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Offspring: The Sequel to Off Season (Dead River Series)

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  1,390 ratings  ·  122 reviews
"Who's the scariest guy in America? Probably Jack Ketchum, the outlaw horror writer whose terrifying first novel is finally available. That would be Off Season: The Unexpurgated Edition." -Stephen King. Now OFFSPRING, the sequel to Off Season, has been released in this unique edition. Just when you thought the horror of Off Season was vanquished in their first outing, The ...more
Paperback, 248 pages
Published October 3rd 2006 by Overlook Connection Press (first published November 15th 1991)
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Four and a half stars. Almost as good as the original.

I am always leery of sequels. There seems to be two types of sequel writers. Those who are in it for the money. "Shake that moneymaker! Keep them wanting more". Then there is the reluctant writer who is nagged by his publisher to write a sequel to his best selling novel. "OK! OK! just leave me alone. I'll write a sequel then complain to the press that I never wanted to do it".

Then there is the rare writer who goes back to his novel because he
Edward Lorn
OFFSPRING Review We all have books that we know we shouldn't love as much as we do. Some of these novels we should actually hate, downright loathe because of their subject matter and immoral ideals, but we don't. We aren't turned on by the debauchery, but we aren't turned away either. In fact, we wish we could delve deeper, go further, see even clearer the nasty of which the author is capable.

Jack Ketchum's OFFSPRING is a guilty pleasure of mine, even more so than its predecessor, OFF SEASON. Th
Keith Chawgo
Ketchum's follow-up to the graphically violent Off Season is an interesting but unfortunately doesn't equal the predecessor.

The story starts out very graphically and disturbingly and in some ways it is better written. The sense of dread and horror are lesser within the pages but the violent episodes in some ways stay on your mind a bit longer than the first. There is one scene which includes biting that really ingrains into the subconscious and causes a shudder to the reader.

The family that is
Kristine Muslim
This is the first Jack Ketchum book I’ve read, and his reputation for visceral horror is well-deserved. Forget about building the suspense slowly. It’s carnage from beginning to end. In a matter-of-fact tone, he writes: “Her arms were drying in the sink. Along with the dishes.” There’s power in Ketchum’s storytelling which draws the reader in. It’s the same palpable magic in Wes Craven’s The Hills Have Eyes. You smell the fear, the blood, the excrement. Urine, too. Offspring is a well-told story ...more
There is simply something mesmerising about the writing of Jack Ketchum. There are more literary ways to say the following, but for me his word selection, sentence construction, and economy of expression all ooze class. While reading Offspring, I found myself imagining him kicking back in the corner of a bar somewhere, tall glass of scotch on the rocks half-finished in front of him, cigarette dangling from his off-hand, and telling this story to a group of his fellow barflys. They, of course, ar ...more
Okay, I didn't read this book's predecessor. The edition I read of this book made no mention of it being a sequel to "Off Season," but by the time I found out I was already 80 pages into it. What the hell, I finished it. It's pretty self-contained, so it made perfect sense. Ketchum's a fearless writer, there is a lot of visceral and disturing stuff at work in this story. The plot is about one full day of bloody terror involving a pack on cannibals that live in the woods of Maine. They target one ...more
So, today I was sick and spent most of the day in bed. For most people that would prolly mean a day of zero fun, but to me that meant a day of READING! :-) It gave me time to finish up Offspring by Jack Ketchum. I'm not a huge fan of sequels to books....or even movies for that matter. ....but I must say...I LOVED THIS BOOK! ...and part of me even thinks that I liked it just a little bit more than the first book. I had a love/hate relationship with the first book, Off Season. I thought I would ha ...more
Eric Guignard
REVIEWED: Offspring: The Sequel to Off Season
WRITTEN BY: Jack Ketchum
PUBLISHED: October, 2006

I don't know why, but I've been reading this trilogy of books backwards. First I read "The Woman," (third in the series and most recent), then this book, "Offspring," and next will be the one that started it all off, "Off Season." I think that says a lot about these books that, although they reference preceding events, each is a tightly-knit thriller of characters engaged in horrific circumstances. The c
Humm it tells me to write what I learned from this book.

and that is that if you have a family of vile cannibalistic savages in your little home town do not leave your kid alone with the baby sitter cuz the bitch is gonna get ate.
Alex Gherzo
Jack Ketchum's Offspring was a somewhat disappointing sequel to his excellent Off Season. One of the cannibalistic savages from the first book, referred to as "the Woman," survived the bloodbath at the end of the novel and has reformed the clan ten years later. Meanwhile, a couple with a newborn baby welcome a friend going through a divorce and her son. Ten guesses where the savages will attack.

