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.
I am brutally honest. Popular, love everything they read, reviewers are scared to go neg. and risk their ranking. It's your money!!!
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.
Yes, this book was graphic and creepy and a bit unbelievable but so good and held my attention throughout. Jack Ketchum is an awesome author. I do think I'd be scared to be in his mind 😱
Only negative I have to say is the narrator...it was very distracting to me and took away from the intensity of the character when his accents used for the male detectives sounded like if Colonel Sanders and PopEye had a baby. He made the detective sound like he was a southern 80 year old man but yet each time was a bit different. Then he used another accent for another detective that was just as annoying. I am from the the South but I'm pretty sure these accents are not Maine accents!! But not a deal breaker for getting the book. In fact, I just finished the sequel Offspring. It was better than the first I thought and the narrator was a woman and she is so easy and believable to listen to.
I was not drawn to any character in particular; none of them had depth enough to connect with emotionally. I accepted this as par for the course considering the book choice. The point wasn't to get emotionally engaged, it was for setup, gore, and shock.
Richard Davidsons voice characterizations were straight up terrible. Picture Maxwell Smart doing a bad impression of Lucky the Luck Charms leprechaun doing an impression of a Canadian doing an impression of a Maine police officer from the Midwest. It was so intolerable that I could barely hang in long enough to complete the book. Otherwise he was an ok reader with potential for being a GREAT reader - this is why I gave 2 stars instead of 1, he has a great reading voice when he isn't trying to change it. I like it when a reader makes a slight change to the narration when representing different characters but much of the time, less is more.
Was an ok book overall. I probably won't add another Ketchum book to the rotation for a bit but I am sure I will eventually. Even for a horror fan like myself this gore-porn sub-genre gets tiresome pretty quickly. I will probably avoid any other book narrated by Davidson though unless it is clear by the reviews that the voices aren't so ridiculous.
"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
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