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    Create your account Already have an account? Email Address. The Girl Next Door. November 7, Despite the nudity and sexual hi-jinx, Girl Next Door is a creative delight with surprising insight and honesty that will make you laugh, make you smile and most of all, make you feel, all at the same time.

    Full Review. Top Critic. Antonia Quirke London Evening Standard. December 18, This is not entirely your average greasy teen movie, and frequently manages to be quite funny, and ambivalent, about vicious competitiveness at US high schools and sickly, sex-saturated modern life.

    Nell Minow Common Sense Media. December 28, Stunningly bad teen sex comedy. Cole Smithey ColeSmithey. May 4, The writing team of "National Lampoon's Van Wilder" crafted it as a satire about conflicting levels of sexual experience among teens, but fail to connect the significance of erotic pleasure to the emotional demands of budding adults.

    Felix Vasquez Jr. Cinema Crazed. April 29, The few saving graces are the gorgeous Elisha Cuthbert and the fun bad guy turn by Timothy Olyphant.

    August 7, Rob Gonsalves eFilmCritic. February 14, If it had been a porn film, at least it would've been made by people with some insight into the adult-film milieu, as opposed to people with insight into nothing.

    December 27, Eric Melin Lawrence. September 29, It is a movie full of contradictions that plays like a bad The Sure Thing melded uncomfortably together with an exploitative Risky Business.

    Film Threat. First of all, I need to explicitly warn potential readers that this book is very gr "My mom says Meg's the lucky one," he said.

    First of all, I need to explicitly warn potential readers that this book is very graphic and detailed, and it is NOT for the faint of heart. That being said, I can categorically state that this is the most brutal, disturbing, upsetting, traumatising book that I have ever read.

    I did not enjoy reading this book, it made me angry, upset, and downright incredulous that people are capable of such inhumane actions, because this is not just some sick and twisted idea that Ketchum came up with, it is based on a true story.

    I read up on this case after finishing the book and somehow the events that actually happened are even worse.

    Ketchum's writing in this is not flowery and beautifully written - it is full of short and abrupt sentences that just cut right to the chase.

    And this suits the type of story that he is trying to tell and the reaction that he is trying to provoke. And boy, does he succeed. It's not an easy read by any means, at times I just wanted to shut the book and throw it in the bin - but it's also an important book, because these things DO happen.

    People DO torture children and adults for that matter. But at the same time, in the light of such acts of violence and human depravity, we need people who will act out against it.

    Granted, not everyone wants to read about it, but I think it's something we all need to be aware of. Sometimes not doing anything is almost as bad as those taking part in such crimes.

    David is an interesting character, we learn everything that happens through his recollection of events. Although he never actually partakes in any of the abuse, is he complicit because he is aware of it, even though he is only a 12 year old boy?

    The girl who bore the brunt of the abuse, Meg, is heroic in my eyes. She endures abuse and torture that you cannot even fathom, and yet she manages to hold onto her dignity - no matter how much they try to take it away from her.

    Any opportunity where she is close to giving in, all they need to do is threaten her sister and Meg will endure whatever they put her through.

    How I cried for this young girl. Rating this book was tough, as I cannot say I "enjoyed it". However, I found it hard to stop reading, and it evoked such a strong emotional reaction in me that can only be gained from solid writing and a well-executed story, with empathetic characters in this case, Meg and her sister.

    It's a powerful book, one of the most powerful I've ever read, and Ketchum has achieved exactly what he set out to do: to horrify. Apr 03, Maciek rated it really liked it Shelves: october-country , horror , read-in , reviewed.

    The most horrifying thing about Jack Ketchum's The Girl Next Door is that it is based on a true incident - horrendous abuse, torture and eventual murder of the 16 year old Sylvia Likens in Sylvia's parents, carnival workers who moved often, left her and her sister in Indianapolis under care of their acquaintaince, Gertrude Baniszewski.

    Baniszewski was paid to care for the girls, but as the payments were late she began to abuse the young girls, focusing the torrents of her anger on Sylvia.

    Details of this abuse are too horrible to recount, but what is horrifying is that Baniszewski openly encouraged her own children and those of the neighbors to indulge in tormenting Sylvia on their own, imprisoning her in the basement.

    Although Baniszewski's daughter, Paula, would not only brag about it in public but also beat Sylvia in front of the neighbors, nobody did anything to stop it or help her in any way - Sylvia eventually died from her extensive injuries.

    I did not know about this before I read the book - in fact, I approached it without knowing anything about it. I have only read one novel by Jack Ketchum before, Off Season , which is a visceral, gruesome horror novel featuring a tribe of cannibals and some very unlucky vacationers somewhere in remote woods in Maine the same state where Stephen King lives and sets most of his work.

    Although it has plenty of intense and graphic violence, Off Season lacks pretty much everything else, which made it a rather disappointing reading experience for this reader.

    The Girl Next Door is a much better book, because in it Ketchum does what he didn't do in Off Season - develop a proper build up and characters, and establish tension which lasts almost all throughout the novel.

    The narrator of the novel, David, writes it down as a recollection of events which happened a long time ago, when he was growing up in a small town.

    Although David is a successful financier on Wall Street, he has two failed marriages behind him already, and is at the eve of the third - he is filled with sadness, regret and guilt, haunted and gradually destroyed by events which took place thirty years ago.

    To an outsider, David's childhood was a relatively normal experience of a young boy growing up in a small town in the 's. Although he can see that his parents have marital troubles and knows of his fathers's affairs, he has a circle of friends who live right next door to him - the Chandler boys who live with their mother, Ruth.

    Their father left the family for another woman, leaving Ruth alone to take care of the three boys. Everyone at the street loved to hang out at Ruth's place - even though she kept her boys in line, she also gave them beers and let them enjoy themselves; David and his friends felt good at Ruth's place, because it was a place where they could be themselves, and feel natural - in David's case more so than at home.

    Although David does not consider his childhood to be special in any way, there is no suggestion that he is unhappy - he camped with his friends in a real tent, listened to Elvis on a record player, smoked cigarettes and drank beers in secret.

    In another life his childhood recollection would be much more in tune with the novel's idyllic opening image: a young boy lying down next to a clear brook in a picturesque forest, catching crayfish on a bright, sunny day.

    The woods and the brook are both the opening of the book, and the end of David's childhood: this is where he meets Meg Loughlin, whom he declares to be the prettiest girl that he ever saw.

    David is smitten with Meg, and confused by her - she is older than other girls that he knows, and his feelings towards her are different.

    He longs and yearns for something when he sees her, but doesn't exactly know what; Ketchum manages to capture the butterflies of youthful infatuation in his net - David learns that Meg is a distant relative of the Chandler's, and that she will be moving in with them together with her younger sister, Susan, after they both lost their parents in a car accident.

