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The Girl Next Door [Hardcover]

Jack Ketchum , Neal McPheeters , Stephen King
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (102 customer reviews)
RRP: 24.99
Price: 22.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 July 2002
Suburbia in the 1950s, a dark side emerging in the Chandler house for teenage Meg and her crippled little sister Susan - captive to an Aunt, who is rapidly descending into madness. "The Girl Next Door is alive.... in a way most works of poplular fiction never attain; it does not just promise terror but actually delievers it. But it's a page-turner, all right; no doubt about that." - Stephen King

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Overlook Connection Press; Reprint edition (1 July 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0963339745
  • ISBN-13: 978-0963339744
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 16.3 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (102 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 476,521 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Horrifying and truthful 31 July 2007
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The Girl Next Door is probably the most disturbing book that I have ever read. The horrors depicted in the book almost all come directly from the Sylvia Likens murder case which took place in Indiana in the 1960's.

Given the extreme nature of the case that the book is based upon, it sometimes reads as sensational, or even exploitational, but the facts of the case add an element to the story that makes it incredibly difficult to dismiss.

Its a hard book to recommend because of the intense emotional impact that it has, yet in that respect, it should be read. Some of the acts described in the book will make you wince or turn your stomach, others hit some primal fears that exist in all of us and make the book impossible to forget.

The Girl Next Door is a true horror book and represents, in my opinion, one of the best works in that genre.

Read the book if you feel you have the stomach for it and, for once, do believe the hype.

As a footnote, I would also recommend The Basement by Kate Millett, a semi fictional account of the true story, told from the imagined perspectives of some of the people concerned. It adds further impact to the events described in The Girl Next Door.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Harrowing 23 Jan 2013
By H
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Ketchum tells the story as an older man who witnessed the horrific incidents as a teenager. A heart wrenching read and a page turner.

Not a book for you if you are easily offended. Although the incidents of torture on the poor young girl are horrifying Ketchum does not over do it on the detail just gives you the build up and cuts it off, you imagination does the rest.

Although brutal, the book is so excellently written I couldn't put it down. There isn't much of a plot to the story and there is no reasoning or explanation for the horrific behaviour or megs captors yet Ketchum captures the readers making it impossible to stop reading even if you want too.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
"The Girl Next Door" is, without a doubt, the most disturbing novel I've ever read. It is also one of the only novels that I've read in one sitting. The reason? When I got to a certain point in the story, I realized --despite the fact that it was way past bedtime-- that I had to keep reading. I had to finish it. Putting it down, I would run the risk of never picking it up again. It's rough. It's mean. But it's also wonderfully-written and it contains moments of pure magic... not to mention one of the single-most terrifying moments I've ever experienced in a book. Read this one at your own risk.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars And you thought YOUR family was hellish!!! 8 Mar 1999
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
For several years now I've been trying to help some people who were abused by their parents (sexual abuse, emotional abuse, physical violence, addictions) back in the 1960's and 1970's. So I was drawn to this book, compelled to read it, despite knowing that it would cause me pain!
There are important parts of this book which are searing because they are quite true, not just for Meg but for many abused children: being kept isolated, being taught to never talk to police or anyone who might help, then taking the risks of breaking those rules and having the friend/relative/teacher/counselor/police NOT believe you because "he's such a nice man he'd NEVER do anything like that!". And then getting punished again and again and again.
Another piece that's powerful because of its truth is the lifelong damage it does to David, the narrator, just becaue he witnessed parts of it close at hand. There is a powerful psychological truth in the overwhelming guilt and pain he feels for not doing more, for not doing enough, for failing to rescue. And in how later in life he is drawn to other women who were victims, who need rescuing.
Another important truth that was not recognized is that even his smallest actions to comfort Meg, to help her near the end, were accepted, were needed, as the only acts of kindness anyone had given her in a very long time. This memory is his only salvation.
An important lesson that must be taken from this book is how people who choose to be evil love to force everyone around them to participate in their evil. They need to force those around them to be evil just like themselves. Perhaps they do it only to perpetuate the cycle of evil, to force their crimes, their attitudes, onto the next generation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By cerea
Format:Kindle Edition
I'm not going to tell you if I think this book is good or bad,what I will say,however,is it unsettled me greatly,at one point I considered not continuing reading it,....but as much as it disturbed me I couldn't help carrying on with it,which I guess is how the narrator of the story felt in what he witnessed.!!! My discomfort was made worse by the fact that the book is based on a true story! Not for the faint hearted.......good book?......you decide!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic 29 Oct 2013
By Amanda
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Gripping read, the boy was so scared but was helpless. He left it and it went too far. Brilliant book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars girl next door 27 Oct 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
First time I have read one of Ketchums books but WOW .it was one of those that you can't put down and yet scarey at the same time .
Will read more of his books if they are as good
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A reasonable read 28 Dec 2012
By Jrk
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book had me both bored to distraction and fighting with characters on the edge of my seat.

The first 50% of the script seems to drag endlessly, details of which seem more of page fillers than plot or of any actual relevance. Characters are undefined generally and can merge into single entities unless they have a strong identity which most do not, the three brothers for example all seem to merge continually throughout and are only defined by certain attributes, which comes across as sloppy.

The final half of the book had me by the neck, fighting with characters in my head urging them to do right from wrong, it's an interesting book although I have read better,
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Drew me in then spat me out
Well written. Finished it in a couple of hours. Parts of it I almost felt embarrassed to be reading. Very voyeuristic. Very real. Not my usual reading material.
Published 1 month ago by zenabombina
3.0 out of 5 stars This is not the book!
My fault for not spotting this was a screenplay not a story! Still worth a read but will need to purchase the actual book!
Published 2 months ago by The Picklepea
2.0 out of 5 stars Hideous but some may like
I read this as it was suggested by a "friend". God knows why.... awful. Some may like this kind of thing, I on the other hand don't. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Kirsty Taylor-Gallop
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read
First time I have read one of Ketchums books but glad I did. it's one of those books that you can't put down, even though at times it was so scarey that I wished I could. Read more
Published 3 months ago by E. Orr
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
This book very hard hitting to think there is this sort of thing going on all the time.It was a brilliant written book.
Published 4 months ago by karen brookes
4.0 out of 5 stars The girl next door by Jack Ketchum
A little slow to get going in my view, but I was glad I stuck with it. A real
Psychological story. I read the 2nd half in one sitting!
Published 5 months ago by TDB
5.0 out of 5 stars so scary
It's a heartbreaking event , the stuff the poor girl went through and all because one woman registries of fun , this was a true story and that's the scariest thing of all so God... Read more
Published 6 months ago by kerry Lee biggs
4.0 out of 5 stars Gut wrenching stuff!
I give this book four stars because I find it impossible to award the highest mark to something so unsettling Superbly written. Great characterisation. Flawless narrative. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Kaddie
4.0 out of 5 stars CLIVE......WHAT A DISTURBING READ
I read this book in a few days .....was it a good read? Yes. Although I found this book disturbing I think it was very well put together, I don't know if I would recommend it to... Read more
Published 6 months ago by fantastic love it love it well worth the download
1.0 out of 5 stars This book should NOT be available to buy.
My husband and I were both reading this , and he could not finish it, as it upset him so much. Never has a book affected him that way. Read more
Published 7 months ago by J. Davies.
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