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I'm Not Sam Hardcover – December 31, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Life is good for Patrick and his wife of eight years, Sam, until the night when Patrick finds Sam naked and trembling in the corner. He addresses her by name and she screams out, “I’m not Sam!” Who she is, she claims, is Lily, and, judging by her behavior, she’s about five years old. A trip to the hospital confirms there is nothing physically awry—so who the hell is Lily? This is a novella-length work, but the authors wring out more than enough awkwardness, as Patrick watches his sexy and confident wife pouting for candy, picking her nose in public, and having trouble wiping up after bathroom visits. It’s painfully clear early on how the plot is gathering steam: Patrick’s increasingly unbearable urge to make love to his wife, just like normal, even though now that might make him something of a pedophile. You’d expect nothing less from the provocateurs behind The Woman (2012), whom you can almost hear giggling in the background at the reader’s discomfort. An epilogue provides some concrete answers—and delivers a well-needed climactic kick. --Daniel Kraus


He is, quite simply, one of the best in the business, on par with Clive Barker, James Ellroy, and Thomas Harris. --Stephen King

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 175 pages
  • Publisher: Cemetery Dance Pubns; 1st Hardcover Edition edition (December 31, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1587673533
  • ISBN-13: 978-1587673535
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.7 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,987,931 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jack Ketchum "is on a par with Clive Barker (Hellraiser), James Ellroy (L.A. Confidential) and Thomas Harris (The Silence of The Lambs)," and that "the only novelist working today that is writing more important fiction is Cormack McCarthy (No Country for Old Men, The Road). - Stephen King

Jack Ketchum is the pseudonym for novelist Dallas Mayr. He was born in Livingston, New Jersey in 1946. A onetime actor, teacher, and lumber salesman, Ketchum credits his childhood love of Elvis Presley, dinosaurs, and horror for getting him through his formative years. As a teenager, was befriended by Robert Bloch, author of "Psycho" who became a mentor to him. He supported Ketchum's work just as his work was supported by his own mentor, H.P. Lovecraft. This relationship with Bloch lasted until his death in 1994.

A pivotal point in Jack Ketchum's career came while he was working for the Scott Meredith Literary Agency. He met Henry Miller and assisted him as his agent until shortly before his death in 1980. His extraordinary encounter with Miller at his home in Pacific Palisades is one of the subjects of his memoir in "Book of Souls".

In 1980, Jack Ketchum published his first novel "Off Season". Stephen King said in his acceptance speech at the 2003 National Book Awards that "Off Season set off a furor in my supposed field, that of horror, that was unequaled until the advent of Clive Barker. It is not too much to say that these two gentlemen remade the face of American popular fiction." Ketchum has received continued praise by King throughout their friendship.

Ketchum's work is largely based upon true events. The Girl Next Door , for example, was inspired by the 1965 murder of the young Sylvia Likens. In the special edition of the novel, King, who volunteered to write the preface, wrote one of the longest introductions of his career. He later went on to say that the movie adaptation of the book was "the first authentically shocking American film I've seen since Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer over 20 years ago. If you are easily disturbed, you should not watch this movie. If, on the other hand, you are prepared for a long look into hell, suburban style, The Girl Next Door will not disappoint. This is the dark-side-of-the-moon version of Stand By Me."

He has received numerous Bram Stoker Awards for works such as "The Box", "Closing Time", and "Peaceable Kingdom". As his books gained in worldwide popularity, they also began to be adapted into feature films, the first of which was "Jack Ketchum's The Lost" which went on to be a cult success, followed by the highly controversial second film "The Girl Next Door". However, the main launch for Jack Ketchum into international commercial and critical success was the long-awaited release by Magnolia Pictures of the film Red, based on his novel, starring Brian Cox (The Bourne Supremacy) and Tom Sizemore (Saving Private Ryan). After favorable reviews at The Sundance Film Festival, the movie made a critical showing in the United States and enjoyed relative success internationally with subsequent translations of the novel.

The author enjoyed more international succes with the publication and film version of "The Woman" co-written and directed by Lucky McKee in which the New York Times said "in this lean adaptation of a novel by Jack Ketchum and himself, maintains an artfully calibrated pace, investing a powerful parable with an abundance of closely observed details. Like David Cronenberg and Roman Polanski, Mr. McKee is a master at drawing suspense from pregnant silences."

Jack Ketchum continues his rise with the present showing of "The Woman" at the Sundance Film Festival 2011 co-written by Ketchum with director Lucky McKee. The novel is to be released this year.

Kethcum lives in New York City where he continues to write, articles, reviews, short stories, novels and screenplays. For more information go to international website:

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Frank Errington on November 20, 2012
Format: Paperback
Patrick and Sam have been married for 8 years. He makes his living drawing graphic novels and she is a forensic pathologist.

