Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Intensity” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  51,657 ratings  ·  1,825 reviews
Past midnight, Chyna Shepherd, twenty-six, gazes out a moonlit window, unable to sleep on her first night in the Napa Valley home of her best friend. Instinct proves reliable. A murderous sociopath, Edgar 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, ...more
Hardcover, 436 pages
Published October 31st 2000 by Turtleback Books (first published January 1st 1987)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Intensity, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Ashley James I think having nothing to lose gives her the courage to try to help the young girl. Having lost her only true friend and explaining she has no family…moreI think having nothing to lose gives her the courage to try to help the young girl. Having lost her only true friend and explaining she has no family she almost accepts that she may die. Looking at it another way she only actually makes one really selfless decision which is after the gas station when she sneaks into the RV. Once at the killers home she is almost obligated to help the girl. In terms of breaking out of the chains and fighting the dogs ect. I think most people's will to live would give them the strength to do that.(less)
Miwako Sakurada Misery by Stephen King
The Ruins by Scott Smith
Gerald's Game by Stephen King
A Simple Plan by Scott Smith
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
hilary lay
Aug 21, 2007 hilary lay rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of horror and suspense
dude, yeah, i know. dean koontz? me?!?
yes, i am serious. this is one of THE scariest books i have ever read. i finished it in one night while i was living alone, and i had mascara-stained tears running down my cheeks by the end, i was so terrified.
to clarify, dean koontz is not a "great" writer. in fact, some of his descriptive passages are so bad they nearly threw me off course.
howEVER. the scenario he has laid out in "intensity" feeds off of every human being's worst fears: being trapped, b
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
An excellent book, full of suspense. It kept me on the edge of my seat the whole way through and the temptation to rush to the end to see what happened was huge! But I was good and enjoyed every word of it. There is a very surprising little twist to the tale at the very end which was nice. It is always good to leave a book on a high and that is certainly the case here. Dean Koontz's books do vary in quality but this is one of the good ones,
I think I have sadly hit my limit with Koontz. My first book by this author was AMAZING. The second was just as amazing. Then somewhere down the road, the villains all started to meld together. The villains became a little predictable for me because they all shared the same qualities.

Now that doesn't mean that this book didn't entertain me. There were times that my heart was racing and I was scared to death for the MC. The first 60% of the book was the best. I just wanted it to be over after th
Briana Patterson
This is thriller suspense at its best. Dean Koontz knocked my socks off with this one, and as soon as I started reading, I could not get through it fast enough. Pages burned and I might have had to stomp my book out a few times.

In a way, this is not entirely typical for Dean Koontz. Don't expect anything supernatural or overly bizarre. It's about a killer and a survivor.

The title holds true to its pace. This book does not slow down once it kicks into high gear. It'll freak you out, and there's
The title for this novel is truly well selected since this book is indeed intense! You are barely getting confortable in the beginning of the story when bam!!! the horror starts! I have read quite several books by Koontz and I was shocked by the crudity of the very first scenes. I told myself then, "Dang! He is not fooling around! The villain here is truly a dark human being". And it's also one of the most shocking things in the book, since you don't have any paranormal element here, all the hor ...more
The last 200 pages of this book are what makes me want to give it 5 stars but I didn't enjoy it as much as I hoped to, so four stars it is. The end plot twist was something I did not see coming and for that I applaud Koontz; I read this book relatively quickly and I didn't have to force myself to keep reading.
Mar 19, 2008 Josh rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: (Not for Natalie)
Recommended to Josh by: Tim
I decided that I would write a little about the books that I finish for now on. This was a very scary story! I have to say that it actually scared me sometimes and that is pretty hard to do. "Intensity" is a very appropriate title for this book, I couldn't stay away from it. Definately a plesant surprise after reading Dean Koontz's "Life Expectancy". This book never let up on it's suspense from beginning to end. If anyone is looking for a good horror, "Intensity" fits the bill. Be warned though, ...more
Nov 30, 2007 Naomi rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of blood and gore and scariness
This book is well written, I'm sure. From the moment I started reading it I felt sick to my stomach from the overly detailed homicidal and torturous events, but also I could not stop reading it because the author held a small hope of the heroine doing some lasting good by helping the 16-year-old girl who was locked in this crazy bastard's basement. And of course getting herself out of this situation in which the reader found her.

