web site hit counter Off Season - Ebooks PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

Off Season

Availability: Ready to download

September. A beautiful New York editor retreats to a lonely cabin on a hill in the quiet Maine beach town of Dead River—off season—awaiting her sister and friends. Nearby, a savage human family with a taste for flesh lurks in the darkening woods, watching, waiting for the moon to rise and night to fall... And before too many hours pass, five civilized, sophisticated people September. A beautiful New York editor retreats to a lonely cabin on a hill in the quiet Maine beach town of Dead River—off season—awaiting her sister and friends. Nearby, a savage human family with a taste for flesh lurks in the darkening woods, watching, waiting for the moon to rise and night to fall... And before too many hours pass, five civilized, sophisticated people and one tired old country sheriff will learn just how primitive we all are beneath the surface...and that there are no limits at all to the will to survive.


Compare

September. A beautiful New York editor retreats to a lonely cabin on a hill in the quiet Maine beach town of Dead River—off season—awaiting her sister and friends. Nearby, a savage human family with a taste for flesh lurks in the darkening woods, watching, waiting for the moon to rise and night to fall... And before too many hours pass, five civilized, sophisticated people September. A beautiful New York editor retreats to a lonely cabin on a hill in the quiet Maine beach town of Dead River—off season—awaiting her sister and friends. Nearby, a savage human family with a taste for flesh lurks in the darkening woods, watching, waiting for the moon to rise and night to fall... And before too many hours pass, five civilized, sophisticated people and one tired old country sheriff will learn just how primitive we all are beneath the surface...and that there are no limits at all to the will to survive.

30 review for Off Season

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kat

    *sighs* this seems like the time to quit reading cannibal stories and just rewatch tcm instead, until i die.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Stephen

    CANNIBALISM: A MORE BALANCED PERSPECTIVE While I really liked this book, I feel compelled to make a few introductory remarks before I discuss the specific merits of the story. I will give Mr. Ketchum the benefit of the doubt and say that I do not believe it was his intention in writing this book to come across as a snobby, elitist, “anti” cannibal bigot. However, the fact remains that this novel is yet another example of popular media perpetrating the negative stereotype of cannibalism. I fee CANNIBALISM: A MORE BALANCED PERSPECTIVE While I really liked this book, I feel compelled to make a few introductory remarks before I discuss the specific merits of the story. I will give Mr. Ketchum the benefit of the doubt and say that I do not believe it was his intention in writing this book to come across as a snobby, elitist, “anti” cannibal bigot. However, the fact remains that this novel is yet another example of popular media perpetrating the negative stereotype of cannibalism. I feel it's long past time to give a more balanced view of the subject in the hopes of fostering greater understanding of this alternative lifestyle. As far as the specific plot elements of Ketchum's story, I thought they were fine. I find cannibalism, graphic torture and human dismemberment just as funny and amusing as the next guy and thought that the author did a nice job of providing an authentic and detailed representation of the practices discussed. While I do not currently practice cannibalism, I did experiment with the lifestyle for a time in college. During this time I learned a lot about the “Same Species Sustenance” Community and met a lot of wonderful people, several of whom I still count among my close friends (as long as I am armed). Thus, defending the rights and the dignity of the cannibal community is something about which I have strong feelings. I believe that cannibalism, practiced in moderation, has the potential to be a very positive influence. For example, it's an excellent way to bring families closer as it provides a wonderful mechanism for siblings to spend "quality time" together. This can help to further strengthen bonds among family members and promote the forming of more “intimate” attachments with one another. This last quality is very important for families living alone in remote rural areas. In fact, statistics confirm that families that practice cannibalism, even if only once a week, are 7 to 10 times more likely to remain together across multiple generations. In addition to strengthening family bonds, cannibalism is also a very effective way to stay in shape, especially if one makes a conscious effort to do their own stalking, trapping and dismembering. The fact is that obesity among cannibals is less than 1/10th of what it is in the general population. Plus, for those unable to participate in family hunting trips, there are excellent "home workout" vidoes for that can produce very positive results. Finally, I believe it's critical to recognize that cannibalism is an excellent way to make a positive contribution to the environment. In addition to using very few fossil fuels or other products damaging to the environment, consumers of humans also help prevent ecological damage that can arise in areas with excess population growth. They are one of the most ecologically conscious consumer groups and have long been associated with the “Green” movement. Plus, once processed through the digestive system, humans make a phenomenal natural fertilizer which provides further benefit to Mother Earth. I hope the above makes clear that despite the ill-informed, slanted view of cannibals at times portrayed in this book, this community has many positive qualities and deserves to be treated fairly and with respect. I just wish the author would have made the brave choice and not pandered to the more powerful "anti" cannibal segment of the population. PLOT SUMMARY AND DISCUSSION Despite my above gripes, let me say again that I really liked this book. While there are some graphic scenes and some very disturbing imagery, the book kept my interest from the very first page and I basically read it straight through in a single sitting. Well written, well paced, high levels of tension and some very memorable scenes (disturbing, yes… but memorable). The story concerns a close knit family of cannibals living a very “green” existence in a remote area of Maine. The book starts off great with a group of the younger family members out at night and cleverly fooling a passing female motorist to stop for them. This is a very exciting and suspenseful scene as it quickly becomes evident that the children are hungry but you have no idea whether they are going to be able to catch the woman who, thinking only of herself, flees into the forest. Well, I won’t give away what happens but I was instantly pulled into the narrative and the plight of this large extended family living a subsistence existence constantly on the border of starvation. After a great beginning, the central plot gets rolling when the bad guys, 3 couples from Manhattan, arrive to stay at a remote cabin near where the family lives. The family, consisting of several dozen members ranging from an elderly matriarch to children under 5, decides that the 3 couples will provide several weeks worth on meals and go about planning to acquire them. That sums up the basic outline of the plot and it is really in its execution that the novel shows its chops. I really liked the way the family members worked together while hunting and how they reacted to the many devious and unexpected actions of the scheming Manhattanites. I don’t want to give away spoilers here but I do think it is important to advise readers that several of the cannibal family members don't survive the story *sniff* so readers should be prepared. There are some very graphic and detailed descriptions of slaughter and the tension level is often extremely high. As alluded to above, I did have several issues with the book. First, I thought the portrayal of the life of the cannibal family was rather negative and seemed to me to be evidence of the author’s bias against that lifestyle. The family is described as being fairly harsh and brutal towards one another with very little warmth among siblings. That is certainly not consistent with the portaryal depicted in the most reputable cannibal periodicals that I have seen. I can see members of a same species sustenance families taking offense at this portrayal. I also did not really like the two prominent male family members (no names are given but I would describe one as "Mr Red shirt" and the other as "Mr Large and Bald." Don't get me wrong, they were very effective and were certainly "contributing" members of the family. I just found them personally to be very cold, unapproachable and even a little callous. This made it hard for me to identify with them and so I had a more difficult time caring about the hardships they encountered at the hands of the evil tourists. I also had a problem with the significant time spent introducing the readers to the 3 couples after their arrival at the cabin. You see, the story takes place around winter time and it was very troubling to read page after page of these 6 self-involved assholes being all warm and cozy inside the cabin eating, drinking and fornicating while just outside the windows members of the family watched, cold and very, very hungry. It just seemed a little much but I guess that is why they call it horror. Finally, I was somewhat taken aback by the ending which I found to be just over the top in its gratuitous violence. I won’t say any more beyond that I can not believe the author would have members of the police force acting with such brutality against local residents. Shocking and a bit of a sad commentary on the nature of our society. Notwithstanding the above, I did find the book overall to be excellent. It is high octane, dark, brutal, extremely graphic and very effective for what it is. This was my first Jack Ketchum novel and I plan on reading more books by his very soon. I just hope he is a little more even-handed in his portrayals of cannibals in the future. 4.0 stars. Highly Recommended (with reservations).

