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Right to Life

3.65 of 5 stars 3.65  ·  rating details  ·  405 ratings  ·  40 reviews
When Sara Foster is kidnapped in front of an abortion clinic in broad daylight, taken off a busy Manhattan street by a pair of total strangers -- Stephen and Katherine Teach -- she is three months pregnant with her married lover's child.

Her abductors seem to know that. They also seem to know where she lives, where she teaches, where she was born, who her lover is -- even w
Paperback, 158 pages
Published April 1st 2002 by Gauntlet Press (first published 1998)
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Felicia A
If you want to know what this book is about, read this one: and add an abortion clinic.

The names are changed, but the story is nearly the exact same, only in Perfect Victim, it's a true story, and in Right to Life, Ketchum made it all up.

**Here is the description for Perfect Victim:

Hitchhiking from Eugene, Ore., through northern California in 1977, 20-year-old Colleen Stan thumbed a ride into hell. Her kidnappers, a sadistic lumber mill worker, Cameron H
The first story in this book, the title story, was basically one big run on sentence that was somewhat painful to read. I was irritated by the grammar, the tiny mistakes (switching a wound from the left side of the body to the right, spelling the antagonist's name as Steven instead if Stephen,) and the overall atmosphere of the writing. It was dull, gray. Considering the subject matter, that's really disappointing to have to admit. It ghosted over everything, and felt more like a summarization o ...more
Stephen King recommended author and book. He says: "Who's the scariest guy in America? Probably Jack Ketchum."
"He is, quite simply, one of the best in the business, on par with Clive Barker, James Ellroy, and Thomas Harris."
“Ketchum has become a kind of hero to those of us who write tales of horror and suspense. He is, quite simply, one of the best in the business.”

Stephen King recommended book. In his book On Writing, published 2000, King says on pages 285-286 (followed by a list from 286
Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker  Queen of the Undead
How much could you endure if you were being tortured? I know I have a pretty strong pain tolerance but Right to Life(the first story in this novella) is about more than physical pain. It's about the strength of a person's character and her will to live. It is NOT a book about abortion or Pro-choice. The story isn't trying to make a political statement. The abortion (or in this case, the main character being kidnapped on her way to get an abortion) is what is the alleged motivating factor for her ...more
This book tells us the story of Sara Foster, who gets kidnapped by a horrible couple on her way to an abortion clinic. She's been having an affair with Greg, who is married and has a kid. We don't get much background about them, specially Sara, as I'd liked to.
I was going to say: "Gory stuff doesn't scare me much anymore", but I guess that happened because I expected the ending (kind of), and also because I first thought the couple's ulterior motive was saving the unborn baby from getting aborte
A woman on her way to get an abortion, and a creepy couple kidnap her and make her have it. Who wouldn't want to read this!
Read as one of two novellas under the Old Flames cover.
I read this story as the second half of "Old Flames". Yes, it was "Torture Porn," but GOOOOOOOD Torture porn....
I requested Right to Life hoping to read more about abortion portrayed in literature, without knowing that Stephen King had decreed that Disney would certainly never make a movie based on a Jack Ketchum novel. Right to Life is a novella inspired by real events about the experiences of a woman kidnapped in front of the abortion clinic by a couple who seems to know the details of her life. Although they are anti-abortion protesters, the man is best described as a sexual sadist with a submissive ac ...more
Bayan Sindi
Usually, I'm a fan of gore and torture. But this one was a MEH to me

I couldn't feel the horrific atmosphere nor the sadistic nature of Stephen and Kath.

Something felt missing :/
Laura Elisabeth
This book was so freaky, full on torture, kidnapping gory stuff!!! Not for the faint hearted but horror fans will love this. Did I mention its by Jack Ketchum, one of my favourite spooky horror writers!! This book also included bonus material, so an extra two mini stories which were also pretty good.
Rob Boley
In Right To Life, Ketchum gives us a hard premise: a pregnant woman named Sara kidnapped in front of an abortion clinic by two pro-choice extremists, Stephen and Katherine. These two lunatics essentially plan to hold Sara captive long enough for her baby to be born and then dispose of her. Of course, the couple's real motivation isn't their beliefs but rather Stephen's twisted need to control and dominate. Right to Life is a rough read, but Ketchum does an admirable job of getting into the chara ...more
this was a bonus novella found at the end of Old Flames. disturbing is all I can say.
Apr 04, 2008 Pete rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: no one
Shelves: adults-section
This shit is not nice.
Sara and her married lover run the gauntlet of hate outside an abortion clinic. On the day of the abortion she is kidnapped by activists to be a human slave, abused and tortured and made to have her baby.

I love Jack Ketchum's writing-the brilliant Off Season being one of my favourite horror books. But this one just left me cold. I'm used to reading violence of all kinds so I wasn't shocked or offended by it-I was just left thinking that I didn't like it much as a piece of writing.

