- Audio CD
- Publisher: Tantor Audio; MP3 - Unabridged CD edition (April 19 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 151595465X
- ISBN-13: 978-1515954651
- Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.5 x 18.8 cm
- Shipping Weight: 90.7 g
- Average Customer Review: 21 customer reviews
The Girl Next Door Audio CD – Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged
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"The Girl Next Door is alive...it does not just promise terror but actually delivers it.. It's a page-turner." ---Stephen King
About the Author
Jack Ketchum, a four-time recipient of the Bram Stoker Award, is the author of many novels and works of short fiction. Several of his books have been adapted to film. Jack lives in New York City.
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There is a novel by Luanne Rice called Stone Heart that crept into the hidden realm of Domestic Abuse without the benefit of rose colored glasses, and left me breathless in the wake of such an emotional journey.
"Girl Next Door" took me through that journey again, but this time the passage was darker and filled with unaccountable dread. "How could this happen?" you will say. "Why didn't anybody DO anything?" The tide of emotion you will feel sweeping over you, washing your pity in tears as salty as the ocean and swirling the intense sadness through your soul, will leave you touched by a profound sense of loss.
In the 1950's, life was simple for a group of neighborhood children, living in a close knit, out of the way community. David was a boy back then, when Meg and Susan Loughlin move in next door with Ruth Chandler and her three sons, after the death of their parents in a car accident that left Meg scarred and Susan crippled.
David doesn't mind playing with Ruth's boys, and often found Ruth to be quite pleasant, in that she would treat the boys as adults and even allow them beer at times. But Ruth had a legendary temper, well known throughout the neighborhood.
David is enchanted by Meg, and therefore hangs around more than ever next door, wanting to be near her. Ruth, unstable before, begins rushing down towards the pits of insanity at a noticeably accelerated pace; and makes the Loughlin girls targets for her anger-infused mania. Descending from verbal abuse, to overworking Meg at chores, to her final psychotic imprisonment of the two innocent girls, Ketchum's painting of Ruth in the colors of derangement and lunacy is vivid and realistically unsettling.
Ruth slowly begins to allow others to join her in terrorizing the girls, and though David is mortified at the scenes unfolding right in front of him, he does nothing and tells no one about Ruth's basement until it is too late. I will not divulge any further information, but with the story being told from David's viewpoint, you can feel and understand his hesitation and fear, and remember that he himself was still just a child.
In this book, you may find yourself wishing that Ketchum was less skilled in his writings, so that you wouldn't find yourself so drawn into the characters and the appalling scenario. This book will make you angry and sad, leave you feeling helpless in your inability to change the outcome, and that is exactly what you should be feeling. You will not walk away untouched. By far, one of the most riveting and revolting horror books I have ever read, well worth the money you spend.
I know this story is based on true incidents but even if it wasn't, I completely believe that horror like this is happening even today, probably even while I'm typing this review. True evil comes in the form of Human insanity, ignorance, and learned hatred. This book slaps you in the face with that reality. Anyone that can ignore the significance of this book is probably the same people that ignore or down play our world's contributions to racism, classicism, and sexism. The characters of this book in a way represent a microcosm of what this world was,is and probably will be in the future. While we hide behind our safety nets of enjoying Science fiction and supernatural horror of the likes of Sixth Sense, The Others, and Signs, real life horrors of child abuse are happening everyday. Well, this book forces you to deal with it. It is as close to experiencing child abuse without actually being abused or witnessing abuse.
I am not saying , you will like this book, But I am saying that this book should be apart of our pop cultured, american heritage as much as Tom Sawyer,Roots or War and Peace. Child abuse is REAL,, terrifing and truely evil and this book proves it.
The story is told by David, now an adult, who recalls the horrible treatment of Meg throughout that summer in the 50s. He cannot ignore his own participation in the acts, and it is this that plagues him the most.
This is not an easy novel to read. I shed many tears trying to get through the passages, but I continued to turn the pages because this is a compelling tale of mob-think, the depths of depravity humans are capable of, survival instinct, and guilt, guilt, guilt. Is this a good novel? I don't think "good" is an accurate adjective. This is a powerful novel. There are no slimy slugs, aliens, serial killers, or vampires. But this is horror nonetheless, and I think this real-life horror is much more disturbing and frightening than anything I ever read in Dracula. This is destined to be a classic. Just prepare yourself; you will definitely be made uncomfortable by this story (and if not--get thee to a therapist!).
The Overlook Connection Press did an awesome job with this edition. It's complete with artwork by Neal McPheeters and an introduction by Stephen King.
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