  3. 5 out of 5

    Larry

    Well, not the worst I’ve read. Guessed the plot within the first 40 pages, which I’m never able to do. I need to make better choices...

  4. 4 out of 5

    Dan Schwent

    An editor goes to a remote cabin in Maine to get away from things and work on editing her latest assignment. When her boyfriend and a group of friends arrive, they think they're going to have a relaxing week. Instead, they get a night of hell! As part of my continuing education in horror, I decided to give Jack Ketchum a chance. Off Season was one of the works suggested to me by the crew. Off Season is a tale of feral cannibals setting upon a cabin full of city folk in the Maine woods. That's pret An editor goes to a remote cabin in Maine to get away from things and work on editing her latest assignment. When her boyfriend and a group of friends arrive, they think they're going to have a relaxing week. Instead, they get a night of hell! As part of my continuing education in horror, I decided to give Jack Ketchum a chance. Off Season was one of the works suggested to me by the crew. Off Season is a tale of feral cannibals setting upon a cabin full of city folk in the Maine woods. That's pretty much the entire plot. It's a combination of survival horror and gore horror, particular emphasis on the gore. This is one brutal book, as is expected when cannibal feral hillbillies are on the prowl. Shocking, bloody as hell, and not for the squeamish. Seriously. If you're inclined to squeam at all, you'll be squeaming all over the place. People getting gutted and eaten, raped, chewed up, you name it. Have I yet conveyed how much revolting stuff happens? At the end, I wouldn't say I liked it but it was powerful and engaging. Ketchum doesn't just cross the line, he covers it with blood and intestines and drags it for a couple miles through the woods. Three out of five stars. I'm willing to read another Ketchum book but it'll be a while.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Mort

    For the last 25 years, I have told anybody who would listen that IT by Stephen King is the best horror novel ever written. Right now, I’m not so sure anymore. This book simply blew my mind. I was fortunate enough to read the author’s uncut, uncensored version. Even though this book was first published in 1980 – that’s right, 38 years ago – I’ve never had the opportunity to read that version. After reading the Afterword, it might have been a blessing. I don’t know if that particular ending would h For the last 25 years, I have told anybody who would listen that IT by Stephen King is the best horror novel ever written. Right now, I’m not so sure anymore. This book simply blew my mind. I was fortunate enough to read the author’s uncut, uncensored version. Even though this book was first published in 1980 – that’s right, 38 years ago – I’ve never had the opportunity to read that version. After reading the Afterword, it might have been a blessing. I don’t know if that particular ending would have sat very well with me. I happen to agree that this uncut version had the ending this story needed to give it that extra impact. The idea behind the story might seem like a simple one (these days): Take a tribe of primitive, inbred cannibals. Give them six out-of-towners and one full night without help from the outside world. See who can survive. Maybe this was a fresh idea for 1980, but there have been many stories with this basic premises over the years. Don’t worry, I’m not going to compare it to any of them – they should be compared to this superior novel, if you want my opinion. However, the writing is absolutely fantastic. Nobody dies in the first 130 pages of this 270 page story, and it takes an absolute master of the craft to be able to build the tension for so long without ever boring the reader. And when the shit hits the fan, you will be on the edge of your seat until this story is over. I love – no, LOVE the idea that Ketchum took this story to another level. People were so used to horror stories and the tricks they tried to pull, that it was becoming predictable and sometimes even laughable. So Ketchum simply said: Do you want to be scared again? I mean really, gut-wrenchingly, shit-your-pants scared? I will show you…I will give you something beyond your wildest imagination…I will fuck with your perception of horror…and I will never apologize! It’s sad to think this author died earlier this year, but I think he will leave a legacy like few before or after him. I’m going to end with a quote from the book, something that I really liked: “Black coffee’s a lot like whiskey, you know? All devil and no trimmin’s. Always liked my sins pure and take it as it comes.” Ask me again in six months what the best horror novel is…

