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Hide and Seek

3.44  ·  Rating details ·  1,842 ratings  ·  228 reviews

Hide and Seek is a book about games. Reckless, dangerous games. Games you might even want to play yourself if you're with the right people. But shouldn't. Not ever. In a small Maine town, a group of thrill seeking college kids finds a game of hide and seek in an abandoned house turning into a reality of stark terror.

Hardcover, 192 pages
Published October 21st 2000 by Cemetery Dance Publications (first published 1980)
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Average rating 3.44  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,842 ratings  ·  228 reviews

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Sep 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mysteries, horror
This was a very good book by Jack Kechum. The story starts off slowly and it feels like a good drama rather than a horror or even a mystery until the 2nd half of the book. This is where the suspense really begins and and the tingles start creeping up on you(me). The book is very well written and has a nice and easy flow to it until the suspense falls in place and then many tense and scary moments.
I found this story well balanced and it was an emotional read as well. The writer really gave great
Feb 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
This hardcove is one of 1000 copies printed and is signed by Jack Ketchum.

"Hide and Seek" takes place during the crazy days of summer in the Maine coast town of Dead River, the book divides into two parts.

In the first part, the narrator, local guy Dan, meets some visiting college kids Casey, Kim and Steven. They do some drinking and goofing around together. Dan hqappens to fall for the good looking and wild child Casey. As fate wold have it, they manage to have sex in a graveyard, and Dan learns
mark monday
Ketchum transforms his passion for an independent, self-destructive woman (explicitly depicted and analyzed in a personal narrative postscript) into an interesting little tale about the fate of the Girl with Death in Her Eyes and the poor sap who loves her. the first three-quarters of the novel efficiently and expertly details the small-town, dead-end life of the sympathetic young narrator as he widens his horizons, courtesy of a few sometimes-tragic, always-swingin' rich kids enjoying their ...more
Jonathan Janz
Jun 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Jack Ketchum.

That's all I need to say.
Edward Lorn
Sep 30, 2016 rated it it was ok
This is a typical Jack Ketchum novel. 85% of it is a narrator droning on about young(ish) people being young(ish) people: raising Cain, having sex, drinking and/or doping, telling stories. The last 15% is horrific to the point you think you might be sick. It's the Ketchum formula. You either like it or you don't. Me? I have to be in a certain mood for it.

I read this one right after The Girl Next Door and I shouldn't have. Would have enjoyed myself more had I spaced these two book out more. I
This was a very intriguing read for me. The story revolved around four college age friends of different backgrounds who came together for the summer and three of the four were bored with their vacation and yearned for some new experiences and this is where the games came in to play.
The story slowly unfolds as a very good drama that I forgot this was a horror book. The suspense really starts to pick up at the last 25 percent of the story and it did not disappoint.
This is a very well-written book
11811 (Eleven)
Dec 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Four stars for the story. Five for the author's afterword which was mind-blowingly similar to a personal experience.

I'm going with the full five stars based on that alone. Ketchum consistently has an emotional impact on me but this was the creepiest one yet. I think Jack and I dated the same girl. Different time, different place, different name - but I'm still pretty sure it was the same girl.

The first 90% was a great Ketchum story; as I expect it should be. The last 10% floored my ass. It was
Jan 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: southern-gothic
Great book!

I love Ketchums stories and this one does not disappoint. Starts like a spooky ghost story told by teens in a sleepy vacation town, and ends up a horrifying tale. I always love a good horror story, so this is highly recommended by me!
RIP to one of the greatest horror writers ever..
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
I really enjoyed this read in which the tension builds slowly then boils over in a perfectly plausible finale.

A group of rich college kids arrive in town and adopt a local lumber worker into their group.

Introduce a house with an interesting history, a little holiday boredom that needs relieving, a local legend or two, a little liquor and you have an electric that can easily turn deadly....

I will be seeking more of Jack Ketchum's work.

Waaaaay back in the early 80's, Stephen King pronounced: "Who's the scariest guy in America? Probably Jack Ketchum." It was, to say the very least, a generous compliment that drew attention to a relatively unknown entity in horror publishing. Even to this day, Ketchum remains on the margins of an already ghettoized genre. He doesn't publish lots, and what he does produce tends to be graphic, propulsive stories filled with violence, sex, and grim outcomes.

He is most notoriously known amongst
Hide And Seek's main strength lies in the fact that it resembles a story you might have heard in real life. Not so much the second half but certainly the first. The chemistry between the main character and the rich girl on vacation is not only powerfully realistic, but also terribly charming in a way that it will seem familiar to most readers. The real problem with this novel is the twist.

