Off Season

Off Season

4.3 33
by Jack Ketchum
     
 

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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

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Eighteen years after its mass market release by Ballantine, Ketchum's debut horror novel gains hardcover publication. It's about time. Though this merciless tale of human evil in the Maine woods went out of print soon after publication, its bleak vision and extreme violence still influence horror today. Only a novel of expert articulation and emotional truth can cast such a long shadow, and Ketchum's is both. Horror critic Winter calls the book one of "remarkable elegance," and indeed it's drum tight. Equally impressively, Ketchum uses the devastation of a group of tourists by a band of cannibals not to pander, as so many horror writers after him have done, but to explore with intelligence (and ferocity) the nature of evil and of the human spirit that can resist it. The novel's structure isn't original, modeled largely on the film Night of the Living Dead, but its events unfold with shocking energy and directness. The imagery is cruel--bloody battles between the tourists and cannibals, torture and consumption by the cannibals of their victims--as is the arbitrariness of who will live and who will die; but always Ketchum is in command. In an afterword, Ketchum details the rough history of the novel, explaining how he has reinserted cuts forced by Ballantine. This signed and limited edition not only revives a horror classic and offers some neat publishing lore, but also reminds us that, once upon a time, some of the most exciting genre writing came in paper covers. (Aug.) FYI: Jack Ketchum is the pseudonym of Dallas Mayr (Ladies' Night, etc.). Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780843956962
Publisher:
Leisure Books
Publication date:
06/28/2006
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
308
Product dimensions:
4.34(w) x 6.64(h) x 0.91(d)

