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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.

Critic Reviews

"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 Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    128
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    71
  • 2 Stars
    20
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Performance

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    63
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Story

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Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Barry
  • Katy, TX, United States
  • 11-22-09

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.

15 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Nathan
  • Wakarusa, KS, United States
  • 11-04-10

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

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

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.

20 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Neva
  • Kingston, TN, United States
  • 12-03-09

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

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • matthew
  • plymouth, in, United States
  • 06-26-18

a classic

What can you say? It's Jack Ketchum, what more is there to say? I liked the narrator as well, who kinda sounds like a George Carlin type - sarcastic and flippant with the style of his narration. Imagine Carlin's baseball vs. football skit, make it about inbred cannibals. I loved it as a whole.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

bad torture porn

This is just poorly written torture porn masquerading as a survival story. I guess if you're into listening to stories about women having their genitals and nipples cut, then you'll love this book. It's mysogynistic trash. And I'm not all that sensitive about that kind of thing. Just calling it what it is.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

where is Jeffrey Demunn when you need him?

Jack Ketchum's first book is a beautiful blood bath but my God Richard Davidson almost runs it into the ground before really get started. His narration is wonderful but his voices for characters are completely over-the-top and ridiculous. Every one of his hardened old Mainers sounds like a drunken leprechaun pirate, others
sound like they're doing a bad impression of the Joker. His California girl is especially atrocious.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

entirely one dimentional

As far as blood and gore and Carnage, Off season gave some decent scenes. The problem I have with this book and the writing style is that every character is the same person, robotic and unrealistic. I know nothing about the characters and I left not even having a picture of what they look like. The only time this author gets descriptive is when he is writing about sexually explicit content, which there was more than needed. I probably will not be reading another book from this author, not because of the disturbing nature (I enjoy that) but because he lacks the ability to get inside the character and bring them to life.

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • jennifer
  • 07-04-10

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

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Dallas Winston 9
  • 01-20-17

The Hills Have Eyes meets The Strangers

What made the experience of listening to Off Season the most enjoyable?

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.

What other book might you compare Off Season to, and why?

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!

What does Richard Davidson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Richard Davidson was well suited and brought a slick laid back style.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

This book grossed me out😝

Any additional comments?

Really enjoyable. Steady at first but when the s!!t hits the fan it explodes. Give it a try😀

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Madcozy
  • 11-13-16

Love this author

Love this author the books are no holds barred shocking at time but you can't stop listening