The Perry family's new house is perfect - except for the weird behavior of the neighbors, and that odd smell coming from a dark corner in the basement. Pity no one warned the family about the house. Now it's too late. Because the darkness at the bottom of the basement stairs is rising.
©2012 Bentley Little (P)2012 AudioGO
Almost everything, from the writing, the characters, the plot, and the narration was all great. But what I really liked was how personal this book felt. One of Little's best, that's for sure.
No I have not, but I will now.
This book was a lot of fun to read, despite it's bleakness. Bentley Little is, however, known for his sense of humor. Do not look for that here. This is a book that is dark, bleak, and full of despair as the Perry family loses control of their average, every day lives.
The story is about an innocent family haunted by their new house, but it reminded me of self-abuse spinning out of control, the unknown anger and angst of adolescence, the fear and desperation of a child stuck in a family haunted by its past and current abuses. This book is about what's not in your control, and how what's good and average can turn to bad and abnormal at any time.
I'm still giving this book three stars because most of the story was good. It was entertaining, I was buying the plot, it worked. Then things changed towards the ending, it's like Little's editor quit, or like someone else wrote the ending. It was bad. It yanked me out of my suspension of disbelief and made me say "really, that's the best you've got?" It wasn't that I didn't like "the end" of the book, the whole story just fell apart with about 20% left to go.
Say something about yourself!
I would probably not recommend this book as one of the better novels of our time. I am an avid King reader, but I often find that King gets too lost in details and aspects not always relevant to the plot or even the over all feel of the novel. In Bentley's writing, I appreciated that there was never a dull moment. However, like King, he included unnecessary sleaze that at times was somewhat disturbing. My personal preference for horror is actual horror, rather than sexual or violent gore. I also found the novel heart breaking in places. The ending was horrible and made no sense.
I would give Bentley one more chance.
Didn't have a favorite
yes and no
(Spoiler alert:) The reactions of the family to these disturbing scenarios seemed extremely unrealistic. The reluctance to communicate between family members and the refusal to wake others when things went bump in the night seemed less than plausible. I get that the presence in the house drew them in... made them do things they weren't quite aware of but all were in possession of their mental faculties most of the time. The sudden bursts of rough sexual acts caught me off guard and left a sleazy aftertaste. The ultimate climax of the book just didn't seem to follow the flow of the story.
The almost constant repetition of certain bits of dialogue became obnoxious. "I'll kill you both..." and "take off your pants" were repeated so often I found myself rolling my eyes each time, thinking that the author must consider the reader/listener awfully inept at recalling plot points. Also... the writer's expressions could use a bit of diversity. Another expression that grew old entirely too fast was "persue/follow this line of questioning."
No. I will always be an occasional listener of horror fiction.
During dialogue, the narrator's tone never seemed to match the mood of the context. When a character cried out in panic, anger, lust, or fear the narrator sounded bland, bored, or conveying the exact opposite emotion.
Rick, the owner of the print shop. He was really only an occasional distraction who served little purpose in the overall plot, other than to convey Claire's distaste for Julian's friends.
There were excellently written thrills and incredibly bizarre moments that made my nose pinch with revulsion and disgust. Bentley's capability to write gruesome or thrilling fiction is unquestioned. I was properly scared a number of times... but I was able to predict the ending about an hour and a half before the book's conclusion and found myself so disappointed to be proven right.
The Haunted is a fast paced ghost story with like-able characters. It was much creepier than I expected and just different enough from the run of the mill haunted house stories. Dan Butler's narration was great. He managed different voices for the characters which is something that grates on me with other narrators.
Absolutely, if any of my friends read horror. I've read a lot of 'haunted house' stories over the years, and this one managed to be fresh and interesting and really captured my imagination.
I wouldn't really compare it, personally. It's different enough, to me at least, to stand alone.
I don't think I've heard any of his other readings...
Oh man... I'm a writer and naming my own stuff is hard enough, I don't think I'd think of anything better. This title suits the book perfectly, and was certainly enough to make me buy it without a second thought (the author's name helped, too!).
I'm a Bentley Little fan. Occasionally his stories go off on strange tangents that to me feel like they fit with the rest of the story, but this is NOT one of those books. I'll be listening to this one again, no doubt about it.
