Saturday, November 6, 2010

Dean Koontz masters irony with Intensity

Potential spoilers below.

Take a look at the protagonist and antagonist from the bestselling novel Intensity by Dean Koontz.

Shepherd as a child:
  1. Grew up in a broken, fatherless home.
  2. A victim of decades of psychological abuse.
  3. Repeatedly threatened with physical and sexual abuse.
  4. Witness to a number of murders.
  5. Witness to inappropriate sexual encounters and deviance.
  6. Objectified sexually.
Vess as a child:
  1. Lived in a typical nuclear family. 
  2. Raised in a secure environment by loving parents.
  3. Was never threatened with, nor experienced, any physical or sexual abuse.
The irony:

Chyna Shepherd is the novel's female protagonist. Despite her past she is a good person, selfless, religiously hopeful, protective of others. Edgler Vess is the novel's antagonist. He is a godless, selfish, merciless, serial killer.

The story itself is relatively simple. Very linear. But Koontz dedicates the core of the novel to these ironic, contrasting characters - which is ultimately what makes Intensity a good story and not just another body count novel.

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