  6. 5 out of 5

    Paul Bryant

    Ten ways to review Off Season, a book about cannibals!! 1. Let's go to the movies with Jack Ketchum Some Like them Hot Stir the Right One In The Incr Edibles Bringing Up Baby Brainspotting The Best Ears of Our Lives Rashermum The Green Bile No Recipe for Old Men (this could go on) 2. Off Season, the Musical He Will Tear us Apart (sung by Laura) Everybody Spurts (sung by the chief cannibal) Stir it Up (sung by his female companion) Oops! I Did it Again! (sung by the chief cannibal) All I have to Eat is Spleen (an Ten ways to review Off Season, a book about cannibals!! 1. Let's go to the movies with Jack Ketchum Some Like them Hot Stir the Right One In The Incr Edibles Bringing Up Baby Brainspotting The Best Ears of Our Lives Rashermum The Green Bile No Recipe for Old Men (this could go on) 2. Off Season, the Musical He Will Tear us Apart (sung by Laura) Everybody Spurts (sung by the chief cannibal) Stir it Up (sung by his female companion) Oops! I Did it Again! (sung by the chief cannibal) All I have to Eat is Spleen (an old Everly Brothers song, sung by the grumpy cannibal teenager) This Arm Ain't Big Enough for the Both of Us (sung by the grumpy cannibal children) (etc etc) 3. The Really Rough Guide to Maine Off Season is The Rough Guide to Maine as written by Jeffrey Dahmer. It's a wild and gruesome envelope pushing ride, indeed, the envelope is pushed so far you can no longer see it, it's just a dim memory, er, was that thing an envelope? I can't remember, maybe there was an envelope once, but not any more (etc etc) 4. At the tutorial I see by the amount of green in your faces that only some of you have made the time to read Off Season. This is of course the unexpurgated edition of a novel which has been heralded as er er er..a founding text of splatterpunk. So how, we may ask, hmm, does it stand up, post-Saw, post-Hostel, and post, indeed indeed, hmm hmm, yes, splatterpunk itself? (etc etc) 5. i don't know anymore Think of Off Season as something Dr Hannibal Lecter would have woke up screaming from. Mainely because of the pedestrian writing, the dubious psychology, the atrocities-by-rote, and the desperate lack of any decent chianti. 6. Ah those fanboys Strictly for gorehounds and unless they're as degenerate as the kutthroat krew of krazed kannibals with which we which who how, then their cup will be running over with human brains, ha ha ha! (Etc etc) [sorry about that. I think I was drunk when I wrote that. i don't know what it means.] 7. on and on and on Off Season is the 1980s version of the Sawney Bean legend or to put it another way a rewrite of The Hills Have Eyes (1977). You know the score, every other horror movie has the same plot. But this is not the right stick to beat them with. If you take blues or doo wop music, the same rigid structures are in place for every blues or doo wop song. A tiny variation here, a nuance there. This is genre, and the appreciation of genre lies in your relish of the variations and the nuances of the same thing endlessly cycling round. (Etc etc) 8. nearly over now Off Season presents us with the very unlikely idea of a tribe of degenerate cannibals living undetected in the USA of the 1980s. Okay, they're descended from people who'd been trapped on an island, but anthropologically speaking this novel is all over the place, it has no theoretical underpinnings, Ketchum is clearly making it up as he goes along. He clearly knows nothing about clan structure and language patterns. The tribe is still in the hunter-gatherer stage and yet they have a fully formed English grammar. What Margaret Mead or Levi-Strauss would have made of Ketchum's cannibals one shudders to think. (Etc etc) 9. the personal note I wonder why I read the occasional horror book & watch the occasional horror movie – what is it about these sadistic fantasies that draws me in – why only the other day I laid aside my copy of Edna O'Brien's delicate coming-of-age novel about two 14 years olds in rural Ireland in the 1950s to watch Shuttle, the critically reviled horror flick from 2008 (mumble mumble etc etc) 10. How very ironic! Of course you could review this penny dreadful horror novel in a lightly humorous ten-different-ways-to-review-the-unreviewable way and then in the last section you could satirise your own desire to write wacky reviews, which would be the perfect way to end, don't you think? Chief cannibal : Not if I've got anything to do with it, mate! (Speaking bizarrely in perfect English even though in every other way he epitomises human degeneracy and extreme lack of manners). Sound effect : Crunch! Munch! P Bryant: Aaarh! arrgh! How can I write reviews without any fingers?? Chief cannibal (speaking with his mouth full, as usual) : You could dictate.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Blake Crouch

    Originally published in ITW's THRILLERS: 100 Must-Reads Jack Ketchum, a pseudonym for Dallas Mayr (1946 - ), owns some of the blackest real estate in the world of thriller fiction. A former literary agent and actor, Ketchum published his first novel, Off Season, to the dismay of the mainstream literary establishment and the delight of what would grow into a cult following. Over the last quarter of a century, he has published numerous novels, novellas, and works of short fiction. However, only in Originally published in ITW's THRILLERS: 100 Must-Reads Jack Ketchum, a pseudonym for Dallas Mayr (1946 - ), owns some of the blackest real estate in the world of thriller fiction. A former literary agent and actor, Ketchum published his first novel, Off Season, to the dismay of the mainstream literary establishment and the delight of what would grow into a cult following. Over the last quarter of a century, he has published numerous novels, novellas, and works of short fiction. However, only in the last five years has he gained notoriety, largely due to the praises of Stephen King. In 2003, while accepting the National Book Foundation’s Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, King said, “There’s another writer here tonight who writes under the name of Jack Ketchum and he has also written what may be the best book of his career, a long novella called ‘The Crossings.’ Have you read it? Have any of the judges read it?” In his approach to thrillers, as typified by The Lost, Red, She Wakes, and The Girl Next Door, Ketchum defines fearless and unflinching. Off Season isn’t Jack Ketchum’s best book or even his most disturbing. It is, however, his first and his most important, since as Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece, Psycho (1960), altered the landscape of horror films, Off Season remapped the boundaries of where writers could go in the name of suspense. But as often happens when something different arrives, the critics didn’t understand. The Village Voice condemned Off Season as violent pornography, and even Ketchum’s publisher and distributors were stricken with a late case of buyer’s remorse, finally losing their nerve about giving the book the full marketing and publicity push they had originally intended. Then there were the edits Ketchum was strong-armed into making—the toning down of the most brutal scenes (no recipe for man-meat jerky or cock-stump spitting), and a deal-breaking ultimatum from his publisher to let a character live whom he had every intention of killing—so that the 1981 publication, while still chockfull of groundbreaking unpleasantness, did not embody Ketchum’s initial vision, which was to write, in his words, something with the “kind of teeth pretty much unseen before in mass-market fiction.” Following its initial 1981 publication, the book promptly went out of print until Leisure Press finally released Ketchum’s uncut, uncensored version of the novel a quarter of a century later in 2006. Enviably accomplished for a debut novel, Off Season draws its inspiration from the legend of Sawney Bean, the Scottish leader of a 15th or 16th Century clan which engaged in mass murder and cannibalism until their capture, torture, and execution. Off Season’s narrative structure, while by no means revolutionary, is deceptively simple and ingenious. Six friends meet at a remote cabin in the Maine woods, not far from the coast—Nick, Marjie, Dan, Laura, Carla, and Jim. One of the most intelligent choices Ketchum makes is not to rush anything. The first 130 pages are essentially violence-free and dedicated to the introduction of the six main characters, along with foreshadowing of the horrible events to come. The sense of increasing dread is palpable, and by the time the family of cannibals gets around to attacking the vacationers at the cabin, the suspense has been ratcheted to an unbearable degree. If the first 130 pages is foreplay, the last 140 is the roughest, nastiest, most brutal thriller you will ever read. “Unflinching” is thrown around liberally these days in blurbs, to the point where the word has lost its impact. But Ketchum truly is unflinching in a way that few other writers have dared to be, and this is what sets him and his debut novel apart. The author’s chief talent lies in creating scenes of overwhelming violence in such a lean, straightforward, and disinterested style, that it is simultaneously torture to read but impossible to look away. Witness Ketchum’s portrayal of the second character’s death: "In a slow, deliberate motion he reached into the chest and touched the heart. It was still warm, still beating. He severed the veins and arteries with the knife and lifted the muscle into the light, and still it beat, steaming in the cool air. For the man this moment was the nexus of all mystery and wonder, the closest thing he knew to worship. He stared until finally the heart was still." At the center of the carnage and mayhem stands the character of George Peters, the decent lawman, appalled and disgusted by what he sees, an early incarnation of Sheriff Bell from Cormac McCarthy’s No Country for Old Men, and Police Chief Marge Gunderson of Fargo fame. Sheriff Peters is order, or the attempt to restore order in the face of pure depravity, and like the reader, if he escapes harm, it is only a physical escape. His and our psyches will never recover. Though Off Season was published at a time when such independent slasher films as Halloween (1978) and Friday the 13th (1980) were challenging the shock value of Psycho, there is little to compare. Those films are comical, cheap, even childish in their treatment of violence, in a way that is completely diametric to the very adult study of violence that is the foundation of Off Season. If anything, the novel was a nod to The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974), The Hills Have Eyes (1977), and a precursor to Bret Easton Ellis’s controversial novel, American Psycho (1991), Park Chan-wook’s Oldboy (2003), and the best work of Takashi Miike, the prolific Japanese director of such ultra-violent films as Audition (1999) and Ichi the Killer (2001). What makes Off Season so effective and important is Ketchum’s masterful manipulation of the reader. Just as in Psycho, Off Season’s erstwhile hero, Carla, is killed first and most horribly. This is Ketchum grabbing the bullhorn and screaming at the reader: “No one is safe or off-limits in this book! Not even you!” And while Off Season muses on such “big ideas” as the rational v. the natural, the family unit, and urban v. rural, its most enduring message concerns the abrupt ugliness of human violence, and how people face such extreme situations and horrors that come out of nowhere. The violence that occurs in this book touches us so profoundly because it is perfectly reminiscent of the awful and sudden turns that life can take. It is ultimately the unpredictable, uncompromising way Ketchum rains his terrors down upon his characters and the reader that earns Off Season a place in the canon of classic thriller fiction. Off Season may upset you. It may even make you sick. But it won’t make you feel cheap. Whether you have the nerve to survive Ketchum’s tale and hear what he has to say about violence and the human condition is another matter. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede

