Likes: Horror, macabre, fairy tales, ghosts, hauntings, serial killers, zombies, werewolves, shapeshifters, vampires, time travel, orphans, clones, thrillers, classics, gothic
I like to read anything that tells a good story, duh ;) Genre doesn't really matter much but I tend to read dark fiction and fantasy the most. I skip chick lit and romance novels with a few exceptions for the extraordinary.
My ratings system:
5 stars - ADORED; plan to read over and over and over.
4 stars - ENJOYED; will likely read once or twice more.
3 stars - LIKED; may or may not read again ... someday.
2 stars - MEH; no plans to read again.
1 stars - I didn't enjoy the story and was lucky to finish.
0 stars - I couldn't or wouldn't finish for reasons that may or may not be listed in the review box.
Rating: 4 of 5
For what it's intended to be, Off Season succeeds; thus, I rate it four stars.
If I was rating purely on my personal (yes subjective) level of enjoyment, I'd rate it somewhere around two and a half stars.
Perhaps I should've waited longer to experience Ketchum's Dead River world, having just read The Woods Are Dark (Richard Laymon) and The Pines (Robert Dunbar) only last year. Both of those novels also featured inbred backwoods cannibals. Though I found Ketchum's writing more absorbing - I was on the edge of my seat and my pulse raced during certain scenes - it was all too familiar for movie geeks like me.
Because, basically, it's the literary equivalent to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), The Hills Have Eyes (1977), Wrong Turn (2003), etc. Don't get me wrong, the premise is truly terrifying but, unfortunately, it's an overabundant and clichéd premise in the horror genre.
So if you're looking for a steady page-turning build to a heart-pounding climax, where the filler is scene upon scene of human torture, both physical and mental, and cannibalism, you should give Off Season a go. But if you're easily offended or squeamish in the least bit, skip this book.
Note: This was my first Jack Ketchum novel, but I had watched The Woman and The Girl Next Door, so I kinda knew what to expect from his books. I read the "author's uncut, uncensored version" June 2006 Leisure Book.