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Off Season 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 34 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Every summer I pick up a few trashy paperbacks to read on the beach over my summer vacation. I picked up OFF SEASON simply because I was searching for something in the grocery store's book section on the way out of town enroute to our camping trip. The teaser on the back flap intrigued me. Something about a group of friends staying in a secluded cabin and having to survive their worst fears in a single night of horror. I figured this would be a great read since I was camping in the woods alone with my husband. BIG MISTAKE!!! This book had me riveted and sitting on the edge of my seat (sorry for the cliches) from start to finish. It is the absolutely most violent, debase, graphic thriller I've ever read. As repulsed as I was by the violence I couldn't put the damn thing down! I finished it in 24 hours (only because I was sneaking reads at our camp site)! I had to keep putting the book down to take breaks and recover before proceding. It was so disturbing and at the same time compelling. After finishing the book I was so traumatized I burned it in the campfire. That night while sleeping in our tent I became convinced there was someone outside our tent trying to kill us. I was scared, my hubby was scared (and he has since forbidden me from ever reading a horror story again while camping). This book was better than any scary movie I ever saw. Proceed to the check out if you dare!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Jack Ketchum (the pseudonym for Dallas Mayr) is a deranged, and completely whacked-out writer. I love it! This is my first full book by Mr. Ketchum after reading his story 'Sheep Meadow Story' in the three story collection called 'Triage' and I am very pleased with it. The premise of this book is the terrorizing of an coastal Maine town called Dead River by a 'family' of cannibalistic backwoods people during the tourist 'off season.' An unsuspecting group of friends made up of former and current lovers rents a vacation home outside this nice coastal town only to have their relaxing plans completely (and I mean completely!) ruined with the horror of an invasion of unfathomable proportions. Talk about graphic! This book breaks new ground, for me at least, on the level and intensity of horror, and yes, gore (a tactic used by too many hacks for shock apeal, but here is an integral and necessary ingredient). I turned each page with dreadful anticipation of what was to come next. This is a great way to experience a book. I have missed a real 'page turner' and I have never really used that term before to describe a book. I never really knew what that meant, but this book has defined it for me. If you are at all squeamish, you should definitely read this book! Ha! Actually, I found myself reading with my mouth agape more than once and that's no easy task for a writer to get me to do. Artful (if you can call it that, and I think you can) description of the horror of an unbelievably horrible scenario. To top it all off, this publication (the only version I would recommend reading by the way) is somewhat of a victory dance for Jack Ketchum as he explains in his Afterword. You see, this book was originally published with some key details omitted and a very key change from his original vision. This is his victory over admittedly somewhat of a forced yet self edit. The ending is great in this form and I'm very happy I didn't read the 'original' published version. Nothing in this book follows a formula, and that's truly refreshing. Who is the hero in this book? Well, you have to read it, and that's all I can say. You will be surprised by what you find, or don't find. Don't expect anything... or maybe you should expect everything! Stephen King calls this guy, Jack Ketchum, the scariest guy in America! 'Who's the scariest guy in America? Probably Jack Ketchum, the outlaw horror writer whose terrifying first novel, Off Season, is finally available uncut.' - STEPHEN KING I have to agree with Mr. King, in more ways than one... -=R=-
songcatchers More than 1 year ago
Off Season is a gruesome look at what happens when a small group of tourists meet with a band of cannibals in the Maine woods. And when cannibals are involved, you know it's going to be pretty grisly. A group of six young people are relaxing in a rented cabin in the woods of Maine. Along come a sinister family of cannibals who live in these woods. They reside in a cabin and live like animals. The cannibals snatch one the tourist women and roast her like a pig and that's when the gory action starts. The rest of tourists try to barricade themselves inside the cabin...but that only works for a time. While this action is going down, a small town sheriff is in slow pursuit of the cannibals. The big finale, with the sheriff, the cannibals and the remaining tourists, is in the cannibal cave and is very....memorable. I love this story. Being hunted down by a pack of cannibals is just plain creepy. The children cannibals with their little mouths working and their little teeth chomping especially got under my skin. But in a good way. I enjoy a good scare and this book definitely fits that bill. "Horror critic Winter calls the book one of 'remarkable elegance,' and indeed it's drum tight. Equally impressively, Ketchum uses the devastation of a group of tourists by a band of cannibals not to pander, as so many horror writers after him have done, but to explore with intelligence (and ferocity) the nature of evil and of the human spirit that can resist it."
Guest More than 1 year ago
This novel was my introduction to Jack Ketchum's fiction, a novel that burned itself directly into my brainpan, and which sent me running to the bookstore for more the moment I finished the last page. Here's how it starts: They watched her cross the meadow and step over the low stone wall, into the woods beyond. She looked awkward. She would be easy to catch. Uh, oh. Here it comes. Out in the woods beyond a quiet little beach community in Maine lurks a horrific family of predators with a taste for warm, living flesh. They stalk their prey with the savage cunning of wild beasts, but their intended victims are their own kind: humans. When three urbane couples from the city decide to vacation at a quaint cabin in the sleepy town of Dead River during the off season, they learn just how primitive that others of their species can be, and how quickly they, too, can descend into savagery when fighting for their lives. This is no-holds-barred, in-your-face horror of the highest order that plunges the reader into the center of a waking nightmare that could, indeed, happen. It is gut-twisting fiction superbly wrought by an author who never pulls his punches. Here's an idea: Stuff a copy of OFF SEASON into a backpack and go for a long hike in the woods, like I did the first time I read it. When you've reached your turnaround point way out in the woods and are very tired, settle down under a big tree and start reading. I can pretty much guarantee you'll make the return hike back to your car in record time... Like I did. OFF SEASON is a powerful and terrifying novel from a celebrated master of the genre, the real deal, horror fans. And here's a bonus--this is the author's new uncut, uncensored edition! Don't say I didn't warn you.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Story is good enough to carry the obscene violence. Really a page turner.
Guest More than 1 year ago
you will be back-paging many the times through-out the book. The ending is wild! You will be grossed out but you won't put the book down until you finish. As an aside, I purchased a paper back when it first came out and over forty differant people read it,signed it and almost all returned within 24 hours. I have many stories associated with this novel,which could make a short story in itself.--- This book is simply a great read.
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Cynthia_77 More than 1 year ago
*Review courtesy of Book Hollow* Off Season is one gory, cannibalistic trip! Ketchum kept topping himself in the progression of this book. My "Ew!", "Gross!", went to, "Oh my gosh, can that even be done?", and proceeded to, "Oh lawd, I think I'm going to be sick!" I suppose one thing that really hit home for me with this book is I couldn't look at it as merely fiction. There are cannibals in the world, however, probably not as prevalent as in past times. The story of Sawney Beane and his cannibalistic clan kept flitting through my mind as I was reading this story. Ketchum makes sure we get to know the victims in this story. As I got to know them, I was making a survivor list in my head. I couldn't have been more wrong. People whom I thought would live died, and those I thought would die ended up living. Off Season proved to be a hell of a ride.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I struggled for awhile to find this book once i did i was very satisfied. I had read cover, the girl next door, and she wakes and i wasnt really impressed with cover or she wakes but i thought the girl next door was interesting. I had heard a lot about ketchum but he really hadnt delivered until i read off season now im a fan. I have since read the crossings by him and it was also very good.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Under product details this book was supposed to contain 320 pages. I downloaded it but it has only 207 pages. I'm new to NOOK so maybe I did something wrong. But the book itself was very good.
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Loved every page!
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There is a tremendous amount of violence and gore in this book, probably more than I've ever seen in any horror movie. Also, there is enough gratuitous sexual detail to make this book a pornographic read. Fortunately, the book isn't half bad in terms of plot. A group of friends travel to a cabin in the deep country of Maine and are terrorized by a family of deranged humans. I won't give anything away, but if you're into hard core horror at all, then this book very well may be for you.
1Emerson More than 1 year ago
Interesting story, thrilling plot - cross between Lord of the Flies meets Summer Vacation. What happens when a group of sex starved couples, out for a relaxing time at a pal's cabin in the woods - meet up with the neighborhood wild children with a passion for blood and hunting people. A good read, enjoyed the creepy theme. Like King and Koontz - you will like Ketchum.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago