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3.63  ·  Rating Details  ·  568 Ratings  ·  63 Reviews
A signed limited hardcover edition of the long out-of-print Jack Ketchum classic COVER. This is the story of the disintegration of a Vietnam War veteran and the havoc that ensues as only Jack Ketchum can tell it. Rave review in Fangoria!! This edition is signed by Jack Ketchum and includes material not in the out-of-print paperback. Ketchum writes an introduction dealing w ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 308 pages
Published June 26th 2009 by Leisure Books (first published 1987)
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Kenny Murphy
May 01, 2011 Kenny Murphy rated it did not like it
This is a story about a shell shocked Vietnam war veteran Lee, who lives isolated deep in the woods after his son and wife leave him because they fear that he might hurt them. Meanwhile, a group of professionals go camping nearby and find their selves fighting for their lives while Lee (who think he is back in the war or something) plays a game of cat and mouse with them.

I really can't think of anything good to say about this book, it just didn't work for me. The unlucky campers, might be among
Enjoyable take on Rambo, sort of, with more violence!
Keith Chawgo
Aug 26, 2012 Keith Chawgo rated it liked it
Cover is one of those books that I am not quite sure if I truly enjoyed or enjoyed the structure of the piece. It didn't leave me feeling sad, excited or hasn't really left any impression at all.

The book opens with Lee, a Vietnam Vet who has demons (figuratively not real)and the mentality of this character is the book's strongest asset. He is torn between the past and the present which keeps him disconnected to the good in his life. The sequences where his mind is flung back to Vietnam are some
My second Jack Ketchum book (after the 5 star experience that was The Girl Next Door). This is a good read and it is very much like First Blood and Deliverance. It has some gory parts but it could be classed as a thriller or drama.

It is not a supernatural horror. It is the horror that some of us create and carry out against our fellow humans. How brutal and nasty events we witness can change us.

I enjoyed the book and it is a good mix between a "backwood"s horror and a Vietnam Veteran drama.
May 15, 2011 Kasia rated it really liked it
This was an interesting morsel that took no time at all to get through, in fact I gobbled it up in half a day and was ready to tackle even more reading that day. Ketchum enchants the reader with his smooth prose and easy to digest writing, making the story shocking, quick and genuinely real when it comes to the crazy characters and the trouble they got into. Lee, the mentally confused Vietnam vet isn't the only odd ball character here, some of the people who go camping are even stranger than him ...more
Sep 22, 2013 Lee rated it really liked it
Even with this early Ketchum tale, you could see he was well on his way with his horror that resides in and around folks. Watching the Vietnam vet in this story was like waiting for a pot of water to boil...then boil over. With his thoughts and nightmares, he never really left the war. A heart wrenching tale.
What I really enjoyed (in my Leisure '99 edition) was Ketchum's foreword. The gentleman that was over there to share his tale, with his wife by his side. Also, the afterword by, Thomas Tessi
Oct 26, 2014 John rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, war
COVER is about a group of campers who stumble across a deranged killer while cavorting around in the woods. Been there, done that, right? The only difference is that the killer in this novel happens to be a Vietnam vet suffering from PTSD.
COVER feels like an uglier, more cynical version of David Morrell's FIRST BLOOD (comparing them would make for a great college essay), except that FIRST BLOOD actually had an emotional impact and something meaningful to say. With COVER, Ketchum utilizes many of
Oct 04, 2014 Kaisersoze rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
Though well-crafted and clearly - if the Author's Forward is anything to go by - meticulously researched, Cover is the second-to-least impressive of anything I've read by Ketchum, bettering only the truly terrible She Wakes. Skipping over any redundant plot synopsis, Ketchum works hard to make his antagonist sympathetic and to some degree he succeeds; however, much of this good-will is offset by his decision to make his main protagonist a successful author who is virtually a polygamist, parading ...more
May 31, 2009 DJMikeG rated it really liked it
An exceedingly well written suspense yarn that is also thought provoking and tragic. A Vietnam Vet distances himself from the world, living in the woods with his dog and tending his marijuana crops. A celeb-writer, his college buddy, his agent, a photographer, his wife and his mistress inadvertently impede on his solitude and are hunted by the Vet. I almost thought this book blew its promise with these somewhat disposable victim characters, but they definitely work as a study in contrast. The ce ...more
May 31, 2009 Kristen rated it really liked it
It's kind of hard to lump this book into the horror section - I would consider it more of a horrifying thriller. A vietnam vet has determined that he is too dangerous to live in society and has removed himself far into the wilderness. He lives secluded from society with his wife and dog. His wife helps him to keep his last grip on his sanity - but when she leaves to go stay with family, his last grasp is gone.

