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Authors > Jack Ketchum

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message 1: by Kim (new)

Kim (Durgin19) | 32 comments I began reading his books about two months ago, and this guy is seriously intense! I started with Peaceable Kingdom and moved on to Right to Life, Red, The Girl Next Door, Offseason, and Offspring. This man is quite explicit and gory, but he is one talented writer! His books have scared the royal crap out of me!


message 2: by Cliff (new)

Cliff | 11 comments Yes he does, unlike Dean Koontz.


message 3: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (MoanaLisa) | 23558 comments Red, The Girl Next Door, Offseason, and Offspring are not supernatural horror. I haven't read Peaceable Kingdom or Right to Life, so I have no idea about those two.

His books are pretty difficult to get here in the U.S. I've had to borrow several through our library's Interlibrary Loan Dept., and have found some at thrift stores and used book stores.

He is gory but original.


message 4: by Courtney (new)

Courtney | 2 comments The Girl Next Door is seriously disturbing.


message 5: by Kim (new)

Kim (Durgin19) | 32 comments It is nearly impossible to find more than three of his titles in bookstores, especially Right to Life which was unbelievably good!


message 6: by Jack (new)

Jack Haringa | 3 comments Although he has written several short stories with supernatural elements, only one of his novels contains anything supernatural: SHE WAKES. It's not a bad book, but it's nowhere near his best. Ketchum excels at exploring the consequences of real violence. He's an exceptional writer of psychological horror and suspense.


message 7: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (MoanaLisa) | 23558 comments I forgot about _She Wakes_. That wasn't great, but it was an interesting read.

I agree that _The Girl Next Door_ was disturbing--so disturbing I could barely finish it. I'm going to admit I got impatient and skipped the escalating abuse and read the last chapter to see what would happen. Someone did get a comeuppance, but it was too late.

I read the nonfiction book _The Basement_ about the Sylvia Likens case and was nauseated by her on-going abuse. Very upsetting.


message 8: by Kim (new)

Kim (Durgin19) | 32 comments Since he seems to focus on the kinds of violence that humans are capable of, his writings often plant questions into my mind dealing with how people get to these points and at what point that type of thinking can be changed.


message 9: by Kim (new)

Kim (Durgin19) | 32 comments Peaceable Kingdom is a collection of short stories that includes "The Box" which won him the Bram Stokers Award. It was also a coincidence that I read that right before I began Right To Life because the two antagonists are introduced in a short story in Peaceable Kingdom.

Right to Life is about a pregnant woman who is kidnapped outside an abortion clinic and tortured sexually and physically by a psychotic man and his wife who will eventually extract the baby and kill her. It's a novella, and the book contains two short stories. "Brave Girl" is particularly good.


message 10: by Jack (new)

Jack Haringa | 3 comments Ladies' Night was, in fact, Ketchum's second-written novel and intended to be something of a "doorstopper" under editorial influence. For a variety of reasons the book never appeared in mass market, and Ketchum stripped the extant manuscript (which had gone through a number of cuts and changes) to an approximation of his original vision. The intro to the Silver Salamander limited edition of the novel gives more details about how it found its way to the published version.


message 11: by Rich (new)

Rich DeMars (Tree705) | 1 comments The Girl Next Door is my number 1 book hands down. No other book has ever made me feel so guilty and disturbed and ashamed for reading it. If you want to be emotionally shocked this is the book. However don't confuse it with some kind of gore and violent book for shock sake. This is a telling of how abuse can happen and it was inspired by a true case as mentioned earlier.




message 12: by alicia (new)

alicia grant (shesha34) I haven't read anyhitng by him yet.But it soundsl like i'm going to.


message 13: by [deleted user] (new)

I like Ketchum's novella length works MUCH better than his other stuff. Red, Right to Life, and The Crossings are re-readable, the rest, not so much.


message 14: by alicia (last edited Mar 30, 2008 10:51PM) (new)

alicia grant (shesha34) I have finally gotten around to reading some.I read The Lost,Ladies' Night ,I am reading Hide and Seek right now.Then Red,then I'll read The Girl Next Door.I do like him so far.The Lost was okay the middle dragged a bit though.I really enjoyed Ladies Night.Not far into Hide and Seek yet.


message 15: by Patrick (new)

Patrick (Horrorshow) | 89 comments I also read his book, Cover. It's like First Blood but for the traumatized dude being more terrifying than Rambo ever could be. He even built pungi boobytraps and the people were killed only because he thought they were after his weed!


message 16: by Paul (new)

Paul Hollis | 571 comments Tressa wrote: "I forgot about _She Wakes_. That wasn't great, but it was an interesting read.

