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Forums Index -> Best-cellars -> Jack Ketchum Questions
Terminal
PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2006 7:02 am  Reply with quote



Joined: 21 Jun 2006
Posts: 8052
Location: Bronx, New York

Okay, I'm thinking about picking up some novels from Jack Ketchum, so I have a few questions:

1. Are his books written in sequence, and follow an arc?
2. If I buy them in various titles will I miss out on anything?
3. I'm going to buy "Red" and "The Girl Next Door" since I heard about them on DC. Are these good places to start on Ketchum?

Thanks.
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Ultimo Franco
PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2006 7:13 am  Reply with quote



Joined: 20 Jun 2006
Posts: 2039

RED is a fine book, but it's one of Ketchum's most subtle stories. It might work best if you read it after reading one of his sledgehammer books like THE GIRL NEXT DOOR or OFF SEASON. They're not written in any sequence (except for OFFSPRING which is a sequel to OFF SEASON). The Leisure editions of all of these books are author approved versions, so get started and enjoy. Not that there's anything really "enjoyable" about the horrors Ketchum describes in GIRL. It's an utterly unforgettable book, but about as far from enjoyable as one can imagine.

I haven't read THE LOST yet. I've read quite a few of his short stories and they're top notch.
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thedudeabides
PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2006 11:51 am  Reply with quote
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Off Season is a great book!
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lethaldread
PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2006 12:38 pm  Reply with quote



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I have been contemplating picking up one, but iam not sure which too start. I guess I ll start with Off-Season. What is is about, in a nut shell?
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Aaron2010
PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2006 1:46 pm  Reply with quote



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Off Season = clan of canibal cave people. There is a sequel called Offspring.

The two best ones I've ever read are RED and GIRL NEXT DOOR.
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brainee
PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2006 2:08 pm  Reply with quote



Joined: 23 Jun 2006
Posts: 620
Location: WI

Terminal wrote:
2. If I buy them in various titles will I miss out on anything?


The Leisure reprints have bonus short stories and Ketchum's approved text so they are the ones to get if you can. They'll be the easiest ones to find though (and the cheapest), so its not something to worry about.
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lethaldread
PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2006 2:18 pm  Reply with quote



Joined: 25 Aug 2006
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Aaron2010 wrote:
Off Season = clan of canibal cave people. There is a sequel called Offspring.

The two best ones I've ever read are RED and GIRL NEXT DOOR.


OoOoo...... Sold!
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Bone Daddy
PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2006 2:29 pm  Reply with quote



Joined: 28 Aug 2006
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Location: New York

Off-Season is a decent read. Good place to start.


Good build up and a suitably bleak tone permeates the narrative.
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Eddie Quist
PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2006 8:43 pm  Reply with quote



Joined: 12 Sep 2006
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Location: The Slaughtered Lamb or other fine pubs

Ditto the love for Off Season. In fact I am hoping that Leisure decides to reprint Offspring because I have yet to read that one. I was absolutely unimpressed with Red however. Utterly boring and predictable.
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The Butcher
PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2006 6:26 am  Reply with quote
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RED was amazing.
Eddie needs to replace that piece of his brain he gave to Karen back in the day! Smile
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Eddie Quist
PostPosted: Wed Sep 13, 2006 8:29 pm  Reply with quote



Joined: 12 Sep 2006
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Location: The Slaughtered Lamb or other fine pubs

I know...I am one of the few naysayers of RED. For whatever reason I just never really got into it.
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Cash Bailey
PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2006 4:23 am  Reply with quote



Joined: 04 Jul 2006
Posts: 477
Location: Australia

http://www.ains.com.au/~gerlach/bp07.htm - Here's a superb, very long interview with Ketchum on the Richard Laymon site.

OFF SEASON is, I suppose, his most famous outright horror novel. It's pretty damn good, especially if you put it in the context of its time and the relative lack of anything else around that graphic.

The characters are nothing special but it moves like a bullet and is admirably straightforward.


THE GIRL NEXT DOOR is a masterpiece. Plain and simple.


SHE WAKES isn't that great.

That's all I've read of the man. Not many of his books are avaliable in Australia.
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Bone Daddy
PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2006 2:15 pm  Reply with quote



Joined: 28 Aug 2006
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Richard Laymon-read most of his books. He and Ketchum have a similiar vibe. When ya get yer Ketchum fix-then check out Laymon!
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Johnny Truant
PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2006 3:42 pm  Reply with quote



Joined: 20 Jun 2006
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I might be in the miniority here, but I didn't like Off Season as much as his other stuff. Of course, I've only read "The Lost", "Red", "Girl Next Door", and "Off Season".

I mean Off Season does kick ass, and it's worth a read no doubt, but it totally felt like a patchwork of 70's grindhouse. The fellatio/castration scene from Last Houe on the Left is used to great affect though. That was pretty wicked.

The first book I read by him was "Red", and I finished it in less than a day. I thought that book kicked ass, and it and "The Lost" are probably my fave books by them. I can't wait to see the movie version of "The Lost".

I read the "The Girl Next Door" in about 4 hours. I just couldn't put it the fuck down, even though there were times when I really just wanted to throw that mother fucker across the room. I had to know what happended next. I let my sister borrow it after I was finished wit it. She won't even touch a book I had to her anymore.
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brainee
PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2006 3:52 pm  Reply with quote



Joined: 23 Jun 2006
Posts: 620
Location: WI

Johnny Truant wrote:
I mean Off Season does kick ass, and it's worth a read no doubt, but it totally felt like a patchwork of 70's grindhouse. The fellatio/castration scene from Last Houe on the Left is used to great affect though. That was pretty wicked.


I agree with you. The writing style is not as polished and character development weaker than his later work. In addition to LHotL, you can see pieces of "Hills Have Eyes", "Night of the Living Dead", and "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" in there.

A funny thing about that castration scene -- I love Ketchum's commentary on how that edited. In the original release, the publishers had no trouble with the fellatio/castration itself but had a problem with a description of the several penis being spit out. Ketchum was confused, since cutting that out opened up the possibility that she swallowed the penis instead Shocked
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