There is still much love after 8 years together. It shows well in the love-making scenes, handled skillfully by the writers. I'd say the scenes are titillating, without being vulgar.

Everything in the story is going swimmingly, but after another night of passion, things change fast and oh so, not for the better. When they wake up, Sam is no longer herself. After a visit to the Doc, Patrick learns his wife believes she's a child. A child of about 5 or 6.

The circumstances are intriguing and the situation calls for restraint. After all, she still has Sam's body and she's still Patrick's wife.

I found I'm Not Sam to be a totally enjoyable page turner, start to finish. And when you get to the end, there's more. That "more" will turn everything upside down. When all is said and done, I'm still tossing the moral implications around in my mind.

The idea for I'm Not Sam started as a short story that Jack Ketchum and Lucky Mckee wanted to work into a film, but apparently this story had a mind of its own. As a result, it winds up as the written word, a novella that Ketchum and McKee have decided to use as a launching pad for another story which they hope to make into a film. Time will tell.

I'm Not Sam is available in a wide variety of formats from a number of sources. Probably best just to google the title and authors.

I'm Not Sam
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By R. Krone on February 18, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I wasn't sure what to expect of this book before reading it as far as what it would be like. I do know I was not expecting it to be like it turned out to be. Having read Ketchum before one thing I did expect was at least bit of violence, but there is not really any violence to speak of, with the exception of throwing things around.

While this lacked the usual violence and death of previous Ketchum books I have read, it did not need it for the horror to show itself. The basic plot is that Patrick and his wife, Sam have been married 8 years and have a good life together. That all changes one night when Patrick awakens to discover Sam has somehow changed. Sam is not who she was. Sam is no longer Sam. What results is Patrick trying to figure out exactly what has happened to his wife and tries to figure out how fix whatever is wrong with her.

This short novella packs quite a punch in its pages. To add even more of punch to the gut, there is a short story included after the end of the novella. After taking a few minutes to think of and absorb the impact of this story, as requested in the introduction, I continued on to the short story. The short story packs another punch to the gut, despite its short length.

The first part is very powerful and definitely qualifies as a horror story in my mind, despite the lack of what is usually thought of in a typical horror story. Adding the 2nd story just added to the impact this book had with me. I rarely sit and absorb the end result of a story when I am finished, especially with horror ones. This is because there usually isn't something deep to think of and ponder just what could happen.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Scott on February 5, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book, it was definately not Jack Ketchum's usual style I've read previously but it was great none the less. The1st story really keeps you guessing & the 2nd half is pretty cool too. Please read the introduction first & do try to refrain from reading the 2nd half of the story for a short while to let the 1st half sink in, it's really worth it. All in all I love Jack Ketchum & was definately not disappointed in this book, if you're looking for a good book I highly recommend I'm Not Sam.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bill on June 6, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I liked this story a lot! The characters were very well developed and the story flowed smoothly, with an ever growing sense of dread that was never fully realized (and was not suppose to be). The unease of the story was more inferrerd than in your face like many of Ketchums earlier works. A bit creepy and disturbing just the way I like it. A very good short from Ketchum and McKee. 4.5 Stars rounded up to 5!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By LC on June 5, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
This is, above all, a love story. A love story that will make you smile, make you sad, and shock the living hell out of you. I just finished both stories, and I can already tell that this one is going to stick with me for a while. Grab your ticket and jump on the crazy train. You won't be disappointed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on January 1, 2013
Format: Hardcover
"I'm Not Sam." Artist Patrick and forensic pathologist Samantha are a happily married couple deeply in love with one another. Both enjoy their respective work, each is very fond of Zoey the cat and still enjoy love-making after years together. Everything seems perfect in their shared world. In the middle of the night, Patrick awakens to a scream. He finds naked Sam in a corner crying and telling him not to touch her as he hurt her. However her other contention confuses and panics Patrick when his Sam insists she is Lily who knows Zoey but not Patrick while she wants her Teddy liberated from being locked amidst the Barbies. Patrick wants to know what happened to his Sam as the days pass and she continues to act like a young child.

"Who's Lily?" She awakens knowing something is not right as she has a bandage on her foot though she knows not why, feels wet and sticky, and has two weeks of hair growth on her legs. She wakes up Patrick who calls her Lily. Sam asks him "Who's Lily?"

I'm Not Sam is an exciting psychological thriller starring a perfect couple facing their first crisis. Fast-paced but character driven, readers will appreciate this dark novella; made even darker by the related stunning short story coda Who's Lily?

Harriet Klausner
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