Sara is a bit o
Daniel Russell
It can be very easy to typecast writers, especially horror writers. Peter Benchley wrote Jaws and The Deep and was from then on marine-horror guy. Can it be that to read two books with a similar theme by the same author means to place them in a box? If so, I hope readers thinking of sampling the works of Jack Ketchum will swap and choose. Should you read Offspring and Off Season, both great reads, one might think that Ketchum is cannibal-guy. In this case, should the two books in question be The ...more
I love Jack Ketchum's horror profoundly; I think, in fact, he's probably one of my favourite contemporary horror writers. I do believe, though, that the novel is the form that better suits him and compliments his uncanny talent for emotional terror and, to that respect, Right to Life lacks the raw power of The Girl Next Door or Off Season. It is, however, a satisfying short read that leaves you hungry for more.
Shadow Girl
I liked this book, but the entire time I was reading it - I kept comparing it to Perfect Victim: The True Story of "The Girl in the Box". The stories aren't just similar - some details are practically identical (once artistic license is removed).
Colleen Stan was threatened with stories of 'The Organization', and the head-box was so detailed that it couldn't have been from anywhere else.
It's a good story, but the true story of Colleen Stan is horrifying.
If you're a fan of True Crime, read Perfec
William M.
While there's nothing supernatural in Jack Ketchum's terrifying thriller, Right To Life, the monster in this tale - like most of his work - is all too real, taken right from the headlines of today's news. At first, I was hooked on the mystery of why this innocent woman was kidnapped and wanted to know more about her kidnappers and their motives. However, the reasoning behind their actions didn't seem as effective as it could have been. Maybe that was an easier way out instead of writing about so ...more
Ricardo Moreno mauro
En este libro J Ketchum nos mueve al interior del mundo de una pareja que, buscando un hijo, secuestra a una mujer embarazada y la mantiene cautiva en su casa. No contentos con eso, ellos la flagelan a diarion y le realizan distintos tipos de torturas sexuales. En este libro Ketchum plante el problema de la maternidad, el aborto y del cuestiado derecho a la maternidad.
Chloe Wild
Didn't really enjoy this, just seemed to be shocking for the sake of shocking, don't get me wrong I love disturbing and dark books but there was no real reason or depth to it.
Gory horror, not one of my favorites. But does have a more predictable ending than most of Ketchum's novels.
Josh Caporale
Would be zero stars if there was an option.
J.A. Saare
Dark, powerful, terrifying -- those are just three words I could use to describe Right To Life.

The novella, while short, manages to convey just how unshakable the human spirit can be. The blurb gives you all you need in order to understand what you're going to get, but it's the ending that I know will remain with me for days.

Horror fans who want to read something that doesn't hold back should definitely read Right To Life. I look forward to reading more of Mr. Ketchum's works in the future.
Ben Lovegrove
Based on facts but still makes a fast paced and intensely disturbing short read. It's about human trafficking which is very topical in the age of globalisation and describes the kidnapping and torture of a young woman in a way which is not faintly erotic, thus making a refreshing change from other books which seem to glamorise violent sexual acts. I liked the way the cat befriended her and used to share her coffin - think Jack Ketchum should write a book about cats.
Artless, especially in the face of Ketchum's later work.
This is a tough one to review because you're supposed to be repulsed by it, I get that, but there's also a sense of exploitation in it (the cover art, some of the descriptions, the casual sexuality) which doesn't make for an ideal companionship.

Well written, no doubt, but gruelling so if you like your horror on the very dark side, this is ideal for you.

The two short stories which fill out the book, Brave Girl and Returns, aren't much more than vignettes.
I read this book in a day, which was pretty good for me. It was a good story and very frightening to know it actually happened to someone. It did get my heart pounding and shouting in my head, "don't do that", sort of thing. I was disappointed a bit by the woman's dumb moments, but I guess that's the reality. You never know how you're going to act or react to a situation I guess unless you're in it. It was very graphic, not for the faint of heart.
Jack Ketchum is a horror writer who doesn't go into the supernatural. No spooks, demons, or monsters. He finds all of his villains in the depths of the human soul. This is one of the reasons I love his books! Yes, She Wakes is the one supernatural book he wrote, and it was really well done, but this book is where the humans scare the shit out of you.
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Jack Ketchum is the pseudonym for a former actor, singer, teacher, literary agent, lumber salesman, and soda jerk -- a former flower child and baby boomer who figures that in 1956 Elvis, dinosaurs and horror probably saved his life. His first novel, Off Season, prompted the Village Voice to publicly scold its publisher in print for publishing violent pornography. He personally disagrees but is per ...more
More about Jack Ketchum...
The Girl Next Door Off Season The Lost Red Offspring: The Sequel to Off Season

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