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.
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.
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 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.
Readers who enjoy Bentley Little stories
The story was unbelievable. We are asked to believe a family with two teenages experience horrifying events almost immediately after purchasing a house do not share these experiences with each other; instead they decide to keep it to themselves. After many terrifying experiences, it isn't until Chapter 25 before one of the parents utters those magic words "we have to move!" Unlikely as it may seem, the teens are texting but the two parents (one a website developer the other an attorney) do not text; rather they use their cell phones to call each other. The ending was ridiculous and completely disappointing. I got the feeling the author got tired of writing the story and came up with a preposterous ending just to be done with it.
Annoying, monotone voice. Couldn't tell who was speaking because the character voices were nearly the same.
A few scary moments but truthfully too few to save the book
"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.
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
"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.
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.
"He decided not to tell her"
The family was fairly likeable, and there was clear effort to avoid cliche in their characterisation. There were one or two startling images, and for a time my curiosity was aroused as to what was going on.
I quite liked the historical flashbacks, as they added variety.
But the thing that annoyed me most was the failure of the characters to discuss things. In some cases it was understandable, but the second time Julian withheld important information from his wife, it just felt stupid.
Made it a bit more scary, perhaps?
The main problem was that the cause of the horror was generic and vague. Random supernatural stuff apparently happens, and although characters respond to it, they seem to get on with their normal lives a little too easily.
I found myself comparing this to Ramsey Campbell's Midnight Sun - that book has a similar plot, but tons more atmosphere.
Differentiated the characters' voices a bit better.
I think he put a fair effort into expressing the characters' anxiety, but as I wasn't feeling it, it came across as a little bit over the top. So I can't really blame the narrator there so much as the material.
No, it was overlong for such a nebulous idea.
It felt like one of those obscure films on the Horror Channel stretched to 10 hours.
An odd observation (by no means a criticism) - by mentioning the Wii, the DS and so on, Little successfully gives the story a very up-to-date feel, so it's actually quite jarring when Steve Jobs is referred to as being alive (which he obviously was at the time).
"What a load of predictable rubbish"
So awful from the cliched "cursed land" theme to the fact the author got his characters muddled towards the end. About as scary as the Teletubbies. Read "The Woman in Black" for a perfect example of a less is more classic frightener without the gratuitous rubbishy "shockers".
"Dont argue just get this"
I like them nasty, really nasty and my horror scale is way up there and this suited me to the bone. It had everyhting, good story, good atmosphere a likeable happy family with dark past and even darker future as they find out in time. I really got the creeps with this one a d it was the least scary scenes that packed the punch. I hope to hell the author does some prequeals with the Spanish explorer and the spanish missionary who briefly enter the story for its backdrop as those sub plot characters deserve treatment of their own. Last book to engross me this much was Pet Semetary, I knew a paragraph in this was a blast.
The subtle menace and the sense of the demon's multifaceted presence also the relationships of these characters.
Oddly the two sub plots that explain the history of the place, the spanish explorer whos horses and soldiers lose the plot and that blackened hand cooking in that pit that was a great bit.
Bit of both at various stages but i like my horror to scare
The narrator brought this to life and was so empathetic with the characters in the story...but please please please Mr Little I wanna know more about those Spanish characters and that hand.
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