The twist is so predictable, it's unpredictable. Personally, I had ruled out the possibility and was
Anthony Vacca
Oct 14, 2017 rated it liked it
In a nutshell, this short novel is Bob Seger and The goddamn Silver Bullet Band's "Night Moves" with an additional verse featuring Skinny Puppy's interpretation of a big bad house and its depraved denizens.
Rachel Bea
Hmm. Not sure about this one. I saw another review that said this book should have been a novella. I agree with that. I liked the last 25% of the book way more than the rest. Because that's when stuff finally happened lol. It's clear Ketchum is a good writer, but this was a bit boring and I couldn't stand Casey/how she was written.
Glen Krisch
Aug 21, 2015 rated it it was ok
Felt like it should have been a novella.
Dec 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In any other hands this could have easily been a fairly trite story of some kids (well nearly adults, nearly 21) going to a scary house on a dare. In Ketchum's ever so capable hands this became a moving dynamic captivating story with strong well developed characters and very tight pacing. Excellent character study, a story of first love even. The reading experience was all the more enhanced for its afterword, Ketchum's biographical story on his own first love that inspired the book. There is an ...more
Jan 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jack Ketchum is an expert at creating dread. Or at the very least, letting you experience how palpable dread can be through his characters. Hide and Seek is a slim horror novel in which the action doesnt really kick in until the final act. Up to that point, however, we are introduced to some flawed characters who decide to get their kicks by playing the titles said childhood game in the Crouch Place, an abandoned home shrouded by small town myth. The anticipation of what was about to happen was ...more
Because you just know that playing hide and seek in an old abandoned house with a history is not going to end well, especially when Jack Ketchum is orchestrating it.
Alexander Stormborn
Hide and Seek by Jack Ketchum

Hide and Seek
by Jack Ketchum


Steve, Kim, and Casey are three rich, reckless, and bored teenagers who are forced to go on vacation with their parents to a small town in Maine known as Dead River. The problem is there is nothing for these three teens to do in order to keep themselves preoccupied and so they are bored out of their mind. In order to stir up a little excitement, these three decide to stir up a little trouble. Dan Thomas, a town local, is following the tedious and mundane
The Behrg
Mar 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-star-reads
A lot of people passionate about either loving or hating this one, I clearly fall into the camp of the former. I feel expectations play a big role in whether we enjoy a book, and the blurb for this one is quite deceiving ... The "game" itself is only the last fourth of the novel. This isn't "Saw," it's not a haunted house tale (though you could make arguments that it incorporates some of the tropes of the genre), but I found it both moving and brilliant.

Ketchum takes his time in this one,
Oct 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ketchum is, simply, a brilliant horror writer. He goes to our darkest places with an almost lyrical economy of prose that catches you up in the terror so effectively, you're left nearly breathless. HIDE AND SEEK, while not quite as good as some of his better-known works, is still a great read and a great scare.
Nov 05, 2013 rated it it was ok
Not my favorite Ketchum, but not horrible either. It took a while to get to the game and honestly it was a bit anti-climatic. There were a few creepy moments and it was written well but did not have the Ketchum punch that I have become accustomed. Much potential with little pay off. Bummer. ...more
It took way too long for anything good to start happening.
Jul 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audible
The kind of book that makes you want to go on an author binge. And I just might do that! The audible version is extremely well narrated btw
Jennifer Gaarder
Read my review on

Hide and Seek By Jack Ketchum

Cemetery Dance Publications, October 21, 2000

176 Pages, Kindle Edition

"Hide and Seek is a book about games. Reckless, dangerous games. Games you might even want to play yourself if you're with the right people. But shouldn't. Not ever. In a small Maine town, a group of thrill-seeking college kids finds a game of hide and seek in an abandoned house turning into a reality of stark terror."

Goodreads Rating: 3.44/ My
Apr 28, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-own, blah
The story has blurbs of graphic swearing and some sex/nudity which may turn people off. Over the years, I've become somewhat desensitized to that sort of garbage but I still found it moderately distracting and unnecessary at times. If they took the book direct to movie, it would probably get an "R" rating for language and for nudity/sex. Ketchum doesn't get explicit in his nudity/sex, but I suspect the moviemakers would make sure it was overt. The language could easily be toned down to PG-13 or ...more
Shadow Girl
Jul 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ku-july-2016
I liked this story. Not as much as some other books by Jack Ketchum, but it was fun, and not without it's own creep factor. A spooky old house with a disturbing history just begs to be explored - and it is, with expected results. (Expected results, but an original trip getting there!)
Although the root story isn't completely original, it was perked up by Mr. Ketchum's eerie style, (see what I did there...), and likable characters involved.
Hide And Seek is available for free with Kindle
Elle Zerfas
Sep 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Man's best friend will f*ck you up. This is the first Jack Ketchum book I've read since getting f*cked up by The Girl Next Door. ..and yup....his afterword he still f*cks me up
Alec Cizak
Feb 02, 2020 rated it liked it
Early Jack Ketchum. Writing is a little thin, editing a little lacking. You can already see his talent, however, for making the reader uncomfortable. I like that it's a slow burn horror story, taking its time to build characters before putting them through a meat grinder.
Oct 15, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, horror, abandoned
Dan lives in a sleepy town where little happens, hanging out at the beach with his best friend. When he catches the eye of Casey, one of the rich teen summer visitors to the area, he is smitten with her, hanging out with Casey and her friends. Casey is a bit strange and wild, what she says always goes and Dan can't seem to say no to her.

OK so the description I have given doesn't sound very horror does it? That is probably because it is not in my opinion a real horror story in the way that I
Simon Dewar
Aug 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

Its not: the kind of "smash hit" of horror titles with the kind of notoriety and fame of his other works such as Offseason.

It is: a fantastic and edgy take on the "haunted house" tale mixed with a coming of age story gone wrong.

The story of 4 teens entering a haunted house and the grisly end that awaits them unfolds before your eyes with all the horror of a car crash in slow motion. The unease and sense of fear builds up across the novel to a fever pitch and it
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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.

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