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Right to Life

3.56  ·  Rating details ·  785 ratings  ·  94 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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3.56  · 
Rating details
 ·  785 ratings  ·  94 reviews

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Feb 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This Sighed limited hardcover is numbered 141 of 450 copies produced nd is signed by Jack Ketchum.

The book "Right To Life" was nominated for the 'Stoker Award".

Sara Foster is kidnapped in front of an abortion clinic, and she is three months pregnant.
Things take off from there and it's intense.

Not for the timid.
Felicia A
Jan 31, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Jan 02, 2015 rated it it was ok
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 summary of ev ...more
Jenni DaVinCat
Oct 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Every time I read a Jack Ketchum book, I tell myself that it will be the LAST Ketchum book that I ever read. He's brutal in a way that no other author that I've ever read is. He makes my stomach churn. He makes me violently angry and yet somehow by the end of every book of his, I've managed to change my mind about never reading his books again.

And yet...I still wouldn't recommend this. I don't think I would feel right subjecting someone to this type of work. Women do tend to be the victims in hi
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
Mar 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
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!
Feb 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
short story but a good read.
Sep 01, 2014 rated it it was ok
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
Dec 26, 2014 rated it liked it
Read as one of two novellas under the Old Flames cover.
Dec 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I read this story as the second half of "Old Flames". Yes, it was "Torture Porn," but GOOOOOOOD Torture porn....
Dec 30, 2014 rated it it was ok
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 :/
Oct 23, 2018 rated it liked it
I know of Jack Ketchum's work more by reputation than from actually reading anything by him - until now. I am probably most familiar with The Girl Next Door and the excellent film they made of this book, which has been on my "to-read" shelf for quite some time.

In Right to Life and the two additional short stories contained in this edition I discovered how visual and visceral Ketchum can be in his writing. Very little is left to the imagination, so the mental images he creates have no ambiguity -
Clementine Sunshine
I think I ve read enough Jack Ketchum for a lifetime.
Oct 18, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: horror, fiction
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
Jan 01, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Shadow Girl
Jan 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
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.
Tristan Goding
Apr 11, 2016 rated it liked it
Jack Ketchem, I love you to death, but you scare me and your books depress me. You also inspire me, and though I don't enjoy your books, they sure do make me want to try and make this world a better place. For those of you who feel like they've worked all of their demons out through therapy, try this one out! Hahaha
Jul 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, ketchum
Right to Life proves that nobody can focus an unflinching eye of the evil of man quite like Jack Ketchum.
Mar 01, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: horror
this was a bonus novella found at the end of Old Flames. disturbing is all I can say.
Apr 04, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: no one
Shelves: adults-section
This shit is not nice.
Mar 11, 2019 rated it did not like it
Was there a point to this book? Was there something I missed? It felt like a first draft of a high school torture-porn loving kid's story. No character development, nor arguably any real characters. The plot is laughable in the unrealistic B-horror film style, and the pacing is just off. The story is provocative, dark, and masochistic, but not in the intriguing way, instead it is a half told perverted kink of the dominant and ultra cliche'd 'male fantasy'. (Unwilling woman becomes a submissive s ...more
Amanda - Go Book Yourself
It was OK. I've seen another review that claims that this story was lifted from an actual event that happened, and it reads like that. No original angle or inventiveness within the plot.

You'll probably be able to guess the plot from start to finish before you pick it up.

The run-on sentences and awful grammar made it hard to read in parts. This book could certainly do with a deep copy-edit.

If you're a long time Ketchum fan I would say read it to check it off your list. If you're not a die fard
Joe Stamber
Mar 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
A pregnant woman is kidnapped from outside an abortion clinic by a couple supposedly representing a pro-life "Organisation", and then is systematically tortured and abused to teach her obedience. It's well-written, a great story and more evidence that Jack Ketchum that is one sick puppy. Excellent stuff if you have the stomach for it!
May 04, 2019 rated it it was ok
Very disappointed with the novella and the only reason I gave it 3 stars instead of 2 is because I liked the 2 short stories at the end, I thought they were better than the main story
Nov 21, 2018 rated it liked it
Short, a bit gory and the ending was anticlimactic for me.... Not his best in my opinion.
Jun 04, 2018 rated it liked it
I rather enjoyed the first 11 chapters but was unsure what the last two chapters had to do with the main story.
I was confused.
I felt the main story was a silly principle but it was okay.
Daniel Russell
Sep 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 20, 2016 rated it it was ok
Sara Foster. She's an ex-wife, mother to a son who died at six years old several years ago, lover to a married man, and pregnant with his child. For a variety of reasons, she's decided not to keep the baby. The day she goes to the clinic, though, she's kidnapped by a pro-life couple who are determined to see her through to keeping her child.

Right to Life feels like a throw-back to The Girl Next Door. Both stories involve a woman, captive, suffering torture at the whims of a psychopath. The stori
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Dallas William Mayr , better known by his pen name Jack Ketchum, was an American horror fiction author. He was the recipient of four Bram Stoker Awards and three further nominations. His novels included Off Season, Offspring, and Red, which were adapted to film. In 2011, Ketchum received the World Horror Convention Grand Master Award for outstanding contribution to the horror genre.

A onetime actor
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