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.
©1981 Jack Ketchum; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.
"If you read Off Season on Thanksgiving, you probably won't sleep until Christmas." (Stephen King)
100 Must-Read Thrillers (International Thriller Writers)
Where has this autho been all my life? I'd never heard of Jack Ketchum till recently, and took a chance on this book. I am partial to this type of story, and the genre in general, but I didn't expect the book to be as good as it was. Very, very intense, graphic violence, but for a good reason. The antagonists (the family of cannibals) are truly froghtening, even the children. If you can deal with the violence, I highly recommend this book. One of the most frightening stories I've read in a long time.
I now understand why Jack Ketchum's "Off Season" is a classic.
Mr. Ketchum is a master of setting a scene. He is also expert in building tension and conflict.
The story was gruesome...deliciously so. His writing...genius.
I will listen to it again.
Flowed really well. People didn't like some of the gore but I'm all for it. It wasn't to much that made the story lose traction. It was a good listen. Fast paced and had me tense up in quite a few moments. People out to relax and end up in a fight for survival that leads to one of the most horrible nights I can remember in a book. Overall I liked this book. Good scary horror.
My taste differs from kid books to gory horror books.
Backwoods, backward, cannibalistic inbreed Yankees, my kind of book. This is Ketchum's first book, which explains the inconsistences in the writing. At times you think great and at others NOT. Overall it is a good read if you are into this type of stuff. Konrath writes better, but I don't know if I have read his first book, so we may not be comparing apples to apples.
It has gore, it has lots of sex and yea, it is a little sophomoric. If you are not into this genre, you will not like it, if you are into it, you will have a hoot.
I thought the narrator was pretty good. He is the kind of narrator, which makes you forget someone is narrating. You feel like you are reading it in your head, can't see how anybody could object to him.
While Ketchum's story is entertaining in a "guilty pleasure" sort of way, it would require a far better narrator than Richard Davidson to make it acceptable as an audio book. The story and prose are crude and require a more skilled narration than is provided to make it work. I gave up on it about one third of the way through. Not recommended.
Thrillers zombies and action make my day! Fast moving stories and characters worth reading. New twists to a great genre will always get me
Didn't expect this! Exciting and different. Not familiar with the author but want to read more. Story is just enough to feel for the characters without being bored.
I like Jack Reacher style characters regardless of setting. Put them in outer space, in modern America, in a military setting, on an alien planet... no worries. Book has non moralistic vigilante-justice? Sign me up! (oh, I read urban fantasy, soft and hard sci-fi, trashy vampire and zombie novels too)
Overall, it's an okay story. I didn't realize that 1981 was so long ago but after reading this book and noticing just how much it reads like a "classic", I understand that the 1980s is a whole world ago and what was shocking and revolting then in fiction has been outdone since in real life. I didn't find it particularly gory or disturbing (go read Meat if you want something disturbing) but I'm sure for an 80s audience it must have been.
The women are beyond useless and the "bad guys" are beyond believable, and if I lived in Maine I'd be offended at how "hillbilly-y" Ketchum portrays the locals, but it's fast and nicely paced and you might still find yourself wondering how it'll turn out in the end, even if you might not care about any of the characters enough to hope for their survival.
But, for a fast and gory - albeit somewhat dated - horror book, it's decent enough. I don't think I'll read more of Ketchum though as it's really more like Shock-Horror than Terror-Horror which is what I prefer when I read horror books. Oh, and there's no subtlety as to what's going on, or what will happen in the end.
The narration is okay. He's not the most animated narrator I've heard, but he doesn't hurt the story any.
This is a great horror tale. I felt it was a clear hats off to so many great horror writers. Yet told with an original voice.
Stephen King said that you must write honestly when writing a story. I only recently figured out what that means. You can feel it when a writer is not being honest and here's where things get truly scary... Jack Ketchum's "Off Season" is honest writing and because of that, even though the subject matter is extremely violent and absolutely vile it comes across as sort of beautiful. And that probably be the one and only time that anyone ever uses the words beautiful when describing "Off Season".
Off the coast of Maine, a tribe of cannibalistic savages has their eyes set on a cabin in the woods where a buffet of unsuspecting 80's era New Yorker's have decided to stay for a week. While this sounds like the simple, troupe fest plot to a cheesy slasher film, Jack Ketchum's "Off Season" is a slasher film fan's wet dream. Unapologetic, brutal, violent, and unafraid, "Off Season" quickly devolves into a nightmarish battle for survival where normal men and women must sink to the level of their enemies to overcome them.
Jack Ketchum doesn't pull any punches here. This book IS NOT for the faint of heart. Once called "violence pornography" in 1980 upon its first printing, this is the author's preferred version of the story. In the Afterword, Ketchum discusses the backlash the book received, the differences between the original published version and this newer edition, and his reasoning for the decisions he made in the book.
As far as the audio book performance goes, I felt in some parts the narrator got a little too far into the accents he does and it takes away from being able to understand what he is supposed to be saying. There are also a few parts where the narrator speaks too low and I am forced to turn up the radio and then all of a sudden, he shouts or gets emotional and it gets way too loud. Otherwise, the performance itself is wonderful and the narrator gives a voice to each of the characters making it easier to follow who is speaking.
This book is so boring, and when you pair it with a reader who sounds like he's more fit for reading a Little Women type book it's just awful. It took more than half to book to get anywhere, and once it got there they kept it boring and unreliable. When the freaks actually attack, half the characters aren't even afraid. Then the author kept switching between the freak attack and some boring dialog between a couple of cops. I try to listen to horror books to keep me going at work, and this one made me almost fall asleep while walking. Awful, awful, awful
"Off Season by Jack Ketchum"
If you like Texas chainsaw massacre and the hills have eyes then this is the book for you although its very gory and very detailed it makes you think that you would never want to be in the position these characters were great disturbing well written story
"The Hills Have Eyes meets The Strangers"
This book was no holds barred in all departments. The afterward by the author highlights how graphic the book was for its times, but it still is. Put it this way, if it were to be adapted Rob Zombie would be the man to do it. However, the violence, sex etc all suit the story. So to answer the question the book delivers on its promises! The narrator was also a good match to the story.
This books is 'Constant Reader' territory. So anything Stephen King, IT WAS SET IN MAINE! The story was most like the films; 'The Hills Have Eyes' and 'The Strangers'. I would recommend to anyone who likes gore!
Richard Davidson was well suited and brought a slick laid back style.
This book grossed me out😝
Really enjoyable. Steady at first but when the s!!t hits the fan it explodes. Give it a try😀
"Love this author"
Love this author the books are no holds barred shocking at time but you can't stop listening
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