    The accident left Meg with a scar, and Susan crippled - unable to walk without her crutches. David is even more impressed with Meg as a survivor: he manages to overcome his shyness and ask her to go to the local carnival with him, where they share several sweet and memorable moments.

    In another life, these moments could develop into a beautiful romance; here, they are a prelude to a great tragedy. The problem with novels based on real events is that we know what will eventually happen, and it is no great surprise when it finally does.

    This is also the case with The Girl Next Door , but does not ruin the book. Ketchum does a very good job with establishing a slow buildup, with proper foreshadowing in all the right places.

    The specter of horror hangs over the book, and when it finally descends it begins slow, but quickly becomes almost unimaginable.

    There have been hundreds, if not thousands, of such cases all over the world There are two big Whys in this book - why did Ruth begin abusing Meg and her sister?

    Was she jealous of her youth and beauty, which painfully reminded her of her own age and hardships which tore away at her looks? Did Meg remind her of her husband, who ran away with a woman who could have been her?

    Did she think that her boys might become interested in Meg more than they were in her? Did she not want her authority questioned, both as a parent and a woman?

    I think this question is not adequately answered - but then again we see Ruth only from David's perspective, and although he sees her at her house he mostly spends time with her boys, and does not live with them.

    David acknowledges that he does not understand why she did what she did - destroyed a young girl. The other big why regards the Chandler children and David - why did they participate in the abuse and grew increasingly more ferocious, and why did David do nothing to stop them and stood idly by?

    How could the Chandlers horribly abuse and torture Meg, and at the same time go on with their lives as if this was a perfectly ordinary thing to happen?

    Although David does not take part in the abuse of Meg, he does not do anything to stop it or tell his own parents - until it is too late.

    Besides Meg and Susan who are both obvious innocents, David is the only decent character in the entire book - yet he is not without his flaws and desires, which he himself acknowledges: he peeps on Meg with the other boys, waiting for her to undress in her room, and when she doesn't even show up he is furious - and begins to hate her for it, as if she disappointed him, owed him her nakedness.

    When he does see Meg naked and in captivity, he is overcome with desire to touch her. His saving grace is that he doesn't touch Meg, but his condemnation is that he doesn't stop others from touching her, and doing worse things.

    Of all the youths in the book, David is the only character who is at first taken aback by Meg's treatment, and eventually sees what is happening to her as something terribly wrong.

    He is the only boy who sympathizes with Meg, and who feels ashamed at what is happening and his own role in it - but this knowledge, or conscience if you will, makes him even more guilty than those who took part in her abuse.

    The Chandler children did it all under the watchful eye of their mother - if she would order them to stop, they would stop immediately. If she'd forbid them from hurting her, they would not hurt her.

    But Ruth did not only not stop her sons from torturing Meg, she actively encouraged it and took part in it herself. David acknowledges that this torment was Ruth's show - her presence hangs above them like a ghost, even when she is not in the room with them.

    Although Ruth set a series of rules which would justify the abuse -as much for the boys, as for herself - these rules eventually collapsed together with her sanity, and all the bets were off.

    Still, even then, she watched over everything - and everything was possible because she allowed it to be so. Should we hate David? Condemn him for not helping Meg, not telling others about her torment?

    It is easy for us to be outraged, even furious with him, by being entirely removed from his position and enriched by hindsight.

    Could David possibly know what would happen to the sweet girl he first saw at the brook? David does not have anyone to talk to - he understand that talking to other kids is pointless; although they knew that something was happening at Ruth's house - some vaguely, others with specific detail - not a single one of them had any opinion about it.

    It was like a force of nature ; there was no point in discussing something that can't be influenced. In fact, it was not the torment that was a force of nature, but the fact that it took place under the watch and guidance of an adult.

    In the small, suburban community in the 's, adults controlled all aspects of lives of children: adults were the ultimate authority, and what they said could not be questioned.

    This was the social order on which many today look fondly upon: children wouldn't even dare to challenge the actions of their parents and other adults, and corporal punishment was not only openly accepted but actively encouraged.

    This was the whole point of it: kids were supposed to be punished by adults; they were supposed to be subservient to them, and obey them unquestioningly.

    Parental love was not supposed to be easy and selfless, but exactly the opposite. It was supposed to be tough love , which would adequately prepare children for many hardships which would await them in the world.

    Kids had to be straightened out , made into proper men and women. At one point David acknowledges that kids belong to their parents, "body and soul We were property".

    David is conflicted. If Ruth is an adult, a parent of his best friends and now a parental figure for Meg, then who is he to judge that what she is doing is wrong?

    How can he know that what she is doing to Meg now will not turn out to have been right in the future after all? He still feels attracted to Meg, but Ruth and her children are his old friends, who were always good to him.

    In a memorable scene, David sees Meg approach a police officer to complain about her mistreatment. Along with the other kids who witness the scene, David feels a sense of betrayal - how could she tell on them, and to an adult?

    He tells Meg she should think of Mrs. Chandler as her mother, and that her mother would probably treat her the same way. Who's to say?

    Shouldn't snitches be punished? David tries to talk to his father, but he is no good. When David asks his father if it is ever right to hit a woman, he realizes that with his evasive and non-committal answers his father is trying to justify his own lashing out at his mother, which led to the coldness and distance between them.

    It becomes apparent that David's father does not know his own son, and that David is unable to connect with his father; mostly he feels nothing for him, and if he does feel any emotion it is usually contempt.

    Later in the book, David tries to tell his mother - but realizes that he cannot; although she is the only person he can tell, he realizes that by his own indifference he also took part in Meg's torment, and is unable to tell this to her.

    He realizes that he has betrayed Meg, and sees himself as evil - Does he fear that this is how his mother will also see him, or does he fear that this is who he actually is?

    We were juveniles , writes David at the end of the book, as if legal classification could offer any explanation.

    By now it is obvious that this entire writing is not really meant for any reader, but for himself; he confesses to everything that happened now because he did not then, but just as then there is no person who can help him now.

    He is alone and realizes this, plagued by recurring nightmares of his own failure to act, which destroy his relationships and life.

    This is where the true horror of this book lies - not description of torture and abuse. They actually are not as graphic as I expected them to be - they are horrific, but Ketchum doesn't focus on them.

    I can easily see many instances in which this book could have easily turned into simple, schlock horror, but violence is limited to an effective but not overbearing level.

    The actual horror is the gradually emerging sense of complicity in something terrible - and the fact that David uses as a poor attempt at consoling himself at the beginning, but which makes things infinitely worse: "That it was happening all over, not just at Ruth's house but everywhere.

    View all 10 comments. Aug 08, Dan Schwent rated it really liked it Shelves: , kindle-unlimited-experiment. When a pretty girl named Meg moves in next door, young Davy is smitten.

    Soon, however, Meg's aunt Ruth begins mistreating Meg and invites her children to help. Can Davy help Meg escape? Or will he join in her torment?

    This is the twentieth book in my Kindle Unlimited Experiment. For the 30 day trial, I'm only reading books that are part of the program and keeping track what the total cost of the books would have been.

    This is one brutal damn book. At the beginning, it felt like Stephen King's co When a pretty girl named Meg moves in next door, young Davy is smitten.

    Then it became darker and darker until it was physically wearing me out to read it. The Girl Next Door is a story of abuse, torture, and helplessness.

    Like I said, it's a pretty brutal read. Davy is torn between fitting in and trying to save Meg from the progressively more hellish life at Ruth's house.

    Ketchum paints a horrifying picture of life in an abusive environment. The book became increasingly more uncomfortable to read because of his skill at depicting the horrors going on in the basement.

    In the end, this was a hard book to rate. I thought it was very powerful but I can't say I actually enjoyed reading it past the halfway mark.

    The torture was too much but I had to see the book through until the end. The most horrifying thing about the book is that it was based on an actual incident.

    I'm giving it a four because of the impact the story and the writing had, not because of any enjoyment or entertainment I got out of the story.

    I doubt I'll be reading more Ketchum any time soon. View all 12 comments. Aug 11, Kelly and the Book Boar rated it really liked it Shelves: read-in Ever read something that made you feel like you should turn yourself over to the authorities because only psychotic criminals would be interested in the subject matter you just exposed yourself to?

    If so, then you've probably already read The Girl Next Door. Yes, it should have been — but there is a darkness inside the Chandler family home that is brought to light with the addition of two girls to the household.

    They are stories that if you follow too closely make you feel like a sociopathic voyeur. This book takes you into the torture chamber and insanity that you know exists each time you see another story like that of Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus.

    As for me? View all 7 comments. Oct 27, Fabian rated it really liked it. Great, cruel cautionary tale. The type that valiantly finds the Sad in Sadism.

    Jewels, really, all of them, to our culture. It is a summer idyll worthy of Lord of the Flies! And the children come directly from the same mold that made Stephen King's Children of the Corn but nothing so corny to be found here.

    It is a devastating type of realism that I have not come to expect outside of true snuff-stuff or the superb, undervalued film by Peter Jackson, "Heavenly Creatures.

    View 2 comments. Jun 26, Mort rated it it was amazing Shelves: favorites. You should ask yourself only one thing: Are you ready for this book?

    No matter what you think, you probably won't be. The blurb reads as follows: A teenage girl is held captive and brutally tortured by neighborhood children.

    Based on a true story, this shocking novel reveals the depravity of which we are all capable. That's it.

    I went into this with a lot of knowledge about the book and some about the true story, with eyes wide open and ready for You should ask yourself only one thing: Are you ready for this book?

    I went into this with a lot of knowledge about the book and some about the true story, with eyes wide open and ready for almost anything.

    Jack Ketchum was a brilliant writer and his words manages to pull you into this other reality, where you are an impotent spectator to the horrors inflicted on someone truly innocent.

    There were times when I wanted to scream out loud, the frustration making my blood boil. And the helplessness I felt, because I knew how this was going to end, made me wish I had the ability to do something about it.

    This story will make you angry, as well you should be. These words will turn your stomach, will boil your blood, will yank at your heart and nest in the deepest darkest corners of your mind, with all the other things you wish you could forget.

    This is probably the most brilliantly written book I have ever read, but I can't recommend it to anyone, because those words may change you. If you are reading this and you ever feel like you want to quit, please do.

    Some things will never be unseen and some words will never be unread. You have to make up your own mind if you are willing to take that leap of faith, and whatever your motivation, please know that this is probably the most depraved thing you will ever read, because the monsters are mostly children.

    If you feel up to it, read the story about Sylvia Likens, who was the victim in the true story. I leave with this thought, a quote from the book: "In the basement, with Ruth, I began to learn that anger, hate, fear and loneliness are all one button awaiting the touch of just a single finger to set them blazing toward destruction.

    And I learned that they can taste like winning. Feb 23, Paul O'Neill rated it really liked it. No one makes me squeamish quite like Ketchum.

    The story is about two teenage girls who are left in the care of their aunt after a horrible accident. It tells the story of the escalating abuse both of them suffer at the hands of their aunt and her children.

    The story is told through the view of David, who finds the abuse compelling as well as horrific and tells the story of his struggle with it as he comes to terms with what is really happening.

    Writing The book is short and the writing is crisp. It does its job, moving the story along nicely. I thought the use of older David looking back at the events, commenting on them whilst flashing back to the past was very effective.

    The events clearly play a huge part in his later life and as he reflects as older David, it only adds to the emotional side of the story.

    Cash it in hell… Ketchum does an excellent job of making you hate Ruth, the evil aunt. Ketchum is a must read for all horror fans. This, and Off Season, are fantastic and horrifying.

    What happened next, was the basement… Dec 09, Elizabeth Sagan rated it really liked it. One star? Five stars? Throw it away? Is it a great book? Is it a pile of shit?

    There are a few stages of reading it: 1. Interesting character development. So logical. Great introspection. Oh, the tension is building even in the smallest scenes.

    Oh, shit is starting to happen. This is so great. It sends a great message. All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

    Always step in for what is right. Why would anyone write a book like this? What am I getting from this book?

    The main character is equally guilty. And I have no sympathy for him. View all 5 comments. Apr 02, Paul Bryant rated it liked it Shelves: novels.

    Here's another long lingering gaze upon our inhuman humanity for everyone who is still labouring under the delusion that there might be a tiny shred, maybe just a single thread, something, anything, of common decency to be found in the vast majority of ordinary people.

    Jack Ketchum's here to tell you - sorry. There's not. This novel is based on a real crime which took place in JK relocates it to and, creepily, as if this tale needs more creep, which it doesn't, to his home town - to h Here's another long lingering gaze upon our inhuman humanity for everyone who is still labouring under the delusion that there might be a tiny shred, maybe just a single thread, something, anything, of common decency to be found in the vast majority of ordinary people.

    JK relocates it to and, creepily, as if this tale needs more creep, which it doesn't, to his home town - to his home street. To the house next door, in fact!

    I'll give you the gist of the whole thing so you can see that this is another book you don't need to read, which since they've made a movie of it, is also a film you don't need to see.

    The time I'm saving you all! So anyone with any desire to maintain their delusions of common decency and humanity should look away now.

    Sylvia was Her parents were carnies, always moving, always parking the kids with relatives. In this case they parked her and her sister with an acquaintance, no more than that, called Gertrude Baniszewski who lived in Indianapolis and had a whole bunch of her own kids and was dirt poor, an asthmatic, a depressive, and as it turned out, deranged.

