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Intensity [Audiobook, Unabridged] [Audio CD]

Dean Koontz , Kate Burton
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (380 customer reviews)
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Book Description

June 27 2006 Dean Koontz
Chyna Shepherd is a twenty-six-year-old woman whose deeply troubled childhood taught her the hard rules of survival, and whose adult life has been an unrelenting struggle for self-respect and safety. Now rare trust has blossomed for Chyna into friendship with the woman whose family home she is visiting for the weekend: a farm in the Napa Valley surrounded by vineyards and hills, which Chyna can see from the guest-room window where she sits at one o'clock in the morning, fully dressed, unable to sleep. Suspicions she learned in childhood still make her uneasy in unfamiliar houses--even this one, where her closest friend is sound asleep down the hall. And in this case her most disturbing instincts prove reliable. A man has entered the house, a man who lives for one purpose: to satisfy all appetites as they arise, to immerse himself in sensation, to live without fear, remorse, or limits--to live with intensity.

His name is Edgler Foreman Vess. He likes to make words with the letters from his name--GOD, DEMON, SAVE, RAGE, ANGER, FEAR, FOREVER, are just a few of them--and then makes sentences with the words. One of his favorites, GOD FEARS ME, is sometimes the last thing he whispers to his victims. Edgler Vess is a self-proclaimed "homicidal adventurer": On this night, his adventure--murdering everyone in the house--becomes Chyna's long nightmare.

Trapped in Vess's deadly orbit, Chyna thinks only of getting out alive. But when she inadvertently learns the identity of Vess's intended next victim, waiting for him far from Napa Valley, Chyna is gripped with concern for this other person, who is as innocent as Chyna, and as endangered. Driven now by a sense of responsibility for another, by a purpose and meaning beyond mere self-preservation, Chyna rises to unexpected heights of courage and daring--her only hope as the threat of Edgler Foreman Vess closes in and grows more horrifying moment by moment.

Intensity unfolds over the course of just twenty-four hours, but within that brief time frame, Dean Koontz gives us what is perhaps his most inventive, emotionally intricate, and terrifyingly suspenseful novel yet.