    Oh my god what a disturbing book. There were moments when I dreaded to continue reading it because I just knew that things would go horribly fucked up with a lot of gore. And it did. This is not the kind of books I usually read and I honestly don’t know if I want to read more of its kind. Not that the book was bad, it was good, just a bit too disgusting for my taste I must admit. I prefer paranormal horror that makes you wonder if you should check under the bed and the closet before you sleep no Oh my god what a disturbing book. There were moments when I dreaded to continue reading it because I just knew that things would go horribly fucked up with a lot of gore. And it did. This is not the kind of books I usually read and I honestly don’t know if I want to read more of its kind. Not that the book was bad, it was good, just a bit too disgusting for my taste I must admit. I prefer paranormal horror that makes you wonder if you should check under the bed and the closet before you sleep not the kind that makes you feel sick.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Edward Lorn

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. One does not read Jack Ketchum to be entertained. So why would someone pick up a Ketchum book? I haven't a fucking clue. Like the late, great Richard Laymon, Jack Ketchum is a diabolical motherfucker. He knows how to make skin crawl and stomachs turn. Each one of his books is the literary equivalent of a snuff film. They're real. They're in your face. They're sick and completely immoral. And I can't stop reading them. I don't know what that says about me and other Ketchum fans, but it's the trut One does not read Jack Ketchum to be entertained. So why would someone pick up a Ketchum book? I haven't a fucking clue. Like the late, great Richard Laymon, Jack Ketchum is a diabolical motherfucker. He knows how to make skin crawl and stomachs turn. Each one of his books is the literary equivalent of a snuff film. They're real. They're in your face. They're sick and completely immoral. And I can't stop reading them. I don't know what that says about me and other Ketchum fans, but it's the truth. While not as emotionally unsettling as either THE LOST or THE GIRL NEXT DOOR, OFF SEASON is still par for the course when it comes to Kill'em All Ketchum. A woman is roasted alive, a little boy is beheaded, a man's penis is bitten off as if the lady is simply snapping into a Slim Jim, and the hero is gunned down by the people tasked with saving the day. This book doesn't piss in your corn flakes, it shits in your hair and rubs it in like conditioner. If you're having a bad day... week... year... you might want to stay far away from Jack. This is the second time I've read OFF SEASON, and the novel has lost none of its punch. There are two more books in his Maine cannibals series (that's my name for the trilogy, not his). I've read OFFSPRING and THE WOMAN before as well, but never back to back. Because I'm a glutton for punishment, I'm going to attempt marathoning these three novels. I want to see how I feel by the end of the third book, whether or not the carnage maintains its impact or becomes cartoon-ish and over-the-top when consumed all at once. Like I said above, I don't read his books to be entertained. They're more lessons on the visceral than anything else. He is a horror author's horror author, meaning, if you pay the bills with scary stories, you could learn a great deal from him. If you're not an author, I suppose you'd read his books to cement in your mind that your life could be much, much worse. In summation, I feel a little bad that I enjoy Ketchum's novels as much as I do, but they're also terrific learning tools. If you want to learn how to make a reader uncomfortable, or enjoy feeling uncomfortable, you can't go wrong with Jack Ketchum.

  10. 4 out of 5

    TK421

    This may be one of the most disturbing novels I have ever read. Enough said. (Although, I cannot agree with the previous establishment of rating this novel as "violent pornography". In my estimation, if more horror writers took half the amount of chances in thier work as Ketchum does in his, this genre might be more respected.) HIGHLY RECOMMENDED (This recommendation must be clarified: I do not condone cannibalism in any form.) This may be one of the most disturbing novels I have ever read. Enough said. (Although, I cannot agree with the previous establishment of rating this novel as "violent pornography". In my estimation, if more horror writers took half the amount of chances in thier work as Ketchum does in his, this genre might be more respected.) HIGHLY RECOMMENDED (This recommendation must be clarified: I do not condone cannibalism in any form.)

  11. 4 out of 5

    Tressa

    For me, this is the horror book to end all horror books. It is the apex of terror tales. No book has come close to topping Off Season, and I doubt that any ever will. In a rural area off the coast of Maine live a tribe of cannibals. Over the decades travellers and townspeople have disappeared here, but these have been chalked up to the nature of an increasingly mobile, exploding population. People disappear every minute all over the world, don't they? The tension begins immediately and never lets For me, this is the horror book to end all horror books. It is the apex of terror tales. No book has come close to topping Off Season, and I doubt that any ever will. In a rural area off the coast of Maine live a tribe of cannibals. Over the decades travellers and townspeople have disappeared here, but these have been chalked up to the nature of an increasingly mobile, exploding population. People disappear every minute all over the world, don't they? The tension begins immediately and never lets up. Six adults—two of them sisters—are vacationing in a cabin. As they eat, sleep, and relax in nature, they are silently being stalked by the cannibal clan, who soon set off an unrelenting assault on the cabin. Before you can say "pass the A1," several have been killed, one has been roasted on a pit, and two of the women have been taken back to the cave. And it's in this cave where we see just how these men, women, and children flourished all these years . You'll be tempted to flip to the last page to see how this book could possibly end. If you managed to make it all the way through, you might want to catch up with the inbreds in Offspring. This is the book that made Jack Ketchum a legend of the horror genre. It must have been a badge of honor to Ketchum for The Village Voice, of all publications, to criticize this book for its "violent pornography."