    Sylvia very quickly became the concentrated scapegoat hate-figure for this sadistic woman. But more than that, Gertrude encouraged her own sons and their punk friends to join in with the torment.

    It took them a few months to torture Sylvia to death. They were reasonably creative. No one in the merry group of torturers told anyone in authority, neighbours didn't notice a thing.

    When Sylvia died one of Gertrude's daughters finally freaked out and dropped a dime otherwise I guess we would never know. The whole family was rounded up and Gertrude was given life.

    She got out in and died in JK introduces an explanation of Gertrude's psychology in his novel she's called Ruth Chandler which is that she was a pathological hater of young women because they tormented her with their innocence and prettiness to such a pitch that she had to hand out lessons in how the world really is, what sort of suffering women have to endure, how they're all really sluts, and so forth.

    So something must have occurred in her own life to drive her to this pitch of malignity, clearly. It's clear to me that the right people never go to therapy : Patient No 1 : I keep having flashbacks to when my mother used to give me cheese sandwiches for my school lunch when she knew I hated cheese.

    Therapist : Okay, that's it, get out of my office. Patient No 2 : I have all these fantasies about chopping guy's heads off. Therapist : Do you think that's because your mother gave you cheese sandwiches when you were a kid?

    Patient No 2 : That's right doc - I didn't remember that until just now - this is a real breakthrough. Therapist : We're doing great work, Jeff. I'll see you next week - and remember - no more dismembering young gay men!

    Patient No 2 : grinning somewhat shamefacedly Aw, okayyyy Er - back to the book. So this story is a horrible one, but it has so many resonances, leaving aside the mythical older-woman-seeks-to-destroy-younger — this cruelty rings and chimes and vibrates down through the centuries past the Countess Bathory all the way to Snow White and Cinderella and beyond.

    After a few days one of them called the cops. That was based on a real case too. There's a pattern I'm seeing here. View all 24 comments. Feb 11, Bark rated it it was amazing Shelves: disturbing , horror , hardcore-horror.

    This is a disturbing book and a difficult one to read if you know beforehand how it ends and it's pretty easy to figure out the outcome from the narrator's early comments.

    Knowing so much about this book before I picked it up I read about the real life case it is based upon on crimelibrary. This is one of the most tragic books I've ever read.

    I can't bring myself to pick it back up to read the two short stories that follow "The Girl Next Door". Later: Okay, I did manage to work up the courage to read the two short stories and of them I enjoyed the last "Returns" I think?

    It tells the story of a dead man's return from the dead for one last visit with his wife and cat. It's a sad story about lack of compassion that will hurt any animal lover's heart.

    The other "Do you love your wife? View all 3 comments. Jul 29, Katie rated it really liked it. This is the hardest time I have had reviewing and rating a book.

    Down the road I'll likely post a video review when I can summarize my thoughts a bit better. At face value, part of me felt like this was simply torture porn that I didn't want to pick up.

    BUT after reading interview with the author I think the book is deeper than you would guess at face value. It questions what we would do if we were a child in a similar situation and the depths of human depravity.

    If you're okay with 3. If you're okay with reading extreme gore and torture and can keep an open mind, it's worth a read.

    This is the most fucked up, heartbreaking, traumatising book that I have ever read. It's four in the morning. I had meant to read a few chapters before going to sleep.

    Instead, I stayed up all night and finished the book. It's impossible to like this book because of how disturbing it is, yet it is equally impossible to put down because you have to see how it ends.

    The fact that this book is based on true events is the most traumatising - yes, traumatising - factor of all. Jack Ketchum writes ver This is the most fucked up, heartbreaking, traumatising book that I have ever read.

    Jack Ketchum writes very well. View all 21 comments. May 06, Wendy Darling rated it it was ok Shelves: adult , tough-subjects , gory , read , thriller-suspense , horror.

    I've read many accounts of crimes that are as horrible as and sometimes even more horrible than the terrible things that happen in this book, both in terms of real-life non-fiction crimes and in visceral thrillers.

    The voyeuristic, no-accountability POV in which this story was presented, however, relegates it to nothing more than straight out, uninspired shlock horror.

    Even then, the most gruesome parts are skated over and related in such a no-frills way that the book doesn't even succeed in b I've read many accounts of crimes that are as horrible as and sometimes even more horrible than the terrible things that happen in this book, both in terms of real-life non-fiction crimes and in visceral thrillers.

    Even then, the most gruesome parts are skated over and related in such a no-frills way that the book doesn't even succeed in being a genuine shock to your emotions, except in the most clinical of ways.

    More than anything else, it is distasteful that the most authentically written aspect of the book seems to be the narrator's feelings of lust and shame towards the victims as well as some delusions of empowerment , and that so little time was spent exploring any other emotion--and that includes cruelty, hate, entitlement, fear, pity, and remorse.

    When I read violent fiction, I'm not at all a fan of torture porn for the sake of it--and to me, neither the writing nor the story in this book were enough to make it any more than that.

    View all 4 comments. Jun 14, Sue rated it really liked it Shelves: busting-my-backlist. I struggled like hell. I did google some of this and was appalled.

    To say it was good Do I recommend it. Most definitely no. It takes a hard stomach to digest this. View all 6 comments. Sep 29, Amber Rose rated it it was amazing Shelves: dark , slave , horror , standalones.

    This is the hardest book for me to rate. I want to rate it a 5 star because it was greatly written. I want to give it 5 stars because I couldn't stop reading.

    I did have to put it down once, and step away from it. It almost became too much for me. I knew what I was getting my self into before I even downloaded this on my Kindle.

    It is based on a true story. I read about the story on line and knew how it ended. If you are looking for a happy ever after with this book your not going to get it.

    I This is the hardest book for me to rate. It's brutal, it tears me apart. When starting this book there is no looking back.

    I had to finish it knowing how horrible it was going to end. It was fucking unbelievable how suck fucking twisted some people really are in this world.

    Based on a true story doesn't get any realer then that. When reading all my fiction dark books I love them.

    But for some reason when it hits me that this shit I am reading is real, it pushes me to my limits that I didn't even know I had.

    Your in a 12 year old boys POV on his side of the story. On how he watched all of things happen to this little girl 14 years old right in front of him, living next door to this type of shit.

    He is a by stander, a victim. Guilt and desires mix with him, that was just to real. But I will rate this book 5 stars because it was a fucking horrible amazing book that I will never forget.

    I am sure I will be thinking about this book forever. It cuts it that deep for me. Would love to read more from Jack Ketchum but I think I will need to read him in long breaks.

    He terrifies me now. View all 19 comments. So, I sit here wondering What is it that makes one devour a book like The Girl Next Door?

