Watchers, a review

On Throwback Thursdays, I post a book review.  The best books stand the test of time, and only get better on rereading, so most of the books I review will be at least a few years old, and will be strong recommendations.  I’d love to hear what you have to say about the books I talk about in the comments.

I'm pretty sure this is the original cover, and it's my personal favorite.

I’m pretty sure this is the original cover, and it’s my personal favorite.

Watchers, by Dean Koontz, was the very first book I read by this author, chosen mostly because it had a dog on the cover.  I was 12, and would read anything, but I was drawn to that picture, and the enigmatic description on the back of the book.

This book immediately became my all time favorite book, and surprisingly, nothing has ever been able to disrupt it from the #1 spot.  Other books have been added to my favorites list, but I’ve never found a book more perfect than this one.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read it, but I’m sure it’s in the double digits, and may be approaching twenty times or more.

Travis Cornell isn’t sure there’s anything left to live for.  He goes out and tries to recapture that feeling from when life was good, and he fails.  He literally runs into Einstein, a Golden Retriever who saves him from something in the woods, and helps him remember what’s good in life.  It doesn’t take him long to figure out that Einstein is special; he’s an unusually intelligent dog who finds ways to communicate with Travis.

Einstein is an escapee from a laboratory doing genetic research, and a monster escaped along with Einstein.  Travis and Einstein team up to avoid government personnel and the monster.  Along the way, they meet Nora, an intensely shy woman with an abusive past who has the patience both Travis and Einstein need.

I love this book because it’s a story about friendship and redemption.  Both Travis and Nora know that something is missing from their lives, and through the pure joy that is Einstein, they discover the best of themselves.  They find good people on their journey who are just as dedicated to protecting Einstein as they are.

This book never gets old for me, and I’ve found different things in it as I’ve discovered different things in my life.  Originally published in 1987, it’s a true modern classic.  Dean Koontz gets a reputation as a horror writer, but his books are so much more than that.  This book is an adventure, a romance, science fiction, and other genres I’m probably missing.

If you happened to see the 1988 movie of the same name, please, please, PLEASE strike it from your memory.  Pretend it didn’t exist.  It is NOTHING like the book.  In fact, only two good movies have been made from Dean Koontz books: Phantoms and Odd Thomas.  But that’s a different post.

If you’ve read Watchers, what did you think of it?  And if you haven’t read it, when are you going to?