The Girl Next Door

  • by Jack Ketchum
  • Narrated by Jack Ketchum
  • 7 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Suburbia. Shady, tree-lined streets; well-tended lawns; and cozy homes. A nice, quiet place to grow up. Unless you are teenage Meg or her crippled sister, Susan.
On a dead-end street, in the dark, damp basement of the Chandler house, Meg and Susan are left captive to the savage whims and rages of a distant aunt who is rapidly descending into madness. It is a madness that infects all three of her sons and finally the entire neighborhood. Only one troubled boy stands hesitantly between Meg and Susan and their cruel, torturous deaths. A boy with a very adult decision to make....

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What the Critics Say

"The Girl Next Door is alive...it does not just promise terror but actually delivers it.... It's a page-turner." (Stephen King)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A Horror To The Core

Before you pick up this book, you got to ask yourself, why you like horror. You need to know where you draw the line or do you have a line? If you have a line, I guarantee this will cross it. The first two hours read like a coming of age story, that could have been written by Ray Bradbury. I was sucked in and then slowly things start to happen. Unlike many other horror novels, it does not involve ghosts, aliens or something out of the woods or swamp. The monster is a mom and the victim is a child. As another reviewer mentions, just as you think it gets to its worse, it gets worse. I have never read anything as awful (five stars) as this. With a couple of hours left, I found myself wishing it was over. I hoped the book would end and the last two hours was a preview, added short story, author interview, anything but more torture. It did not end. Ketchum is a great writer which makes this even more terrific. With many horrors, you have that certainty that the story is made up, fake, impossible. Ketchum's realistic writing scares the hell out of me.
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- Jim "The Impatient"

Beautiful and Disturbing Tribute to Sylvia Likens

What did you love best about The Girl Next Door?

I loved the perspective we are given as we see this girl going through hell. Instead of it coming from her perspective, it is from the perspective of a hesitant child being pressured into taking part in her torture.


What other book might you compare The Girl Next Door to and why?

It reminds me of Cannibal: The True Story of the Maneater of Rotenburg. Because although one is more true crime and the other more fiction, they both paint a fictionalized version of the situation around a certain person or character.


What does Jack Ketchum bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He puts the perfect tone to everything, it gives the perfect atmosphere to the whole experience. No matter how bad it gets he doesn't let up on how he speaks and goes about the story.


If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

There actually is a film for this book. The tagline is "In this town, murder is the neighborhood game." But I'll come up with my own. "Say no to peer pressure."


Any additional comments?

This book is not completely fiction as some may believe. It is based on the Sylvia Likens case back in the late sixties. A young girl who was neglected, beaten, and tortured by a family she was given to to be taken care of. The story itself is fictionalized but based closely on the case and is very well done.

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- Amanda Johnson

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-19-2016
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio