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Intensity [Library Binding]

Dean R. Koontz
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (380 customer reviews)

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Book Description

October 1999
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.

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From Amazon

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
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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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
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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2.0 out of 5 stars Irritating would've been a better title Dec 24 2010
Format:Mass Market Paperback
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. Overdid the detail to fill the white space. I found myself saying GET ON WITH IT. Thumbs down.
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5.0 out of 5 stars vintage Koontz July 18 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
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. This whole story is basically like one endless unbroken chase scene. It's quite possibly the most suspenseful novel I can remember ever reading.
David Rehak
author of "A Young Girl's Crimes"
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of his best July 13 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
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. Even though there was times that I wanted to reach into the book and slap the main character, Chyna. Only because of all the thinking and not doing. This does not deter from the book though.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, Breath-holding Read! July 3 2004
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 - scary! I also love the unpredictable way the story unfolds.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not Koontz's best June 16 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
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. However, after reading Intensity, I can only think that it would better as a MOVIE than a book. The premise is provocative, if not entirely original, and the action scenes are written well. Several times throughout the book the plot lagged and was redundant. It seemed more as filler between action sequences; the parts where the reader gets a glimpse into Chyna's psyche are excellent, but they too become repetitive. Too many descriptions of dobermans, gleaming knives and cellophane wrappers overwhelm a plot that could have been resolved quicker and more satisfying.
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