If you are a true horror junkie, you'll like it, though you might feel sickened; if you are not a horror fan, stay away from this book! I think in some books, if the idea that something could really happen, it just seems that much more revolting. Ketchum is a big name for horror fans these days. I've read some more by him and though some might not agree, this one was tame compared to some I've read. It's disgusting, true, but tamer than some of his others.
Read it in one day, very disturbing, I can't believe what they did to that poor girl, i was so angry at times, i wanted to just jump right in and grab those kids, the lady was really nuts, a must read.
I knew when I started reading this book that would not be easy. Not just because of the reviews I read or the description of the story. But because I knew that even though this story was fiction..it was based on a true story. That's what made it hard. But as hard as it was, it was still a book I could not put down. Truly terrifying at times, The Girl Next Door, reminds us that the real monsters are not the vampires and werewolves of movies and books, but the people in our own backyards. The real monsters look like you and me. That's what scares me most.
I'm a serious horror junkie (King, Lee, Little, you name it), and this book disturbed me so profoundly that I felt sick to my stomach. Think long and hard before ordering it because it is NOT for the faint of heart!
If your a fan of Jack Ketchum and / or Richard Laymon then this is a must read. I love horror stories, thrillers, serial killer stories, but, this book I actually found somewhat disturbing even for me. It will keep you up and turning pages, see if it doesn't disturb you a little more than most.
good book if you can get past some things. There is a part where the only thing written in the chapter is "Im not going to tell you what happened. If you wish, you can imagine it for yourself, but I will not say what I saw." Lemme tell you, after the previous chapter, I was afraid of what would be written and was greatful for this pardon.
This is a horror novel, but the monsters are human. Definitely NOT for the squeamish, this is the story of an insane woman who tortures 2 young girls in her cellar with the help of her 3 crazy sons and the neighborhood children in the 1950's. Great story, but really chilling.
This was a thrilling book that starts out slow. With all of the review hypes about it being the most disturbing book ever written, I was let down, to me it was certainly disturbuing, but not much more than some of the other thrillers I have read. The difference is this is based on fact. I tried not to think about that part and figured that there was alot of fiction involved with the story. So if you like thrillers, this is a good book, just don't read alot of the hype.
While the reviews of this book were good I did not find it all that gripping. Yes, it was horrifying in its description of what man is capable of doing to his fellow man. What I found more interesting is the herd acceptance of what is right and wrong and the willingness of people to just go along rather than rock the boat.
I dont usually read this author, but glad I did. I hadnt heard of this story before and glad I read it, these types of stories about abused kids are all over the news these days. In a way keeping their memories going. Back then it wasnt like that and they faded away. I have to say I picked this book out of my mailbox about 7 hours later I was finished. I'm stunned that all those kids did assist in some way, that none of them helped the girls sooner, that the abuse was more than Eddies abuse, but it was ok with all of them??
After reading the book, I found out it was based on a true account. Shiver.... What creepy evil people are out there. You would probably have to like horror to like this. It was so awful that I can't say I recommend it, but this is one of few books I have read in the "horror" genre.
This book is interesting, yet disturbing. It is about a girl who moves with her sister in with their aunt and her 3 sons after their parents are killed in an accident. It describes the conditions that she lives in and the story is told by her 12 year old neighbor 30 years later.
This is the first book by Jack Ketchum that I've read. He is a very intriguing writer, and knows how to draw you into the story. The subject matter of this book was a little disturbing (ok, at times, more than a little). But, it was almost like passing a car accident...you don't really want to look...but you just can't help it. That's how this book was. He kept just enough details to make you uncomfortable, but not enough to make you distgusted enough to be able to stop reading. Reading this book, has definately made me want to try other books by this author.
This book was very sick.
I sped through it, both because I wanted to get it over with and because it was so horrible I couldn't tear myself away.
It wasn't a typical horror novel with demons and ghosts but it was realistic, which made it all the more scary and terrible. This book made me so angry and scared that there were times I actually started shaking while reading it.
This was my first Jack Ketchum book and I'm eager to read more of his work, as long as they aren't related to child abuse and torture.
I got half way through this book, sensed what would come the farther I got into it, and couldn't bring myself to finish it. Horror written about things fantastic, things imaginable, things possible but so unlikely as to pose no real threat can be tittilating, thrilling and leave-the-light-on unnerving. Horror writing that delves into and develops the psychopathic id and human cruelty at its worst, primarily for its prurient effect, is unnerving but more, it's debasing of the human animal. That was my take on The Girl Next Door. This was my first Ketchum novel. I'll try another to see how it compares but....
Suburbia. Shady, tree-lined streets, well-tended lawns and cozy homes. A nice, quiet place to grow up. Unless you are teanage Meg or her crippled sister, Susan. On a dead-end street, in the dark, damp basement of the Chandler house, Meg and Susan are left captive to the savage whims and rages of a distant aunt who is rapidly descending into madness. It is a madness that infects all three of her sons - and finally the entire neighborhood. Only one troubled boy stands hesitantly between Meg and Susan and their cruel, torturous deaths. A boy with a very adult decision to make......
A horrifying tale of abuse of a young girl at the hand of the neighborhood children and her own relatives. While the subject matter is hard to deal with, Ketchum's writing is wonderful and really makes you turn the pages, whether you want to or not.
This fiction story is based on the true story of Sylvia Likens, a 16 year old girl who was tortured and murdered in the 1960.
FROM BACK COVER:
Suburbia. Shady, tree-lined streets, well-tended lawns and cozy homes. A nice, quiet place to grow up. Unless you are teenage Meg or her crippled sister, Susan. ON a dead-end street, in the dark, amp basement of the Chandler house, Meg and Susan are left captive to the savage whims and rages of a distand aunt who is rapidly descending into madness. It is a madness that infects all three of her sons-and finally the entire neighborhood. Only one troubled boy stand hesitantly between Meg and Susan and their cruel, tourturous deaths. A boy with a very adult decision to make...
Oh my. Ive read just about all of Jack Ketchums books, including the cannibal series and loved them.disgusting and exciting in all their gruesome horror (they make Stephen King look like hes wearing diapers). But this bookthis book is something else entirely. The Girl Next Door transports you back to a late 1950s middle-class neighborhood during the hot, lazy summer. The neighborhood kids become involved in the madness of one of the mothers. Telling you any more would give the story away. The children become victims, coconspirators, and perpetrators. One, through the madness, becomes a hero, even as tragedy strikes. The reader is left with some questions unanswered, huge moral ambiguity, and seriously, at times, even I had to put it down and walk away. I still dont know if its based on a true story or not. I think, for me personally, the problem I had was that in Ketchums cannibal books, you suppose, if you stretch it really, really far, that its possible, but extremely unlikely to occur or be a reality. This bookits entirely too likely to be a reality and, perhaps, thats where my squeamishness came from. Still, I recommend the book, but NOT to the faint of heart. Consider yourself warned.
9/5/06: I have never EVER thrown a book away. Until this one. It is disturbing. I highly recommend you do not read it.
7/6/14: I tried it again, and managed to get all the way through it this time, but it is still VERY disturbing. I had to start another book right away to get the bad taste out of my brain.