Saturday, May 18, 2013

HORROR BOOK REVIEW: "Red" by Jack Ketchum

This is a book by Jack Ketchum, author of the infamous book The Girl Next Door.  That book was based on a true story of a young girl who was tortured and murdered by her relative and neighborhood kids.  I first saw the movie on Netflix and it is pretty hardcore.  When I saw a copy of the book, I picked it up immediately.  It was too disturbing to finish.

As a horror fan, I wanted to try another Jack Ketchum so I bought this book.  I was bracing myself for the worst.  I was expecting a revenge tale more brutal than Wes Craven's "Last House on the Left" movie from 1972.  In that movie, the parents of a girl who was raped, tortured, and killed seek revenge.  Long story thing leads to another, and the mother bites off the penis of one of the attackers. Some of the tamer events in the movie are a chainsaw attack and a person reaching into someone's corpse and pulling out their guts.  It is a movie that makes you feel sick and dizzy and gives you nightmares.  (BTW - Roger Ebert liked this movie.)

Red is nothing like I thought it would be.  It is a story of an old man seeking revenge on three kids who shot and killed his dog for no reason.  I kept waiting for really extreme situations and they never happened.  It is not a bad book.  It was impossible to put down and a quick read.  The man tracks down the boys and seeks revenge in a very logical and methodical way. It is a simple story and well told.  This may be unfair but it felt like Dean Koontz lite with one of the major characters being a dog.  Just don't read it expecting it to be the same sort of book as The Girl Next Door or Off Season.

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