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Publisher's 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)

What listeners say about Off Season

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Barry S. Sharpnack
  • Barry S. Sharpnack
  • 22-11-2009

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.

18 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 27-12-2009

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

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    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Nathan
  • Nathan
  • 04-11-2010

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.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Jim "The Impatient"
  • 23-12-2014

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.

24 people found this helpful

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  • TLH
  • 28-12-2019

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!

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Neva P.
  • 03-12-2009

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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Profile Image for Cindy Cameron
  • Cindy Cameron
  • 22-07-2021

Irritating! Forced myself to finish.

I really believe that this would have been a pretty good story , But the narrator Was so fragmented and irritating that it was impossible to enjoy the story. I have purchased so many audible books that are just utterly ruined by the narrator I forced myself to finish this one .


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Profile Image for Nikolas P. Robinson
  • Nikolas P. Robinson
  • 26-06-2021

Nihilistic and Bleak, But Real

I was a teenager when I first read Jack Ketchum's Off Season in an already used paperback edition I'd found in a second-hand store or at a flea market. At the time, the book seemed truly graphic and bleak in a way most horror novels didn't approach. Of course, most of my reading up to that point had been Stephen King, Peter Straub, Robert R. McCammon, Dean Koontz, Clive Barker, Anne Rice, and other more commercially accessible authors. Of those authors, Barker and McCammon were the two who most closely approached what I was reading from Ketchum.
If I enjoyed the bleak and hopeless tone of that edition of the book, I was sure to be in for a treat with the less censored edition released this century.
A good deal of the change to this story only arises in the final stretch of the story, but those relatively minor changes in terms of text produce massive changes in the outcome of the narrative. Listening to this audiobook edition of the novel, I understand why Ketchum was dissatisfied with the edits his publisher demanded. This was a story that pulled no punches and held nothing back, laying bare the callous inhumanity of the world we live in and the indifference of the universe itself.
A tragic hero becomes altogether more tragic in this edition of Off Season, and the story benefits from that transformation.
Those who read the original edition of this book may have wondered just how much worse a vacation to Northern Maine could have gone in the fall of 1981. Ketchum answers that question in this restored iteration of the tale. As the vacationers in the cabin are beset by the wild, raving tribe of barely human cannibals, you might notice some scenes that carry a bit more potency and illustrative violence...but the core of the story remains the same until you reach the end.
Richard Davidson's narration is great, though there are times when it seems as if the Maine accents are a bit more of a caricature. It makes for an enjoyable listen just the same.

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  • Cheyenne
  • 07-06-2021

Wow.

Not the most intense gore fest but woof- it's up there. Good stuff, good narrator too.

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Profile Image for Blake Mooney
  • Blake Mooney
  • 21-04-2021

Wow

This was fantastic, the epilogue by Ketchum was really eye opening. You can’t even fathom how good this book is Jesus…

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • jennifer
  • 04-07-2010

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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Profile Image for Dallas Winston 9
  • Dallas Winston 9
  • 20-01-2017

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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  • Madcozy
  • 13-11-2016

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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