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Intensity: A Novel | [Dean Koontz]

Intensity: A Novel

Past midnight, Chyna Shepherd, 26, gazed out a moonlit window, unable to sleep on her first night in the Napa Valley home of her best friend's family. Instinct proves reliable. A murderous sociopath, Edgler Forman Vess, has entered the house, intent on killing everyone inside. A self-proclaimed "homicidal adventurer", Vess lives only to satisfy all appetites as they arise, to immerse himself in sensation, to live without fear, remorse, or limits, to live with intensity.
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Publisher's Summary

Past midnight, Chyna Shepherd, 26, gazed out a moonlit window, unable to sleep on her first night in the Napa Valley home of her best friend's family. Instinct proves reliable. A murderous sociopath, Edgler Forman Vess, has entered the house, intent on killing everyone inside. A self-proclaimed "homicidal adventurer", Vess lives only to satisfy all appetites as they arise, to immerse himself in sensation, to live without fear, remorse, or limits, to live with intensity. Chyna is trapped in his deadly orbit.

Chyna is a survivor, toughened by a lifelong struggle for safety and self-respect. Now she will be tested as never before. At first her sole aim is to get out alive, until, by chance, she learns the identity of Vess' next intended victim, a faraway innocent only she can save. Driven by a newly discovered thirst for meaning beyond mere self-preservation, Chyna musters every inner resource she has to save an endangered girl, as moment by moment, the terrifying threat Edgler Foreman Vess intensifies.

©1995 Dean Koontz; (P)1995 Random House, Inc. Random House AudioBooks, a division of Rnadom House, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"The most viscerally exciting thriller of the year." (Publishers Weekly)
"Intensity chills the reader to the core and establishes Koontz as a master." (Associated Press)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (598 )
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4.2 (279 )
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Performance
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  •  
    roz79 02-19-15
    roz79 02-19-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
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    "Great great great!"

    The novel was very well written fast paced, thrilling! The reader did an absolutely stellar job. Her change in tone from predator to prey, villain to hero, killer to victim was exceptional. 5+ stars.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jane Chicago, IL, United States 07-02-12
    Jane Chicago, IL, United States 07-02-12 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    960
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    403
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    3
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    Story
    "Fabulous. Scary. Incredible heroine."

    Readers who liked The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo should like this. The two heroines (Lisbeth in Dragon Tattoo and Chyna in Intensity) were similar in their actions. Chyna chose to fight what seemed impossible. Instead of running and trying to get away (like normal people) she went after him with the barest of weapons. She was resilient, resourceful, brave. She called it reckless caring. In the beginning of the story, Chyna is trying to get away from Edgler a serial killer. But when she hears that he has kept a sixteen year old girl prisoner in his basement for a year, Chyna decides to follow him, go to his home, and free the girl. A theme I liked is Lisbeth and Chyna refusing to be victims. In Dragon Tattoo I was scared at times. In Intensity I was scared almost all the time.

    About a third of the way in I was so scared that I considered stopping unless I had assurance that there would be a good ending. So I jumped to the end and read the last half hour. It was great! The author tied things up well including the aftermath. Then I went back and read the rest of the book. It was still terribly frightening, but I was able to survive because I knew the ending would be good. Reading the end early in no way hurt the story for me. It made it better.

    Just because I liked this does not mean it’s my preferred genre. I do not want a daily diet of constant scariness and intensity.

    Edgler enjoyed destroying beauty. He would torture victims with knives and tools. The author does not show the torture/killing scenes in detail. Instead they are told or referred to and the reader sees the bodies after. I was fine with that. But I also would have been ok with more details and gore.

    A few times Chyna recalls life with her mother Ann. Ann lived a nomadic life with different boyfriends, drinking, and drugs. One boyfriend killed people in Chyna’s presence. Ann enjoyed watching murder. Chyna growing up with Ann was a story of hiding, self protection, and not being cared for. In contrast, I loved the way Chyna treated and cared for Ariel.

