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Publisher's Summary

One of the finest and best-selling horror novels of the 1970s returns at last to chill a new generation.

In the isolated farming community of Harlowe, New Hampshire, where life has changed little over the past several decades, John Moore and his wife, Mim, work the land that has been in his family for generations. But from the moment the charismatic Perly Dinsmore arrives in town and starts soliciting donations for his auctions, things begin slowly and insidiously to change in Harlowe. As the auctioneer carries out his terrible, inscrutable plan, the Moores and their neighbors will find themselves gradually but inexorably stripped of their freedom, their possessions, and perhaps even their lives....

A chilling masterpiece of terror whose sense of creeping menace and dread increases throughout, Joan Samson's The Auctioneer (1975) is a rediscovered classic of 20th-century fiction. With echoes of Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" and Stephen King's Needful Things, Samson's novel returns at last in this long-awaited new edition.

©1975, 2018 Joan Samson (P)2018 Valancourt Books, LLC

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A excellent tale of slow burn, small town horror

I’m not entirely sure this wasn’t Bentley Little writing under a pen name…of course, he would have been a teenager, but you see what I’m sayin’.

“We’re having an auction.”

Now, pony up some stuff.

All of it.

I listened to this on audio and it was great. Matt Godfrey is quickly becoming one of my favorite narrators. The dude has serious skills and I have thoroughly enjoyed everything that I have listened to from him. Absolutely perfect for the story.

I also need to give a shout out to Valancourt Books who has been re-releasing some truly excellent rare and out-of-print fiction. Kudos and please keep it up.

“I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this honest review."

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

A tad drawn out, but very well written

This book feels very Stephen King. No, there's no supernatural element to this at all (though I sort of thought there might be by the description), I mean more that Samson's laid back style of writing that drops us right into their world is very reminiscent of King.

The story itself plods along for quite a long time as Samson loves to spend a great deal of time detailing every event. We meet the auctioneer and watch as week by week he beats down the morale of our protagonists and their neighbors. I honestly felt it went on for far too long without some action -- almost as if Samson was content in detailing their miseries. That said, his style of writing kept me right there along with the family even when I wanted to inwardly groan and move on.

Action does eventually happen, but it's in around the last 2 hours of the book (more like 1.5, but Samson does tend to spend a LOT of time on every scene). The ending was satisfactory in a way, though it did leave a lot of questions open and made me realize much of what Samson prattled on about was irrelevant.

Matt Godfrey did an excellent job of bringing the writing and characters to life. He was one of the reasons I was able to stick through the endless emotional abuse our characters sustained.

This audiobook was provided to me free of charge in exchange for my honest review. It's a good listen, though would be far better abridged IMO.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • TU
  • 09-19-18

fantastic book

I was given this free review copy audio book at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

This was a slow but masterfully written psychological horror story. It is not your typical horror story with breakneck pacing. It's a more thought out, psychological one that slowly builds the tension and carries you along for the journey. The narration is well done and really makes this a good listen.

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Underrated Gem

It's a shame Joan Samson did not write more books because her talent and skill is evident in The Auctioneer. Matt Godfrey's performance is the prefect pitch for this suspenseful horror novel set in rural America. Fans of Flannery O'Conner will appreciate this dark disturbing book.