Starting with the good, Ketchum knows how to create tension and does so well here. The savages are a t
Jairus Reddy
I was looking for a great horror read, and I was recommended Offspring by one of my authors. Not realizing this was the sequel to Off Season, I dove right in and began reading. I happened to be on the way to a much needed week long vacation, and I brought the book along to fill in the downtime for the week. Let's just say this, it didn't fill in the downtime for long.

I couldn't put the novel down. While everyone else was enjoying each other's company, I was locked in a guest room, turning page a
This was my first Ketchum novel and I was quite pleased with it, especially for a horror story. It’s very rare nowadays for me to be able to find a horror that can scare me in book form, or at least make me shudder. I don’t know if I have become desensitized or what but at least this one made me go “yikes” especially at the end in the cave with the baby, I’m not saying anymore because I don’t want to ruin it. I just know that now when babies are involved it makes my skin crawl. *laughing* I find ...more
Mark R.
"Offspring" is basically a better version of "Off Season," which was an excellent book. This sequel improves on characters, which are better written here, suspense, and quality in general, falling short only at the end, during the climax.

The story, just like the first book, focuses on a couple of people who live in a somewhat isolated house by the shore in Massachusettes, who are joined by friends from out of town, and attacked by an inbred family that lives in a cave by the water.

William M.
While similar to his first book, Off Season, Ketchum delves more deeply into the characters this time around. The events occur over one long and grueling night where our cannibal family of maniacs decide to go on another killing spree. I think this book wasn't as shocking to me as the first simply because I had read Off Season and knew what to expect. But that didn't lessen the enjoyment of joining retired law enforcement officer George Peters once again as he tries to finally put a stop to the ...more
Robert Beveridge
Jack Ketchum, Offspring (Leisure, 1989)

Ketchum returns to the small town in Maine that housed his first novel, Off Season. He also returns to the plot, the characters, and just about everything else. I don't even need to offer a plot synopsis; if you've read Off Season, you've read Off Spring. What saves the book, ultimately, is the fact that Ketchum was a far better writer in the late eighties than the late seventies, and many of the first book's minor problems with plotting and pace are fixed.
Misty Battle
I have to admit I didn't love this book as much as the first one. Maybe because it was less gory and graphic. It was more watered down to me. However I enjoyed it and it is a good read.
Jeremy Boatwright

Whats better than a cave dwelling family of human eating in-bread kidnapping rednecks. Sick an twisted. Great book
Offspring is the sequel to Off Season, which I just reviewed. It was published 26 years after the first book and you can tell that Ketchum's writing has gotten a little more polished since 1980. Other than that, it's pretty much the same book.

It follows the same classic horror novel plot as the original: A group of crazy, inbred cave dwellers hunt and torture a bunch of people in Maine. One of the cave dweller kids from the original book survived the massacre that took place at the end and ran.
I originally bought this book not realizing that it was a sequel, so I had to read the first book first. (Off Season, in case you're wondering.) I wasn't particularly impressed with the writing quality in Off Season, but then again, it wasn't supposed to be a "well-written" book. It's main appeal was the story's extreme level of visceral gore. And when I say extreme, I mean extreme. I remember reading the book at home while my parents and my sister were watching TV, and I remember looking up and ...more
Kasia S.
After reading Off Season, which was gripping, tight and savage I was ready for the sequel! The first book left a very strong impression and made me cringe more than usual when but this one was a bit softer and less terrifying. Was it worth the read? Yes, of course, it read very quickly and I enjoyed the story, well I mainly enjoyed rooting for my main characters and their survival but overall there was nothing too new that spiced things up. One novelty I can point out was the foul character of S ...more
At this point I have read several of Ketchum's novels, and to be honest the first book in this series "Off Season" really didn't thrill me. I had a hard time dealing with Cannibals who were capable of speech and yet were so overly barbaric. The two didn't mesh well in my mind.

