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(Dead River Series #2)

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  2,836 ratings  ·  249 reviews
Just when you thought the horror of Off Season was vanquished in their first outing, The Family, lives on... years later continuing to terrorize the coast of Maine. And their zest for life, and yours, continues on in The Family tradition. The local sheriff of Dead River, Maine, thought he'd killed them off ten years ago... a primitive, cave-dwelling tribe of predatory sava ...more
Paperback, 248 pages
Published October 1st 2006 by Overlook Connection Press (first published November 15th 1991)
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Average rating 3.79  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,836 ratings  ·  249 reviews

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Nov 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Well, SHIT, yeah!!

This is the follow up to the book OFF SEASON and it was written about 11 years after the first one.
I read said book last year and thought it was utterly brilliant.

Dead River has almost put the massacre of more than a decade ago behind them. George Peters retired as Sheriff after that night. Now a widower, he is still haunted by nightmares of everything he had witnessed and done himself - you can never find peace if you keep blaming yourself.
But, when the new Sheriff knocks on h
Oct 19, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020-reads
After being terrified by the first book to the point where I was mortified by certain scenes that stuck with me for months, I didn’t find the follow-up to be as frightening. There were still a lot of horrific moments, but I don’t know if it’s because the first book was so crazy that this one seemed relatively tame in comparison. I liked the development of the Woman, and how she grew from the first book, but I don’t think the author took as many risks with the characters like he did in the first. ...more
Edward Lorn
Mar 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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. T
Dec 10, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
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
Sep 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I listened to this one on audio and it was f*cking great. Jack Ketchum is a twisted dude. And a hell of a writer to pull off these brutal tales with such skill. Or maybe I am just as twisted as he is for liking them so much.

It has been 11 years since the Sheriff had wiped out the family of cannibals that terrorized the small town of Dead River, Maine in “Off Season”.

Guess he missed some.


Now, the Family is back for more bloody, flesh eating mayhem.

Let the feast commence!

I liked everythi
Feb 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a sequel to Off Season, but I could be wrong. Being that this is a sequel (I think) you have certain expectations that need to be met. For me Ketchum met these expectations and certainly surpassed them. This is my third or fourth book I've read from this author and I just know that I'm in for something great. In Offspring we are met with another clan of horrible offspring that are trying to survive, but they are vile and disgusting. They have a belief that they need a baby. I won't elabo ...more
Wayne Barrett
Oct 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bizarro, 2018, horror

Oh, yeah, this is some sick shit... and I mean that in a good way. Wait, is that possible? If you don't have the stomach for the, no punches pulled, splatter-gore, bizarro type horror, then you definitely need to avoid this one. If you do, then enjoy Ketchum at his finest.

If you've read this you'll understand where I'm coming from when I say this; I just finished this on Halloween, and I got to tell ya, little kids coming to my door dressed as ghoulies takes on a whole new meaning.
Rouxmia Roest
Aug 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library
I am quite happy to be done. I expected it to be more gory than Off Season and I am pretty relieved it wasn't because I think I went into shock when shit hit the fan in Off Season. I mean, I can't get the image out of my head of Marjories savaged boob and I think I can feel it at times and it has scarred my brain.

Only part I skipped over in Offspring was the part of that asshole savage f*** and the kitten. I can stomach almost anything, but not animals being hurt. Especially cats. Lost one star
Lance Dale
Jan 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You kind of have to take Stephen King endorsements with a grain of salt; but when he says, "Who's the scariest guy in America? Probably Jack Ketchum.", he is spot on. No other author has had the ability to get under my skin quite like Ketchum. This book is a prime example. It's both brutal and brilliant. If you like horror which makes you feel uneasy, this story is your Disneyland. RIP Jack Ketchum. ...more
Horace Derwent
they breed indeed, but they are few

so they steal or rob white infants to avoid inbreeding

and they don't wanna "recruit" more

they kill to survive

and cannibalism is their eternal creed of faith

or is it, is the core of their theoretic quintessence religious?
Tracy Robinson
Jul 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yet another gore extravaganza from an author whose work I’ve come to love. I read OFF SEASON last month and gave it all the stars. It was perfect.

