I’ve spent a lot of time writing on this blog about Shakespeare. It’s because I’ve been trying to get through the collected works this year. I’m almost done, and I couldn’t be much happier. But I’ve been reading other things besides the Bard. Not everything I read makes in on my blog because I’m trying hard not to bad mouth books by living writers. (Billy boy has been dead for centuries.)
N0w, we come to my favorite horror writer, Jack Ketchum. I had the opportunity to meet him at WHC 2011. He’s a really cool guy. It was hard not to be all fan boy, but I controlled myself. (Actually my alter ego controlled himself, Vic Kerry was a totally nut.) Anyway, I recently finished reading Joyride by Ketchum. This is an older book by Ketchum, but the nice thing about books are they can shift through time with ease.
This book took longer for me to read than most other of Ketchum’s works. It started out really slow, and I didn’t get on fire for it until about page 100. Usually I would abandon a book by then, but this was Ketchum. I knew it would pick up the pace. It did. I would say that I couldn’t put it down, but that would be a lie. I’m too busy to read a book in one sitting. I didn’t want to put it down; I’ll readily admit that. I put every other book on hold until I got it done.
Joyride was bloody and ruthless just like I expect from Ketchum. To be such a nice guy, he captures thrill killers’ and serial killers’ personalities very well. That is the mark of a good writer.
Now the other thing, this particular volume of the text included an author’s note. I love books that have the reason and inspiration for why the author wrote the story. (Stephen King does this a lot with his fiction too. I love getting into their creative process.) It ends up Ketchum used a set of books called Badmen and Bloodletters when researching Joyride and The Girl Next Door (probably my favorite book by Ketchum, but one I’ll never read again.) I happen to have Badmen and Bloodletters on my bookshelf. I was very excited because I have reference material that Ketchum uses. See Vic Kerry is such a fan boy and his alter ego is trying to rein him in by doing this. . .