    Because, I have to say, I didn't just read it. I had to work hard to get my eyes off its pages. So, given that it is by no means pleasant but on the contrary disturbing as hell, not because it's scary or gruesome in a splatter-y kind of way, but due to its very subject which is totally real and possible, what sort of perversion was it that kept me hooked on it?

    Just before I reached the middle was when I So, I sit here wondering Just before I reached the middle was when I first saw the elephant approaching me and I kinda figured what was coming.

    When I passed the middle, I started feeling the pachyderm making its first attempts to get comfortable and by 50 or so pages to the end, it was already enjoying the view sitting on my chest.

    Big, bad-ass elephant that one. You know how some people have had the wrong idea about something since they were kids and this misunderstanding causes them to not be able to enjoy certain things in life or even makes them hurt themselves and those around them?

    The world is full of such people. Usually, the problem concerns only their love life and their relationships with other people.

    This is not the case with Ruth Chandler, the tormentor of year-old Meg Laughlin. She and her perverted, schizophrenic view of herself, her sex and the beauty she wasn't allowed to possess made her not only a manipulative bitch, but also purely evil.

    It's hard to understand such a person, especially when you feel pure hatred for them, so let's talk about feelings. I'm famous for my soberness when it comes to crimes and punishment.

    I believe more in preventing than in punishing. I find no actual point in getting revenge and I think that anger is a bad advisor. That said, I couldn't help but want Ruth and her whole family dead.

    Not just dead actually, but suffering more than they made Meg suffer. I have never felt anything similar for a character, either real or fictional, before.

    I wanted Meg to disembowel each and every one of them and feed them with their own intestines. With this book, I learned to appreciate motivation.

    We are used to being given a kind of reason even for the worst crime one might commit. It's not that it justifies the action, but rather makes it somewhat easier to swallow.

    Here, there is no such thing. The fact that Ruth is deranged doesn't make it any easier. Nor that the other participants are kids. Which is another issue Ketchum brings forth.

    Are kids ever responsible for their actions and to what extent? Sure, they were delicately manipulated by an adult but should doing the right thing be expected from them?

    I think you see now in how many ways this book fucks with your mind. It's not just the extremities it portrays. It's what they mean. It's also that they actually happened once and may very well happen again while in the meantime other, similar extremities occur every day, only those are more or less wrapped in shiny cellophanes making sure noone will be making any connections as to who is responsible for the scumbags all sorts of scumbags that wander the earth.

    What I liked most in this book was the fact that it felt like its purpose was not just to shock as is the case in many of the genre.

    On the contrary, it was like the shocking wasn't avoidable. Also, thumbs up for the building up during the first 15 or so chapters and the emphasis on the kids' psychologies which makes it differ from so many books with similar themes.

    Still no clue about what's wrong with me though Oct 23, Zoeytron rated it really liked it Shelves: new-fangled-e-reader.

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    August 7, Rob Gonsalves eFilmCritic. February 14, If it had been a porn film, at least it would've been made by people with some insight into the adult-film milieu, as opposed to people with insight into nothing.

    December 27, Eric Melin Lawrence. September 29, It is a movie full of contradictions that plays like a bad The Sure Thing melded uncomfortably together with an exploitative Risky Business.

    Film Threat. December 6, July 5, Full Review Original Score: 3. Bill Clark FromTheBalcony. June 20, What sets the film apart from the competition is its willingness to confront its own subject matter in an honest way.

    Full Review Original Score: B. Nick Schager Lessons of Darkness. May 3, Essentially Risky Business for the 21st century, and I don't mean that as a compliment.

    Full Review Original Score: C-. Garth Franklin Dark Horizons. April 2, David Nusair Reel Film Reviews. November 28, Full Review Original Score: 2.

    Tony Medley tonymedley. October 7, September 24, Esfora-se para parecer 'picante', mas no tem coragem sequer de exibir o corpo de sua protagonista.

    John J. Puccio Movie Metropolis. September 17, Sunday Times Australia. September 6, Joe Utichi FilmFocus. July 20, The best teen-comedy since American Pie.

    Page 1 of 8. Go back. More trailers. No Score Yet. The Masked Singer. The Haunting of Bly Manor. The Good Lord Bird. Emily in Paris. The Walking Dead: World Beyond.

    The Boys. Swamp Thing. The Walking Dead. I'm giving it a four because of the impact the story and the writing had, not because of any enjoyment or entertainment I got out of the story.

    I doubt I'll be reading more Ketchum any time soon. View all 12 comments. Aug 11, Kelly and the Book Boar rated it really liked it Shelves: read-in Ever read something that made you feel like you should turn yourself over to the authorities because only psychotic criminals would be interested in the subject matter you just exposed yourself to?

    If so, then you've probably already read The Girl Next Door. Yes, it should have been — but there is a darkness inside the Chandler family home that is brought to light with the addition of two girls to the household.

    They are stories that if you follow too closely make you feel like a sociopathic voyeur. This book takes you into the torture chamber and insanity that you know exists each time you see another story like that of Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus.

    As for me? View all 7 comments. Oct 27, Fabian rated it really liked it. Great, cruel cautionary tale.

    The type that valiantly finds the Sad in Sadism. Jewels, really, all of them, to our culture. It is a summer idyll worthy of Lord of the Flies! And the children come directly from the same mold that made Stephen King's Children of the Corn but nothing so corny to be found here.

    It is a devastating type of realism that I have not come to expect outside of true snuff-stuff or the superb, undervalued film by Peter Jackson, "Heavenly Creatures.

    View 2 comments. Jun 26, Mort rated it it was amazing Shelves: favorites. You should ask yourself only one thing: Are you ready for this book?

    No matter what you think, you probably won't be. The blurb reads as follows: A teenage girl is held captive and brutally tortured by neighborhood children.

    Based on a true story, this shocking novel reveals the depravity of which we are all capable. That's it. I went into this with a lot of knowledge about the book and some about the true story, with eyes wide open and ready for You should ask yourself only one thing: Are you ready for this book?

    I went into this with a lot of knowledge about the book and some about the true story, with eyes wide open and ready for almost anything.

    Jack Ketchum was a brilliant writer and his words manages to pull you into this other reality, where you are an impotent spectator to the horrors inflicted on someone truly innocent.

    There were times when I wanted to scream out loud, the frustration making my blood boil. And the helplessness I felt, because I knew how this was going to end, made me wish I had the ability to do something about it.

    This story will make you angry, as well you should be. These words will turn your stomach, will boil your blood, will yank at your heart and nest in the deepest darkest corners of your mind, with all the other things you wish you could forget.

    This is probably the most brilliantly written book I have ever read, but I can't recommend it to anyone, because those words may change you. If you are reading this and you ever feel like you want to quit, please do.

