Watchers (Bookcassette(r) Edition)
3 journalers for this copy...
Complete & unabridged
5 Audio cassettes/15 hours
Read by J.C. Howe
From a sinister and secret government laboratory and into the lives of certain good and evil people come two escaped creatures, one murderous and filled with rage and the other benign and compassionate. They are the end products of experiments in genetic engineering and enhanced intelligence. They enter the lives of a man and a woman and are caught in a relentless storm of mankind's darkest creation.
The audio: If the strangely disproportionate numbers above don't tip you off, this is a strange sort of setup and I should have read the back first "Bookcassettes must be played on stereo tapeplayers with balance control. Each Bookcassette tape will be played twice, using the left/right balance control to isolate and separate the stereo tracks." As I didn't read this first, I was shocked and surprised when suddenly a strange tone sounded then two tracks started playing simultaneously. A little weird, but once I got used to the setup of listening to the tapes on the left speakers then all over again on the right speakers, then I was all right. Turned out to be twice as long as I'd counted on, but it certainly worked in the end.
The reader was good, but didn't have much of a variety in his reading. Where Jim Dale can do hundreds of voices, he can do about 4. And maybe another 1 or 2 badly. But the main characters were fine. And I thought he was pretty good when it came to the dog, too.
The story: This is another of Koontz's typical "something scary is out there. People come together. They're scared and they run. In the end, they escape and defeat the bad thing. Then live happily ever after." So long as you expect that typical plotline and don't mind hearing it again, you're good to go! I really liked Travis and, once she started sticking up for herself and stopped being so much of a stereotype, I liked Nora, too. I especially LOVED Einstein. Who wouldn't love a loyal, sweet, highly intelligent golden retriever? I had a golden growing up and it was nice to see one in this book (though mine wasn't as bright as this furface, of course). The good guys in the book stayed good and the bad guys stayed bad, but I was hoping for some interesting twists I never got. Oh well. The Outsider was scary but, honestly, I felt much more sympathy for him than fear. We were repeatedly reminded NOT to pity it, but the reminders didn't work. The story played out exactly as I'd expected, but it was still enjoyable to listen to. I liked it a lot for what it was, but wouldn't go out of my way to convince someone to read it. It definitely makes you think about possibilities, and what it might be like to share the Earth with another intelligent species, but it's almost as if the book could have done that without hitting us on the head with the point repeatedly. It makes you think, but isn't anything I hadn't already thought about or seen in other kinds of books.
Other things: I am REALLY tired of Dean Koontz giving dogs alcohol. It keeps popping up in his stories. More importantly, Travis gives the dog he just met a CHOCOLATE bar! "Hello, smart dog! Thanks for saving my life. Would you like to be poisoned now as a thank you present?" Grrrr! Couldn't it have been a granola bar? Seriously, this just BUGS me. Chocolate = NOT GOOD for dogs!
While reading, one of my cats had a vet emergency and I wound up at the emergency clinic from 2am to 4:30am. They had a number of dog and cat magazines and the cover story on one was about Dean Koontz and a golden retriever of his who had just passed away. So that was a touching coincidence.
I hope whoever finds it, enjoys it!