I agree that _The Girl Next Door_ was disturbing--so disturbing I could barely finish it. I'm going to admit I got ..."


did you see the Movie based on The Basement? An American crime with Catherine Keener and Ellen Page.
Excellent performences but very disturbing. The scene when she used the coke bottle and the ones with the kids coming by to torture her are hard to watch.


message 17: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (MoanaLisa) | 23558 comments Patrick, I tried to read Cover but put it down after the first three chapters. I'm just not into Vietnam flashback stories.

Paul, no, I haven't seen the two movies based on the Likens case and probably never will. I enjoy Keener's and Page's movies too much to always think of torture when I see them in other roles.


message 18: by Paul (new)

Paul Hollis | 571 comments Tressa wrote: "Patrick, I tried to read Cover but put it down after the first three chapters. I'm just not into Vietnam flashback stories.

Paul, no, I haven't seen the two movies based on the Likens case and pro..."


I can understand that.


message 19: by Tom (new)

Tom Mueller | 69 comments Jack Ketchum is 'the man'. Stephen King says he is "probably the scariest writer in America".
What makes him even more scary is that much of what he writes is based on fact.


message 20: by Shennandoah (new)

Shennandoah | 1 comments It's actually the fact that most of his stuff is based on fact that I can't read most of his work--too real for my liking. The Girl next Door has been recommended to me many times, but the idea that sick people (not just us writers) like that live in this world makes it hard to get through. Pure fiction, no matter how horrible, I have no problem reading. Real stuff and I have to turn away--is that bizarre?


message 21: by Tom (new)

Tom Mueller | 69 comments Maybe not so bizarre. When asked why he wrote Psycho, Bloch said it was because no one would have believed him if he had written about Ed Gein.


message 22: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (MoanaLisa) | 23558 comments Shenandoah, several members here feel the same way you do. We can't wrap our heads around the horror of true events, but we enjoy vampires, werewolves, aliens, zombies, and some serial killer fiction.


message 23: by William (new)

William (Acknud) | 391 comments Tressa wrote: "Shenandoah, several members here feel the same way you do. We can't wrap our heads around the horror of true events, but we enjoy vampires, werewolves, aliens, zombies, and some serial killer fiction."

Ans some of us are just natural sickos!


message 24: by Amy (last edited Jan 19, 2010 08:56AM) (new)

Amy (Bibliocrates) | 889 comments I like Ketchum. Yes, he's one sick talent. I saw Offspring on DVD recently, screenplay by Ketchum... not bad, very bloody. Anyone else see it?


message 25: by Scott (new)

Scott I didn't like it.


message 26: by Jerrod (new)

Jerrod (LiquidAzrael) | 894 comments Bibliocrates wrote: "I like Ketchum. Yes, he's one sick talent. I saw Offspring on DVD recently, screeplay by Ketchum... not bad, very bloody. Anyone else see it?"

I wasn't impressed and wouldn't recommend it either.


message 27: by Dana * (new)

Dana * (QueenofEgypt) | 388 comments I liked his treatment of The Girl Next Door so I got Off Season to try. If SK recommends him, that sez something.


message 28: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (MoanaLisa) | 23558 comments Off Season is fantastic.


message 29: by Scott (new)

Scott Eh.

I've seen King's blurbs on a lot of dreadful stuff, and a few good ones.


message 30: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (MoanaLisa) | 23558 comments Here's what I hate about author endorsements on the covers of horror novels, especially King's. The generic rave endorsement was first added to an unknown author's first book, and the same endorsement is being used ten or more years later, when the author has a whole lot of crappy horror books under his belt.