I am glad I finished it. But I'm not going to hurry to read another
"Intensity" lives up to its name. Intense from the first page to the last, well written and masterfully suspenseful, it's one of the best books by Dean Koontz.
""God fears me."
Jane Stewart
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
Intensity. More like intensely boring. I started this, got not even half way through and stopped reading it to read a Heather Graham book that i finished faster and enjoyed way more. Yes, it was better than this long drawn out storyline. It wasn't gross, didn't make me feel sick, wasn't disturbing at all like the other reviews claim. Maybe it just takes more to get to me. I actually liked Vess as weird as that may be. Well, I liked how he viewed things. It was a little weird that it Chyna found ...more
Feb 08, 2010 Chris rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Chris by: Becky

This started out rough. I had to get used to Koontz's writing style, which to me isn't as smooth a read as others. But once the story got going, I was really interested in it.

Chyna Shepherd is trapped in the house as the killer, Mr. Vess, goes on his rampage. She must deal with not only her fear of being found out, but of a lifetime of insecurities brought on by a sorry mother and a troubled childhood. She must overcome these deeply rooted issues if she is to survive the next 24 hours and if she
I've been reading this book for a while, mostly because I only read it at lunch. Some of it though had to do with the book itself.

I like the story, believe me...It's interesting. The characters however, are not. I didn't care for any of them...if they lived, if they died, if they hurt or suffered or didn't. They failed to generate any emotions in me. I couldn't bring myself to care about them (other than my own inward mocking at the name 'Chyna'...kept thinking of the WWF (WWE, whatever) wrestle
Maria João Fernandes
"Fascina-o a forma como a vida das pessoas se cruza fugazmente, com um potencial dramático que por vezes se cumpre e outras vezes não."

O título "Intensidade" pode referir-se ao motivo dos acontecimentos, à própria história, às descrições, às sensações, às personagens e ao sentimento provocado no leitor. No livro "Intensidade", na verdade, tudo é intenso.

A história passa-se em vinte quatro horas e tem apenas duas personagens principais. Porém, as duas únicas visões da narrativa que temos nunca se
Intensity was intense at times, but there wasn't a lot going on the novel which spanned almost 450 pages, so most of the writing was about the character's thought processes, which completely pulled me out of the story and very boring, it seems as if Mr. Koontz tried to persuade the readers into thinking a certain way or having a certain feeling rather than telling the story and letting the readers interpret it.

Most of the novel consists of Chyna (the protagonist) going on and on about her past,
Being a huge Stephen King fanboy, I am almost obligated to hate Dean Koontz. It is one of the biggest literary feuds, King vs. Koontz, and fans of both authors rip at each others throats whenever possible. Like many hardcore fanboys, I'm ready to tear anyone that likes Koontz apart (at least in my mind), and whenever I meet someone that says they like Dean Koontz I laugh on the inside, HOWEVER! That was my attitude back when I was 13 years old, and now six years later I realize that before I can ...more
Monique J.
I like scary books. Stephen King is amazing. Peter Straub easily induces chills. I read Red Dragon—where Hanibal Lecter is first introduced—when I was probably too young and without my parent’s permission. But books don’t scare me. At least not until the night I started reading Intensity by Dean Koontz.

The main character, Chyna Shepherd, has come to Napa Valley with a friend, Laura Templeton, to visit Laura’s family farm. Like me, Chyna finds it difficult to fall asleep in a strange place. So s
Dean Koontz might never win a high concept literary prize...but, I know why he is one of the reigning kings of horror. I read this book 10 years ago (or so) and I still remember how it scared the bejeezus out of me. I lived alone at the time and very comfortably, I may add. I was never one of those "single women living in fear" kind of people. Although i have a fairly vivid imagination, I generally remember that I am reading a book and that the events described within are not going to suddenly c ...more
Logan Keys
I read this a long time ago but just now realized I never reviewed.

This book shaped me as an author.

How? you might ask.

Because villains don't have to be creepers with bad teeth. The scariest come in a package you never expected. Depraved doesn't mean on the outside they are not passable, even likable.

What scares me most are bad guys/gals we'd let help us with our groceries.
Intense is an understatement! I read this edge of your seat novel in one day. I simply could not put it down.
Koontz has a knack for capturing your attention right from the first chapter and never letting go.
One of his best works.
Jim Peterson
This was an edge-of-your-seater. I'd never read Dean Koontz. In fact, I wasn’t sure I wanted to when I saw his top-rated book on goodreads stars dogs as both the protagonist and the antagonist. This one did have some dogs, but only some mean-ass doberman's that were pretty, pretty scary.