    Some things will never be unseen and some words will never be unread. You have to make up your own mind if you are willing to take that leap of faith, and whatever your motivation, please know that this is probably the most depraved thing you will ever read, because the monsters are mostly children.

    If you feel up to it, read the story about Sylvia Likens, who was the victim in the true story. I leave with this thought, a quote from the book: "In the basement, with Ruth, I began to learn that anger, hate, fear and loneliness are all one button awaiting the touch of just a single finger to set them blazing toward destruction.

    And I learned that they can taste like winning. Feb 23, Paul O'Neill rated it really liked it. No one makes me squeamish quite like Ketchum.

    The story is about two teenage girls who are left in the care of their aunt after a horrible accident.

    It tells the story of the escalating abuse both of them suffer at the hands of their aunt and her children.

    The story is told through the view of David, who finds the abuse compelling as well as horrific and tells the story of his struggle with it as he comes to terms with what is really happening.

    Writing The book is short and the writing is crisp. It does its job, moving the story along nicely. I thought the use of older David looking back at the events, commenting on them whilst flashing back to the past was very effective.

    The events clearly play a huge part in his later life and as he reflects as older David, it only adds to the emotional side of the story.

    Cash it in hell… Ketchum does an excellent job of making you hate Ruth, the evil aunt. Ketchum is a must read for all horror fans.

    This, and Off Season, are fantastic and horrifying. What happened next, was the basement… Dec 09, Elizabeth Sagan rated it really liked it.

    One star? Five stars? Throw it away? Is it a great book? Is it a pile of shit? There are a few stages of reading it: 1. Interesting character development.

    So logical. Great introspection. Oh, the tension is building even in the smallest scenes. Oh, shit is starting to happen. This is so great.

    It sends a great message. All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. Always step in for what is right. Why would anyone write a book like this?

    What am I getting from this book? The main character is equally guilty. And I have no sympathy for him. View all 5 comments. Apr 02, Paul Bryant rated it liked it Shelves: novels.

    Here's another long lingering gaze upon our inhuman humanity for everyone who is still labouring under the delusion that there might be a tiny shred, maybe just a single thread, something, anything, of common decency to be found in the vast majority of ordinary people.

    Jack Ketchum's here to tell you - sorry. There's not. This novel is based on a real crime which took place in JK relocates it to and, creepily, as if this tale needs more creep, which it doesn't, to his home town - to h Here's another long lingering gaze upon our inhuman humanity for everyone who is still labouring under the delusion that there might be a tiny shred, maybe just a single thread, something, anything, of common decency to be found in the vast majority of ordinary people.

    JK relocates it to and, creepily, as if this tale needs more creep, which it doesn't, to his home town - to his home street.

    To the house next door, in fact! I'll give you the gist of the whole thing so you can see that this is another book you don't need to read, which since they've made a movie of it, is also a film you don't need to see.

    The time I'm saving you all! So anyone with any desire to maintain their delusions of common decency and humanity should look away now.

    Sylvia was Her parents were carnies, always moving, always parking the kids with relatives. In this case they parked her and her sister with an acquaintance, no more than that, called Gertrude Baniszewski who lived in Indianapolis and had a whole bunch of her own kids and was dirt poor, an asthmatic, a depressive, and as it turned out, deranged.

    Sylvia very quickly became the concentrated scapegoat hate-figure for this sadistic woman. But more than that, Gertrude encouraged her own sons and their punk friends to join in with the torment.

    It took them a few months to torture Sylvia to death. They were reasonably creative. No one in the merry group of torturers told anyone in authority, neighbours didn't notice a thing.

    When Sylvia died one of Gertrude's daughters finally freaked out and dropped a dime otherwise I guess we would never know. The whole family was rounded up and Gertrude was given life.

    She got out in and died in JK introduces an explanation of Gertrude's psychology in his novel she's called Ruth Chandler which is that she was a pathological hater of young women because they tormented her with their innocence and prettiness to such a pitch that she had to hand out lessons in how the world really is, what sort of suffering women have to endure, how they're all really sluts, and so forth.

    So something must have occurred in her own life to drive her to this pitch of malignity, clearly. It's clear to me that the right people never go to therapy : Patient No 1 : I keep having flashbacks to when my mother used to give me cheese sandwiches for my school lunch when she knew I hated cheese.

    Therapist : Okay, that's it, get out of my office. Patient No 2 : I have all these fantasies about chopping guy's heads off.

    Therapist : Do you think that's because your mother gave you cheese sandwiches when you were a kid? Patient No 2 : That's right doc - I didn't remember that until just now - this is a real breakthrough.

    Therapist : We're doing great work, Jeff. I'll see you next week - and remember - no more dismembering young gay men! Patient No 2 : grinning somewhat shamefacedly Aw, okayyyy Er - back to the book.

    So this story is a horrible one, but it has so many resonances, leaving aside the mythical older-woman-seeks-to-destroy-younger — this cruelty rings and chimes and vibrates down through the centuries past the Countess Bathory all the way to Snow White and Cinderella and beyond.

    After a few days one of them called the cops. That was based on a real case too. There's a pattern I'm seeing here. View all 24 comments. Feb 11, Bark rated it it was amazing Shelves: disturbing , horror , hardcore-horror.

    This is a disturbing book and a difficult one to read if you know beforehand how it ends and it's pretty easy to figure out the outcome from the narrator's early comments.

    Knowing so much about this book before I picked it up I read about the real life case it is based upon on crimelibrary.

    This is one of the most tragic books I've ever read. I can't bring myself to pick it back up to read the two short stories that follow "The Girl Next Door".

    Later: Okay, I did manage to work up the courage to read the two short stories and of them I enjoyed the last "Returns" I think?

    It tells the story of a dead man's return from the dead for one last visit with his wife and cat.

    It's a sad story about lack of compassion that will hurt any animal lover's heart. The other "Do you love your wife? View all 3 comments. Jul 29, Katie rated it really liked it.

    This is the hardest time I have had reviewing and rating a book. Down the road I'll likely post a video review when I can summarize my thoughts a bit better.

    At face value, part of me felt like this was simply torture porn that I didn't want to pick up. BUT after reading interview with the author I think the book is deeper than you would guess at face value.

    It questions what we would do if we were a child in a similar situation and the depths of human depravity. If you're okay with 3.

    If you're okay with reading extreme gore and torture and can keep an open mind, it's worth a read. This is the most fucked up, heartbreaking, traumatising book that I have ever read.

    It's four in the morning. I had meant to read a few chapters before going to sleep. Instead, I stayed up all night and finished the book.

    It's impossible to like this book because of how disturbing it is, yet it is equally impossible to put down because you have to see how it ends.

    The fact that this book is based on true events is the most traumatising - yes, traumatising - factor of all. Jack Ketchum writes ver This is the most fucked up, heartbreaking, traumatising book that I have ever read.