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lawyer

    Off Season: A Dash of Fear From ghoulies and ghosties and long legged beasties, Good Lord, deliver us--Old Scottish Prayer Some time ago a woman with an angelic face asked me if I had ever read anything by Jack Ketchum. Well, I hadn't. Until now. Off Season is my first venture into the novels of Jack Ketchum. Let's say it's a book for the reader with a taste for the different. After a little research into the author, I was intrigued. Ketchum is a four time Bram Stoker Award winner and was named Off Season: A Dash of Fear From ghoulies and ghosties and long legged beasties, Good Lord, deliver us--Old Scottish Prayer Some time ago a woman with an angelic face asked me if I had ever read anything by Jack Ketchum. Well, I hadn't. Until now. Off Season is my first venture into the novels of Jack Ketchum. Let's say it's a book for the reader with a taste for the different. After a little research into the author, I was intrigued. Ketchum is a four time Bram Stoker Award winner and was named Grand Master of Horror in 2009. His mentor was Robert Bloch Bloch praised and supported Ketchum's writing. Their friendship began in the 1980s and continued until Bloch's death in 1994. Pretty strong credentials, Mr. Ketchum. So I, being the completeist reader, decided to start at the beginning with this nasty little tale of six Manhattanites staying in an isolated cabin on the Dead River in Maine. The cabin is just a short distance from the coast. Across from an island, formerly the location of a lighthouse with a long history of light keepers and their families meeting less than pleasant demises. The plot is quite simple. First there were six New Yorkers. Then there were five. Then there were...you get the picture. As for that old Scottish Incantation that appears at the beginning of this review, forget it. It won't do you any good. After all, the most horrific monsters are human. Or of human creation. The monsters that prey on the civilized enjoying a cabin in the off season is a savage family of few adults and a brood of children. They have a taste for meat. They prefer human flesh. This group instinctively knows that fear makes flesh more tender. They are masters of inflicting terror. Ketchum depicts one hellish night of horror. His writing is lean and mean. His sentences are short, declarative. Ketchum has said that his major literary influences were Charles Bukowski, Jim Harrison, Ernest Hemingway, and of course, Robert Bloch. Ketchum is a master disciple of those he admires. Originally published by Ballentine Books in 1980, this novel became a hit for readers of horror, with sales in excess of 250,000. And that was the expurgated edition. This review is of the novel as Ketchum originally wrote it, published by Overland Connections in 2006. Steven King asked, "Who's the scariest guy in America? " His answer? "Probably Jack Ketchum." I'd have to agree. I'll warn you. This one is not for the squeamish. Ketchum makes the hair on the back of your neck prickle. It will make you wonder what's really behind that angelic face of a lovely woman who asks "Have you read any Jack Ketchum?"

  13. 5 out of 5

    Maciek

    The biggest flaw of Off Season is its publishing date - 1980. As it was a debut novel, the publishing house had quite a lot of power over the author, and made him cut and edit the book the way they wanted. Upon publication the book raised extreme controversy, due to its violent and graphic nature. It got so bad that Ballantine, who initially published the novel, decided to stop supporting it and withtdrew it from circulation after the first printings. In 1999 a small publishing house specialisin The biggest flaw of Off Season is its publishing date - 1980. As it was a debut novel, the publishing house had quite a lot of power over the author, and made him cut and edit the book the way they wanted. Upon publication the book raised extreme controversy, due to its violent and graphic nature. It got so bad that Ballantine, who initially published the novel, decided to stop supporting it and withtdrew it from circulation after the first printings. In 1999 a small publishing house specialising in horror fiction - Cemetery Dance - picked it up for an reissue; this time including the author's original version, including the text which has been cut from or edited in the first publication. The result got a glowing blurb from Stephen King who called the author "probably the scariest guy in America". After 19 years, readers can finally read the work as the author intended it. And it turns out that there's not much to swoon over, if anything. The storyline is absolutely basic - a group of friends go to a small coastline town in Maine for a vacation, where they are targeted by a group of inbred, cannibalistic savages, who live in a small cave and go out hunting at night. Such plot might have been original or groundbreaking in 1980, but since then it has been done to death (get it?) in horror movies and novels. The characters are cardboard and boring, the most interesting being the savages. The novel is driven almost entirely by the horrific acts of violence, described in gruesome detail. The violence is extreme and the author pulls absolutely no punches, but that's pretty much all the is to it. The second biggest flaw of Off Season is that it's an one trick pony; there's no meat to it, if you'll pardon the pun. It has little re-read value, and aims more at the gross out and shock factors than anything else. Not that it's neccesarily bad; it's just that it's not what I would expect from a novel praised so highly. The copy I was reading had an extra short story at the end, "Winter Child", which I thought was much more atmospheric and climatic than the whole novel.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Glenn Rolfe

    Just finished this one for the third time. Still amazingly honest, brutal, and engaging. I forgot about the ending until I got close...then it came back. I think this novel has shaped the way I do things in my own stories more than any other book I read before or since. You get lured into this great cast of characters and creepy group of savages. A fantastic set up that explodes at about the halfway point with one of the most impactful 30 pages or so I ever read. It was still as impactful this t Just finished this one for the third time. Still amazingly honest, brutal, and engaging. I forgot about the ending until I got close...then it came back. I think this novel has shaped the way I do things in my own stories more than any other book I read before or since. You get lured into this great cast of characters and creepy group of savages. A fantastic set up that explodes at about the halfway point with one of the most impactful 30 pages or so I ever read. It was still as impactful this time, but that first time, having no clue? I mean, I picked this version (the Leisure Books uncut version) at a grocery store! I'd read King and Rice, but they never did splatterpunk. I was shocked. The scenes still manage to make me cringe and think "oh Go, no...", but that first time was a game-changer for me that set the standard for how this type of horror fiction has to be delivered: Raw, unflinching, honest. No one does it as well as Ketchum. He makes it believable. A nightmare come to life. Sadly, I started this again after I heard of his passing. I'm glad I did. I 'm not ready to say goodbye yet. Thankfully, we have his work. We'll always have his voice and his heart here on these pages. I give OFF SEASON 5 stars!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Tracy Robinson

