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About Jack Ketchum
Jack Ketchum "is on a par with Clive Barker (Hellraiser), James Ellroy (L.A. Confidential) and Thomas Harris (The Silence of The Lambs)," and that "the only novelist working today that is writing more important fiction is Cormack McCarthy (No Country for Old Men, The Road). - Stephen King
Jack Ketchum is the pseudonym for novelist Dallas Mayr. He was born in Livingston, New Jersey in 1946. A onetime actor, teacher, and lumber salesman, Ketchum credits his childhood love of Elvis Presley, dinosaurs, and horror for getting him through his formative years. As a teenager, was befriended by Robert Bloch, author of "Psycho" who became a mentor to him. He supported Ketchum's work just as his work was supported by his own mentor, H.P. Lovecraft. This relationship with Bloch lasted until his death in 1994.
A pivotal point in Jack Ketchum's career came while he was working for the Scott Meredith Literary Agency. He met Henry Miller and assisted him as his agent until shortly before his death in 1980. His extraordinary encounter with Miller at his home in Pacific Palisades is one of the subjects of his memoir in "Book of Souls".
In 1980, Jack Ketchum published his first novel "Off Season". Stephen King said in his acceptance speech at the 2003 National Book Awards that "Off Season set off a furor in my supposed field, that of horror, that was unequaled until the advent of Clive Barker. It is not too much to say that these two gentlemen remade the face of American popular fiction." Ketchum has received continued praise by King throughout their friendship.
Ketchum's work is largely based upon true events. The Girl Next Door , for example, was inspired by the 1965 murder of the young Sylvia Likens. In the special edition of the novel, King, who volunteered to write the preface, wrote one of the longest introductions of his career. He later went on to say that the movie adaptation of the book was "the first authentically shocking American film I've seen since Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer over 20 years ago. If you are easily disturbed, you should not watch this movie. If, on the other hand, you are prepared for a long look into hell, suburban style, The Girl Next Door will not disappoint. This is the dark-side-of-the-moon version of Stand By Me."
He has received numerous Bram Stoker Awards for works such as "The Box", "Closing Time", and "Peaceable Kingdom". As his books gained in worldwide popularity, they also began to be adapted into feature films, the first of which was "Jack Ketchum's The Lost" which went on to be a cult success, followed by the highly controversial second film "The Girl Next Door". However, the main launch for Jack Ketchum into international commercial and critical success was the long-awaited release by Magnolia Pictures of the film Red, based on his novel, starring Brian Cox (The Bourne Supremacy) and Tom Sizemore (Saving Private Ryan). After favorable reviews at The Sundance Film Festival, the movie made a critical showing in the United States and enjoyed relative success internationally with subsequent translations of the novel.
The author enjoyed more international succes with the publication and film version of "The Woman" co-written and directed by Lucky McKee in which the New York Times said "in this lean adaptation of a novel by Jack Ketchum and himself, maintains an artfully calibrated pace, investing a powerful parable with an abundance of closely observed details. Like David Cronenberg and Roman Polanski, Mr. McKee is a master at drawing suspense from pregnant silences."
Jack Ketchum continues his rise with the present showing of "The Woman" at the Sundance Film Festival 2011 co-written by Ketchum with director Lucky McKee. The novel is to be released this year.
Kethcum lives in New York City where he continues to write, articles, reviews, short stories, novels and screenplays. For more information go to international website: www.thejackketchum.com.
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Titles By Jack Ketchum
This novel contains graphic content and is recommended for regular readers of horror novels.
This novel contains graphic content and is recommended for regular readers of horror novels.
Praise for Jack Ketchum
“Who’s the scariest guy in America? Probably Jack Ketchum.”—Stephen King in Entertainment Weekly
“Ketchum has become a kind of hero to those of us who write tales of horror and suspense. He is, quite simply, one of the best in the business.” —Stephen King
“You never know what you'll get when you pick up a Ketchum story … but you can be sure you'll always be surprised – and scared." – Publishers Weekly
“[The Girl Next Door is] one of the most disturbing reads in the history of horror literature.” –Rue Morgue
“Jack Ketchum is one of America’s best and most consistent writers of contemporary horror fiction.”—Bentley Little
The local sheriff of Dead River, Maine, thought he had killed them off ten years ago—a primitive, cave-dwelling tribe of cannibalistic savages. But somehow the clan survived. To breed. To hunt. To kill and eat. And now the peaceful residents of this isolated town are fighting for their lives…
It was the summer of 1965. Ray, Tim, and Jennifer were just three teenage friends hanging out in the campgrounds, drinking a little. But Tim and Jennifer didn’t know what their friend Ray had in mind. And if they’d known, they wouldn’t have thought he was serious. Then they saw what he did to the two girls at the neighboring campsite—and knew he was dead serious.