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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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scary as hell!!! June 17 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Usually books that claim to be "scary" and "suspenseful" do not live up to it, but Intensity most definitely does. This superbly crafted Dean Koontz thriller kept me up well into the night reading it with bated breath and tightly wound, knotted back muscles. It may be a much-overused cliche, but I could not put the book down!!! The story does not drag like Koontz's work sometimes can, it instead pulls you along right through the chilling plot, which makes you feel like you're right there in the story without being too wordy. I won't describe the plot again b/c everyone else has, but I will tell you that the murder scenes will stick with you for a while. They are very gory and slightly disturbing, even though the Templetons' murders weren't described besides the results. If you would like to try a Koontz novel and wonder with which one to begin, Intensity is a great choice. Others might include Phantoms, Watchers, or The Voice of the Night.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I'm in the minority -- I thought it was a big yawn March 24 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I thought it was a lousy book. The main character was just another typical cookie-cutter Koontz heroine. They're all the same. I'd swear that the escape from the chains/chair was related in "real time." Did it really have to go on that long? I saw the big "twist" coming a mile away.
Also, the thing that bugged me the most: The killer is, well, killing or something and he thinks, "This was exciting... In fact, it was... INTENSE!" Get it? Because that's the name of the book. The killer loves the feeling of... INTENSITY! So he has to keep repeating the word INTENSE! Usually I pass books on to someone when I'm finished and know I don't want to keep it for myself, but with not the least bit of a feeling of INTENSITY I tossed this one in the trash.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
When I first started reading this book, I have to admit, I was a little disappointed with it. The plot sounded so awesome, and I really wanted to read it. So it took me about three tries to get through the first couple pages. But then, once the killer got into the house, I was hooked. It was quite a strange book, and I found some parts unbelievable, but the brilliance I found in this book (as with THE FACE) that Koontz managed to spread a couple days into a novel. And they rarely get boring. I like how he describes the rationalization of the killer, it was really cool (although a little repetative at times). It wasn't just a "cool" read, but a good read too. I suggest getting this one. Oh, its worth it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Dean Koontz--Intensity (1995) May 25 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
One of the simpler stories conceived by horror-suspense great Dean Koontz, "Intensity" is a rip-roaring, overpowering, do-not-read-alone-during-the-night tale that solidified him as one of the best of his time. Chyna Shepherd is ready to move on with her life, forget the past, and begin anew as a strong, dedication woman. While spending the weekend with her best graduate school friend, Chyna can not sleep and feels as if something is just not right. Past midnight, the family is tormented by an evil killer who proceeds to slay everyone but her.
First driven by absolute fear, Chyna hides inside the maniacal sociopath's trailer--realizing that the only way to survive is to fight back. While hiding from the hideous Edgler Foreman Vess (it even sounds scary!), Chyna learns that her friend's family were not the only victims he planned for the near future, for a young girl is trapped inside a realm of darkness and at the brink of being Vess's prey--brutalized and slaughtered. The tough protagonist searches deep down into her soul for the strength to in hopes defeat this unbearable evil, only to eventually find herself in Vess's home and in a hell that she could never foresee. Chyna Shepherd is arguably his most developed character, weaving her in and out of horrors while brilliantly connecting her troubled past with the dedication and resolve to try and sacrifice herself for the life of someone else.
Edgler Foreman Vess is equally as effective as the enemy as Chyna is the heroine. He is a homicidal adventurist who lives only to satisfy his gruesome needs of intensity, sensation, and death. The moments throughout the novel when the readers learn the thoughts and motives of Vess are truly horrific and disturbing, mainly when Koontz uses innocence as the victim.
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5.0 out of 5 stars INTENSE doesn't even begin to describe it! May 13 2004
By DanD
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 brother...it'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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Most recent customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Irritating would've been a better title
I am with the minority on this one. I tossed into recycle rather than put anyone else through the pain of it.
Too much paper and not enough story. Read more
Published on Dec 24 2010 by Arlene F. Bailey
5.0 out of 5 stars vintage Koontz
The title of this novel says it all. This story is intense! It's because of novels like this that Dean Koontz is called the master of suspense. Read more
Published on July 18 2004 by I ain't no porn writer
5.0 out of 5 stars One of his best
Jump into the seat and be ready for one thrilling roller coaster ride. Intensity grabs ahold of you from the very beginning and doesn't let go until the end. Read more
Published on July 13 2004 by M. Bennett
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, Breath-holding Read!
This book was sooo good. It kept me on the edge of my seat throughout. The descriptions are amazingly real - you can actually feel what each character is feeling as if you are them... Read more
Published on July 3 2004 by Jehanne d'Arc
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book ive ever read most suspense possible
This book is amazing, starts off nice and slow with chyna sheperd and laura templeton going her house for the weekend but the story quickly takes a drastic turn. Read more
Published on June 24 2004 by alex
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Koontz's best
I've read several of Koontz's books and never have I felt that one of the movies based on his books actually lived up to the text. Read more
Published on June 15 2004 by Shelly Aster
5.0 out of 5 stars Intensity
Chyna Shepherd, at 26, is very much alone in the world. Growing up with a hippie mother, Chyna's bleak childhood was filled with fear and confusion. Read more
Published on May 27 2004 by B. Viberg
5.0 out of 5 stars Goddamnit!!
This book IS intense. I won't go into any details here, hundreds of others have done so, but let me just say, if you don't get pulled into this book by the very first page, well,... Read more
Published on May 23 2004 by Danjal Jannik Nyberg
5.0 out of 5 stars INTENSE!
The novel Intensity, which is written by Dean Koontz is a great novel. It is action-packed and very intense. Read more
Published on May 11 2004 by Chris Warner
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