Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Offline #1


Rate this book
alternative cover edition

"What follows is the transcript from a series of screenshots emailed to the Columbus City Police on June 7th, 2011, and subsequently distributed to the media."

Everyone has a page...

In the last few years, social networking has exploded as one of the best and easiest means of keeping in touch with people. It increases your visibility, allows the creation of a profile that shows you to the world and lets them know everything about you.

Allows anyone to find you.

Written mostly as a series of Facebook instant messages and presented as a true-crime case, this short story by Bram Stoker Award-winning author Kealan Patrick Burke illustrates the ease with which innocent associations on the Internet can lead to tragedy...OFFLINE.

42 pages, Kindle Edition

First published August 24, 2011

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Kealan Patrick Burke

200 books2,006 followers
Born and raised in a small harbor town in the south of Ireland, Kealan Patrick Burke knew from a very early age that he was going to be a horror writer. The combination of an ancient locale, a horror-loving mother, and a family full of storytellers, made it inevitable that he would end up telling stories for a living. Since those formative years, he has written five novels, over a hundred short stories, six collections, and edited four acclaimed anthologies. In 2004, he was honored with the Bram Stoker Award for his novella The Turtle Boy.

Kealan has worked as a waiter, a drama teacher, a mapmaker, a security guard, an assembly-line worker at Apple Computers, a salesman (for a day), a bartender, landscape gardener, vocalist in a grunge band, curriculum content editor, fiction editor at Gothic.net, and, most recently, a fraud investigator.

When not writing, Kealan designs book covers through his company Elderlemon Design.

A movie based on his short story "Peekers" is currently in development as a major motion picture.

Represented by Merrilee Heifetz at Writers House Agency.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
103 (23%)
4 stars
182 (40%)
3 stars
122 (27%)
2 stars
26 (5%)
1 star
14 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 95 reviews
Profile Image for Sarah.
270 reviews118 followers
February 21, 2021
This was a very quick read, consisting of a Facebook conversation between a teenage girl called Mandy and a boy she has only met online, Josh.
The conversation starts off innocent enough between them both, but he slowly starts to slip in details of her life and she questions how he would even know any of this. But, he always seems to have a plausible answer.
Suddenly, Mandy and all her friends start to get sick and she confides in Josh about this. But will she ever meet Josh? And is everything as it seems with him?

I can always count on Kealan Patrick Burke for a creepy horror story with a satisfying conclusion. The ending wasn’t too predictable and the conversation between Mandy and Josh keeps you on your toes.
This definitely did not disappoint. I recommend it if you want a short, sharp scare!💀
Profile Image for destiny ♡ howling libraries.
1,662 reviews5,143 followers
September 12, 2021
#1 Offline ★★★★★
#2 In the Flesh ★★★★★

This is one of Kealan's older titles, and it was really neat to see how much different the writing feels from his recent works, but it still has the same fun, suspenseful, and genuinely twisted vibe that I've grown to expect from all of his writing. It's a really quick story told through instant messaging records, and it's incredibly suspenseful — I guessed a handful of different possible endings while reading it, and even though I almost always guess a twist before it happens, I somehow totally didn't see this one coming.

Not a spoiler, but for anyone who needs to know, there's a content warning for
Profile Image for Rachel (TheShadesofOrange).
2,090 reviews2,953 followers
October 13, 2021
3.5 Stars
I personally love when horror incorporates modern technology. This short story is told entirely through Facebook messages, exploring the dangers of supposedly anonymous online communication. All the dialogue is written in internet shorthand, which was a bit annoying to read. Yet, despite the casual writing style, I still enjoyed this dark little story.

I would recommend Offline to anyone looking to read some ultra-modern horror.
Profile Image for Sara.
1,080 reviews360 followers
April 15, 2022
Interesting little horror novella that reeks of early 2000s nostalgia and the dangers of strangers on the Internet. It's composed entirely of instant messages, meaning the characters always seem a bit reserved and emotionally distant but the overall plot and pacing are quick and impactful.
Profile Image for Gregor Xane.
Author 19 books324 followers
May 23, 2014
After seeing the first page of this one, I continued reading thinking that I likely wouldn't care for it much. The overall approach Burke takes is epistolary and kind of gimmicky, two things I'm not fond of. But I read on because it looked to be a quick read.

Well, I'm glad to report that I liked it quite a bit despite my biases. I think it was the very last line that made it all worth while for me.
Profile Image for Kimberly.
1,700 reviews2 followers
September 3, 2013
I found this novella to be a very unique concept--told through Face book conversations between two main characters. A very scary--yet realistically possible--scenario that will have you glued to every word. I did NOT see the end coming, and I think that it takes a truly great author to pull off something like that!
Profile Image for Jason Parent.
Author 45 books658 followers
August 14, 2016
I liked this story. I keep thinking back to it. It played up on a very real fear all on this site and trolling the net should have: you never really can be certain if those you're talking to are who they say they are.