I will be sure to read some more Koontz, though I don't know if I'll read his magnum-opus dog book, Watchers. Actually, maybe I will some day...

I have to say, though, one thing that really, really got my goat wa
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Mar 22, 2011 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those Looking for a Good Thriller
When I was younger, I devoured Koontz's novels, reading close to a dozen, although it has been over a decade since I had last read his books. I remember the plot and characters of very few of them. Two stand out to me. One is my favorite, Watchers, whose most memorable character is a golden retriever. The other is Intensity, with one of Koontz's most sinister villains in Edgler Vess and most courageous heroine in Chyna Shepherd.

What's so striking about this suspense novel (and boy does it deser
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Luka Novak
To be honest I don't see the quality of writing so many people say exists. Plot is interesting enough. Chyna, a young student, is staying with her friend's family. During the night family is murdered, Chyna tries to help her friend only to find out she is dead as well. Chyna then hides in murderer's RV, hoping to kill or capture him, only to find out he is keeping another girl captive. Of course then Chyna has to try to rescue her.

Pretty straightforward and interesting, however it seems Koontz d
I am FINALLY finished! And I am so glad that I took my time reading this. But it didn't take me long to read it for that reason alone, I've been MAJORLY busy with school, anyway, onto my (short) review.

This is the very first book by Dean Koontz that I've read and it definitely won't be the last. And I must say, this may be my favourite book of all time (so far anyway). I was blown away by this novel. And the title says it all. It is INTENSE!

Chyna Shepard, the protagonist is probably the most li
I think I've read too many books abut psychos and I've read about too many gruesome things to be impressed anymore. Or maybe this Dean Koontz book just wasn't for me.

First of all, this I got in a haste from the library, without really looking at the description of the story or anything else, so I expected a different thing than what I got. My bad. I wasn't disappointed, though, in the first.. 70, 80 pages. It actually got better and better and I had the impression that I'm really going to love
This is the first Dean Koontz novel I've read. And I didn't really 'read' it, like I'd hoped. Similar to other folks in my book club, I skimmed a lot. I read the first sentence, got the gist and sped over the lengthy descriptions.

He creates vivid pictures and I agreed with one of the group's favorite scenes when Mr. Vess, arms and fingers outstretched is seducing a spider so he can taste and experience its essence and soul. But every scene was treated that way with a lot of description so the re
Brian H
Finished it quickly enough (2 days) to say it kept me on edge and wanting more. I liked the plot and pacing of the story but Koontz has a way of over-explaining things that don't need it. He uses analogies that seem like a reach too often. Too many flashbacks to the main character's past at way too convenient times! It made the story feel forced instead of naturally unfolding. (The beetle, the Key West scene, etc.) While I see the connection made between her past and her current situation as a c ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Is it a rip-off? 8 90 Apr 12, 2015 01:04AM  
♥ Nothing Better ...: BR 25 - (Sakshi, Rachelvlehcar, & Saritha): Intensity; Start Date ---> 1st July 44 42 Aug 08, 2014 10:24AM  
Night of the Livi...: March 2013 Selection: Intensity 1 4 Jan 04, 2014 12:57PM  
What should I read? 16 139 Sep 09, 2013 06:55PM  
Awesome. 5 48 Oct 30, 2012 07:41PM  
Koontzland - Dean...: Intensity (Group Read - October 2011) 96 103 Oct 25, 2011 06:34PM  
  • Shadowfires
  • Shattered
  • The Voice of the Night
  • The Door to December
  • The Mask
  • Fear that Man / Toyman (Ace Double, 23140)
  • Shadows
  • The Dean Koontz Companion
Acknowledged as "America's most popular suspense novelist" (Rolling Stone) and as one of today's most celebrated and successful writers, Dean Ray Koontz has earned the devotion of millions of readers around the world and the praise of critics everywhere for tales of character, mystery, and adventure that strike to the core of what it means to be human.

Dean R. Koontz has also published under the na
More about Dean Koontz...
Odd Thomas (Odd Thomas, #1) Watchers Forever Odd (Odd Thomas, #2) Phantoms Velocity

Share This Book

“There are no explanations for human evil. Only excuses.” 157 likes
“Hunches [are] just messages from the subconscious, which [is] thinking furiously all the time and processing information we have not consciously noted.” 43 likes
More quotes…