Sunday, September 11, 2011

Joyride by Jack Ketchum book review

Ketchum is a big name in horror, that is if you want to know whom to follow.. just be prepared, the stories stick to the inside of the brain, some are so good that they stay there forever...

Joyride by Jack Ketchum

4.0 out of 5 stars You're not safe at home or on the road

Ketchum is quite satisfying when I reach for his stories; the horror and gore are based on things that with some stretch of really bad luck could really happen to someone which he balances on that too close to comfort crossing line perfectly. Joyride has a few murderers in it and some you hate and despise and the others you root for, crazy yes, you do want some of the characters to be okay, the story is twisted and even though it's a good read it's not his most visceral. This goes easy on the usual Ketchum gore and focuses on speedy shock and a thriller to keep the reader alert thought the tale, as usual there is more than one story line going on and sooner or later they join for an interesting ending. This was originally published under the title of "Road Kill" in the nineteen nineties in the UK and the flavor of the story reflects the place and time of its publishing, you get the darkness and the battle between good and evil or in this case evil and lesser evil based on the characters and who's on top versus on who's more of a mad man chopping and killing like in his previous works, here the mental games take over the pain of the flesh that he can make real very easily.

Howard is a sick young man on the killing spree of his life, traveling with him is Carol and Lee, you know why he takes them when you start the story and absorb their sticky and stressful backgrounds. He takes them on a ride but in this case the journey is more important than the destination, it's either them or random innocents who will get their share of bad luck for the day, Ketchum makes this an addictive read that's hard to put down and one that stays in the memory for a while. You pick who you root for, both sides have their black acts and it doesn't take too long for some very bad things to start happening to some random good people and a few damaged souls in need of a new start. This was a fast and easy read, not the most potent from Ketchum but then again this is the same man who wrote Off Spring which was the most insanely gross and intense book ever in a good way if you love horror, so perhaps it's not such a bad thing.

- Kasia S.

Jack Ketchum reading order

Off Season
1. Off Season (1980)
2. Offspring (1991)
OffspringOff Season: The Unexpurgated Edition 

Hide and Seek (1984)
Cover (1987)
She Wakes (1989)
The Girl Next Door (1989)
Joyride (1994)
     aka Road Kill
Stranglehold (1995)
     aka Only Child
Red (1995)
Ladies' Night (1997)
The Lost (2001)
The Crossings (2004)
Old Flames (2008)
The Woman (2010) (with Lucky McKee)
Hide and SeekCoverShe WakesThe Girl Next DoorJoyrideStrangleholdRedThe LostThe CrossingsOld FlamesThe Woman

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