AmnesiaLab's Reviews > Intensity

Intensity by Dean Koontz
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May 08, 13

Read in June, 2009

** spoiler alert ** I hate Dean Koontz, but I go through books quickly and have to have something to read at work, and when it comes down to it, I'll read anything you put in front of me even if it's bad just for something to do. Allegedly, this was one of his better books. The best book I've read of his, I would give two stars. Don't even remember what it was called. It pains me that this man is the second best selling author in the US. Seriously.

Why? Well, where to begin? Let's start with characters. Dean Koontz doesn't create characters; he just creates caricatures. The main characters stories of childhood trauma aren't remotely believable. If her mother didn't give a shit about her and was constantly moving around, why would she even bother to bring her for 16 years? Everything is so extreme in her character that there's never any remotely realistic motivation for any of it. The villain is concerned only with intensity, mostly written in italics, because italics are apparently intense. His philosophy is that any intense experience is worthwhile. Basically, he should be on the X-Games doing flips on motorcycles and appearing in Mountain Dew commercials. The way Koontz beats the shit out of the intensity motif, I find it hard to believe more people aren't rolling their eyes and saying, "Gimme a break."

How about his craft? Clunky, uninspired, repetitious prose with awful dialogue. I don't remotely understand why people buy this guy's books. There is nothing compelling about his craft. For a guy they call "The Master of Suspense", he lacks all sense of subtlety. He constantly holds the reader's hand unnecessarily as if afraid they won't get it any time he uses some kind of symbolism. Not that it's common with Koontz. He's always saying more than is necessary and it gets a little insulting over time, as if he thinks his readers are so stupid they can't possibly pick up on the things he's writing without help.

So, his plots must be super-awesome to make up for it all, right? Let's face it; with most pulp, people don't give a shit how it's written. They only care about the story. This story is about some chick who goes to a friend's for the weekend, only to have the entire friend's family killed and end up the sole survivor riding along with the killer, trying to come up with a way to take him down and save some girl she's never met that the killer has locked in his basement. The upside of this story is most of it leaves the heroine alone, so you're not subjected to the cringe-worthy dialogue that the book opens with. It also means that Dean Koontz has to find some way to create his particular breed of melodrama through sometimes very slow events, so he prattles on for pages about a cramp in the heroine's ass, or she freaks out talking about how she will surely sustain a grievous spinal injury by slamming the chair she's chained to into the stone fireplace wall by backing into it. Every time she takes a whack at it, "OHHHHHHH GOD THE PAIN IT HURTS SOOOOOOO BAAAAAAAD!" Gimme a fucking break. It's make of PINE. Fuck you, Dean, it's not dramatic that you have no grasp of physics whatsoever. Half of this book is her considering a fairly simple action and then contemplating the multitude of ways it could go horribly wrong and leave her critically injured. There's no real drama and nothing to care about, so Dean Koontz tries to manufacture some by telling you how you should feel about what she's doing.

I can't even begin to convey how inane this book truly is. Hopefully I've given you some idea.
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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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message 1: by Barbara (new)

Barbara Well thanks for the review, never my first choice of an author to read, you've reminded me why, thanks.


Tina Marlene Maybe the mother kept Chyna around so Chyna could be company when the boyfriends left. Maybe Chyna had to take care of her mother after her mother's party sprees. Maybe the mother got welfare payments or other government aid for keeping Chyna. Maybe the mother kept Chyna around with her as a possession or a pet.


Janet I think you're nuts not like this book.


Jackie Jameson You nailed it, Amnesiac! I was one of the people rolling my eyes and saying, "Oh give me a break!" I quit reading and threw it against the wall when the heroine, after seeing a whole family brutally slaughtered, escaping the motor home with all the dead bodies inside, and seeing two gas station clerks gunned down, decides to jump in a car and give chase to the psycho guy. Please! Give me a break!


Autumn THANK YOU! I can't STAND this book and refused to read past where Chyna (lamest name ever, btw), gives chase to the killer. I just, I can't in good conscience read this trash when there are so many other good books left out there to read! My brain is bleeding over the ridiculousness of this book. Truly hated it.


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