Picture of author.

Jack Ketchum (1946–2018)

Author of The Girl Next Door

97+ Works 5,958 Members 260 Reviews 34 Favorited

About the Author

Image credit: Georges Seguin

Series

Works by Jack Ketchum

The Girl Next Door (1989) 1,571 copies
Off Season (1981) 898 copies
The Lost (2001) 412 copies
Offspring (1991) 347 copies
Red / The Passenger (2002) 277 copies
Joyride (1995) 233 copies
Peaceable Kingdom (2003) 217 copies
She Wakes (1984) 185 copies
Triage (2001) — Contributor — 171 copies
Hide and Seek (1984) 163 copies
Old Flames (2008) 153 copies
Cover (1987) 134 copies
Stranglehold (1995) 129 copies
Right to Life: And 2 Stories (1998) 108 copies
Ladies Night (1997) 103 copies
I'm Not Sam (2012) 83 copies
The Crossings (2003) 62 copies
Red (1995) 57 copies
Weed Species (2006) 52 copies
Sleep Disorder (2011) 47 copies
The Woman [with bonus novella 'Cow'] (2012) — Author — 30 copies
Gorilla in My Room (2017) 25 copies
Broken on the Wheel of Sex (1999) 23 copies
Book of Souls (2008) 21 copies
The Box [short fiction] (2014) 18 copies
Absinthe (2-in-1) (2006) 10 copies
The Passenger 9 copies
The Transformed Mouse (2003) 8 copies
SCAR: Roman (2017) 7 copies
The Girl Next Door [2007 film] (2007) — Based on the book by — 6 copies
Bad News (Anthology) (2000) — Contributor — 5 copies
Ephemera (2000) 5 copies
The Woman [2011 Film] (2011) — Novel — 4 copies
Insidious Assassins (2015) 4 copies
Masks (1999) 4 copies
Father & Son (1999) 4 copies
Red [2008 Film] (2014) — Novel by/Actor — 4 copies
Notes from the Cat House (2013) 4 copies
Honor System (2003) 3 copies
Psychotic (2020) 3 copies
What They Wrote (2015) 3 copies
Gone 3 copies
Rudy (2012) 3 copies
13 Ran (2012) — Contributor — 3 copies
Station Two (2001) 2 copies
Winchester Pass (1966) 2 copies
Przeprawa 2 copies
Richard Laymon: Tributes (2006) 2 copies
Offspring [2009 Film] (2009) — Creator — 2 copies
Cemetery Dance Issue 70 (2013) 2 copies
The Dust of the Heavens (1998) 2 copies
Cemetery Dance Issue 34 (2001) 2 copies
Sentieri di Sangue (2016) 1 copy
D.O.A. II 1 copy
Returns 1 copy
Border Dawn (1976) 1 copy
Extras 1 copy
Amok Jagd 1 copy
Comme un chien (2019) 1 copy
The Haunt 1 copy
Cold House 1 copy
At Home With The VCR (2003) 1 copy
Seascape 1 copy
Sie erwacht 1 copy
Saison de mort (1986) 1 copy

