Alex Kane's picture
Alex Kane from west-central Illinois is reading Dark Orbit May 3, 2012 - 7:38pm
Offspring
20% (1 vote)
The Girl Next Door
80% (4 votes)
Cover
0% (0 votes)
She Wakes
0% (0 votes)
Total votes: 5

wickedvoodoo's picture
wickedvoodoo from Mansfield, England is reading stuff. May 4, 2012 - 12:21am

I havent read all of those so can't really vote fairly.

But I will recommend you add the novel Red to your poll. I read that not long back and really enjoyed it. He has a very easy going writing style and the book reads very quickly. T'was a good un'.

Pretty Spry for a Dead Guy's picture
Pretty Spry for... from I'd prefer it if you didn't know. So would you, only you don't know it. is reading whatever he makes time for this week May 4, 2012 - 12:35am

The 2008 film Red starring Brian Cox is also the best adaptation of a Jack Ketchum novel I've seen.
It's available for streaming from Netflix, along with a lot of other good Cox films.

Pretty Spry for a Dead Guy's picture
Pretty Spry for... from I'd prefer it if you didn't know. So would you, only you don't know it. is reading whatever he makes time for this week May 4, 2012 - 12:47am

I can only recommend The Girl Next Door from the options being polled because it's the only one I've read. I had to put the book down for a few months and then come back to it—and I quit before much of the physical abuse started. I finished Girl in an afternoon once I'd hardened myself enough. It's stuff tough. There are certainly some problems, some of them stemming from Girl's being told from a first person perspective (or at least from its being told from David's point of view), but the only things that have elicited a similar emotional response from me have been other Ketchum works. Avoid the film, though; it's not nearly as powerful.

Ketchum's short story collection Peaceable Kingdom is terrific. Give it a shot if you haven't already after you've read a novel.

Ketchum is one of the best writers alive as far as I'm concerned. He's got an engrossing pseudo-minimalist touch that's to be envied. [That's a pretentious way of saying that each of his works is all killer and no filler and that his prose will dig into your skin like fishhooks and not let go.]

Pete's picture
Pete from Detroit is reading Red Dragon May 4, 2012 - 5:41am

I've only read Offspring and The Girl Next Door. And, really, it's a tough call on which one to read first. Maybe go with The Girl Next Door. If you can make it through that book, you can make it through any of his books, I guess. And besides, I'm sure you could learn some things from how The Girl Next Door was written.

Alex Kane's picture
Alex Kane from west-central Illinois is reading Dark Orbit May 4, 2012 - 9:59am

Went with The Girl Next Door. Thanks for the input, guys. I love the voice so far. Really awesome writing.

Pete's picture
Pete from Detroit is reading Red Dragon May 4, 2012 - 10:27am

Awesome! Report back here when you finish it! haha

.'s picture
. May 5, 2012 - 8:35am

I like to read authors in the order that they wrote their books to see how they progressed as a writer. 

I started with Off Season. It was really awesome.

Alex Kane's picture
Alex Kane from west-central Illinois is reading Dark Orbit May 5, 2012 - 9:18am

That's an interesting method -- Dakota, right?

I generally begin with an author's best known, or at least most "acclaimed" book first, and then go on from there, with exceptions. For example, I started with Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, rather than Hell's Angels. And with Cormac McCarthy, I read The Road first. I dunno. I guess it's my way of getting introduced to new authors in the "best" manner possible. For example, I loved The Rum Diary. Had I read it first that probably wouldn't be the case.

A good argument for your method, though, would be King, since Carrie is a killer debut novel and he just keeps getting better with each book (minus, according to most, his late '90s through early '00s work). Personally, my favorite book of King's is probably his 2006 short story collection, Just After Sunset, followed closely by The Stand.

Anyway, really enjoying The Girl Next Door so far. Ketchum is a hell of a writer and I'm thrilled to be taking a class with him starting Monday. I look forward to seeing what everyone comes up with for homework assignments, et cetera. I imagine some killer short stories will come of it.

.'s picture
. May 5, 2012 - 11:49am

For example, I started with Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, rather than Hell's Angels. And with Cormac McCarthy, I read The Road first. I dunno. I guess it's my way of getting introduced to new authors in the "best" manner possible. For example, I loved The Rum Diary. Had I read it first that probably wouldn't be the case.

Whoa. My exceptions exactly. But since then I've followed the chronological method.

 

Also for the class mates of the Ketchum class, you can go in there now. I started an introduction thread so we can get the boards busy with conversation. 

http://litreactor.com/class/4023

Alex Kane's picture
Alex Kane from west-central Illinois is reading Dark Orbit May 5, 2012 - 2:53pm

Posted my intro over there.

I'll probably adopt your chronological method after graduation -- which is in 15 days! YES!

Ahem. Yeah. Cannot wait until Monday, though. I'm thinking this class is gonna rock.

Richard's picture
Richard from St. Louis is reading various anthologies May 31, 2012 - 9:28pm

DEF TGND. enjoy. and then read them ALL from start to finish, chronological. if you can handle it.

Shane Douglas Keene's picture
Shane Douglas Keene December 3, 2016 - 6:26pm

If you haven't already read it, read Off Season before Offspring. Offspring is the sequel to that book. The Woman is the sequel to Offspring if you want to read them as a trilogy.

EDIT: I didn't notice the last post here was in 2012, but that's still my 2 cents if anyone cares.