I am a daily commuter, 1 hour each way. Audible rides shotgun with me every day. The time flies by when I am listening to a good book.
The first half was pretty good and set the atmosphere for a good scare. The part about James and the dirt was claustrophobic to say the least and very creepy. But then the story seemed to take a 180 degree turn and I found myself checking frequently to see how much time was left until the end. I felt like the author was beating me over the head with a political agenda and that added nothing to the story. Maybe the author was paid by the word or chapter. I hate to leave anything unfinished so I stuck it out but it was painful to complete. There were just too many sentences, paragraphs and chapters that seemed nothing but filler and wasted space. How do you spell relief? t-h-e-e-n-d!!!
I love a good, scary ghost story. The problem is that so few of them are downright scary. I've been burned time and time again by stories that hint at the creepy or take you right up to the edge of something scary, but can't pull the trigger. "The Haunted" remained in my Wish List for some time because of this.
You can imagine my delight, then, that when I finally took the plunge and downloaded the book, I found "The Haunted" fulfilled its scary promise. In addition to being scary, Bentley Little gives us characters we can relate to and root for. A haunted house story (and believe me, that's not a spoiler) means very little if we can't be bothered to care for its victims. We care a great deal for these victims, as Little has made them real people, with real pain and real joy.
Although I found the conclusion a little unsatisfying, this was largely offset by the powerful emotional reaction the author is able to elicit. "The Haunted" is not perfect, but it is very, very good. A must-read for those who, like me, are always on the hunt for a good, scary ghost story.
I am a voracious reader (average about 4-5 Audible books a week, in addition to those I "eyeball".) I have been hooked on recorded books since the time of cassettes/CDs and was thrilled when I became an Audible member in 2007. I find reader reviews good guides to spending my credits, so have finally decided to write a few (although, I would rather be reading!)
Based upon reviews, I expected some truly scary, King-esque spookiness. Besides a couple of noted scenes, the scariest aspects I found in this novel was the complete lack of communication of the family and, that, despite being a full-time lawyer with a work-from-home husband, the wife still did ALL of the housework and laundry. There was also a bit too much political ranting for my taste (whether the writer leans right or left, I prefer my horror, scifi, etc to be politics free, escapist fare.) Finally, I felt the culmination very slap-dash and unbelievable.
But, there were a few spine-tingling scenes and the narrator did an excellent job bringing the characters to life, so I gave this 3 stars.
I love supernatural stories and haunted houses in particular. It's hard to be original these days but the real problem with this book is Little's choice of using bad flashback episodes FOUR times! They weakened the storyline and broke the cardinal rule --- never reveal too much about the monster. It will stop being scary. He did have one really creepy element - a card game. Hard to imagine, I know. But it was cleverly creepy. The performance wasn't that good. The narrator can't vary his voices enough.
"Genuinely unsettling, well written horror"
If you've listened to or read Bentley Little's The Collection (also on audible), you may well be wary of trying this book - even as a pretty hardcore fan of horror as a genre, I found stories in The Collection difficult to listen to (and often to stomach). Don't worry though - The Haunted is a much easier listen, and well worth the download.
It's a fairly standard haunted house story, but it's very well written and honestly compelling. From the comfortable, engaging trials and troubles of an american middle class family, the narrative turns in a heartbeat to something much more disturbing and other worldly. You find yourself waiting for the next thing to happen, but you're often genuinely surprised when it does. Unlike The Collection, which was very much about short, massive shocks, this is much more subtle. I've been very disappointed with horror releases on audible lately, but this book is a very welcome change from the general trend and well worth a credit.
I've never had to stop an audiobook before because I'm so scared. Maybe that makes me a big jessie, or maybe it shows a really great listen!
Julian and Clare move their two kids into a new house; all of them start seeing visions of some sort that scare them silly, but they don't share their fears and stay where they are. The sense of evil escalates until a finale you don't expect slaps you in the face!
...a modern day family moved into The Marsten House from 'Salem's Lot?'