    I love that Koontz does not use tired cliches. He creates his own. They please me. Here are a few examples:
    She was in an old testament mood, unwilling to turn the other cheek just now.
    She was baking and nourishing a loaf of panic, plump and yeasty.
    The car will tumble ass over tea kettle if it goes over the edge.

    The narrator Kate Burton was fabulous. She used a style so appropriate for the intense sentences with pauses. She enhanced the experience.

    Genre: suspense thriller.
    Ending: good guys win.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Larry Talladega, AL, USA 03-18-06
    Larry Talladega, AL, USA 03-18-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "Intense Indeed"

    If you love Dean Koontz, you will absolutely love this one. From start to finish you are totally absorbed by the characters. I could almost hear the sounds as the girl listened for the murderer.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amy Baltimore, MD, United States 02-09-06
    Amy Baltimore, MD, United States 02-09-06 Member Since 2012
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    "excellent"

    Very suspenseful. I was listening to it alone in my apartment and I could not turn out the light. I loved it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeremy D ChonburiThailand 01-17-06
    Jeremy D ChonburiThailand 01-17-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Gathering Momentum"

    This is one of those listens that improves as familiarity progresses. To begin with I found the whole thing a bit slow with background descriptions leaning towards the excessive, but once things get moving you will soon be carried along in the rush. The narrator puts a lot of effort into the presentation and generally succeeeds very well.
    Enjoyed it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Fredrick Gaines Cincinnati, OH, US 09-26-07
    Fredrick Gaines Cincinnati, OH, US 09-26-07 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Outstanding"

    I was intrigued.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ann Wilkins 04-25-15
    Ann Wilkins 04-25-15

    A WILKINS

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    "HIT THE GROUND RUNNING"
    Any additional comments?

    What I liked about this book was it hooked you right away and didn't let you go until the end. It was a different kind of Dean Koontz book and i have read more than many. It was out of the realm of the super natural.

    The Narrator was excellent and the way she changed the speed of her voice and tone when switching from Chyna to the Killer was genius even if she didn't speak in a deep voice implying she was now the male character she didn't have to you automatically knew.She was thoroughly enjoyable.

    Unlike Stephen King Dean Koontz is not afraid of a good ending, a happy ending.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Liz Bogart, GA, United States 04-15-15
    Liz Bogart, GA, United States 04-15-15 Member Since 2013

    I'm 30 years old, from the east coast of America, and my favorite books are realistic, but stretch the truth and the laws of physics.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "tore right through this"
    Any additional comments?

    This is like a start to finish action scene. After the first four hours I was starting to wonder if that was going to get on my nerves so much that I'd quit reading, but overall I'm glad I didn't.
    Koontz has these tendencies in his writing that kind of annoy me even though he's otherwise a skilled writer, and the one that stuck out in this work was his oft repeated theme of Christianity, faith in god, and the interplay between that and what qualifies as godless flesh-worship. Though, that theme wasn't made so obvious or didactic that it weighed the story down, and it did add some vaguely supernatural and ethereal elements to what was otherwise just a suspenseful horror.
    Overall, once you get into the meat of the story this stops just being suspenseful and starts getting under your skin and really investing you in what happens next. Really nice pace and flow to the prose. I'd say this is a strong, visceral book that begs to be finished in one sitting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    claudette 04-03-15
    claudette 04-03-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Amazing!!"

    I read this story years ago and loved it! I wanted to experience it on a different way abs decided to get the audio book. It was even more amazing then reading it. The narrator really went above and beyond my expectations! I enjoyed every moment, every chapter. Intense!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tori Rose San Diego, CA 03-09-15
    Tori Rose San Diego, CA 03-09-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Phenomenal!"

    The most gripping book I've ever read! Keeps you on the edge of your seat from start to finish. You will find yourself holding your breath. Truly intense!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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