Associated Works

October Dreams: A Celebration of Halloween (2000) — Contributor — 262 copies
Tails of Wonder and Imagination: Cat Stories (2010) — Contributor — 222 copies
The Nightwalker (1979) — Introduction, some editions — 162 copies
Outsiders: 22 All-New Stories From the Edge (2005) — Contributor — 134 copies
Hint Fiction: An Anthology of Stories in 25 Words or Fewer (2010) — Contributor — 133 copies
Vampire Detectives (1995) — Contributor — 90 copies
Deadly After Dark (1994) — Contributor — 90 copies
Out of Tune (2014) — Contributor — 84 copies
Night Screams (1996) — Contributor — 82 copies
Fear the Fever (1996) — Contributor — 79 copies
The Century's Best Horror Fiction: Volume 2 (2011) — Contributor — 46 copies
The Horror Hall of Fame: The Stoker Winners (2012) — Contributor — 45 copies
Turn Down the Lights (2013) — Contributor — 43 copies
Darkside : horror for the next millennium (1624) — Contributor — 42 copies
Dark Screams: Volume Three (2015) — Contributor — 41 copies
Mondo Zombie (2006) — Contributor — 39 copies
Garden of Fiends: Tales of Addiction Horror (2017) — Contributor — 36 copies
The World Is Dead: A Zombie Anthology (2009) — Contributor — 33 copies
Shivers (2002) 29 copies
Night Visions 10 (2001) — Contributor — 27 copies
Reading Stephen King (2017) — Author — 20 copies
Shock Totem 5: Curious Tales of the Macabre and Twisted (2012) — Contributor — 20 copies
The UFO Files (1998) — Contributor — 20 copies
Suspended In Dusk (2014) — Foreword — 19 copies
Masques V (2006) — Contributor — 19 copies
Chiral Mad (Anthology) (2012) — Contributor — 18 copies
D.O.A. II - Extreme Horror Collection (2013) — Contributor — 14 copies
Horror For Good: A Charitable Anthology (Volume 1) (2012) — Contributor — 14 copies
Chiral Mad 2 (Anthology) (2013) — Contributor — 13 copies
Fear Itself (1995) — Contributor — 12 copies
Dead Cats Bouncing (2002) — Contributor — 12 copies
Postscripts Magazine, Issue 22/23: The Company He Keeps (2010) — Contributor — 11 copies
Damned: An Anthology of the Lost (2004) — Contributor — 11 copies
Tales from the Lake: Vol. 2 (Anthology) (2016) — Contributor — 10 copies
Imagination Fully Dilated (Anthology) (1998) — Contributor — 9 copies
Chiral Mad 4: An Anthology of Collaborations (2018) — Contributor — 9 copies
Jack Haringa Must Die! (2008) — Contributor, some editions — 8 copies
Borderlands 6 (2016) — Contributor — 7 copies
Bizarre Sex and Other Crimes of Passion (1994) — Contributor — 6 copies
Subterranean Gallery (1999) — Contributor — 5 copies
XX [2017 Film] (2017) — Based on Story Written by — 4 copies
Imagination Fully Dilated - Volume II (2000) — Contributor — 4 copies
Fear of the Unknown (2005) — Contributor — 3 copies
Darlin' [2019 Film] (2019) — Based on Characters Created By — 2 copies

Tagged

anthology (479) Author Autograph (30) cannibalism (22) Cemetery Dance (26) collection (38) Early Reviewers (22) ebook (114) fantasy (282) fiction (583) first edition (49) Halloween (29) hardcover (35) horror (1,293) Jack Ketchum (42) Kindle (37) limited (50) mystery (44) novel (51) numbered (22) own (58) owned (22) paperback (45) PB (24) read (55) science fiction (42) series (27) sf (51) sff (22) short fiction (24) short stories (305) signed (148) speculative fiction (30) suspense (36) thriller (89) to-read (799) torture (27) true crime (24) unread (47) vampires (27) wishlist (38)

Common Knowledge

Canonical name
Ketchum, Jack
Legal name
Mayr, Dallas
Other names
Livingston, Jerzy
Birthdate
1946
Date of death
2018-01-24
Gender
male
Nationality
USA
Birthplace
Livingston, New Jersey, USA
Place of death
New York City, New York, USA
Occupations
actor
Teacher
literary agent
Author
Awards and honors
Bram Stocker Award (Short Story ∙ 1994)
Bram Stocker Award (Short Story ∙ 2000)
World Horror Convention Grand Master Award (2011)
Short biography
Jack Ketchum is the pseudonym for a former actor, teacher, literary agent, lumber salesman, and soda jerk. He is also a former flower child and baby boomer who figures that in 1956 Elvis, dinosaurs and horror probably saved his life. His first novel, OFF SEASON, an updating of the Sawney Beane story, prompted the Village Voice to publicly scold its publisher in print for publishing violent pornography. He has always wondered what they would think of THE GIRL NEXT DOOR. His short story THE BOX won a 1994 Bram Stoker Award from HWA.

