Credit where credit is due, Dweller does not tread the well worn path most seasoned horror fans will be assuming after 30 pages. Instead, it becomes a life-long story of an unlikely friendship, with a large side-serve of mental health issues. And it's kind of like watching a train wreck in slow motion.
Jeff Strand is instantly recognisable. Not by face. But by his writing. If I was to blind read five novels, and four of them were by Strand, I'd be able to pick it was by him at least 80% of the time. Except I obviously wouldn't be blind, because then how would I be able to read? And now that I think about it, wouldn't chance dictate I'd get it right 4 our of 5 times if he actually wrote 4 of the 5 non-identified novels. Ugh. Making this point is way too hard. I should probably just walk out my back door, through the forest which grows up to my back yard line and consult with my Bigfoot-like friend who lives in a cave three or four miles away. He'll be able to help me work out what I was trying to say. Or maybe not. He is, after all, a Bigfoot-like creature whose receptive language skills aren't too bad, but his expressive language skills need a fair amount of work. I know, maybe I should take that that pretty woman down the road to meet him. She's a teacher. Maybe she'll be able to help him do more than just sign at me. Hmm. Or maybe not. Last time I took someone to meet my friend, things didn't turn out so well ...
If that last paragraph in any way, shape or form appealed, you're ready for Dweller. Of course, if Strand actually wrote the above, it wouldn't be a single paragraph reading like a stream of consciousness.
For one, there would be way more paragraphs.
And for two, the sense of a main POV protagonist who just does not quite fit in with the world around him would be far more effectively conveyed.
Which is why Strand is a well-paid author whose style (if not his face) is instantly recognisable, and I'm a non-paid reviewer who should be in bed by now, rather than trying to find a slightly irregular way of saying the same ol' thing about what I'm reviewing.
Long-winded review short: Dweller is good. Though for mine, its not as good as what some of the other prominent reviews here have suggested. Expectations played a part in that, but at the same time, I found it difficult to truly buy into the level of stupidity Toby displayed on a regular basis - regardless of the obvious issues he had.
3 Friends Who Can't Stay the Night for Dweller