Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Joyride” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.67  ·  Rating details ·  1,237 Ratings  ·  93 Reviews
Hoping to escape from her abusive ex-husband, a woman and her lover successfully carry out their plot to murder him, only to find themselves at the mercy of an obsessive, twisted stranger who witnessed the crime.
Paperback, 256 pages
Published February 1st 1995 by Berkley (first published January 1st 1994)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Joyride, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Joyride

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Querus Abuttu
Oct 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
"You're not going to believe this," he said to Rule. “We got a shooting out on I-89. Lady in a station wagon. Is this piece-of-shit day never gonna end?”
~Joyride - by Jack Ketchum (2010)


There are not many books I give a 5 star too. This is an exception. I put off reviewing this novel for a couple of reasons. One: I'm often one of the first to submit a review before reading other writers' critiques in my SHU program. I decided to do things differently this time. Second: I'm afraid I'm a real
Mar 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ketchum is quite satisfying when I reach for his stories; the horror and gore are based on things that with some stretch of really bad luck could really happen to someone which he balances on that too close to comfort crossing line perfectly. Joyride has a few murderers in it and some you hate and despise and the others you root for, crazy yes, you do want some of the characters to be okay, the story is twisted and even though it’s a good read it’s not his most visceral. This goes easy on the us ...more
Jan 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Like most of his fiction, Jack Ketchum blends everyday life with inexplicable horror, usually more realistic psychological than supernatural, and does this just about better than anyone. Joyride involves an abused ex-wife and her lover, and their plans to murder her abuser ex-husband, who continues to harass her. But you know that saying about best laid plans? Needless to say, things go sideways in a very bloody and brutal way. The bonus story, Weed Species, was disturbing and horrifying in its ...more
May 30, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm a horror fan, which automatically makes me a Jack Ketchum fan. This book has Ketchum's thrilling, fast pace with short punchy chapters but the story was lacking a bit, even with the brutal scenes. I almost liked Jack Ketchum's back story on how he created the villain more than how he turned out in the book. Of course, it was still a fun read.
Jun 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Jack Ketchum delivers an incredible, emotionally devastating novel yet again. Ketchum is a horror writer by title, but his writing is so artful, and rings so true emotionally that I would just call him an amazing novelist period. He goes so deep into the reasons people do what they do, that is the reason so much of his writing is so disturbing. The characters could so easily be real people. The kind of horror Ketchum delivers is based more on the terrible undercurrents in our society, not on the ...more
Daniel Russell
Jul 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
I’m going to be honest in the reasoning in my reasons for buying Jack Ketchum’s Joyride. My cheapness in pages per dollar came into my decision not to buy the very short novella, Weed Species. Looking at the cover and seeing these epically evil plants (and I love my plant based horror, apart from the horrendously frustrating Garden of Evil by Edmund Le Plante – which I hope is a pseudonym!) it was hard to resist.
But along comes Leisure who have released an impressive catalogue of Ketchum’s work,
Aug 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book is a box of psychological hell. Savage brutality, nihilistic sadists, and very potent writing await you in this one. Jack Ketchum is a sick man, but he's so damned good at it. You are really thrust deep into terror with no chance to catch your breath. The prose is so deftly constructed, not one word is wasted. The book is about a man teeetering on the edge of lunacy that witnesses a wife and her lover kill the evil husband, then decides that it looks like fun. He kidnaps the two for a ...more
Dec 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Joyride and Weed Species are great together! I already had Joyride, but bought the paperback from Mr. Ketchum himself! I had to read Weed Species, as I am familiar with the Karla Homolka case. This is a very short story, but very disturbing. And yes, I loved it!
Apr 15, 2008 rated it liked it
Definitely shines--since it is a Ketchum book--and contains a great deal of violence that is never cast in a leering, sexualized or remotely exploitative light. Interesting characters and interesting situations, plus lots of Ketchum's signature Rising To The Occasion--characters thrust into horrible situations and then attempting, however they can, to try to hurdle the obstacles set in their path.

However, it's not one of his strongest works. Passages are a bit clunky, lacking the smoothly polish
Nov 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Joyride is the thing nightmares are made of. Yet, they are reality. When a bad situation gets twisted by another bad situation it becomes a life and death journey with a mad man. One that forces the witnessing of horrific and shocking actions that, well, I don't want to spoil it for you.
This comes with a bonus. "Weed Species" takes you on a trip with two sadistic people who believe they can get away with anything. Heartless is an understatement here. Their cruelty is beyond the borders of physic
Jun 17, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
I was expecting to really like this book. I read Jack Ketchum's The Girl Next Door a couple years ago, and I couldn't put it down. Unfortunately, Joyride didn't have the same pull. The writing seemed off somehow, and I was never able to fully engage in the story. It just wasn't all that interesting.
Misty Battle
This book starts off painfully slow. When the action starts off it lacks real terror. It was more of random, scattered events. I would have liked more character depth, and detail. There were hints of sexual abuse, but never really explains. I had a hard time relating to any of the characters. Not one of Ketchum's best works.