    Review tomorrow! I’ll read the Included short, WINTERS CHILD, after I read SHE WAKES. Ha! Apparently I need to work on my definition of “tomorrow”. So. This book is absolutely brutal and gory. Content warnings for rape, graphic abuse. Just wanted to give a heads up for any reader friends this might be triggering for. Off Season covers a family of cannibal killers and their “interactions” with a group of friends who are just looking for a relaxing cabin getaway. Yeah - not happening. Ketchum’s wri Review tomorrow! I’ll read the Included short, WINTERS CHILD, after I read SHE WAKES. Ha! Apparently I need to work on my definition of “tomorrow”. So. This book is absolutely brutal and gory. Content warnings for rape, graphic abuse. Just wanted to give a heads up for any reader friends this might be triggering for. Off Season covers a family of cannibal killers and their “interactions” with a group of friends who are just looking for a relaxing cabin getaway. Yeah - not happening. Ketchum’s writing is, as always, masterful. There are no words wasted and the ending is just DARK. The author notes in this edition that when this was being readied for its first publication, the big press he worked with wanted to make massive changes. One was to the END. I’ll not be reading that version and I’m glad I didn’t. If you’re coming to this book, I highly recommend reading this edition (Leisure) - the changes in the other would RUIN the meaning. I’ll be going on to read Offspring in July. Can’t wait to see what’s happens!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    2.5 stars. Described as gory, sensationalist, extreme horror with cannibals I thought I'd throw myself in at the deep end this spooky season and pick up Off Season. I have to say I found myself equally disturbed and disappointed. This follows two groups. The feral, deadly cannibal family and our group of city upstarts who are also fabulously beautiful and vapid. To be honest, at times I fell on the side of the cannibals. None of the supposed protagonists feel particularly well developed, and main 2.5 stars. Described as gory, sensationalist, extreme horror with cannibals I thought I'd throw myself in at the deep end this spooky season and pick up Off Season. I have to say I found myself equally disturbed and disappointed. This follows two groups. The feral, deadly cannibal family and our group of city upstarts who are also fabulously beautiful and vapid. To be honest, at times I fell on the side of the cannibals. None of the supposed protagonists feel particularly well developed, and main man Nick spends most of his time whining over how much he still loves his ex partner Carla. Marjie, the supposed 'weak woman', instead of having a positive character arc and development just comes across as mean. You can also really tell this was written by a man in the 1980s. We get a lot of breast ogling, to the extremes. At one point, during a very high tension filled moment we have one of our female characters stopping in the middle of dressing a highly disturbed, almost catatonic woman to envy her breasts and body. Just...no. Don't get me wrong, I like a good pair of boobs but come on - there's a time and a place. Being attacked by hungry cannibals probably isn't the time. I also found the writing really irritating in places. Ketchum seems to like overly describing mundane activities, in a vein similar to Stephen King. For example, instead of just mentioning briefly how Carla is going to light a fire he goes into way too much detail about how she's going to twist the paper and set it just so before letting it catch fire. I really didn't care, and for such a short novel I think more time should have been spent developing the character relationships and expanding backstories to make me at least like some of the characters. The more graphic, visceral scenes are indeed extremely violent and shocking. Trigger warnings for absolutely everything going, this is not for the faint hearted. However, that said I wouldn't say this is the most vicious or savage book I've ever read. Maybe I'm desensitised to graphic gore, having seen a lot of real life violent injuries in my line of work (don't know what that says about me) but I think I only found two moments throughout the book that elicited any kind of emotional reaction from me. One, involving Laura in the cave, did make me wince. Graphic, violent but dripping in unlikeable characters and a writing style that meanders meant this missed the mark for me.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Michael Hicks

    Jack Ketchum is an author whose works have been in my digital to-read pile for ages. I'm loathe to admit it, but he's one of those writers synonymous with the horror genre whose work, for whatever reason, I just hadn't read yet. I decided to correct that in 2018. Last week, Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018, Jack Ketchum lost his battle with cancer. His passing ignited an urgent need in me to finally discover exactly what I had been missing. I wanted to get to know a bit the man who so many fellow author Jack Ketchum is an author whose works have been in my digital to-read pile for ages. I'm loathe to admit it, but he's one of those writers synonymous with the horror genre whose work, for whatever reason, I just hadn't read yet. I decided to correct that in 2018. Last week, Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018, Jack Ketchum lost his battle with cancer. His passing ignited an urgent need in me to finally discover exactly what I had been missing. I wanted to get to know a bit the man who so many fellow authors called either, or in some instances both, a friend and an inspiration. I decided to start with Off Season, Ketchum's first novel. Holy crap, what a first novel! It's not entirely perfect - the characters are a bit thin, many of them barely rising out of cardboard cutout territory prior to their victimization - but it is compulsively readable and utterly engrossing. New York book editor Carla has retreated to the Maine woods for a working vacation, one that, if her nose-to-the-grindstone work ethic pays off, will be more vacation than work. She's invited her sister, friends, and lover to visit and enjoy the quiet. The home she's rented for the month would be idyllic if not for the hungry cannibals whose primal interests her visit has drawn. What follows is an absolutely brutal, nightmarish siege of frenetic violence and misery. Hope is sparse as the blood flows freely from one shocking, nerve destroying, encounter to the next. I've read previously that Ketchum was inspired by the films Night of the Living Dead and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and boy-howdy do those influences shine through. Ketchum, though, is no pale imitator. Whatever thematic resonance of those films he rode high on while writing Off Season are run through the proverbial meat-grinder twice-over and once more for good measure. There's no joy to be found, and any moments of humor are of the blackest pitch. This is not a fun, action-packed creature feature romp. This is horror shone through the prism of reality, and it's one bleak, serious as a heart attack, motherfucker of a book. It's also damn good. Damn good. I may be shamefully late to the party, but I can guarantee you I'll be sticking around for a while now.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Wayne Barrett

    3.5 There is some extreme grotesqueness in this story but somehow it lost its punch as it neared the end. The condition and character of the children in the opening scene grabbed my attention and I knew I was in for a macabre ride. SPOILER ALERT: I wouldn't say the book necessarily ended badly so much as I think my senses had just become numb and grew tired of the chase. This was a story of survival against the cruelest, cannibalistic scenario possible, made even more terrible because most of the 3.5 There is some extreme grotesqueness in this story but somehow it lost its punch as it neared the end. The condition and character of the children in the opening scene grabbed my attention and I knew I was in for a macabre ride. SPOILER ALERT: I wouldn't say the book necessarily ended badly so much as I think my senses had just become numb and grew tired of the chase. This was a story of survival against the cruelest, cannibalistic scenario possible, made even more terrible because most of the assailants were feral children. And even though they were just children, I couldn't wait to see them getting their tiny little heads blown off. This whole story was a chase and a battle that started with blood and guts and ended the same way. This was a great addition to my Halloween season read, but there wasn't much depth in the way of a plot. It's like abstract art... take a handfull of intestines, throw them against a wall leaving a gory splatter and say... frame it!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kasia