This sequel was far less bloody, less immediate, and less terrifying. Too much information was given on the wrong parties in the book, and not enough on the ones that we should have gotten info on. The death toll is far lo
Reads like your standard horror movie sequel.

Their is nothing particularly wrong with 'Offspring', Jack Ketchum's follow up to the brutally twisted 'Off-Season'. It hit's all the points that made the first novel get a solid four star rating from me. The violence when it comes, is inventive in it's twisted-ness, the stalking of the ferals following and planning their attack on the family is intricate and suspenseful like the first. Yet, the entire time I was reading this, I couldn't help feeling
A solid, but rushed, follow-up to his legendary "Off Season," Jack Ketchum weaves another tale of feral cannibal madness around the beleaguered Maine town of Dead River. What he does that I like in this sequel is what most horror movie sequels should do, but tend to avoid: what happened in the first one happened, people know about it, and they're trying to deal with it. All too often, sequels come across as needless because they don't really build on what came before--they just boast the same mo ...more
Jun 25, 2007 Megan rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: no one I know
Shelves: horrorthriller
I picked it up because I heard he wrote something based loosely on the Sawney Beane legend....when I read the first chapter--it seemed a lot than the average horror I read--you know, gorehound-y, perverse, pulpy. And this is coming from the girl whose movie collection consists of Japanese horror, classic slasher flicks, and ghost stories, and both versions of TCM. So I am not sure why it bothered me--I've read grosser things, sometimes about real life cases...

But it just se
Rob Boley
Just as he did with Off Season, Ketchum herein brilliantly shows us how to move a narrative forward with brilliant development of tension. The characters - both the protagonists and antagonists - have clear motivations and very real feelings and thoughts. What's more, he juggles their various points-of-view with deft skill. Honestly though my favorite part of this book is the final scene. I won't give any spoilers, but it's beautifully rendered. Wonderful read. Get it. Read it.
Dec 03, 2009 Sarah rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: own
Twelve years ago, a "family" of people capable of unspeakable horrors destroyed the life of Peters, a cop in Dead River, Maine. Now, all signs indicate that the evil he thought he destroyed has returned..

Though it's billed as a sequel, I don't think it's necessary to have read "Off Season" before reading this. You may miss some parts of the story, but not too much. I thought this was much better done than the first. I liked how, in this one, Ketchum really took the opportunity to get into many d
I had no idea that this was a sequel. Didn't seem to matter much, It kind of filled me in on what had happened in the past. May get the first book, don't know.. This book I found to be tense and exciting. So much so I read it in a day. Really liked it and I really like how Ketchum hooks you fast in the beginning. Will read more of his books.
Renee Young decamillis
Creepy good. Living in the woods of Maine myself is even more creepy after reading JK's excellent novel, especially when standing in front of the kitchen sink window or remembering that I left the sliding door unlocked at night. You'll have to read it for yourself to know what I mean. Excellent!!!
Offspring, the sequel to Jack Ketchum's brilliantly terrifying debut Off Season, while unable to capture the fire-in-a-bottle savagery of the original, is still a damn fine horror novel. It's similar in structure, mood, and barbaric dementedness, but somewhat lacks the ferocity (perhaps one gets desensitized to Ketchum's horror after the initial experience) of the first novel in the Dead River series. Again, still a great piece of horror fiction and highly recommended to Ketchum fans. Now on to ...more
Offspring is the sequel to Ketchum's (gorfest) Off Season. The Woman is back, and she's got a whole new cannibal family. The beginning of the story starts with the cannibal clan taking out a 16 year old babysitter, the 18 month old baby, and the mother returning from a night out at the bar. Yeah, it's craziness all over again. Except this time, the cops know exactly what they are dealing with.

Even with that being the opening to the story, this book is still much tamer, in my opinion, than Off S
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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
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