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Offspring: The Sequel to Off Season (Dead River Series #2)

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  2,037 Ratings  ·  168 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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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 everything ab
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
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
Edward Lorn
Mar 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 52-in-52-2014
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
Rouxmia Bougas
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
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
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
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
May 15, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror-read, kindle
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
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
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
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
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
Aug 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
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
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.
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.
Apr 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
The poor kids gotta eat...
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
May 10, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any Horror fan
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
Jairus Reddy
Jan 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
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.
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?
Nov 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016
I accidently read this series out of order, not on purpose, but more of a happy accident. I had seen the movie of “The Woman” in a much-edited edition on The Chiller Network, and was intrigued by the story. Then a couple of years ago I read, Ladies Night, also by Mr. Ketchum. I remembered The Woman and only then decided to hunt up the book. Imagine my surprise when I got it and realized it was the last book in a trilogy entitled “Dead River,” so long (and frankly pointless) story short, although ...more
William M.
Jun 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
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
May 28, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
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
Nov 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
OFFSPRING is one nasty piece of work...nasty but pretty awesome if you're into good visceral horror. This is one of the most intense, scary, punishing books I've ever read, and the reason why has more to do with Ketchum's skill as a storyteller than it does all blood and gore served up throughout. What makes this novel effective is that you actually care about the characters and agonize over their fate. Ketchum also does a masterful job at making you buy into a scenario that would come across as ...more
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.”
The second book in the feral cannibal clan trilogy. I can't tell if it wasn't as gross as the first one or if I couldn't be shocked after reading the first one. I will read the last one so I can know how it ends.
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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...

Other Books in the Series

Dead River Series (3 books)
  • Off Season (Dead River, #1)
  • The Woman

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