    Jack Ketchum writes very well. View all 21 comments. May 06, Wendy Darling rated it it was ok Shelves: adult , tough-subjects , gory , read , thriller-suspense , horror.

    I've read many accounts of crimes that are as horrible as and sometimes even more horrible than the terrible things that happen in this book, both in terms of real-life non-fiction crimes and in visceral thrillers.

    The voyeuristic, no-accountability POV in which this story was presented, however, relegates it to nothing more than straight out, uninspired shlock horror.

    Even then, the most gruesome parts are skated over and related in such a no-frills way that the book doesn't even succeed in b I've read many accounts of crimes that are as horrible as and sometimes even more horrible than the terrible things that happen in this book, both in terms of real-life non-fiction crimes and in visceral thrillers.

    Even then, the most gruesome parts are skated over and related in such a no-frills way that the book doesn't even succeed in being a genuine shock to your emotions, except in the most clinical of ways.

    More than anything else, it is distasteful that the most authentically written aspect of the book seems to be the narrator's feelings of lust and shame towards the victims as well as some delusions of empowerment , and that so little time was spent exploring any other emotion--and that includes cruelty, hate, entitlement, fear, pity, and remorse.

    When I read violent fiction, I'm not at all a fan of torture porn for the sake of it--and to me, neither the writing nor the story in this book were enough to make it any more than that.

    View all 4 comments. Jun 14, Sue rated it really liked it Shelves: busting-my-backlist. I struggled like hell. I did google some of this and was appalled.

    To say it was good Do I recommend it. Most definitely no. It takes a hard stomach to digest this. View all 6 comments. Sep 29, Amber Rose rated it it was amazing Shelves: dark , slave , horror , standalones.

    This is the hardest book for me to rate. I want to rate it a 5 star because it was greatly written. I want to give it 5 stars because I couldn't stop reading.

    I did have to put it down once, and step away from it. It almost became too much for me. I knew what I was getting my self into before I even downloaded this on my Kindle.

    It is based on a true story. I read about the story on line and knew how it ended. If you are looking for a happy ever after with this book your not going to get it.

    I This is the hardest book for me to rate. It's brutal, it tears me apart. When starting this book there is no looking back. I had to finish it knowing how horrible it was going to end.

    It was fucking unbelievable how suck fucking twisted some people really are in this world. Based on a true story doesn't get any realer then that.

    When reading all my fiction dark books I love them. But for some reason when it hits me that this shit I am reading is real, it pushes me to my limits that I didn't even know I had.

    Your in a 12 year old boys POV on his side of the story. On how he watched all of things happen to this little girl 14 years old right in front of him, living next door to this type of shit.

    He is a by stander, a victim. Guilt and desires mix with him, that was just to real. But I will rate this book 5 stars because it was a fucking horrible amazing book that I will never forget.

    I am sure I will be thinking about this book forever. It cuts it that deep for me. Would love to read more from Jack Ketchum but I think I will need to read him in long breaks.

    He terrifies me now. View all 19 comments. So, I sit here wondering What is it that makes one devour a book like The Girl Next Door?

    Because, I have to say, I didn't just read it. I had to work hard to get my eyes off its pages.

    So, given that it is by no means pleasant but on the contrary disturbing as hell, not because it's scary or gruesome in a splatter-y kind of way, but due to its very subject which is totally real and possible, what sort of perversion was it that kept me hooked on it?

    Just before I reached the middle was when I So, I sit here wondering Just before I reached the middle was when I first saw the elephant approaching me and I kinda figured what was coming.

    When I passed the middle, I started feeling the pachyderm making its first attempts to get comfortable and by 50 or so pages to the end, it was already enjoying the view sitting on my chest.

    Big, bad-ass elephant that one. You know how some people have had the wrong idea about something since they were kids and this misunderstanding causes them to not be able to enjoy certain things in life or even makes them hurt themselves and those around them?

    The world is full of such people. Usually, the problem concerns only their love life and their relationships with other people.

    This is not the case with Ruth Chandler, the tormentor of year-old Meg Laughlin. She and her perverted, schizophrenic view of herself, her sex and the beauty she wasn't allowed to possess made her not only a manipulative bitch, but also purely evil.

    It's hard to understand such a person, especially when you feel pure hatred for them, so let's talk about feelings. I'm famous for my soberness when it comes to crimes and punishment.

    I believe more in preventing than in punishing. I find no actual point in getting revenge and I think that anger is a bad advisor. That said, I couldn't help but want Ruth and her whole family dead.

    Not just dead actually, but suffering more than they made Meg suffer. I have never felt anything similar for a character, either real or fictional, before.

    I wanted Meg to disembowel each and every one of them and feed them with their own intestines. With this book, I learned to appreciate motivation.

    We are used to being given a kind of reason even for the worst crime one might commit. It's not that it justifies the action, but rather makes it somewhat easier to swallow.

    Here, there is no such thing. The fact that Ruth is deranged doesn't make it any easier. Nor that the other participants are kids.

    Which is another issue Ketchum brings forth. Are kids ever responsible for their actions and to what extent? Sure, they were delicately manipulated by an adult but should doing the right thing be expected from them?

    I think you see now in how many ways this book fucks with your mind. It's not just the extremities it portrays. It's what they mean. It's also that they actually happened once and may very well happen again while in the meantime other, similar extremities occur every day, only those are more or less wrapped in shiny cellophanes making sure noone will be making any connections as to who is responsible for the scumbags all sorts of scumbags that wander the earth.

    What I liked most in this book was the fact that it felt like its purpose was not just to shock as is the case in many of the genre. On the contrary, it was like the shocking wasn't avoidable.

    Also, thumbs up for the building up during the first 15 or so chapters and the emphasis on the kids' psychologies which makes it differ from so many books with similar themes.

    Still no clue about what's wrong with me though Oct 23, Zoeytron rated it really liked it Shelves: new-fangled-e-reader. The Game.

    It started off innocently enough, kid stuff. It rapidly segued into something else altogether when Mama, with her empty glittering eyes, joined in.

    This is as disturbing as anything you ever want to read. Feb 26, Jocelyn rated it really liked it Shelves: historical-fic , In fact it was brutal.

    This book, for me, was much like that. I was sickened and disgusted by the characters and actions in this book. In fact my first instinct is to hate it.

    Buuuuut the book very much did what it was supposed to do — it made me feel. And feel a LOT of things. Ruth 3. Ruth - the main antagonist is pure evil.

    A vile, ugly, horrible bitch of a character. I would not recommend this book. I feel like I need to go watch some kiddy cartoons and take a shower now Disturbing, gory, disgusting and really messed up.

    Scary because things like this really do happen. You keep reading for the same reason you slow down to look when there is a car accident.

