The Girl Next Door

The Girl Next Door

4.4 98
by Jack Ketchum, Neal McPheeters
     
 

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Suburbia in the 1950s, a dark side emerging in the Chandler house for teenage Meg and her crippled little sister Susan - captive to an Aunt, who is rapidly descending into madness. "The Girl Next Door is alive.... in a way most works of poplular fiction never attain; it does not just promise terror but actually delievers it. But it's a page-turner, all right; no doubt

Overview

Suburbia in the 1950s, a dark side emerging in the Chandler house for teenage Meg and her crippled little sister Susan - captive to an Aunt, who is rapidly descending into madness. "The Girl Next Door is alive.... in a way most works of poplular fiction never attain; it does not just promise terror but actually delievers it. But it's a page-turner, all right; no doubt about that." - Stephen King

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The Girl Next Door is alive...it does not just promise terror but actually delivers it.. It's a page-turner." —Stephen King

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780963339744
Publisher:
Overlook Connection
Publication date:
07/01/2002
Pages:
248
Sales rank:
156,792
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.69(d)

Meet the Author

Jack Ketchum, a four-time recipient of the Bram Stoker Award, is the author of many novels and works of short fiction. Several of his books have been adapted to film. Jack lives in New York City.

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Girl Next Door 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 98 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of those books that once you have read the last word on the last page, you sit there for a moment and just think about everything that just happened. This book grabs you...hard. It rips and tears at your mind making you just wish that a happy ending would hurry up and come. Towards the end of the story, I felt the urge to just chuck the book across the room because of the anger I felt towards what was happening in the story. Its been a while since I've read a story so honest, daring, and twisted. A highly suggested read, if you can stomach it.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Suburban 1950s New Jersey is a great place to raise kids just ask twelve year old David, who loves playing in his idyllic neighborhood where crime is nonexistent. Next door Ruth Chandler, single mother of David¿s best friend Donny and two brothers, takes in two young distant cousins whose parents died in a horrific automobile accident. The older sister fourteen years old Meg seems to have fully recovered the younger sibling Susan needs crutches and wears heavy metal braces on her legs while mentally she is totally broken. David is immediately attracted to the lovely Meg and they begin meeting at places like 'Big Rock¿ they make a charming cute couple. Ruth lives in the past when she was the office manager of a large firm she hates suburbia and being saddled with five children. She takes her growing rage out on her new charges, physically and mentally abusing Meg and Susan, especially Meg who reminds her of all she gave up to have kids. Her sons by omission support her actions. David also knows that Ruth is violent towards Meg, but though he loathes what she is doing, he is also fascinated by her dehumanizing the one person who reminds her how far she has fallen. --- This reprint of a 1989 deep psychological study focuses on the watcher-narrator David who learns about abuse and helplessness when he fascinatingly observes the pain a human inflicts on another while neighbors ignore the truth. The story line hooks the audience from the opening line as a wizened David understands pain and never lets go as the serene middle class suburban neighborhood enables ugliness to hide behind the scene (mindful of the Kitty Genovese killing in 1964 Queens). This book also includes two short stories and an interview with Jack Ketchum, but cannot be considered padding since the novel is 340 pages. Readers will be shocked by the horror of customized violence that society chooses to ignore when it happens to THE GIRL NEXT DOOR. --- Harriet Klausner
Wania Gonzalez More than 1 year ago
Wow. This book left me feeling sad and mad. Sad for the girl, she fought til the end. No matter what they did. Angry....David! So dissapointing how he acted towards this. Yes he kind stood up at the end but how count he know it was wrong from the start. Idk im confused on what i feel towards david
Guest More than 1 year ago
Intense, once you start you can not stop. Once you finished you will never be the same.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I can't believe anyone, no matter what the age, could be stupid enough to not tell someone that a girl was being tortured for weeks, let alone months. There were other GIRLS there also, not just stupid boys. I think it's unbelievable that MORE THAN one person was that stupid.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very good. Sad that it was based on a true story. Had to watch the movie on Netflix afterwards!
Kasia_S More than 1 year ago
