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Red Paperback – March 25, 2014
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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.
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About the Author
Jack Ketchum is the pseudonym for a former actor, singer, 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, prompted the Village Voice to publicly scold its publisher in print for publishing violent pornography. He personally disagrees but is perfectly happy to let you decide for yourself. His short story The Box won a 1994 Bram Stoker Award from the HWA and he has written ten novels, including The Girl Next Door, Off Season, and Stranglehold. His stories are collected in The Exit At Toledo Blade Boulevard and Broken on the Wheel of Sex.
- Publisher : 47North; Reprint edition (March 25, 2014)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 270 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1477833412
- ISBN-13 : 978-1477833414
- Item Weight : 12.8 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 1 x 8.25 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #892,665 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
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The storytelling is masterful. The story flows from scene to scene, all very visual and vivid. The characters are well sculpted and the backstory is revealed at a great pace.
This book is not sheerly horror - it’s an exploration of humanity, morals, and the power of grief. It’s dark, and parts of it are horrific, but there’s a broad coverage of genres in this book and I loved it! Jack Ketchum is a true craftsman, pulling several mentally stimulating aspects into this story.
I loved this book and highly recommend it to any and all who love a good story, dashes of horror, and an intense, emotional connection. This book will live on through the ages!
The brilliance of this particular work by Ketchum lies in the tone, I feel. There is an understated calm and resignation through much of the book. You empathize because some people get terrible hands at the card table of life, and it's not fair. You can try and make it sensible, but that might not work either. Ketchum does not pander to his readers. This is one of his strengths. He also does not pull punches.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Ketchum is very good at his craft. And for a guy who has written a LOT of really good books, I was impressed with this, a slight derivation from the norm, at least as I see it. Definitely a worthy four stars. And kudos to Mr. Ketchum. I have been on a Ketchum bender and have recently read several of his books. They were all excellent.
Red is no exception. If you like character depth, emotional intensity, and good writing, this is a good bet. It is not necessarily a 'happy' book. There are parts that are hard to read, but I don't think any of the 'intensity' was gratuitous.
Jack Ketchum can tell a hell of a story. While this one may not be as brutal as some of the previous works I have read by him, there are some definite similarities in theme. Avery was a truly classic character and JK did an excellent job at giving him depth and heart. It was impossible not to root for him and to hope that the privileged prima donna pricks get exactly what’s coming to them.
A solid 4.5+ star read and another winner from Mr. Ketchum.
Was actually pleasantly surprised to find an additional story in the second half.
Next story takes you on a crazy wild ride again with some really nasty people. Just a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
If you are a horror fan and prefer more violence as opposed to aliens or the downright raunchy tales told in some of the other novels out there, I highly recommend this an alternative read.
One touches the heart while the other touches your soul.
Top reviews from other countries
A taut, frentic, mercilessly violent and ultimately wholly satisfying read.
It is very rare that a book this powerful is produced from an author associated with the genre of horror and suspense. But then Jack Ketchum's books are all powerful - see The Girl Next Door, Only Child, Right to Life - and each contain subject matter both horrific and true to everday life.
'Red' is no exception. Jack convincingly tackles the subject of animal cruelty here, conveying the horror of a crime that occurs all over the world and yet is considered - through the eyes of the authorities, at least - as a minor offence, being deemed unworthy of harsh punishment and equally unworthy of man hours. For animals are lesser creatures, right? They don't understand pain and abuse, right? Wrong. And this is what 'Red' is all about. The relentless determination of one old man - who has already lost his wife and son - to bring the three teenagers to justice, make them understand that what they have done is wrong.
As usual, Jack's writing is sharp and concise, no wasted words, and the result is a slim book of around two hundred pages - two hundred pages of some of the best prose you'll ever encounter. I finished this book in a morning and started reading it again that night. The characters are well written, especially Ludlow. You really feel for the guy throughout the book, but he keeps pushing and pushing, despite the obstacles he encounters. The violence escalates as the novel progresses, this time understandable violence that is born out of justifiable anger. Ludlow has lost everything, his family, his past. His dog was all he could call 'family'. Now he is alone once more, left wondering 'why?'
Tense, violent and ultimately sad, Red will remain with you for a long time.