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The Lost

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  3,346 ratings  ·  227 reviews
It was the summer of 1965. Ray, Tim, and Jennifer were just three teenage friends hanging out in the campgrounds, drinking a little. But Tim and Jennifer didn’t know what their friend Ray had in mind. And if they’d known, they wouldn’t have thought he was serious. Then they saw what he did to the two girls at the neighboring campsite—and knew he was dead serious.

Four years
Paperback, 394 pages
Published May 1st 2001 by Leisure Books (first published March 28th 2001)
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Average rating 3.76  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,346 ratings  ·  227 reviews

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Nov 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had an epiphany when I was reading this book.

I've turned into a reading-slut!
Just give me a moment to explain:
A few years ago, I was fairly committed to 400+ page books, mostly in the crime and thriller genre. I would read before I went to bed and over weekends, or when nothing was on TV that interested me. Books were usually a week or so commitment.
About two and a half years ago I got a Kindle as a gift. It opened up my world - I mean in a huge, huge way. There are so many brilliant authors o
Feb 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This hard cover is one of 1500 copies published and is signed by Jack Ketchum.

The book was made into a film in 2006 produced by Lucky McKee, Ketchum's sometime writing partner.

In "The Lost", the year is 1965, the place is the New Jersey lakes region and 19 year old Ray Pye tries to thrill kills a couple of girls out camping by shooting them, due to assuming they are a lesbian couple. One dead one on life support. His sheeple friends, Jen and Tim, help him cover up the crime.

We take up four years
Kenneth McKinley
Right off the bat, The Lost starts with a bang (pardon the pun). Ray was a nutcase when he was a teenager and blew two girls away that were camping. His two friends, Tim and Jennifer, were sheep when they watched him do it and just stood there with their mouths open. They didn't turn him in. They didn't try to stop him. Nothing. Why did he do it? Just to see how it felt. Four years later, Ray is still just as big of a nutcase. The only difference is that he hasn't killed anyone in those four yea ...more
Vicki Willis
Nov 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: z-2016
This book showed a very dark side of humanity. It started out fast and never slowed down. I thought the characters were well done and the book was written from several different perspectives. The setting (the 60's) added to the story and I enjoyed the cultural references from the time. It was a disturbing and uncomfortable read and the ending was perfect for the book. 5 stars for me! ...more
Jan 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gripping, intense novel from Ketchum about a group of young misfits in the late 60's who participate in the murder of two women and how their lives, and the lives of two policemen on the trail of the primary culprit, evolve four years after the murders. It had me riveted from the beginning and never let up the pace. The characters have substance and real emotions, interacting with one another in such a way that they all end up converging in one place in the grim, bloody climax that does not disa ...more
Aug 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Many people equate horror with the supernatural. I find that the actions of real people can be just as horrifying as any ghost or vampire. This book was a difficult read for me because I have lived the terror of not knowing when potential violence will become real violence. Horror is not the anticipation of terrible things, it is knowing full well that it is going to happen and there is nothing you can do at this minute to stop it. Terror is seing the door opening and not being certain whether t ...more
Robert Beveridge
Jan 24, 2008 rated it really liked it
Stephen King has called Jack Ketchum's The Girl Next Door one of the best books ever written. Previous to that, Ketchum was the horror world's best-kept secret, the Einsturzende Neubauten of scary stories: influential to just about everyone working in the field, unknown outside it. Now, thanks to one offhand sentence in one very widely read treatise on how to write, Jack Ketchum has become collectible overnight. Don't try to find a copy of The Girl Next Door unless you're willing to pay [a lot] ...more
Mar 14, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A really disappointing outing from Ketchum.

The plot, simple as it is, gets going in a hurry. Central character Ray Pye senselessly kills two young female college students in his small town in the presence of two acquaintances whom he convinces to help him to cover up his crime. The police know Ray is the perpetrator but just can’t prove it.

Speed forward four years and Ray is a narcissist with sociopathic tendencies ruling over a coterie of late teens to whom he deals drugs and appears cool. The
Nov 30, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
More "True Crime" than straight-up horror, THE LOST is the same sort of tale that Jack Ketchum has written a dozen times before, only better. Most Ketchum novels are inspired by the real-life exploits of murderers, rapists, and the mentally deranged; but some of his other books feel rather callous and, for my money, come dangerously close to being exploitative. For example, take THE GIRL NEXT DOOR, which simultaneously manages to be both nauseating and perversely titillating. To what extent are ...more
Kathy Taylor
Jan 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
I don't like comparing Jack Ketchum's novels. While his style is basically the same, he approaches each of his novels differently. I like that. This is still horror, to me; because, he takes real life crime and turns them into words on a page that are as realistic as the crime itself. He puts his own twist on the crimes the story is taken part of. This is one of those stories.
The beginning of the book he puts you right in the mix. The pulse-pumping, sweating, heart-racing horrific acts. Then he
May 31, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, favorites
This is my fourth Ketchum novel, and I have yet to be disappointed. Jack Ketchum can create some of the most realistic and disturbing characters.

The Lost literally starts off with a bang and definitely gets your attention. You immediately know who the bad guy is—and that guy is Ray Pye. He shoots two young women (while his friends Tim and Jennifer watch) at the beginning of the book. One dies and the other is on life support. Four years later, the second victim dies, and it seems Ray has gotten
Good characters, but a really loose plot. I enjoyed the middle section of the book when Ray and Katherine were engaged in mind games.