    This was my first Ketchum book and I cannot wait to read the follow up to Off Season, chillingly called Offspring. This tale is pretty simple as it deals with civilized humans and with some barbarians who speak and think but who choose to stalk and watch their prey before they make their surprise attack. This is not savagery fueled by regular hunger, this is deep and evil lust for causing pain and cruelty to the innocent in the most excruciating manners possible, this is the tale of the Off Seas This was my first Ketchum book and I cannot wait to read the follow up to Off Season, chillingly called Offspring. This tale is pretty simple as it deals with civilized humans and with some barbarians who speak and think but who choose to stalk and watch their prey before they make their surprise attack. This is not savagery fueled by regular hunger, this is deep and evil lust for causing pain and cruelty to the innocent in the most excruciating manners possible, this is the tale of the Off Season and the harvest of souls that soon follows. When Carla retreats to an isolated cabin in the midst of a quiet Maine town she has in mind some book editing along with a nice relaxing week in the company of her sister Marjorie and her boyfriend Dan. Along for the ride came Jim, Carla's handsome but not emotional new hunky boyfriend as well as her ex Nick and his new air head of a girlfriend Laura. Carla has a whole day to herself to clean and refresh the whole cabin before her company, as the off season in the small town of Dead River provides nothing but fresh air and beautiful views of forests and nearby cliffs above a chillingly green sea. She has no idea but her steps have all ready been entangled in a slowly spinning game of cat and mouse. She is being slowly watched by a savage family that lives in the nearby coastal rocky cave and they are not simple dirty humans who feed on scraps and peek through windows, they are something much darker and hungrier than the wildest animals she could have crossed paths with. What Carla and her company have in store is beyond what many people can handle hearing about, and this is where the book plunges from serene scenery and character development into a black nightmare of infinite proportions that seems to have no way out but through the dark and hungry jaws of the savages. When the civilizations collide and the city dwellers get a nasty shock of reality, they have very little time to absorb the impact of being attacked and hunted by a rabid pack of humans who have a growing appetite for human flesh as it fills them with power and fuels their barbaric primordial magic. In the middle of the night while making love to Jim, Carla finds herself drowning in his blood as an attack through the window takes over her serene world and she is pulled out of the house naked, in the middle of the night with children and dirty men and women dressed in skins clawing at her muscles, wanting to absorb her flesh and her vital energy. The battle for life and death begins as the sleepy vacationers are roused to screams and sounds of violent trashing about the house. A few of them meet a grim and gristly fate at the hands of barbaric and ferocious people that live in a black cave filled with skulls and clothing and a big metal cage that is literally their place for incoming meals. With the characters battling for their lives and few of them brutally eaten, Ketchum hooks and sinks the reader with his infinite morbid descriptions of cannibalism and the undying will to survive that is the only shining light the prey has left. I was engrossed and scared to turn the page but the book was one that sucked me in, I felt like turning to the last page more than once just to see who could have possible came out alive out of this disgusting battle but I'm glad I read it and got to the ending, which was bittersweet and explosive. - Kasia S.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    I can see why this book was a bit of a game changer in 1980. I'm glad I got to read it in the format intended by the author (albeit still not the original manuscript, which no longer exists) instead of the cleaned-up version. Warning: It is graphic and even this seasoned reader of horror novels winced several times! Some "gross" books have zero story line and bore me to tears. This one had a simple plot, but it was still engaging because the characters...even the CRAZY cannibals...were skillfull I can see why this book was a bit of a game changer in 1980. I'm glad I got to read it in the format intended by the author (albeit still not the original manuscript, which no longer exists) instead of the cleaned-up version. Warning: It is graphic and even this seasoned reader of horror novels winced several times! Some "gross" books have zero story line and bore me to tears. This one had a simple plot, but it was still engaging because the characters...even the CRAZY cannibals...were skillfully brought to life (and death) within these pages. Had I a copy of this book back in the early '80's, I would've hid under the covers for a month. Now, I just gag, laugh, and keep reading.

  21. 4 out of 5

    JaHy☝Hold the Fairy Dust

    My thanksgiving feast will now consist of pepto shots, saltine crackers and fruit flavored tums. Uncle Stevie wasn't kidding. Job well done Mr. Ketchum.. . My thanksgiving feast will now consist of pepto shots, saltine crackers and fruit flavored tums. Uncle Stevie wasn't kidding. Job well done Mr. Ketchum.. .

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kirstin

    Off Season was akin to reading "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre". I love that movie and I had a blast with this book. My first Ketchum novel was better than I expected. Highly enjoyable for fans of over the top gore. 4 stars! Off Season was akin to reading "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre". I love that movie and I had a blast with this book. My first Ketchum novel was better than I expected. Highly enjoyable for fans of over the top gore. 4 stars!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Gavin

    Definitely the most disturbing book I’ve ever read. It’s going to stick with me, this one.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)

    2.5 Stars This was an incredibly gruesome horror book involving cannibals. Unfortunately, I was not very invested in the characters or storyline so I did not actually find it very disturbing. I am realizing that hillbilly cannibals is just not a subgenre I tend to enjoy. Also, the oversexualization of women really annoyed me.  I got to read the uncut version and it was interesting to read the author's note that outlined what was cut in the original publication. 2.5 Stars This was an incredibly gruesome horror book involving cannibals. Unfortunately, I was not very invested in the characters or storyline so I did not actually find it very disturbing. I am realizing that hillbilly cannibals is just not a subgenre I tend to enjoy. Also, the oversexualization of women really annoyed me.  I got to read the uncut version and it was interesting to read the author's note that outlined what was cut in the original publication.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Cody | CodysBookshelf

    I didn’t go into this novel for something of emotional depth; I was not looking for a story with well-done subtext or fully fleshed characters. Having read a string of literary novels, I wanted something grisly and fast and raunchy. Jack Ketchum is that guy. And I got what I was looking for. Having read and been horrified by The Girl Next Door last October, this book had been on my radar for some time. Sadly, it didn’t quite live up to TGND. That one hooked me from page one and my heart ached for I didn’t go into this novel for something of emotional depth; I was not looking for a story with well-done subtext or fully fleshed characters. Having read a string of literary novels, I wanted something grisly and fast and raunchy. Jack Ketchum is that guy. And I got what I was looking for. Having read and been horrified by The Girl Next Door last October, this book had been on my radar for some time. Sadly, it didn’t quite live up to TGND. That one hooked me from page one and my heart ached for the characters — I loved and was horrified by them. This book seemed to be filled with cardboard characters: a trademark of the slasher genre, sure, but I didn’t care much for any of these people. But Ketchum sure is good at letting the blood fly. This isn’t much of a review, but I don’t have much to say. I feel so indifferent about this little novel. If you’re looking for a quick, grisly read of cannibalism and the macabre, this is the book for you. Be warned: herein is some heavy stuff.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mindi