Members

Reviews

 
Flagged
Calrisia | 80 other reviews | May 17, 2024 |
More than any for quite some time, this was a book I struggled to finish; but not because it’s boring or badly-written—it’s neither. I think the reason was that I knew from the start that what it describes is based on real events, that most of this really happened to someone; it’s appalling, but I couldn’t just look the other way and pretend it’s only fiction.
    We are in the small town of Farmdale, New Jersey, during a long hot summer holiday in the late 1950s, and living next door to the twelve-year-old narrator, David, is Ruth Chandler and her three children. There are also two other girls now living there, cousins whose parents were killed in a car crash. Ruth hates these two, particularly the older one, Megan, who is everything she no longer is—young, pretty, nice, full of life—and what begins as insults and petty humiliations gradually escalates into physical abuse.
    But it doesn’t stop there. Beneath the house Ruth’s husband, when he was still around that is, had built a nuclear shelter: a windowless concrete box, sealed by the heavy steel door from a meat-packing plant (this was the 1950s, a lot of people built them). Over the course of weeks in that basement, first under Ruth’s guidance and then passive acquiescence, the cruelties become outright tortures as her own children increasingly take over; then word gets around among the local teenagers and they start turning up to watch or join in. The victim, Megan, is fourteen years old, most of her tormentors about the same age or younger. It goes on all day, day after day, for weeks on end while summer passes.
    For me, what’s most appalling here is not that it is children who are doing most of these things, nor even the physical acts themselves, but the numbers doing it. If a single human being did all this to another, that would be terrible; but here you have four, eight, twelve of them at once with their cans of Coke or beer, all crowded around a single, naked, badly-injured girl: gagged, blindfolded, her hands bound and suspended by ropes from the ceiling beams. A dozen doing all this to one—it’s that.
    Although horror fiction, this is based on what really happened to sixteen-year-old Sylvia Likens who was tortured and starved to death over months by Gertrude Baniszewski, her children and the neighbourhood teenagers—a case which shocked America. That was Indiana and 1965, but similar to this novel otherwise with the process escalating from taunts and minor cruelties to such tortures as immersing Sylvia in a bath of near-boiling water while repeatedly banging her head against the tub to bring her back round each time she fainted. There, too, the mother, and perhaps also her eldest daughter Paula, seem to have been at least partly driven by jealousy of Sylvia’s youth and prettiness. But the rest of them were driven by nothing—they simply enjoyed doing it, and remained mostly unrepentant afterwards.
    The Girl Next Door does differ in some ways from these real events. For one thing, here there’s a narrator, more ambivalent about what’s happening than the others and who only watches but never joins in. In the real world there was no one at all to help Sylvia Likens; a number of people in the neighbourhood suspected what might be going on, but not one of them said a word or did a thing. Also, I found the second half of the novel less convincing than the first, less realistic (due to the presence of that narrator I think). All the same it’s a ghastly, an unputdownable, read. In both fiction and real life these were not “monsters” who did this, but ordinary human beings. They were anybody, and that maybe is the real horror.
… (more)
 
Flagged
justlurking | 80 other reviews | May 10, 2024 |
This book was pretty good. It is slow moving if you are expecting action and the creepies, but perfectly paced if you want to care about what happens.
 
Flagged
HazeyRecollect | 7 other reviews | Nov 13, 2023 |
This book was disturbing and unsettling. Very well written. Sad though.
 
Flagged
HazeyRecollect | 80 other reviews | Nov 13, 2023 |

Lists

Awards

You May Also Like

Associated Authors

Richard Chizmar Contributor
Edward Lee Contributor
Richard Laymon Contributor
Ed Gorman Contributor
John Pelan Contributor
Nancy Holder Contributor
Bentley Little Contributor
Rick Hautala Contributor
Eric J. Guignard Contributor
Roman A. Ranieri Contributor
Rain Graves Contributor
F. Paul Wilson Contributor
Simon Clark Contributor
Geoff Cooper Contributor
Lucy Taylor Contributor
Gary Brandner Contributor
Bill Pronzini Contributor
Tom Piccirilli Contributor
Ed Van Belkom Contributor
Jonathan Maberry Contributor
Gail Cross Cover artist
Harry O. Morris Cover artist
GAK Illustrator
Alan M. Clark Cover artist, Illustrator
Keith Minnion Illustrator, Illustrator & Contributor
Brian Cox Actor
Chad Savage Illustrator
Graham Masterton Contributor
Steven C. Gilberts Illustrator
Glenn Chadbourne Illustrator
Stefan Darda Contributor
Robert Cichowlas Contributor
Nick Tripiciano Illustrator
Łukasz Radecki Contributor
Zach McCain Illustrator
Will Renfro Illustrator
Caniglia Cover artist
Rob Kayman Contributor
Alex McVey Illustrator
Anna Klejzerowicz Contributor
Stacy Drum Cover artist
Alfred Klosterman Illustrator
Kristof Kurz Translator
Urban Hofstetter Übersetzer
Ralf Schmitz Übersetzer
Neal McPheeters Cover artist
Vince Natale Cover artist
Dallas Mayr Cover artist

Statistics

Works
97
Also by
55
Members
5,958
Popularity
#4,145
Rating
3.8
Reviews
260
ISBNs
215
Languages
10
Favorited
34

Charts & Graphs