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Intensity: A Novel [Kindle Edition]

Dean Koontz
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (778 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $9.99
Kindle Price: $7.99
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Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Dean Koontz's The City.


Past midnight, Chyna Shepard, twenty-six, gazes 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 Foreman 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’s 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 of Edgler Foreman Vess intensifies.

Editorial Reviews Review

A young woman staying as a guest in a Napa Valley farmhouse becomes trapped in a fight for survival with a self-proclaimed "homicidal adventurer", and races to warn his next intended victim. Unrelentingly terrifying, this book lives up to its name.

From Publishers Weekly

Koontz's career has mirrored Stephen King's to a remarkable degree?the early pseudonymous novels, the bloated blockbusters, the increased use of horror as social commentary?albeit at a lag. Keeping step, this uncommonly sleek work is nothing less than Koontz's Gerald's Game: a distillation of what's come before and a slick play to regain the top by a writer whose popularity seemed to have peaked. Koontz even makes the centerpiece of Chyna Shepherd's battle against a serial killer her attempt to free herself from the restraints that bind her to a piece of furniture?the very same challenge faced by King's heroine. And just as Gerald's Game reinvigorated King's career and writing, this masterful, if ultimately predictable, exercise in high tension should do the same for Koontz's. This is basically a two-character novel, and both principals are compelling: the spirited Chyna, a youngish psychology student, and her nemesis, homicidal maniac Edgler Vess, who revels in sensation, be it pain or pleasure?in the intensity of experience. The two link when Vess kills Chyna's best friend as Chyna hides under a bed. Chyna pursues Vess but is eventually captured by him, after which she must combat not only those cuffs but also Vess's killer dogs, Vess himself and, of course, her own terror. For once, Koontz tamps down on his usual libertarian soapboxing to let the story race?which it does fast enough to give readers whiplash as they hold on to what may end up being the most viscerally exciting thriller of the year. 600,000 first printing; Literary Guild main selection.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1596 KB
  • Print Length: 449 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0553582917
  • Publisher: Bantam; Reissue edition (July 20, 2007)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,061 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
75 of 81 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars INTENSE doesn't even begin to describe it! May 13, 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
It's a rush: a novel set within a 24 hour time span, revolving around one character as she battles one of the most insidious villains in literature.
Chyna Shepherd is visiting her friend Laura's house. She like's Laura's family; it makes her wish she had one like it. Nice parents, a loving's gonna be a nice visit.
Then someone else shows up. His name: Edgler Foreman Vess. He is not psychotic; he is beyond that. From the letters of his name, he spells: GOD FEARS ME. As well He should.
Hiding in the shadows, Chyna watches as Laura's family is murdered. Then, in a daring attempt at escaping the hell house, she finds herself aboard Vess's trailer...and on a ride that will take her to places (both physical and mental) that she never thought she'd be.
INTENSITY is the thrill-ride of thrill-rides. Dean Koontz proves that he is, after all, the Master of Suspense, as he weaves a tale that will keep you riveted to the edge of your seat. Dean Koontz is driving down the road of mastery; you better hold on.
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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intensity April 19, 2000
By Laura
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I chose this book for a book report because it was recommendedby a friend. I thought it was fabulous. I've read many of thesereviews and many say it was intense. Okay, to be original, this bookwas more than that. It creeped me out because Vess (the antagonist) was real. He was the man living next to me, a teacher at my school, that uncle no one ever sees. He could be anyone. The book made me realize bad guys are not always strange old men who spend all day thinking of ways to kill people. They have jobs, families and friends just like you and me. That is why this book scared me. As for many of the people who didn't think it was so great, I can agree with you on a few points, but I don't agree they made the book a bad one. The chair. Yes, there is a point in the book where the protagonist, Chyna, attempted to get out of a chair. It was totally boring, and made me want to pull my hair out, but, Mr. Koontz obviously thought very long and hard about this act, and he deserves some respect for that. Many also argue that pace was all over the place. Well I say, come on. This was a semi- realistic book. Life does not follow a pace. Murders do not follow a pace... Let's not over analyze, okay? The book was a good one...
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40 of 50 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quite a ride July 26, 2005
As an avid Dean Koontz fan, I couldn't NOT read this book. And I wasn't disappointed. "Intensity" is a good read. Perhaps not my favorite of his, but still very typically Koontz.

This novel starts out slower than most of his novels --- usually I'm entirely captured by the first or second page, he gets right into the guts of the story, but this time he paced the beginning a lot slower.

But in a relatively short time, things start to get --- well, intense.