No one can say that this story lacks nostalgia; it is however overshadowed by events that are hard to read, moments so painful that sometimes the reader is left in discomfort (but hungry for revenge). Perhaps when it comes to harming kids, certain emotions kick into higher gear, horror stories that involve adults never tug at me as much as stories where defenseless youngsters get the unfortunate piece of life, especially if they were good kids who didn't deserve even the slightest form of punishment. This story however is about two kinds of kids, the good ones and the ones who know no empathy and no boundaries, dark souls that manage to cause some psychical and psychological harm. Told from the point of view of young David, the tale takes on personal feel when the boy takes interest in Meg, a bright young girl who moves in with the family next door. Along with her younger sister Susan, she is a survivor of a car crash that claimed the lives of her parents, moving in with her relatives seemed like a good a good idea until aunt Ruth started to act strange. Drinking her beer and letting her boys loose she was a tough feisty woman, one that you can't say no to, one that will punish you in bizarre and cruel ways, one that can destroy a young soul and send it to brims of pain and humiliation. This was a powerful and moving book, one that made me angry and wishing I could have appeared in it with a weapon ready to kick some @ss. This is a story that takes a life of its own, one that will change you for a while with its moving and descriptive -sometimes too descriptive, language. This was a great read from Ketchum, worth the hype and it delivers, it's simply a great story, read it. - Kasia S.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a very intense story. The material is shocking, but delivered masterfully. Jack Ketchum is one of the best!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Disturbing is all that comes to mind. I knew by others reviews I was in for a roller coaster ride, but I went foward and bought the book anyway. It was one of them books where you dont want to read anymore and your totally disgusted at what is going on, but you cannot stop yourself from finsihing it....I just wanted to see a happy ending for this girl. You will have to read it for yourself to find out if there was truly a happy ending I wont give it away. I think I would of like the book more if it was not a true story......Disturbing
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A wonderful read, good diction, and tugs at your heart strings the whole way. Wouldn't recommend this book to everyone, due to it's extreme content, but if you are up to an emotional roller coaster. Give this a read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love horrific, bloody and decriptive books and movies, but this one was too much. I don't know if it was because it was based on true events or because I have tow little boys now, but this book left me feeling empty, sad and disgusted. The writing was amazing and you could actually picture the kids and Ruth telling these children what to do and that this abuse was ok.....like Hitler and the nazis. I would recommend this book to anyone, but be forewarned-- GIRL NEXT DOOR will stay with you. It's haunting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The hardest reality for me in this book was nobody told. This was not a clan or a cult but kids from a neighborhood. I know stuff like this happens all over the world but it doesn't make it easier to talk about yet alone report it. This book was wonderfully written but will affect me for a long time to come. Itis not something you can forget over time. When i tell someone about the book and suggest they read it i tell them it is a good book but leaves your heart in pain for past and future victims of abuse
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wow. The most disturbing book I've ever read. The subject matter is at times too much to handle, and often I found myself wishing I could read with my eyes closed. Technically speaking, it is a great piece of writing. With simple,honest prose, Ketchum effortlessly draws you in and, for better or for worse, makes the horrific believable. This is my first Jack Ketchum novel. I will read more. Many more.
sworm76 More than 1 year ago
I read the book and saw the movie and they both really shocked me!I could not believe what this girl went through. It was a bit graphic and disgusting what they did to that girl. Kind of wish I hadn't seen the movie of it. Reading it was bad enough and when you see it on screen, it is even more disturbing. If you want to be disturbed or disgusted then read this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This I have to say is a pretty upsetting book. I read this with an open mind and I haven't read anything this horrible. I felt bad for the girl that went through all of that. And I'd like to say she had courage to be able to take the abuse the had. Reading this made me hate the mother of the boys. She was horrible and I wanted to jump into the book or back into time and help her get away from that family. No one should have to go through what she had to and this book made me realize how horrible people can actually be.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was the first Jack Ketchum book I have read and I am HOOKED. This book is disturbing and graphic and SCARY. I adore Stephen King but this guy is like Stephen King on steriods. I want to read everything he's written!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago