Version: Unabridged
Author: Dean Koontz
Narrator: Kate Burton
Genres: Thriller
Publisher: Random House Audio
Published In: June 2006
# of Units: 10 CDs
Length: 11 hours, 30 minutes
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12 cassettes / 12 hours
Read by Kate Burton

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 asendangered. 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.

Reviews (18)

Written by Katie Crane on January 27th, 2016

  • Book Rating: 4/5

Worst narrator ever! She talks too fast then too slow. She'll be really quiet causing me to turn up the volume then she'll read really loud. It's really too bad because this book is really good.

good one

Written by Anonymous on January 25th, 2011

  • Book Rating: 4/5

I'm a DK fan and this one was a hit. I love how he gets inside the mind of the crazy killers. Lets you poke around in their brains with a stick. I recommend this book. If you got one credit use it for this one.

Not his best

Written by geno on December 2nd, 2010

  • Book Rating: 3/5

Not a fan of the whole book taking one calendar day. Limited action, way too much inter thoughts being the primary story line for me. Still, worth the listen but certainly for me, not his best effort.

Good book, terrible narration

Written by DebD on October 14th, 2010

  • Book Rating: 4/5

From the first monotone minute to the last, I couldn't wait for this book to end because the narrator's inflection and tone was just so god-awful. There was no life to it, no spark, and everything ran together in one fastbreathymoment and then... one... word... slowly... to... completion. Intensely thrilling scenes were read with the same gusto as instrospective ones. Good story, but I doubt I'll rent anything read by her again. Yech.


Written by Tom S on May 7th, 2010

  • Book Rating: 3/5

It was a good book. Not great but good. I don't know why but I recieved three of Koontz books in a row from Simply audio. I like his books but I think that I'm getting stale of reading his stories.

Best Koontz Audio

Written by Anonymous on June 18th, 2009

  • Book Rating: 5/5

I've listened to quite a few Koontz audiobooks and have as a rule been disappointed with how they translate. Intensity completely stood out. As the title warns this book is very intense and compels you to get through it very quickly. There just really isn't a good stopping point so you just don't stop. And FINALLY Koontz has a good reader for the story... she was great!

intensly boring

Written by Jill on July 24th, 2008

  • Book Rating: 1/5

I normally like his books but I find this one very boring. too descriptive. I fast forward just to get to the end. almost dread getting into the car to listen. Have listened to five of the ten cd's and almost considering sending it back before finishing... . I care very little for the character Chyna. Can predict that she will have an opportunity to do something and then doesn't. She should have kicked him down the stairs when he was trying to eat the spider. Not that that bit of info will ruin it for anyone. Maybe I have listened to too many dark books.. Not thrilled.

Edge of your seat!

Written by Anonymous on October 14th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 5/5

One of the scariest books I've ever read. I've listened to it twice and read it once and couldn't stop reading or listening even though I knew the story. Nail biter! Don't listen to at night or alone!


Written by Anonymous from Douglasville, GA on September 30th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Really lives up to the title, very intense. I only listen in my car, and found myself looking for excuses to drive somewhere. Could not wait to find out what was coming next. Koontz is one of my favorites, but I'm now wondering what kind of person thinks these sick, creepy characters up. Kate Burton's narration was great, as usual.

Be Afraid

Written by Cindy S. on September 9th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 4/5

If you like Dean Koontz, if you like being afraid, if you enjoy listening to books that expose the darker side of life and add a hefty portion of fictional macabre, then this book is for you. I gave it four stars because I do enjoy Koontz and even though most of his books have good winning over evil, it is always a wild ride getting to the triumph. It's not his best but it is entertaining in a watching a train wreck kind of way.

Author Details

Author Details

Koontz, Dean

Dean Koontz grew up in desperate poverty under the tyranny of a violent alcoholic father (Koontz's father served time in prison for trying to murder him). Despite his traumatic childhood, Koontz put himself through Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania (then known as Shippensburg State College), and in 1967 went to work as an English teacher at Mechanicsburg High School. In his spare time he wrote his first novel, Star Quest, which was published in 1968. From there he went on to write over a dozen more science fiction novels.

In the 1970s, Koontz began publishing mainstream suspense and horror fiction, under his own name as well as under several pseudonyms; Koontz has stated he used pen names after several editors convinced him that authors who switched genre fell victim to "negative crossover": alienating established fans, while simultaneously not picking up any new fans. Known pseudonyms include Deanna Dwyer, K. R. Dwyer, Aaron Wolfe, David Axton, Brian Coffey, John Hill, Leigh Nichols, Owen West, and Richard Paige. Currently some of those novels are sold under Koontz's real name.

Koontz's breakthrough novel was Whispers (1980). Several of his books have reached #1 on the New York Times bestseller list.

Koontz is renowned for his skill at writing suspenseful page-turners. His strengths also include memorable characters, original ideas, and ability to blend horror, fantasy and humour. Koontz has been criticized for his tendency to include too many similes and therefore to drag out descriptions, his frequent use of similar plotting structures, and a tendency to moralize heavily.

Koontz's protagonists,with the exception of Odd Thomas,arm theirselves with guns to do combat against the various monsters and madmen,and Koontz gets all the technical details right.There are no mistakes(functions and capabilities of different types of guns.)

Arguably, most of Koontz's work can still be classified as science fiction, as he tries to create plausible, consistent explanations for the unusual, fantastic events featured in most of his novels.

Koontz also has a very interesting way of adding his own little quirks to his novels, such as adding simple quotes from a book by the name of The Book of Counted Sorrows. Counted Sorrows was originally a hoax, like the nonexistent Keener's Manual Richard Condon cited for epigraphs he wrote himself. Eventually Koontz put together a poetry collection of that name, using all the epigraphs; it was printed as a limited edition in 2003 by Charnel House and as an eBook by Barnes & Noble. His more recent novels, starting with The Taking, have no verse by Koontz; rather, they have quotes by other authors (in particular, The Taking uses quotes from T. S. Eliot, whose works figure in the plot of the novel).

Koontz has long been a fan of Art Bell's radio program, Coast to Coast AM. He appeared as a guest after a fan reported to Bell that one of Koontz's novels featured a character describing a paranormal event as an "Art Bell moment."

Koontz currently resides in Newport Beach, a city in Southern California (as such, most of his novels are set in Southern California) with his wife Gerda and their dog Trixie Koontz, under whose name he published the book, Life is Good: Lessons in Joyful Living, in 2004. Trixie is also often referenced in his official newsletter "Useless News".

Dogs often figure heavily in Koontz's novels, as he is an avid dog lover. Watchers, Dark Rivers of the Heart, and One Door Away from Heaven are prime examples. However, lately he has seen fit to include cats as characters, most notably the smart cat Mungojerrie in the Christopher Snow novels.