I've been having trouble with Ketchum's particular brand of senseless violence as I get older. It might also have to do with the seemingly constant barrage of real life violence that is perpetuated out of simple angst.
The Lost is certainly in my Top 5 Jack Ketchum novels. Ketchum is the undisputed master of crafting the tale of human evil. He knows the darkness and he will take the willing reader to the depths of hell. ...more
Nov 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't love every Ketchum book I read but he is one of my favorite authors. There were technical things that I really disliked about this novel but the story was perfect, perfect as only Ketchum can quite accomplish. I rarely give 5 star reviews but this has to be one of them. I just finished this afternoon so I have to let it all process before I can comment further. ...more
Rouxmia Roest
Sep 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library
Wtf did I just read?

Once again, I love how Ketchum can mess with your emotions in a book. You sympathise, you hate, you pitty and then you are just friggen disturbed and shocked and swear your next read will be a children's book with lots of pictures. But you keep going back. You keep going back. Again and again.

This book starts with a bang. Pun intended. People often associate horror with paranormal and ghosts. But for me true horror comes from human actions. A psycho teenager that reminds me
Oct 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ketchum delivers (as always) a fast-paced and entertaining horror and suspense tale with great and memorable characters, where the line between good and evil often gets very blurry and the events are not so predictable. Great read, easy to recommend.
Ken B
Jan 23, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lee Pletzers
May 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
The Lost
Jack Ketchum
Leisure Edition 2008
Pages: 394

I've heard a lot about Jack Ketchum (especially recently), even discovered he has a couple of movies out. My only experience reading Jack is in the book Triage with Richard Laymon (the reason I bought the book) and Edward Lee.

The other day I saw a youtube clip on his movie, The Girl Next Door. Now THAT is a movie I want to see, but I like to read the book first. So, I jumped online to goodbooksnz and went hunting and ordered The Girl Next
Mark R.
Aug 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I'd say that Jack Ketchum has slowly been growing on me, except that I've liked his writing ever since I first began reading Off Season, his 1980 novel about cannibals attacking vacationers off the beach. The thing about Ketchum is, his stuff is so violent, so visceral, and downright tragic that his books are somewhat exhausting. I read the sequel to Off Season, the better, equally violent Offspring, and from there moved on to The Girl Next Door (1989), a novel that probably deserves its own art ...more
Bryan Alexander
Oct 23, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: gothic, crime, babyboomers
I read The Lost as part of my quest to find the best horror novels of the 21st century. I came to the novel with high expectations, given Ketchum's rep.

The Lost isn't really a horror novel, although there is some gore at the end. The plot is driven by an ambitious and sociopathic teenage, Ray Pye, who begins the novel with an unplanned murder, then spends the next 80% of the novel exploiting friends, chasing women, and being a manipulative jerk. The setting is a small New Jersey town in the 196
Edward Wolfe
Feb 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Reading this author felt like reading a true crime novel. It has the same compelling draw and I couldn't stop reading it. I read a few of his books in a row because after finishing one gripping narrative, I needed more. The other book I read was The Girl Next Door, and it completely satisfied the need for more of the same.

You are injected into the story and feel like you're getting all of the gory details behind a real life crime. I know that that the other book was roughly based on a real crime
Rob Boley
May 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I read this book over the course of a camping weekend with my daughter. If you want to enhance an already tense read, I'd highly recommend reading this in a dark forest. This story starts where a lesser novel would end--with a brutal double murder. We then fast-forward several years to experience the full extent of the ramifications of that terrible event--from the POV of the cop who led the failed investigation, two of the accomplices, and the murderer himself--plus a whole host of other charac ...more
Mar 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Definitely my favorite Jack Ketchum book to date. He's so well known for the vaguely splatterpunk aspects to his books, with the likes of Off Season and The Girl Next Door but what he also excels at is character development, in his ability to grab at your sympathy for just about anyone.

Case in point, he starts off this book with a horrific act and as you get into the heart of the book you realize that the person who perpetrated that act is practically the protagonist. Ketchum drags you into his
May 20, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Maybe it is because I was too impressed with Jack Ketchum's Off Season and its sequel, Offspring: The Sequel to Off Season, but The Lost just fell flat. It's well written as I would expect from the author but I read it before or, more precisely, many books that felt like it. Kids do an horrendous act and get away with it. Years later , remorseful alcoholic cops are still looking for killers. All hell breaks loose. Yeah, read it before. ...more
Nov 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This was my first Jack Ketchum book and now I am hooked! This book was a lot more violent and bloody than I thought it would be. Such an interesting read on a character who slowly starts losing control. Could not put this one down.
Jan 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
This was an enjoyable, creepy/gory read. I will have to read more of his novels.
Collin Henderson
Oct 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Ray Pye is a psychopath in every way, from his ability to wear masks in any situation, to his ability to generate charisma from nowhere, and ending with him murdering two women in the woods in front of two people he calls his friends because they refute his advances.

The Lost is a difficult book to read at times, simply because Jack Ketchum absolutely excels at getting into Ray's head. A very large portion of the book is written entirely from his point of view, and the way he views the world is u
Joshua Dodd
Apr 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This one starts quick, levels off for a bit to gain altitude, then picks up speed to a Ketchum finish.

When it comes to disturbing ‘Humans are REAL Monsters’ line of shockingly brutal, yet driven and brave leads going through the internal struggle that is Ray. This book was pretty bad ass entertainment for me. It kept me hooked and it built connections with its characters emotionally.

I can say I felt I’d have liked to know a bit more of what happened after for a couple characters but in no way do
Jill Bowman
Apr 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Jack Ketcham does everything well! It was a bit over the top - but what the heck! I never set it down from the moment I opened the book. A great book for a long, cold rainy day.
Adam McAuley
Aug 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book gradually became more exciting as it went along. 8.1/10
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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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