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2003
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Fiction/Biography Profile
Characters
Travis Cornell (Male), Finds Einstein and befriends him
Nora Devon (Female), Lonely
Einstein (), Dog, Golden retriever; genetically altered; has super-intelligence; can communicate with humans; telepathically linked with the Outsider
The Outsider (), Genetically altered; hybrid lifeform; part-baboon; excessively violent; telepathically linked to Einstein
Genre
Suspense
Horror
Fiction
Topics
Genetic engineering
Government secrets
Setting
California - West (U.S.)
Time Period
-- 20th century
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Trade Reviews

  Library Journal Review

When the Russians sabotage a genetic research project in California, two mutated creatures escape from the lab. One is a golden retriever with high enough intelligence to think and communicate with humans; the other is the Outsider, a vicious monster created from a baboon and bred to kill. Both the man who befriends and adopts the dog and his new bride find themselves stalked by government agents anxious to find the dog, a particularly repulsive Mafia hit man intent on stealing him, and the Outsider, with whom the dog is linked telepathically. Koontz ( Strangers ) is truly a master at creating suspense, and his opening and closing scenes are full of delicious tension. Only in the middle does the chase seem a bit long. But Koontz is in top form with an exciting premise, likable heroes, and the most endearing nonhuman since E.T. For all popular fiction collections. Eric W. Johnson, Univ. of Bridgeport Lib., Ct. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Publishers Weekly Review

Cross Lassie with E.T., add a touch of The Wolfen and a dash of The Godfather, and you get a sense of some of the ingredients in this supernatural thriller, which should move Koontz ( Strangers a notch closer to Stephen King's high-rent district. When Travis Cornell, Koontz's appealing hero, encounters a stray dog while hiking, he quickly realizes that the animal is most unusual and that something terrifying is stalking them both. The encounter with the dog is the beginning of a tightly woven plot involving genetic manipulation that has created two extraordinary animals; one is the dog, named Einstein, the other is a murderous hybrid called ``The Outsider.'' Hunted down by both the government and a professional killer who has learned the secret of the animals, Travis, Einstein and Nora Devon, a lonely woman befriended by man and canine, attempt to escape their pursuers all the while knowing that a confrontation with The Outsider is inevitable. Though the climax packs a little less wallop than it deserves, this is the sort of thoroughly frightening and entertaining tale that has its readers listening for noises in the night. 100,000 first printing; 100,000 ad/promo; Liteary Guild main selection. (February 23) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Summary
A "superior thriller"( Oakland Press ) about a man, a dog, and a terrifying threat that could only have come from the imagination of #1 New York Times bestselling author Dean Koontz-- nominated as one of America's best-loved novels by PBS's The Great American Read .<br> <br> On his thirty-sixth birthday, Travis Cornell hikes into the foothills of the Santa Ana Mountains. But his path is soon blocked by a bedraggled Golden Retriever who will let him go no further into the dark woods.<br> <br> That morning, Travis had been desperate to find some happiness in his lonely, seemingly cursed life. What he finds is a dog of alarming intelligence that soon leads him into a relentless storm of mankind's darkest creation...
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