A quick read that mimics online chat perfectly, Offline is yet another hit from Mr. Burke. 4.5 stars
Profile Image for Noah Nichols.
Author 3 books112 followers
January 15, 2018
Creepily disturbing, Offline is a bite-sized slice of something quite impolite. And that's putting it lightly! Author Kealan Patrick Burke does so much with so little here, and it's impressive. Loved how it all came together. The twist was realistic. I could see somebody going to these sickening lengths. Easily. If you want to pay a quick visit to some speculative fic, read this.
Profile Image for Bogdan.
895 reviews1 follower
November 25, 2018
I don`t understand why so much readers are hyped about this story.

The ideea, to show a dialogue in a internet application between several people, it`s not new, and here, you know that there will be something in the end, and there is, but it`s not very mindblowind, or surprisingly at the very least.

In some moments I had hoped that something apocalytic could be happening, but the answer is more simple and banal than that.

Maybe it`s only me, but I really wasn`t impressed by the subject and execution of this story.
Profile Image for Kasia.
398 reviews280 followers
January 4, 2014
Every single time I read a Burke story I get jolted by the ending. By now I sort of know to expect it but it still sneaks up on me, that “whoooa, he did it again” feeling. This is pretty short but builds momentum nicely as you get sucked into the meat of the story; an innocent chat between two teens, it sounds normal but you know something eerie is right around the corner and then Baaaam! This was both entertaining and creepy, very well done Mr. Burke.
Profile Image for Иван Величков.
949 reviews62 followers
March 11, 2018
Кратък разказ, който се състои само от фейсбук чат между момче и момиче.
Чел съм няколко подобни от други автори, но Бърк успява да разкаже история само с типичните за този вид комуникация кратки и накъсани изречения, съкращения и губещи и променящи смисъла си диалози. Плюс, отдавна съм склонен да му дам короната за майстор на обратите, които са няколко в този кратък текст и читателят постоянно не е наясно какво се случва.
Хареса ми, но, като изключим поредицата му за Майлстоун, произведенията му са ми малко пресилени, а ужасът, който успява да извлече от съвсем нормални ситуации, прекалено драматичен, това не прави изключение.
Profile Image for Victoria.
243 reviews126 followers
March 1, 2022
I love books like this! It's told by Facebook messages back and forth. It sure packs a great punch for a short story. I can't wait to read the second one.
Profile Image for Alondra Miller.
976 reviews55 followers
September 13, 2017
4 Stars

See, this is why I don't like online social media. People have too much access to YOU. Your pictures, activities, relationships, locale!

This is the extreme..... or is it? SMDH
Profile Image for Inn Auni.
1,031 reviews21 followers
July 10, 2017
See this is the reason you don't go around accepting friend's request because the profile picture appealed to your eyes. And also the reason you don't go around telling stranger anything personal thinking it may not come back to you. And if you must, use the video call option. If the other person decline to participate, then abort mission and block them. It's not worth it.

The story is okay. it deserve a 4 from me because it's different than what I usually expected in horror. Oh wait, I think someone posted something similar on Creepypasta.
Profile Image for Matthew.
1,032 reviews23 followers
October 21, 2018
Terrific, quick, and eerily “real” depiction of online “friendships” and instant messaging. The twist was good and I think it takes a talented author to pull off a story told in instant messages. A well done horror short story.
Profile Image for Tanja L.
115 reviews
July 8, 2019
This was essentially a transcript of Facebook conversations between a boy and a girl who don't know each other, and as such, it was pretty awkward and without much substance. At least you can say it was realistic. Of course, all is not what it seems, but the creepiness and the reveal didn't really blow my mind. At least it was a really quick read.
Profile Image for Dawn.
Author 1 book21 followers
January 30, 2018

Creepy little story about some teenagers that get mysteriously ill. Well worth the short read! Written as an online chat, which was surprisingly well done to me. I love Burke, but was afraid I wouldn’t like this style. Absolutely check it out ;)
Profile Image for Tom.
107 reviews8 followers
January 21, 2018
Wow!!! Great little story. If you have read Kealan Patrick Burke before you will really like this story. If you have not read his stuff this is a great place to start. Awesome story.
Profile Image for Reeda Booke.
410 reviews21 followers
September 3, 2013
This type of story is the reason I do not accept friend requests from people I don't know :)
Super creepy!
Profile Image for Bill.
1,550 reviews109 followers
August 26, 2014
A short tale of FaceBook terror. Excellent and entertaining as always from KPB!
Profile Image for emma.
74 reviews
January 12, 2022
this started off pretty well, was REALLY good and disturbing in the middle, and was.. pretty good in the end? idk maybe a different ending would’ve worked better but there were parts which were really well-written and disturbing
Displaying 1 - 30 of 95 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.