That's the vibe I get from this novel and that's no bad thing either. In fact it's meant as high praise as 'Salem's Lot is one of my all time favourites,
I thoroughly enjoyed The Haunted and listened to it in two sittings (like the Father in the book I'm an artist who works from home) and it kept me hooked the whole time. The characters were all likable and believable, reacting in realistic and natural ways to the horrors that unfold and there a times when it's really quite unsettling. This is also due in no small part to Dan Butler's excellent narration.
The only downside is I now want more Bentley Little on Audio but there's none to be had. Hopefully the success of this will lead to more very soon.
Original story about a family living in a haunted house. The author has done a good job on characterisation,. The haunted house themes are all here and updated. The narrative has been updated but there are a few cliches. This didnt knock my socks off but it was entertaining. The narration is really well done.
"A truly unsettling contemporary haunting tale"
Amongst the very best I have heard, this modern take on the haunted house scenario by Bentley Little, is a very engrossing listen and is truly scary in a way that is so engaging as you have a sense of deep sadness for the family as you see them being used and played with in such a horrific way by the thing that lives with them in the house.
I can or will only say, the wet black earth and the boy
Dan Butler performed all the characters well and his narration was very good all round.
I was creeped out by it.
At times I felt sorry for the characters, I especially was affected by what the became of the boy and how he was treated by that thing.
Bentley Little is an extraordinarily unique writer who's books I find truly fascinating .He manages to write his characters so vividly by describing something as ordinary as describing their shoe size and by some strange alchemy makes them become so real valid and truly alive. I have become addicted to his writing style.I wait in hope for more of his books to be made into audiobooks, so I can buy them.
wanting to break the hold of king barker and koontz i thought i would start with bentley little's the haunted and i am very pleased i did this is an excellent listen well wrote and well read with some genuine moments of terror.Not many books can cause me to hold my breath but at points in this book i had to remind myself to start taking in breath before i passed out.would highly recommend this to all lovers of said authors above i promiss you will not be dissapointed
This a fantastic book with a great story,its so creepy too you can so get into the book and the perry family
A must if you like the ghost stories,its interesting from start to finish,and a little sad too.
I enjoyed this book.
(potential spoilers ahead)
The narrator was easy to listen to, and I felt his voice added the right tone to the book. He read at a good pace, and his inflections added to the feel of the story.
Some reviewers damned the addition of the sexual parts, not understanding the need for them. And whilst they made me uncomfortable at times I felt that it added to the malevolence of the entity. (spoiler: The entity is made up of thousands of souls, male mostly, all exerting control, the needs, wants, urges of all these souls will cover many things, and to shy away from this topic would have been a mistake I think. The author dealt with it in a sensible way, not too crass and explicit.)
The story itself was good, it had a decent chill factor. The story is told from all four family members points of view (with the addition of a few other points or view when needed). I didn't feel that this made the story too choppy or hard to follow. Instead it was good to hear from each person what they were experiencing/feeling/thinking.
I felt the ending was original enough and well done.
Overall I was impresses with this book.
N0 BUT THEN VERY RARELY READ ANY B00K M0RE THAN 0NCE ANYWAYS! :)
A GENERAL FEELING 0F BEING ILL AT EASE AND IMAGINATI0N GETTING BETTER 0F ME AT TIMES - EEK!! :0
N/A GREAT J0B!
YEAH CRIED QUITE A FEW TIMES - SPECIIALLY AB0UT THE LITTLE B0Y , MILES, THEY'D L0ST AND H0W IT AFFECTED JULIAN AND CLAIRE'S MARRIAGE/RELATI0NSHIP.
VERY ATM0SPHERIC AND HAUNTING ST0RY . - G00D 0NE!
"Satisfaction not necessarily garanteed"
The characters are reasonably well realised, in a Stephen King 'ish vibe. The reading is good without going over the edge into hopelessly melodramatic. It would probably be seen as having more of a creepy, rather then a full on horror vibe by many true Horror junkies.
For me, I found the back story to the haunting a little bit light on concept and detail, but depending on your point of view you could also see it as wonderfully open-ended; so again it is very much a matter of personal taste.
I would not say it blew me away, but it was interesting enough that I would pick up another Bentley Little book in the future. If you are expecting an adrenaline fuelled roller-coaster scare fest you might be disappointed. On the other hand, if you are prepared to take it on its own merit, then it should a reasonably entertaining experience.
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