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Off Season

Narrated by: Richard Davidson
Series: Dead River, Book 1
Length: 7 hrs and 50 mins
Categories: Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Horror
4.5 out of 5 stars (43 ratings)

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Summary

September. A beautiful New York editor retreats to a lonely cabin on a hill in the quiet Maine beach town of Dead River - off season - awaiting her sister and friends. Nearby, a savage human family with a taste for flesh lurks in the darkening woods, watching, waiting for the moon to rise and night to fall.

And before too many hours pass, five civilized, sophisticated people and one tired old country sheriff will learn just how primitive we all are beneath the surface...and that there are no limits at all to the will to survive.

©1981 Jack Ketchum (P)2009 Audible, Inc.

Critic reviews

"If you read Off Season on Thanksgiving, you probably won't sleep until Christmas." (Stephen King)
100 Must-Read Thrillers (International Thriller Writers)
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Off Season by Jack Ketchum

If you like Texas chainsaw massacre and the hills have eyes then this is the book for you although its very gory and very detailed it makes you think that you would never want to be in the position these characters were great disturbing well written story

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

The Hills Have Eyes meets The Strangers

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

This book was no holds barred in all departments. The afterward by the author highlights how graphic the book was for its times, but it still is. Put it this way, if it were to be adapted Rob Zombie would be the man to do it. However, the violence, sex etc all suit the story. So to answer the question the book delivers on its promises! The narrator was also a good match to the story.

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

This books is 'Constant Reader' territory. So anything Stephen King, IT WAS SET IN MAINE! The story was most like the films; 'The Hills Have Eyes' and 'The Strangers'. I would recommend to anyone who likes gore!

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

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

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

This book grossed me out😝

Any additional comments?

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

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Love this author

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

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Barry S. Sharpnack
  • 22-11-09

Wow!

Where has this autho been all my life? I'd never heard of Jack Ketchum till recently, and took a chance on this book. I am partial to this type of story, and the genre in general, but I didn't expect the book to be as good as it was. Very, very intense, graphic violence, but for a good reason. The antagonists (the family of cannibals) are truly froghtening, even the children. If you can deal with the violence, I highly recommend this book. One of the most frightening stories I've read in a long time.

17 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 27-12-09

Breathless

I now understand why Jack Ketchum's "Off Season" is a classic.
Mr. Ketchum is a master of setting a scene. He is also expert in building tension and conflict.
The story was gruesome...deliciously so. His writing...genius.
I will listen to it again.
And again.

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Nathan
  • 04-11-10

Nice!

Flowed really well. People didn't like some of the gore but I'm all for it. It wasn't to much that made the story lose traction. It was a good listen. Fast paced and had me tense up in quite a few moments. People out to relax and end up in a fight for survival that leads to one of the most horrible nights I can remember in a book. Overall I liked this book. Good scary horror.

7 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jim "The Impatient"
  • 23-12-14

CRAZY AS A WHORE IN THE VATICAN

Backwoods, backward, cannibalistic inbreed Yankees, my kind of book. This is Ketchum's first book, which explains the inconsistences in the writing. At times you think great and at others NOT. Overall it is a good read if you are into this type of stuff. Konrath writes better, but I don't know if I have read his first book, so we may not be comparing apples to apples.

It has gore, it has lots of sex and yea, it is a little sophomoric. If you are not into this genre, you will not like it, if you are into it, you will have a hoot.

I thought the narrator was pretty good. He is the kind of narrator, which makes you forget someone is narrating. You feel like you are reading it in your head, can't see how anybody could object to him.

23 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-12-09

Great Read

Didn't expect this! Exciting and different. Not familiar with the author but want to read more. Story is just enough to feel for the characters without being bored.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Tracey Riter
  • 04-05-20

awesome book!

Loved it! Was so wonderfully written and kept me interested! Kinda graphic but that didn't both me.

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  • Karen
  • 12-01-20

Gruesome

Welp, if you're looking for a vile gorefest this is certainly for you. Live mutilations, cannibalism and mentions of pedophilia are on the menu for this story. The narrator also does great, as he some times reads the gross bits in a casual tone that adds a new layer of disturbia.

My only minor complaint it that male victims usually have a quick and painless demise while females seemed to get several long paragraphs of sexualized violence. Then again, this sort of story seeks to make you nauseous and frustrated, so equality is probably at the bottom of a pile of dismembered limbs. At any rate, it's a good, quick adult horror story that doesn't require too much thought to wrap your head around and get into

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  • TLH
  • 28-12-19

Great everything except 1st couple of mins...

1st couple minutes has some music that I was scared wouldn’t go away. It did and never me returned thank goodness. Narration was great, characters and story was great. I just watched the movie and this was a great addition to it, better as well but both good. Onto Mother!

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  • Audiobook Worm
  • 18-12-19

An innovative masterpiece!

This book was ahead of its time. Hard to believe it was written in 1981.

Jack Ketchum was a horror legend, multiple winner of the Bram Stoker Award and has many notable fans, including Stephen King. Off Season was his introduction into the horror world and boy, did he make a fantastic entrance. Off Season is a jaw-dropping and unforgiving tale loosely based on the legend of Sawney Bean, a man who allegedly led a clan of cannibals in 16th century Scotland. It is extremely violent even by today's standards so it's no surprise that upon its release the book was slammed by critics as being too graphic. The publisher forced Ketchum to take out certain sections and despite the fact that the book sold well it pulled the book from the shelves. Thankfully, the book was re-released without the cuts and in the uncensored form that Ketchum had always envisioned.

This is a must-read for any fan of extreme horror. Ketchum is one of my favorite authors and I highly recommend this book and checking out his other novels.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 25-10-19

not for the faint of heart

I knew Jack ketchum was dark even before I read the book. I still had some truly jaw dropping moments during this read. it's a good read, but definitely not for everyone.