Suburbia. Shady, tree-lined streets; well-tended lawns; and cozy homes. A nice, quiet place to grow up. Unless you are teenage Meg or her crippled sister, Susan.
On a dead-end street, in the dark, damp basement of the Chandler house, Meg and Susan are left captive to the savage whims and rages of a distant aunt who is rapidly descending into madness. It is a madness that infects all three of her sons and finally the entire neighborhood. Only one troubled boy stands hesitantly between Meg and Susan and their cruel, torturous deaths. A boy with a very adult decision to make....
©1989 Dallas Mayr (P)2016 Tantor
"The Girl Next Door is alive...it does not just promise terror but actually delivers it.... It's a page-turner." (Stephen King)
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Before you pick up this book, you got to ask yourself, why you like horror. You need to know where you draw the line or do you have a line? If you have a line, I guarantee this will cross it. The first two hours read like a coming of age story, that could have been written by Ray Bradbury. I was sucked in and then slowly things start to happen. Unlike many other horror novels, it does not involve ghosts, aliens or something out of the woods or swamp. The monster is a mom and the victim is a child. As another reviewer mentions, just as you think it gets to its worse, it gets worse. I have never read anything as awful (five stars) as this. With a couple of hours left, I found myself wishing it was over. I hoped the book would end and the last two hours was a preview, added short story, author interview, anything but more torture. It did not end. Ketchum is a great writer which makes this even more terrific. With many horrors, you have that certainty that the story is made up, fake, impossible. Ketchum's realistic writing scares the hell out of me.
A collector of books. Splatterpunk, bizarro, true crime, nonfiction and fantasy are my genres of choice.
I loved the perspective we are given as we see this girl going through hell. Instead of it coming from her perspective, it is from the perspective of a hesitant child being pressured into taking part in her torture.
It reminds me of Cannibal: The True Story of the Maneater of Rotenburg. Because although one is more true crime and the other more fiction, they both paint a fictionalized version of the situation around a certain person or character.
He puts the perfect tone to everything, it gives the perfect atmosphere to the whole experience. No matter how bad it gets he doesn't let up on how he speaks and goes about the story.
There actually is a film for this book. The tagline is "In this town, murder is the neighborhood game." But I'll come up with my own. "Say no to peer pressure."
This book is not completely fiction as some may believe. It is based on the Sylvia Likens case back in the late sixties. A young girl who was neglected, beaten, and tortured by a family she was given to to be taken care of. The story itself is fictionalized but based closely on the case and is very well done.
This book (loosely based on a true story) is very well pieced together and works on a few different levels. The writing is even paced and the characters make sense.
Like a horrific car accident seen in slow motion there is nuance to the way in which destruction occurs. This book revels in that deconstruction.
Not for everyone and even more chilling when you read the real life account.
I read this book on a whim. I chose it from some random Top 10 list on a random Web site. I am both pleased and truly disturbed. This story takes the childhood fears used to evoke emotions in IT and adds the twisted, soul burning torture caused by human failings and adult manipulation to bring us face to face with the possibility that we might all have been monsters.
This book was hard to listen too. Scared me right out of bed and made me sick to finish it. I jumped from chapter 39 to 44 I could take the abusers details any more.
Because of subject matter. Very dark and definitely not a summer read. The book seems very familiar to me but, I cannot place it. It is well done although morbid. If I had known it was going to be so depressing, I would not have purchased it. Definitely something you cannot listen to on a speaker if you have people walking around. Actually will narrated considering it was the author doing the narration.
Yes. The story is horrific, but definitely had me engaged with anger!
I won't be a spoiler, but you might want to read the overview/synopsis of what this book is about before you listen to it. It was NOT what I expected.. the story is friggin' horrific and angering.
"A good story. Dark and twisted, been a fan of jack Ketchum since I saw the movie, a great writer overall!"
For Stephen King fans, a must listen to story. A can't put down type of story!!
I love dark gritty thrillers, mystery, psychological, police procedural, and horror with the romance set at a minimum to none.
Admittedly, I'm an audiobook/podcast addict BUT my brain needs a shower after finishing "The Girl Next Store" by Jack Ketchum last night. I love gritty dark stories that surprise me but often complain that authors play it too safe with all stories just blending into a blob of predictable. This book however took it to places I didn't want to go and I don't think I'll ever forget it. There are points in the story where I was thinking, why aren't you doing something? I so desperately wanted retribution too but wouldn't that be so typical? When it was over I learned this book was inspired by a true story, ugghh.
I can't knock down the rating for this book just because of the subject matter... horror takes many forms. The story is beautifully written and I appreciate the author took risks.
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