    This review contains spoilers because there's absolutely no way I can talk about this book without them. Stop reading now if you plan on reading Off Season. Again, I have a really hard time rating Ketchum, because I cannot say in any way that I "enjoyed" this book. I can appreciate what Ketchum is trying to accomplish, which is probably verbatim what I said in my review for The Girl Next Door, but I don't really think that this type of novel is my thing. It's like asking to get punched in the fac This review contains spoilers because there's absolutely no way I can talk about this book without them. Stop reading now if you plan on reading Off Season. Again, I have a really hard time rating Ketchum, because I cannot say in any way that I "enjoyed" this book. I can appreciate what Ketchum is trying to accomplish, which is probably verbatim what I said in my review for The Girl Next Door, but I don't really think that this type of novel is my thing. It's like asking to get punched in the face over and over. Therefore, I'm not going to give it a star rating. I did like the setup for this novel. We get a little bit of background for the characters before everything goes to hell. I also liked that Ketchum wrote chapters from all three points of view...the people in the cabin, the cave dwelling folks (ha), and the police. Just knowing that the police were out there and taking things seriously was a bit of a relief. There are some truly unsettling parts in the beginning. When Carla sees the man in the red shirt and he waves at her, when the cave dwellers are standing outside the cabin in absolute darkness, watching the people inside with slack-jawed fascination...those moments were tense and scary. Everything that happens after that is just for shock value. I was reading in bed next to my husband and had to share some of the finer details with him. At one point he said "what the hell are you reading?" and I have to admit that I had to ask myself the same question. Parts of it were so gross-out disgusting that it was hard to continue at times. I think I can also appreciate what Ketchum was trying to do with his original ending. The corny ending that Ballantine forced for the original release is ridiculous, and I'm glad that Ketchum had a chance to finally release the ending he wanted. I didn't realize the book would have an afterward and Ketchum would discuss all of the changes that were made, so I played a game while I was reading and tried to figure out what they forced him to cut. It was actually a lot more than I expected. My edition also contained a short story that was supposed to be part of another novel, but included a minor character from Off Season. Ketchum cut it from the other novel and decided to publish it with this edition of Off Season. Oddly, this little snippet enraged me even more than Off Season. The idea that one of those kids got away made my blood boil. But of course, there are sequels. I also have to mention this because it drove me crazy, and I haven't seen a single person mention it in any of the reviews I read. Did anyone else notice how the name Carla would switch to the typo Carta for WHOLE PAGES AT A TIME? Seriously, her name was spelled wrong through half of the book. I get that this book has been through a lot of revisions, but this was so blatant that it dragged me out of the story every time it happened. Sorry, I just had to rant. In conclusion, this book is definitely effective for what Ketchum is trying to achieve. It's disgusting, and brutal, and totally perverse, and I appreciate that some people like that type of in-your-face horror. It's just not my jam.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Randolph

    I don't know what to say about this. It was the unexpurgated edition. I suppose for it's time it was shocking, but it seems a little dated now. It is the lost cannibal tribe slasher cabin in the woods formula. I saw all the explicit grue, rape, sex, and pedophilia as just filler. A little less would have still gotten the message of how inhumanely we treat each other, and if you look at it it only drives the plot early on, after the initial attack; then it's thrill filler, ho hum. It seems that o I don't know what to say about this. It was the unexpurgated edition. I suppose for it's time it was shocking, but it seems a little dated now. It is the lost cannibal tribe slasher cabin in the woods formula. I saw all the explicit grue, rape, sex, and pedophilia as just filler. A little less would have still gotten the message of how inhumanely we treat each other, and if you look at it it only drives the plot early on, after the initial attack; then it's thrill filler, ho hum. It seems that ol' Jack was up in arms about the bowdlerized version but I won't spoil the changes. He does talk about the great meaning of the novel and how the editors ruined it but I see only a little message about the random cruelty of the universe that wasn't such a big deal, and all the outrage mentioned above has little to do with it. It sucks to be attacked, captured, killed, cooked, and eaten by cannibals maniacs especially if they rape you first. Oh, and I don't need the recipe either. All this said, the novel requires a huge portion of suspension of disbelief to swallow the entire premise of the story to begin with and the first half doesn't do much to develop characters other than Carla, so we don't really care about the ones that are left after Carla takes the dirt nap rather early on. The only real suspense is the assault and siege on the cabin. I didn't really hate it in the end like I did Richard Laymon's The cellar. because once the initial unbelievable premise is established Ketchum doesn't heap a bunch more unbelievable silliness on top of it.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Horace Derwent

    CROATOAN yes, this one has a unique preface for the chinese(traditional), i mean taiwanese edition(cuz the agency is the only one which issues jack ketchum's works in chinese on this planet :D), by the author too, like The Girl Next Door, so huhaa non-chinese speaking guys just be envious since that i'd perused the original one before, i really enjoyed the translation of this book though i'm not very used to traditional/twnese chinese characters and its literary arrays of composing type, but still CROATOAN yes, this one has a unique preface for the chinese(traditional), i mean taiwanese edition(cuz the agency is the only one which issues jack ketchum's works in chinese on this planet :D), by the author too, like The Girl Next Door, so huhaa non-chinese speaking guys just be envious since that i'd perused the original one before, i really enjoyed the translation of this book though i'm not very used to traditional/twnese chinese characters and its literary arrays of composing type, but still i love those shits anyway, i always wonder how those cannibals derived, why do they live on human flesh? and why are they all caucasian? the suzerain stopped supplying the colonies? the colonial famines? witchcrafts? but, Alex, you know what, whenever i remember this book, i just wanna have a try(can't help with the urges, am i evil? or i'm just a monster, alas...) to kill someone ...with my own bare hands and fists(something like beating, hitting a man to his raw death, eg: crushing the skullcap with my fingerbones, etc)

  29. 4 out of 5

    Rayne Havok

    After everyone kept saying that this book is great, I finally read it... well listened to it. It was good, lots of yuck. Gets my recommendation. There was a small part where a lady threw a balled up paper bag into a creek or lake, just littered like a maniac! Now, that's horror. After everyone kept saying that this book is great, I finally read it... well listened to it. It was good, lots of yuck. Gets my recommendation. There was a small part where a lady threw a balled up paper bag into a creek or lake, just littered like a maniac! Now, that's horror.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Krissy

    This was very disturbing. It's been a while since I've read something this fucked up. This was very disturbing. It's been a while since I've read something this fucked up.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.