We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
 >   > 
Off Season | [Jack Ketchum]

Off Season

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.
Regular Price:$19.95
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

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.

©1981 Jack Ketchum; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"If you read Off Season on Thanksgiving, you probably won't sleep until Christmas." (Stephen King)

100 Must-Read Thrillers (International Thriller Writers)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (98 )
5 star
 (31)
4 star
 (27)
3 star
 (25)
2 star
 (11)
1 star
 (4)
Overall
3.9 (69 )
5 star
 (26)
4 star
 (18)
3 star
 (17)
2 star
 (5)
1 star
 (3)
Story
3.8 (69 )
5 star
 (23)
4 star
 (20)
3 star
 (15)
2 star
 (8)
1 star
 (3)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Barry Katy, TX, United States 11-22-09
    Barry Katy, TX, United States 11-22-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    402
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    268
    36
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    19
    0
    Overall
    "Wow!"

    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.

    13 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen 12-27-09
    Karen 12-27-09 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    59
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    49
    10
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    5
    1
    Overall
    "Breathless"

    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.
    And again.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nathan Wakarusa, KS, United States 11-04-10
    Nathan Wakarusa, KS, United States 11-04-10 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    91
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    37
    29
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    24
    0
    Overall
    "Nice!"

    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.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Neva Clinton, TN, United States 12-03-09
    Neva Clinton, TN, United States 12-03-09 Member Since 2008

    Avid reader! Want fast paced, energetic thrillers. King/Koontz are favorites but finding more authors that are starting to rise to the top

    HELPFUL VOTES
    20
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    36
    21
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    4
    Overall
    "Great Read"

    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.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    crazybatcow East Coast, Canada 01-04-12
    crazybatcow East Coast, Canada 01-04-12 Member Since 2007

    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)

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1810
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    375
    269
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    575
    8
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The 1980s were a long time ago, eh?"

    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.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 12-23-14
    Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 12-23-14 Member Since 2010

    I will listen to NO boring book. Old Fav's,Card, King , Hobb. New Fav's, Hill, Scalzi, Sawyer, Interested in Lansdale, Crouch, Konrath

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1532
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    592
    565
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    126
    28
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "CRAZY AS A WHORE IN THE VATICAN"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Card RAMONA, CA, US 10-12-14
    Linda Card RAMONA, CA, US 10-12-14 Member Since 2012

    Booklover

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    9
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Who's for dinner?"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    The opening did not grab me - it was weird in an icky way that I did not fully understand but I hate to give up on a read. So 51 minutes into it, I guessed it was about a cannabalistic sect hiding in the woods of Maine. I tried another hour and it just didn't get any better. So my review is based on listening for 2 hours and then bailing out. My time is too valuable to be wasted on this.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Probably not anything by Jack Ketchum.


    How could the performance have been better?

    I didn't much care for the meter of the narrator either - it was jagged.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Nope, none that I found in the first 2 hours before tossing it.


    Any additional comments?

    I listen to alot of authors, not all can be great so I will find another book soon. I just wanted to warn folks that this may not be your cup of tea.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    peter Milford, CT, United States 06-25-12
    peter Milford, CT, United States 06-25-12 Member Since 2011

    Old Timer

    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Disappointing"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Guillermo Rochester Hills, MI, United States 02-15-10
    Guillermo Rochester Hills, MI, United States 02-15-10 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    301
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    374
    28
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    14
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    "Mediocre at Best"

    I temper my judgement of this book for two reasons:
    1. He wrote it 30 years ago, so it's unfair to compare the many books that did what he tried better since then, and
    2. He was simply trying to write pulp slasher fiction and didn't care about character development and can't be judged too harshly for not doing it.

    The author thinks he wrote an explicit novel, but there are 1960's novels that were more explicit (Rogue Roman comes to mind). You can't hinge the success of a novel on shock, but that's what Ketchum tried to do here.

    To make explicit violence work properly, you need to pair it with beauty. Ketchum doesn't build up beauty at all, so the violence is simply boring.

    Finally, the book is narrated as if by a parody of Captain Kirk. I kept forgetting to listen to the novel and imagined William Shatner reading the phone book as if it were the end of the universe. Every little thing is narrated like it's a shocker, and I mean everything no matter how trivial. There's no nuance at all, no finesse. But that may be the producer's fault and not the narrator. They may have told him to do it.

    When I think of fun pulp books I listened to like "Infected" or smart explicit books like "Meat" or "Kafka on the Shore" it's hard to feel like I got any value hearing Off Season, but then those books are more mature.

    2 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Arturo MEXICO DFMexico 11-18-09
    Arturo MEXICO DFMexico 11-18-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Not very good"

    I really had a hard time finishing this book. Not because of the book per se...I've always wanted to check out this novel and author. To be honest, I wasn't very impressed...its fame as a violent and nasty book is justified. The story is pretty formulaic, full of cliches and stereotypic characters. But all in all, It would have been a fun, B-movie type of experience if it wasn't for the voice artist who reads this: I didn't like his style at all. His "women" and "redneck" voices are specially sucky...I am still waiting for an audiobook version of The Girl Next Door. Hope it is read by somebody else, if ever released.

    2 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 10 results
Sort by:
  • jennifer
    alfreton, United Kingdom
    7/4/10
    Overall
    "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

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-1 of 1 results

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.