    Nothing scares me more than psychotic sociopaths. This book will stay with you for the rest of your life.. Unbelievable what a "so called" normal group of people can do.

    Apr 25, Kristen rated it really liked it Shelves: horror. Rating this book is one of the most difficult ratings I've done.

    On one hand, this is an extremely well written book. The characters feel real, you care about the ones you are supposed to care about, and genuinely loath those you aren't.

    The scenes are set well and it is very clear as to what is happening. Your mind will have no trouble picturing exactly what is transpiring, and that is precisely why this book is so hard to rate.

    You don't want to picture what transpires in this book. You don't Rating this book is one of the most difficult ratings I've done.

    You don't want to believe it, you don't want to feel what you will feel, and you certainly won't want to know that it is based in truth.

    The story itself is horrible. No, not horrible, there isn't a word for what occurs in this book When I was done reading I was a mix of emotion, I was appalled, disgusted and enraged.

    Actually I was furious, furious enough to want to find someone like the people in this book and truly harm them. I stormed around the house and informed my husband that he needed to start the fireplace so I could throw the book in it.

    The packrat in me took over, and the book was not burned. It's sitting on the floor where it was tossed. Perhaps it's just an emotional topic with me, but the rape, torture, and murder of children should be a difficult thing for anyone to swallow.

    Ketchum follows Ruth's decent into madness through the eyes of the little boy next door. As her mind slowly melts leaving behind any sense of reality, morality and love, she takes with her the three boys she has raised, and eventually drags several of the neighborhood children into her insanity.

    The focus of her madness is her nieces, and she projects her self loathing, disgust with her sex, and fury with the world into a sick and twisted fantasy of torture and rape on the two little girls that are to look to her as their mother.

    Her fantasy turns to reality carried out by both her children and her own hand. The reader is spared few details of the goings on It is even harder to deal with knowing that this story, though fiction, is based on something that actually occurred.

    Deciding to read this book is something that is not a casual decision. This book WILL affect you; if it does not then I don't want to know you because you are too close to the people characterized in it.

    Back to how do I review this book? Do I rate it on the skills of the writer? If so, then this is a star novel? Do I rate it on how well I enjoyed the read?

    Then it is a star novel. Am I glad I read it? I don't know I was certainly affected by it. Due to the fact that it was successful in evoking such strong emotion from me I will have to give it a 4, but I will certainly not give this book to anyone I know and tell them that it is a "Must Read.

    View 1 comment. Aug 14, Mark Matthews rated it it was amazing. Maybe the hardest book I ever read. Tough to finish. I wanted something traditional to come rescue me, something heroic, like a vampire or ax murder or even a cannibal.

    I needed that to take away the pain of the reality. But, no, you won't find that here. You'll find a narrator who is just like you as an adolescent, and who eventually takes part in heinous abuse, facilitated by an adult, and the worst of humans is portrayed in stunning reality.

    This is what people slip to. People like your neigh Maybe the hardest book I ever read. People like your neighbor. When I was around ten years old, I played with matches with an older neighborhood boy and set a field on fire.

    I went fishing with him once and watched with wonder as he slammed the Minnows up against a tree until their guts came forth. Thank God there was no Ruth on our street.

    Who is the scariest woman in America? And knowing that this is based on a true story, and that the author stated he had to actually take out some of the more graphic elements, makes me try to forget this novel.

    But I can't. Makes you wonder if there's a God. Makes you want to be Meg in the story and take away her pain.

    Makes you want justice. I am waiting for the sequel. Meg's soul feels touched by Ketchum's understanding and empathy.

    Her restless spirit, scarred from all the visceral abuse that went beyond her body into her soul, takes root inside Ketchum.

    Possesses him. And he lets her in willingly think, "come into me", at the end of The Exorcist. Ketchum lights a cigarette.

    Puts on a long overcoat. Bangs of his black hair tease his forehead. His eyes change colors. Meg is inside of him, using him to plot her revenge. Together, they gather supplies: scissors, rope, a lighter, a bottle or something similar to sodomize some dog shit for food Then it is off to visit the houses of Meg's abusers are they still alive?

    I surely hope so. They get a knock on their door at pm on a Sunday. It is Ketchum himself, but they can call him Dallas, for they will know him personally over the coming months, for the abuse will be brought back upon them tenfold.

    But that's not how the world works. God is Dead, and we have killed him? This book makes me wonder. View all 9 comments. My eyes were red and puffy from crying, my heart was heavy, I felt depressed as hell, and I was disturbed to my core.

    I still don't know how to even review a book like this, but I'll try. It is about horribly deep psychological and physical child abuse at the hands of a seriously deranged woman who manipulates the town's children into joining in on the torture of this poor girl.

    And what's scarier is that she doesn't even have to convince most of the kids to do these things; they want to do it already.

    And it's sick and twisted and there were things in this novel that made me think I would never be able to get through it.

    But I did, and I'm glad I did. As disturbing and heart-wrenching as it is, Ketchum is deeply sympathetic and makes a very important point: how much are you going to let yourself see before you stand up and do something for someone?

    How far is it going to go? Ketchum goes as far as it can go, honestly. He pounds you over the head with it and makes you feel guilty for any times you might have looked the other way after witnessing some kind of abuse.

    He holds you accountable and asks what you would do. And let me tell you, after reading this book it will be very hard for anyone to walk away from someone who clearly needs help.

    That's why this book is so important. But yikes, is it brutal. It is sick and twisted and I can't recommend it to everyone for that reason, but it made a serious impact on me and left me trembling.

    A book that does that deserves every star in the world. Now, will I be watching the film adaption? No way. I'm done. I can't endure anymore.

    This is it for me. Readers also enjoyed. About Jack Ketchum. Jack Ketchum. Dallas William Mayr , better known by his pen name Jack Ketchum, was an American horror fiction author.

    He was the recipient of four Bram Stoker Awards and three further nominations. His novels included Off Season, Offspring, and Red, which were adapted to film.

    A onetime actor Dallas William Mayr , better known by his pen name Jack Ketchum, was an American horror fiction author. A onetime actor, teacher, literary agent, lumber salesman, and soda jerk, Ketchum credited his childhood love of Elvis Presley, dinosaurs, and horror for getting him through his formative years.

    He began making up stories at a young age and explained that he spent much time in his room, or in the woods near his house, down by the brook: '[m]y interests [were] books, comics, movies, rock 'n roll, show tunes, TV, dinosaurs [ He would make up stories using his plastic soldiers, knights, and dinosaurs as the characters.

    Later, in his teen years, Ketchum was befriended by Robert Bloch, author of "Psycho", who became his mentor.

    Ketchum worked many different jobs before completing his first novel 's controversial "Off Season" , including acting as agent for novelist Henry Miller at Scott Meredith Literary Agency.

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