This book is great, too. Ketchum can turn a phrase that makes me gasp and my stomach clench in revulsion. This one is just a touch less graphic than its predecessor, but it’s still heavy.

I’m not sure what it says about me that I prefer the ending to Off Season over this one (if you’ve read it you’ll know, no spoilers here) but I do. I quite enjoyed t
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
Quentin Wallace
Dec 19, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am officially a Jack Ketchum fan. This book was a great sequel to Off Season. It didn't seem forced to me and it never went TOO dark. Of course it was dark, but there was always hope.

So what we have is some of the cannibals surviving from the original book and returning to wreak havoc. There's a little more to the story, but that's the plot in a nutshell. There was a somewhat unusual subplot regarding one of the character's ex-husband, but I think he was thrown in as the "guy you want to see t
May 15, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, horror-read
Reseña en español en mi blog: Click Aquí

After finishing Off Season I felt sick, disgusted, disturbed and amused at the same time. It was a book that really impressed me not only because of the gore but for its unpredictability, so my expectations for Offspring were really high. The sequel was entertaining but it doesn't come even close to the first instalment of the Dead River trilogy.

Offspring takes place eleven years after the events of the first book. Former sheriff Peters is still haunted by
Oct 20, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
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
Keith Chawgo
Jul 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Lars (theatretenor) Skaar
Not quite as brutal as Off Season, but still damn good! I wonder if it only wasn’t as brutal BECAUSE I just read Off Season and that one was so brutal and nasty that this one wasn’t as slap me in the face! Still an easy five stars tho!!
Another lighthearted romp with Maine's favorite cannibal family, Offspring was an entertaining single-sitting novel that, while not reaching the nauseatingly violent highs (and lows) of the first entry, managed to keep my attention riveted for its 300+ pages. I don't know if I've become even more desensitized to weird shit in the three or so years since I read Off Season but this one actually seemed a bit more, hmm, wholesome or something? The amount of people horribly dying and then getting cho ...more
Jul 21, 2010 rated it liked it
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
Apr 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, thriller
Never before had I heard the name Jack Ketchum. I was browsing through the public library and my attention was caught by the book's cover. I read the description on the back and my interest was piqued. A primitive, cannibalistic tribe terrorizing an isolated town? Sounded like it could be fun. There was also a endorsement by Stephen King under the description. I know better than to fall for such recommendations, they've let me down a couple of times before, but something about this one was compe ...more
Jan 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
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
Mark R.
Oct 01, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"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.

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.
Eric Guignard
Oct 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Gregory Kopec
Feb 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Apr 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
The poor kids gotta eat...
Timothy Urges
May 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Jack Ketchum is underrated.

Bringing every primal fear to life and covering the pages in blood, he forces you to face the extremes of the human spectrum.
David Sodergren
May 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Breathtaking, as powerful as Off Season, perhaps even more so. A masterpiece of horror.
Mar 23, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
More like 3.5 stars, but GoodReads doesn't do half-marks, so I'm being nice and choosing to round up.

Let's start off by saying Off Season is one of the most brutal, unrelenting, zero-fucks-given novels, never mind the horror moniker, I've ever read. Ketchum's prose churns forward in the manner of a narrator divinely cursed to relate everything happening, no matter how seemingly mundane or intimately horrifying, to the reader. The reader, because of just how perfectly Ketchum nails this narrative
Nov 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I haven’t read a Jack Ketchum I haven’t enjoyed. I love his writing and plan to read them all eventually.

I think I enjoyed this more than Off Season as I already knew some of the characters.
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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,

Other books in the series

Dead River Series (4 books)
  • Off Season (Dead River, #1)
  • Off Season: The Unexpurgated Edition
  • The Woman

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