Chyna Shepherd is staying with her best friend's parents over a school holiday and suddenly her entire host family is dead, and only she remains living. Having always been a passive person, not wanting to get involved in anything frightening or risky (thanks to a very nasty childhood), she suddenly decides this is something she NEEDS to put herself in the middle of, to vindicate her friend.

So she follows the killer. Learning that he has a 16-year-old captive, she vows to rescue her as she was unable to rescue her friend.

At first, the killer has no idea she's there, but when he finds out, things heat up a bit, and there are a few heart-stopping scenes of suspense.

The book takes place in only a 24-hour period, and each moment counts. And, as always, Koontz has a couple of intriguing surprises up his sleeve --- the identity of the killer, for one thing.

"Intensity" follows the story from both viewpoints, the killer's and Chyna's. Chyna's portions are told in typical 3rd person past-tense, but the killer's sections are told in the rarer PRESENT tense. It's a tad distracting at first, but you'll get used to it. My major complaint with this one was that sometimes, things went a little too slowly for me --- especially with a book called "Intensity.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Frightening and suspenseful, yet too long by half! October 15, 2006
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Chyna Shepherd, a twenty-six year old young lady, is the product of a deeply disturbed and seriously dysfunctional family. Having had to endure violence, rape, child molestation and a bizarre life of crime with an vodka-soaked promiscuous mother, she has found the best road to survival and safety is passivity and invisibility. When Edgler Foreman Vess, a sociopathic serial killer, invades the home of Chyna's dearest and only friend, Laura Templeton, and brutally slaughters the entire family, this deeply nurtured ability to hide out of sight and out of mind saves Chyna's life. The killer is not aware that there is a guest in the home that night. Laura, savagely raped and near death, is scooped up by the killer and taken to his motor home to be "enjoyed" and mutilated later in the evening. As Chyna cautiously follows hoping to rescue her captive friend, she inadvertently discovers that the killer has also kidnapped a young, innocent sixteen year old girl and is holding her captive "waiting for her to ripen, get just a little sweeter". Now driven by the possibility of elevating her life to a meaning beyond passivity and mere survival, hoping to draw some meaning from the death of her friend, Laura, who has succumbed to her injuries, Chyna resolves to rescue Ariel or die in the attempt.

I have to hand it to Koontz. The writing in "Intensity" is ... well, intense! In any given chapter taken out of the context of the whole, the tension is electric and the dramatic cliff hangers are to die for! But the fact is, that as a whole, the darn book is just too long. There are absolutely no plot twists and the only surprise is the real identity of the killer! I mean, let's face it, we all KNOW that Chyna's going to survive!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Worst book I've ever read
Worst book I've ever read! Started the book twice and basically hated it more the 2nd time if that's possible.
Published 14 hours ago by pressley baker
5.0 out of 5 stars A Real Page Turner, Great Suspense For Intellectual Thrill Seekers!!!
I saw the movie back in the late 1990's prior to reading this book. Dean Koontz is one of my favorite writers, more so even than Stephen King, as he keeps the rhythm flowing... Read more
Published 5 days ago by Linda Kim
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Omg what a great read!!!
Published 8 days ago by Nakisha
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Dean Koontz is quietly brilliant!
Published 9 days ago by H. Rose
5.0 out of 5 stars This one is my absolute favorite novel, and I have read many
This one is my absolute favorite novel, and I have read many. The most appropriately named novel I can think of, "Intensity" is just that, from the opening, to the final... Read more
Published 15 days ago by Gary M. Sallaz Jr.
4.0 out of 5 stars intense
I started this book as an audio book on a long trip. When I returned, I bought the Kindle version, because I had to know how it ended. Not my normal read, but couldn't stop...
Published 16 days ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Really really good
A little long winded with the inner monologue, I had to skip paragraphs periodically that seemed to have no end, but for the most part it was very entertaining and intense. Read more
Published 17 days ago by ojitos82
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great shipping, product was perfect and just as described
Published 21 days ago by Shaneika Dockery
1.0 out of 5 stars So what did the elk have to do with anything ???????
I have just finished this book, when I say finished! I mean I skimmed through most of the last part because the descriptions were way to long and boring , and because I had started... Read more
Published 24 days ago by dawnc
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
It was hard to read about all of the atrocities that were committed against women.
Published 25 days ago by T-Bone
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More About the Author

Dean Koontz, the author of many #1 New York Times bestsellers, lives in Southern California with his wife, Gerda, their golden retriever Anna, and the enduring spirit of their golden, Trixie.

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Well ive never seen it anywhere either, i was excited to find and watch all movies based on koontz books, but i only found hideaway, and that was a bummer..nothing like the book
i had read somewhere that such movie was the best adaptation to a koontz book, so i didnt bother looking for the... Read More
May 4, 2009 by Francisco Quiroz |  See all 7 posts
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