Monday, September 8, 2008
Jack Ketchum’s The Lost is a hellish read, it’s the first, and so far only, book I’ve picked up from the author and let me tell you I couldn’t put it down. It takes place during the late 60’s, a time of interest for me being that I’m intrigued by the “Manson Murders”, and yes, there are few nods to that within the book. The story opens up with a bang, and within the first couple pages you know what you’re in for, a foul-mouthed, blood-soaked, leave-you-feeling-dirty experience from start to finish. I’d heard of Ketchum before, and didn’t pay the hype any attention, a lot of hoopla over his book and film adaptation of The Girl Next Door. He and his work didn’t seem to appeal to me, it all sounded very exploitive in nature, and that’s really not bag, I’m more of a monster and zombie man with a slight affinity toward true crime, than I heard him on a favorite podcast of mine, Dread Media, where he was being interviewed by host Desmond Reddick. Ketchum had the opportunity to explain his work and he did so in such a humble fashion that I instantly found myself drawn to it, how could this humble guy have such a horrifying imagination? I had to find out, so I picked up The Lost. Ray Pye, the worst of the worst, a character you couldn’t stand and at times couldn’t help but relate to, his quirks unique, and his aim dead on. Ray Pye is not the only character in this devastating tale, he’s surrounded by two flunkies whose tales are just as worthy to read, Pye’s victims as well, are fully fleshed out characters that you care about, they are not just typical cannon fodder but unique individuals to experienced. The good-guys in this story are a bit clichéd but are so well-done it’s easily forgivable. The Lost is certainly worth a read, and Ketchum is a horror heavy-weight who has managed to knock me out with only one blow. I’ll be getting back in the ring with him soon; I’m in this fight till the end.