I still remember the day my mother handed me her hardcover copy of Watchers by Dean Koontz, at least twelve years ago. She told me that the book was great and that it had a smart dog in it named Einstein. That was all I really needed to know. This was my introduction to Koontz’s work, which I loved so much that I ended up using some of his books in major essays later on.
Halfway through the first chapter, I was hooked. And each chapter further hooked me so that I literally never wanted the book to end. I have not read a book since that made me feel this way. I wish Dean Koontz had written a second, a third, a fourth, maybe an entire series of short stories that I could follow, all about the characters, just so that I got my fix!
Maybe this book has emotional significance for me, perhaps because it was something that my mother shared with me, or maybe the book is just that good that I’ve read it at least 5 times. In fact, it’s still sitting on my shelf, a lot more tattered than it used to be. It’s fallen in the bathtub, had quite the adventure in many a backpack… but overall, the hardcover has held up. I don’t know where the dust jacket has gotten to, but that doesn’t matter. The white casing and black letters stand out even from across the room.
What is so good about this book, you ask? Well, it has everything. You like a thriller? It’s got it all: government cover-ups, bioengineering, assassins, monsters, FBI (I think it’s the FBI), stalkers, romance, and best of all, a cute, cuddly Golden Retriever named Einstein that is more than meets the eye.
Here is the synopsis for those who have not read it:
“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.
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 storm of mankind’s darkest creation…”
Now, if you haven’t read it, you may be thinking, “I think I remember some lame-ass movie about something like this, back in the late eighties.” To this I say, please don’t let that movie prevent you from wanting to read the book. I apologize to Mr. Koontz for saying this, but the movie Watchers was actually so bad it was almost like a comedy. I could not take anything about it seriously. Especially since they changed almost every character, downplayed a lot about the book that made it frightening, and so on. I refuse to watch the movie because it just makes me so angry that such a good book was turned into such a, in my opinion, plain old bad movie.
You know, I don’t know if I ever managed to get my friends or other family members to actually read it. Maybe they did and just didn’t have the same reaction to it that I did. I don’t know. I just know that this is my favourite book of all-time. I have a few others that run close seconds and thirds (including The Stand and Under the Dome, both by Stephen King, and Relic by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child) – all for different reasons, I must say. But Watchers is the one that I always think about reading again and again. In fact, I think it’s been at least three or four years since I read it last. I may just have to pick that one up next.
What is your favourite book of all-time and why?