Meanwhile we have a pack of well to do upper crust individuals, and author, a playwrite
Glenn Rolfe
Mar 14, 2015 Glenn Rolfe rated it really liked it
Another strong effort by one of my favorite writers in the business. Ketchum's Cover is another interesting step in his storytelling. Although it touches on the issues american soldiers faced during and after Vietnam this story is more involved about an author and his relationships. It is a thriller more than anything else. The author and his friends are out camping when a Vietnam vet who lives away from the real world goes off the rails. The action and suspense is top notch (as always), the des ...more
Mark R.
Feb 26, 2014 Mark R. rated it really liked it
A successful author takes his wife and girlfriend on a camping trip. They're accompanied by a writer friend and a photographer on assignment. Tensions between the love trio have been rising; the wife knows the girlfriend is pregnant, and is considering using the information to damage her. This camping trip, forcing all of them to spend a weekend together, could potentially influence her decision.

Unfortunately for these folks, they're sharing this section of woods with a Vietnam vet who's made th
Aug 27, 2011 Debra marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Stephen King recommended author. 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.”
Nate Carter
Mar 10, 2014 Nate Carter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ketchum amazes me. This is the first book I’ve read of his, however, I have watched the film product of his screenplay with Lucky McKee called The Woman. He describes pain in such a way that you feel it, memory as if you were there, and the shocking truth of primal human nature that nobody wants to face. If you’re squeamish, don’t venture further into Ketchum’s work than this book, especially the movies he’s inspired. The greatest reason I appreciate Ketchum is for his shock value. Stephen King ...more
Sep 03, 2011 Bandit rated it really liked it
As always a good solid read. I don't think Ketchum could write a bad book if he tried. I have to say I didn't love it as much as some of his other books I've read, mainly because I found the characters tougher to relate to, but the writing was great and the book sped by like a crazed rollercoaster. I would definitely recommend this one.
Aug 12, 2016 Chelsea rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Didn't like it
Rob Boley
Jun 05, 2014 Rob Boley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read a few of Ketchum's novels, and all of them have been superb. This one stands apart from the fast-paced thrillers like Off Season and Offspring, in that the action really takes its time to build and unfold. The pacing reminds me more of The Girl Next Door, except where that story was propelled forward by a building sense of dread, Cover is moved forward by the disintegration of Vietnam vet Lee's world. As our antagonist's psyche dissolves, he attacks the story's wonderfully flawed prota ...more
Apr 22, 2016 Russell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There's a scene in season two of FARGO where Hank and his son-in-law Lou are sitting on the porch, trading stories from WW2 and Vietnam. Hank muses that, after he came home from overseas, their town went six years without a murder, while nowadays there are bodies dropping one after another. He then says:"Sometimes I wonder if you boys didn't bring that war home with you."

That line echoed in my head the whole time I was reading Jack Ketchum's COVER.

Ketchum is the most subversive genre writer in
Jul 29, 2016 Thomas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jack Ketchum was one of those authors I read back in the '90s, in my horror boom. He was considered to be one of the best, so I read a handful of his books. They didn't make a huge impression on me, but I enjoyed his lean style. I read Cover, and remembered some of the details of the book, but not the story itself. I'm really pleased that I'm re-reading his stuff (and didn't give up on him after Off Season), because I'm finding that he really is one of the best.

Like Hide and Seek, Ketchum takes
Adam Wilson
Jack Ketchum has definitely become a sort of love/hate author for me with it leaning more towards hate now with the very small weight of Cover to tip the scales. I am very surprised that the author of The Girl Next Door and the amazing short story collection Peaceable Kingdom wrote this. Like Hide and Seek, this book dragged on and on and on in the first two thirds making me wonder why it was a novel in the first place. The action doesn't really start until about 70% in and that part is fantasti ...more
Daniel Russell
Seeing as how my partner bought the remainder of Jack Ketchum's back catalogue before the Leisure house of cards fell down as a Christmas gift, I now find myself in the same situation as with Brian Keene. Lots of books to read and so little time! I had Cover on the shelf for a month or so before Christmas, so this had to be the first in a run of Ketchum.

