Dean Koontz – Intensity

Intensity-koontzIn order to grow as a writer, you must read as much as, if not more, than you write. The minimum two hours I spend per day reading are always some of my most enjoyable hours of the day.

That you are here suggests strongly that you are also a fan of horror fiction. From time to time, as I keep you up to date on my latest stories, I will share with you my thoughts on novels I have recently read which I believe deserve your attention. Today I bring you Intensity by Dean Koontz.

I don’t scare easily.

I have been reading horror fiction since the early 1980s and I have watched all of the movie classics, from The Exorcist and Halloween, to Scream. Rare is it that an author can legitimately frighten a seasoned horror reader with the brilliance of his words. But that is exactly what Dean Koontz accomplishes in Intensity.

I won’t say too much about the plot – there could be no greater shame than to spoil this epic thriller for others. Intensity begins with a bang and never relents. Through its 400-some pages, you will be squirming in your chair as you put your faith in the protagonist, Chyna, to somehow elude or overcome the vicious Edgler Vess.

Koontz paints alluring visuals throughout. You will sink into the rural countryside of The Napa Valley as the story unfolds. His characters are believable and interesting and I found it impossible not to get behind Chyna. And once I did, Koontz had me.

I put Intensity right up there with the most frightening horror novels ever written, including The Shining and IT. Read Intensity with the lights low. I cannot recommend this novel more strongly.

Writers can learn a great deal from Koontz, who prefers to attack the protagonist (and the reader) early in a novel with a dangerous plot development. This technique is great for immediately immersing the reader in a story. The downside is that it is often difficult to maintain this early momentum. In Intensity, this is expertly handled and the roller coaster ride continues nonstop.

Stephen King seems to prefer a slower build to his stories, similar to the pace I preferred to set with Storberry.

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2 thoughts on “Dean Koontz – Intensity

  1. Couldn’t agree more, Dan. I’ve since lost my copy because I’ve loaned it out so much that I lost track who had it. Comes about as close to a perfect story as one can get.

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