I like when an endorsement is specific to the book I'm holding in my hand.


message 31: by Dana * (new)

Dana * (QueenofEgypt) | 388 comments I don't love everything King loves, but I love to read what he writes. I like to read his reviews and thoughts in ET, even though some are a 'bit off'. He is like a crazy uncle that ya gotta love.

Well, to me.

I like that King commented on the author, and not the book. I guess it is up to me to decide by reading something not based on a true story.

Like I will get to it before June anyway... only reading about 20 books at one time now.


message 32: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (MoanaLisa) | 23558 comments I like to read his reviews and thoughts in ET, even though some are a 'bit off'. He is like a crazy uncle that ya gotta love.

Excellent observation and one I think when I read him in ET, too.


message 33: by Scott (new)

Scott Hey, Clive Barker is still the future of horror.


message 34: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (MoanaLisa) | 23558 comments LOL. Really? I remember a King blurb that some critic mocked him about. King said something like "he's as good as me!" *rolls eyes*


message 35: by Tom (new)

Tom Mueller | 69 comments Bibliocrates wrote: "I like Ketchum. Yes, he's one sick talent. I saw Offspring on DVD recently, screeplay by Ketchum... not bad, very bloody. Anyone else see it?"

I saw it; thought it was pretty cool that it closely followed the book.


message 36: by Amy (last edited Jan 20, 2010 08:17AM) (new)

Amy (Bibliocrates) | 889 comments Off Season (the book) is better than Offspring (the book) IMO, but, as a movie adaptation, Offspring was on the mark. The cannibals were well done, except the blond one. Something was off about her. Overall it had a low-budget, gritty, look. Only Scott and me saw it?

I haven't read or seen Girl Next Door yet.


message 37: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (MoanaLisa) | 23558 comments Only Scott and me saw it?

You're two who will own up to it so far.



message 38: by Tom (new)

Tom Mueller | 69 comments I'm not finding "Off Season" on Netflix. Was it put out under a different title?


message 39: by Amy (new)

Amy (Bibliocrates) | 889 comments It's Offspring Tom.


message 40: by Amy (new)

Amy (Bibliocrates) | 889 comments Well shee it! I have the balls to own up, come on y'all!


message 41: by Tom (new)

Tom Mueller | 69 comments I saw Offspring.
Looking for Off Season, as you mentioned here [Bibliocrates wrote:] "Off Season is better than Offspring IMO"


message 42: by Amy (new)

Amy (Bibliocrates) | 889 comments I meant the book, guess that wasn't clear... sorry!


message 43: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (MoanaLisa) | 23558 comments I am officially confused.


message 44: by Phil (new)

Phil (philhappy) | 220 comments Books go, Off Season followed by Offspring. Movie goes Offspring :P

The filmmakers wanted to make Off Season but couldn't get the movie rights for it, but they could get them for Offspring so that's what was made.

Some other film studio owns the rights to Off Season but is sitting on them for now.


message 45: by Dana * (new)

Dana * (QueenofEgypt) | 388 comments There is an interview with Jack Ketchum in the Jan 2010 issue of Horrorhound.

And reviews of the books that were made into movies, comparing the stories to the films.

Does anyone here read the magazines, like Horrorhound or Cemetery Dance?


message 46: by Ireadgood (new)

Ireadgood | 29 comments Tressa wrote: "Here's what I hate about author endorsements on the covers of horror novels, especially King's. The generic rave endorsement was first added to an unknown author's first book, and the same endorsem..."

Hello Clive Barker! According to King he's been "the future of horror" for about 30 years now.


message 47: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (MoanaLisa) | 23558 comments I know, Ireadgood. That's the ultimate example of what I'm talkin' about.


message 48: by Amy (new)

Amy (Bibliocrates) | 889 comments No Dana, but on occassion, Rue Morgue and Fangoria.


message 49: by Paul (new)

Paul Hollis | 571 comments I hate it when all the reviews on the back cover are from the author's other books and not that one, I mean can't they get any reviews for the current one or are all the reviews bad ummmm


message 50: by Tressa (new)

Tressa  (MoanaLisa) | 23558 comments Oh, that's another endorsement pet peeve. I don't care what the critics thought about the writer's other books, I want to know if the one in my hand is any good.


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