Four years later, the sixties were drawing to a close. No one ever charged Ray with the murders in the campgrounds, but there was one cop determined to make him pay. Ray figured he was in the clear. Tim and Jennifer thought the worst was behind them, that the horrors were all in the past. They were wrong. The worst was yet to come.
Jack Ketchum’s previous novel, The Lost, caught readers’ attention like a well-timed gunshot. Fans and critics alike hailed it for its power, its thrills, and its gripping style, and recognized Ketchum as a master of suspense. Now, Jack Ketchum is back to frighten us again with…Red!
It all started with a simple act of brutality. Three boys shot and killed an old man’s dog. No reason, just plain meanness. But the dog was the best thing in the old man’s world, and he wasn’t about to let it pass. He wanted justice, and he’d make sure the kids paid for what they did, even if it cost him his life. They picked the wrong old man to mess with. And as the fury and violence escalate, they’re about to learn that…the hard way.
Tom Braun and his wife Susan aren't exactly a picturesque couple. Thus it comes as no surprise that Tom continually spends late evenings in bars and cheats on his wife. Unfortunately, their son Andy is caught in the middle of his parent's childish banter and family chaos. One life-altering evening turns this family's, along with most of New York's, perceptions on the nuclear family and male/female relationships upside down.
When a tanker trunk with "Ladies Inc." emblazoned on the side crashes in a quiet area in New York, an area it doesn't have authorization to be in, it liberally spills its contents all over the road and into the surrounding atmosphere. The local authorities deem the contents of the spill to be safe, based merely on the assumption that products coming from a women's label are more than likely benign. Moreover, the smell emanating from the spill is one of sweet cherry, similar to lollipops, which must of course be harmless if not favorable. This aforementioned assumption proves fatally incorrect. The chemical load the truck was hauling procures a discomfiting, bestial effect in women, forcing them to savagely attack males in their vicinity. Be they former friend or foe.
Tom, while at a local bar, absorbs the evening's strange turn of events with traumatizing clarity as he witnesses first hand the metamorphosis of surrounding women into gruesomely instinctual brutes and mantis-like predators. He must get home to his son Andy, who is currently alone with his wife Susan. Hopefully before it is too late.
This landmark collection gathers more than thirty of Jack Ketchum’s most thrilling stories. “Gone” and “The Box” were honored with the prestigious Bram Stoker Award. Whether you are already familiar with Ketchum’s unique brand of suspense or are experiencing it for the first time, here is a book no aficionado of fear can do without. This novel contains graphic content and is recommended for regular readers of horror novels.
Though some would say that only the jail was needed.
A rough place in a lawless era. About to become a hell of a lot more so one night when Hart, Bell and the easy-going giant Mother Knuckles stumble upon Elena, a fierce, young, badly wounded Mexican woman near the banks of the Colorado. She's naked. She's been bullwhipped, knifed and branded. And she tells them about the kidnap, rape and servitude she and her sister have endured at the hands of las hermanas de lupo, the deadly Valenzura Sisters and their henchman, the deserter Paddy Ryan, at the well-manned slave-camp across the river aptly called Garanta del Diablo—Mouth of the Devil.
It's just three hundred years since Cortez. Only three hundred years since the Old Gods of Mexico were in their full and fearsome flower.
Tezcatlipoca, god of the moon and the night. Tlazolteotl, Eater of Filth. Xipe, Lord of the Flayed.
Blood for rain. Blood for bounty.
For many, like the Valenzura Sisters, they have never died.
And Elena's sister's still there.
What Ketchum has crafted in these stories are portrayals of the starkest, darkest aspects of the human condition. These stories are enthralling, expertly constructed, and very very powerful. Some will put a lump in your throat. Some will have you squirming. Some might be so intense and disturbing that they leave you no choice but to put it aside for awhile, catch your breath, and finish when you've worked up the guts.
This is fiction that does far more than "entertain," and it goes far beyond what we expect when we read "horror." No haunted houses here, no pitchfork-wielding devils with horns on their heads. The only monsters are the very worst kind: humans.
Table of Contents:
Introduction by Edward Lee
Gorilla in My Room
The Western Dead
Squirrely Shirley (with Lucky McKee)
Group of Thirty
Cow (with Lucky McKee)
The Transformed Mouse
The Right Thing
Greece. Ancient land of mystery, legend and myth. It is here that businessman Jordan Chase visits an historic tomb, only to experience a dark vision of the future. And it is here, amidst the beauty of the landscape, that Lelia, a gorgeous but dangerous woman, befriends a group of tourists...to lure them into a nightmare of pain and terror. She lives to seduce and destroy, to feed off her human prey. Lelia is more than myth, more than superstition. Lelia is deadly.