Reviews - Books

Review: Watchers by Dean Koontz

Today I want to talk to you about Watcher by Dean Koontz, while this is not typically thought of as a horror novel, rather it is listed as suspense, I feel it works well enough as a horror to look at it here.

The book was published in 1987 and is credited as being on of the books that raised Koontz’s status to that of a best-selling author.

Summary

Our main character Travis is a former solider and retired real estate salesman, who has become depressed due to his previous life experiences and now feels that his life is pointless. While on a hike, he encounters a golden retriever which follows him, and they take an instant liking to each other. Travis takes the doggo home and calls him Einstein due to the pooch’s high intelligence levels. The dog does not speak but clearly understands English and can respond in such a way that his intelligence in unmistakable.

We also meet Nora, who is being stalked by a creepy asshole, Arthur. Eventually Travis and Nora meet when Travis rescues Nora from Arthur, with Einstein’s help. Travis, Einstein, and Nora become a family and Travis and Nora keep working to find better ways to communicate with Einstein.

However, through the story it is apparent that Einstein is afraid of something. That something is the outsider. Einstein and the Outsider are both genetically modified creatures, hence Einstein’s intelligence. However, where Einstein only had his intelligence modified the Outsider is an amalgamation of various animals with the soul drive to kill Einstein.

Federal agents are also in pursuit of Einstein, and finally they are also pursued by an assassin who was hired to kill those who know how to kill the Outsider but also wants Einstein to sell.

I don’t want to spoil the ending here, it’s best experienced first-hand. There’s a reason this book is credited with being on of the ones that made Koontz a best seller.

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Katie's Stories

Katie’s Stories: You Can’t Turn A Circle Into A Square

Today I want to have a chat about novels and novellas.

I have talked about these two before, but today I want to talk about them a little differently, from a far more personal standpoint. One of my current WIP (work in progress) is The Man in Winter, it tells the story of Arthur, who lost his wife Molly when a break-in went wrong. After the man responsible is found and jailed everyone rebuilds their lives. But after moving into a retirement community, Art sees Molly again, and she’s got a lot to tell him about what happened that night and why justice still needs to be done. But who’s going to believe an elderly man with a diagnosis of dementia?

Originally, when this idea came to me, it came to me as a novella. I wrote the first draft over a few months and let it flow naturally, with only a loose plan of what I wanted to do. This style of writing is unlike me. I plan my stories to death before putting the first word to paper, but Art and his story walked into my head in perfect technicolour, requiring very little planning on my part. Then, as Art’s story wound to a close, the key thing I noticed about it was that it was short. Between 30k–40k words.

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books v film, Horror Writing, Reviews

Books V Film: Pet Semetery

As you will have no doubt picked up if you’ve been following my blog for any length of time, I love horror, and one of my all-time favorite horror writers is Stephen King. He’s well known (understatement) for his creepy story’s and chilling tales, as well as his own little tropes and habits. Something else he’s well known for is that his books do not always transfer to film particularly well.

In my opinion a film will never hold up to a book but that’s not necessarily the film’s fault. You can do things with a book that you simply can’t do with a film. Books are more immersive, they employ the reader’s imagination, all their senses and they are a lot longer than films. There’s a reason the Lord of the Rings was three epic films long (and still had a load of stuff cut), the book was huge.

Today I’m going to look at one of my favorite books that were made into a film (which is also high on my favorites list) and talk about what was cut, what was added and which I think is superior.

Pet Semetery

The novel was released in 1983 and I will be comparing it to the 1989 film.

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