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Only Child Hardcover – 5 Jan 1995

4.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 5 Jan 1995
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Headline Book Publishing; First Edition edition (5 Jan. 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747211671
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747211679
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.4 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,066,659 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
My first encounter with Jack Ketchum's work was reading his novel 'Red'. A somewhat slim book, I finished reading it in one day. You know if a book is going to be worthwhile usually after the first couple of chapters, and the time spent reading 'Red' was thoroughly worthwhile. It still remains one of the best pieces of fiction I have encountered, which brings me to ... 'Only Child'.

Like 'Red', this novel is fairly slim. But that is as it should be. There is no room for wasted words in Jack's writing. He gets to the point quickly and effectively, inviting his readers into a nightmare journey - a mixture of fiction and reality. It is exactly this juxtaposition of taboo realism and carefully crafted fictional characters that lends Jack's writing its uniqueness. He deals with the cruelty and evil inherent in society, bringing such issues to the surface, almost as if he is attempting to release his anger by way of writing.

Violence in 'Only Child' is extreme and, at times, graphically depicted, much like the work of Brian Keene, Richard Laymon, and Edward Lee. Essentially, Jack's horror is about the experiences some people suffer everyday of their lives - people who want to escape from their tormentors but are too terrified to take a stand, because of the consequences should they fail. Lydia McCloud, however, does make a stand.

Married to the fraudulently good-natured Arthur Danse, Lydia soon discovers his dark side. For Danse does not adhere to the rules of society. Undoubtedly disturbed, Danse believes he is here for a reason ... to ensure that he teaches humankind that both fear and pain are necessary, and that he has been chosen to inflict such pain on anyone who refuses his demands.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is more a human horror tale, as nothing supernatural or paranormal happens here. This is the story of the sheer nastiness, brutality and depravity that one man is capable of.
We first meet Arthur Danse as a child, dodging the police, hiding behind his mothers blind love, he is already a twisted, horrible little soul and he gets no better with age. The character of Arthur is all the more chilling to read because to all appearances he seems so nice, so normal but we know there is a depraved sick monster lurking inside the slick and successful exterior that is liable to explode at any moment. So, when he meets a pleasant and beautiful nurse called Lydia, you fear for her safety from the off. Lydia is no fool, neither is she a victim waiting to be abused, she is a strong intelligent woman who is refreshing as the female heroine of this book, but even she is duped by Arthur. They soon get married, have a child called Robert and for a while everything seems fine. Happy families. Then the true Arthur begins to surface with strange expectations of Lydia in the bedroom and very short fuse anger. Then Robert starts exhibiting strange behaviour, he's nervous and clumsy,he messes the bed and stutters but Lydia although troubled, puts Roberts behaviour down to stress. This is when the books twists and what the reader has been fearing all along happens, Arthur beats Lydia to within an inch of her life. Usually, in books, this is when the woman crumbles but to Ketchum's credit he doesn't do this, Lydia is proactive and remains fierce.But, when she comes to the horrifying conclusion that Arthur has also been abusing Robert her whole existence is turned upside down.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Gritty ketchum, transaction/condition/seller ect ect, all great :) thanks
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