long, long time. I'm absolutely sure of that. An unlikely friendship that spans several decades, and much blood.

It's not really a horror, in the true sense of the word. It's touching, heart rending, poignant and tragic. There's a lot of humor, though. And the bodies do pile up.

Strand is now on my "I'll read anything by him" list.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Benjamin Ethridge
Strand knows tension and suspense and emotion on a master level, but the more I read of him, the more I understand that his biggest asset as a writer is his respect of a reader's intelligence. His books are constructed in a way that would seemingly lead to cliche and yet they never do.

Dweller is a classic.
Jun 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, ill
I loved this book - one of my favorite books of the year. Reading this boy loves animal book gave me the same warm fuzzies as Call of the Wild. Sometimes I'll fall in love with a book at page 20 and then hate it by the end (like Her Fearful Symmetry for example) but this book did not disappoint. I highly recommend this book.
Jun 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely loved this book, completely different to anything I have read before
The Behrg
Jul 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If there's one thing you can expect when reading a Jeff Strand novel it's that the story isn't going to go where you would expect.

But wait, if you're expecting it not to go where you expect, does that mean it actually will go where you expect since your expectations are that it won't go where you would normally assume? Or do your expectations cancel out the unexpected deviations of a "traditional" story (read: "Non"-Jeff Strand story), thereby making the unexpected rather blase, turning cherry
Mar 17, 2013 rated it liked it
I liked the concept of this book, boy meets monster, becomes friends, and we follow them through their lives, but this never really grabbed me. We meet Toby as a young boy and he is one of those kids who is constantly picked on and has no friends to speak of. Toby is constantly creating scenarios in his head where he reverses the bad situations he gets involved in, swirlies at school, fights in the schoolyard, trouble with his parents, and he becomes the hero saving the day. I mean, c'mon who ha ...more
Aug 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have read quite a few of Jeff Strand's lighter horror novels. Make no mistake, those books are dark and twisted, but there is a humorous tone that really sets them apart. I wasn't sure what one of his serious horror novels was going to be like. It didn't take long to realize why this was nominated for the Bram Stoker. This is dark fiction with real heart and insight.

Dweller has a dark humor to the story, to be sure. But it is the humor of a man who is deceiving himself and we cringe each time
Steve Vernon
May 09, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
I have been waiting a very long time for Jeff Strand’s second Leisure Book.

His first, Pressure, was a pneumatic vice-grip of a novel that caught hold of the reader at a suitably vulnerable point and s-q-u-e-e-z-e-d.

Dweller is equally as intense.

The book takes a look at the life of a young boy named Toby who has been literally touched by a sort of Bigfoot-style creature. Toby names the monster Owen and in time, in spite of the inevitable speed bumps that arise in any friendship – namely massacre
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What's The Name o...: Boy befriends creature in woods (horror/thriller) [s] 4 39 Jun 25, 2014 09:55AM  
Horror Aficionados : April 2014 Group Read: Dweller 114 236 May 19, 2014 04:58AM  
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Author of a bunch of demented books, including PRESSURE, DWELLER, A BAD DAY FOR VOODOO, WOLF HUNT, SINGLE WHITE PSYCHOPATH SEEKS SAME, BENJAMIN'S PARASITE, FANGBOY, THE SINISTER MR. CORPSE, and lots of others. Four-time Bram Stoker Award finalist. Four-time Bram Stoker Award loser. Ten-time Bram Stoker Award Master of Ceremonies.
More about Jeff Strand...

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