Lee is a Vietnam veteran haunted by the violence and horror he's seen. Now back home, he lives out in the woods as protection from other people.
Jul 24, 2013 Dominick rated it liked it
This is mild by Ketchum standards, but that still make sit pretty rough at points by most any other standard. 'Nam vet with PTSD is living out in the woods, living by growing pot; his wife has left him, fearing for the safety of herself and their son. Group of upscale campers end up in the vicinity, find his pot, steal some, and ... well, you can probably imagine pretty well most of what comes next. What gives it some edge is that, first, the 'Nam vet is not simply a cliche loony. Ketchum gives ...more
Apr 25, 2010 Tara rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was really slow, especially for a Jack Ketchum book. The characters were boring to the point that I didn't really care if they died or not. Half the time I'd forget them until he mentioned their name and I'd have to backtrack to remember who they were. That's not good when there is only a handful of characters in the book

It's premise is an ex- Vietnam vet went nuts from PTSD and is living in the woods since he had some problems easing back into society after the war. His wife and son l
Mike Kazmierczak
Mar 18, 2012 Mike Kazmierczak rated it really liked it
One common factor to all of the Ketchum books that I've read is that they are intense. Some of them dealt with sensitive topics and were almost too intense to read. Some of them have intense situations that grip you for a long time. And then some have intense characters which can be extremely real.

With regards to Cover, it is the characters, specifically Vietnam veteran Lee Moravian. Since returning to the states, Lee has had problems adjusting to society. So many problems that he has separated
Apr 07, 2010 Terry rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lee Moravian is a Vietnam vet who came home from the war to find he no longer has a place in society. He lives in the woods with his dog, tending a patch of marijuana and facing increasingly realistic flashbacks.

Bernard Kelsey is a famous author who's going camping with his wife, agent and assorted hanger-ons, all of which will be documented by a noted photojournalist.

Looking at the book's cover, you can tell these two are on a collision course, but it takes nearly 200 pages before Moravian set
After reading some reviews about Jack Ketchum and seeing a couple movies based on his books, I really wanted to enjoy this novel. The plot even seemed a little different from most thriller novels: a Vietnam vet has hidden himself away from the world due to the trauma the war has done to him mentally, but when a group of campers invade the area, he snaps and finds himself back in the war.

Some parts of this were really good, mostly towards the end. Ketchum is good at creating disturbing and graph
Nathan Flamank
May 13, 2014 Nathan Flamank rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A rollicking read that sucks you in and chews you up and spits you back out. Ketchum's take on the "Vietnam-vet-still-at-war" scenario is brutal but there is a certain poetic quality to Ketchum's writing here that I never felt exploited and Ketchum weaves such a powerful story that you're never truly sure who you should be rooting for.
Jul 18, 2013 Jack rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
I love Jack Ketchum. He is such a great storytelling writer. He has a great ability to get out of the way of his characters and just follow them where they go. I always find myself at the end of a chapter and think, I'll just read more. Suddenly, I am at the end of the book.

This particular story follows a group of campers and a Vietnam vet who has isolated himself in the woods they happen to camp in. It is more complicated than that, but isn't it always?

Given the nature of the book, I don't want
Oct 16, 2011 Carl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: vietnam, vet
This man has been through the worst horrors the Vietnam war has to offer. He is so damaged he has to hide himself away in the deep forest just to protect others from his violent flashbacks of the war. He just wants to live a quite life of growing pot and hunting with his dog but no, these yuppies have to come stir up memories of the past and interrupt his seclusion. I loved the story Jack Ketchum took from real vets and twisted into this shoot you in the head with a crossbow horror. Really made ...more
Nov 11, 2014 chucklesthescot rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, horror, abandoned
I liked the idea of the Vietnam vet slowly losing his mind because of his trauma and seeing people camping as the enemy. He was drifting in and out of the war, causing his wife and child to leave for their safety.

But I had two real issues with the book. Firstly it was painfully slow and it took an eternity for the campers to come into contact with our main character. It was all about his mad turns and the sex lives of the three living in the same house-husband, wife and mistress.

Secondly, the c
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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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