The extra short story at the end of the book however, was powerful. That is why I gave this 3 stars.
Jul 07, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I forgot how harrowing the end of this book was. The first time I read it is was in the Leisure paperback with Weed Species. Although these stories are somewhat similar in tone (very bleak), I think it was a bad idea to bundle them together, or at least, if not a bad idea, the reader should be warned to put some time in between them to properly absorb the full visceral and emotional impact of Joyride. I found that I enjoyed it much more on a second read all by itself.
Scott Emerson
Jul 04, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
JOYRIDE (aka ROADKILL) is not Ketchum's best work, but it's still a solid, entertaining read that rockets along at a fast clip. It's definitely worth a look, but the highlight of this volume is the inclusion of "Weed Species," a bonus novella that's as disturbing, cold, and ultimately insightful as THE GIRL NEXT DOOR or "Right to Life." It's worth the cover price alone.
Ashley D'Orio
Nov 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

This is the 2nd book of Jack Ketchum that I have read so far an I gotta say was pretty good!! The only bad thing I would have to say is that the ending wasn't that great coulda been a lot better but this book was a good quick exciting read!
Apr 18, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a terrific, fast-paced read. More depth to the characters then you normally see in a book like this. Great pace and suspense and some shocking violence at times, it was a very effective book.
Nov 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ketchum writes real horror that will make you flinch and continue reading hiding behind splayed fingers.
Mar 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Emma Carrig
Mar 31, 2015 rated it liked it
Not as good as previous novels, however a thrilling building, decent quick read, regardless of the diluted ketchum content
Not my favorite by Ketchum, I actually enjoyed Weed Species more. Oh well, it was still readable.
Jun 20, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A solid and enjoyable outing from Ketchum. The story starts with Wayne, a sociopath, witnessing a murder, which he’s never quite had the guts to do himself. The murder in question was an abused ex-wife (Carol) and her new boyfriend (Lee) murdering the ex-husband who continued to harass and her her even after the relationship ended.

Witnessing the murder was the final trigger for Wayne as he kidnaps Carol and Wayne, hoping to make them murder-buddies as he goes on a psychotic killing spree.

As is
May 21, 2017 rated it liked it
Not the best I've read from Ketchum, I felt this could have done with a little more gore and a little less "I killed my husband because I am his victim". Still I enjoyed some aspects of it, and the main guy was quite interesting, wish he went into his past a little more.
Mar 24, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
review to follow xxx
David Agranoff
Oct 20, 2010 rated it did not like it
Joyride by Jack Ketchum
304 pages (including a bonus novella Weed Species)
Re-issue of 1995 novel (AKA Roadkill)

I really enjoyed Ketchum's novel Red, and let me just say that his novel “the Girl Next Door” is one of the most brutal and intense horror novels I ever read. I was excited to crack open this book, but in the end I was disappointed. Joyride is the story of Carole and her lover Lee. Carole's powerful ex-husband wouldn't leave her alone, and no matter how he harassed her, or in some
I really enjoyed Ketchum's novel Red, and his novel The Girl Next Door is one of the most brutal and intense horror novels I have ever read. I was excited to crack open this book, but in the end I was disappointed.
Joyride is the story of Carole and her lover Lee. No matter how Carole's powerful ex-husband harasses her, or in some cases violently attacked and raped her, he gets away with it every time. Lee and Carole make the decision to pull off the perfect murder. Unfortunately, a bartender, Wa
Jan 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The funny thing about most of Ketchum's fiction is they dare you to put them down. That might not be the case for every reader -- his books are for a specific sort of reader; not refined, necessarily, but someone who can tolerate long glances into the abyss -- but they're quick and precise, malevolently engaging. They make you want to see what happens next.

Joyride is the story of Carole, a woman who has survived an abusive relationship by killing her ex-husband. Her current lover helps her, but
Joshua Buhs
Aug 27, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
After _The Girl Next Door_ I went back to my local used bookstore. This was the only other Ketchum on the shelf. It was not as good, and substantiated some of the criticisms that I had of _Girl._ Still, it was good, an engaging, easy read.

In the afterword, Ketchum says he got the idea for the book from Zola's La Bete Humaine, which includes a scene in which a man watches two people murder someone and then vows to meet them. I suppose there could a be a lot of Zola in this book--I haven't read mu
Scott Johnson
Jun 30, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
ack Ketchum has a rabid fan base and a pretty damned good pedigree. After all, we are talking about the guy Stephen King called the "scariest man in America." With his new book, Joyride, the story isn't so much "scary" as it is "batshit crazy," and Ketchum makes it work. Horrifying? Certainly.

Joyride is the story of Carole and Lee who decide to murder Carole's abusive husband, Howard. After careful planning and a trip out to an isolated hiking area, they do the deed, dump the body, and walk away
Melissa Helwig
Jul 17, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Jack Ketchum frequently uses true crime stories as inspiration for his novels. Off Season is based on the legend of the Sawney Bean family, The Girl Next Door tells the horrors that befell Sylvia Likens and this novel, Joyride, is derived from Howard Unruh's killing spree. In Ketchum's afterward, he reveals that he found his story (and the story of Sylvia Likens) in Bloodletters and Badmen by Jay Robert Nash.

Usually Ketchum's combination of real-life terror and an interesting "what if" scenario
Mar 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Wayne and Susan are hiking together when he suddenly starts choking her. He stops just before he kills her. Stunned Susan catches her breath and runs from him. Wayne feels like a failure for stopping his death hold on a human he has killed animals before, but still has not tasted his first human. --- Soon after that Wayne witnesses a man and a woman kill another man. He realizes the female is Carole, who is a regular at the Black Locust Tavern where he works as a bartender. She was using a Louis ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: Please add cover 3 13 Dec 03, 2014 09:02AM  
  • The Killing Kind
  • The Black Train
  • Terminal
  • Sparrow Rock
  • The Resurrectionist
  • Death Instinct
  • Endless Night
  • Survivor
  • The Long Last Call
  • Dark Mountain
  • Prodigal Blues
  • The Pines (The Pines Trilogy, #1)
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...

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »