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The Influence

3.64  ·  Rating Details ·  573 Ratings  ·  73 Reviews
Everything is about to change...

When Ross Lowry moves into his cousin's guest house in the small community of Magdalena, Arizona, he expects nothing more than breathing room and a brief respite from his economic woes.

But something is not right in the desert.

After a raucous party on New Year's Eve, the luck of the attendees undergoes an immediate U-turn. The rich and succes
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published October 2013 by Cemetery Dance Publications
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Evans Light
May 29, 2015 Evans Light rated it liked it
Shelves: hardcover
Easy to read, fluffy creature-feature from Bentley Little. Fun, but not spectacular, Little perhaps attempts to add some depth to proceedings by having a reversal of fortune between the haves and have-nots, but mostly this is a pretty straightforward tale along the lines of horror flick JEEPERS CREEPERS and Stephen King's DESPERATION. The ending was surprisingly unsurprising.
Overall, not a bad book, but not great either. If you've been a horror fan for more than a few years, you've seen this all
Adam Light
May 28, 2015 Adam Light rated it it was amazing
Excellent installment in the Little catalog that exceeded my initial expectations.
The first fifty or eighty pages were a slow burn, but the payoff was totally worth it. This one had me glued to the pages, and didn't let me go until the final page. Great horror, with tremendously well-drawn characters, all-together a fun, twisty, surprising read.
The Behrg
Dec 08, 2015 The Behrg rated it really liked it
This book was a trip into a psychedelic Wonderland where almost anything is possible.

Anything, that is, but a satisfying ending.

Your average Joe protagonist, Ross, is hit by a bout of bad luck, losing his job, amongst other things, and ends up in the ho-dunk town of Magdalena, AZ, staying in his cousin's back house. As always, Little is a master at weaving a tale and his easy prose and relatable characters are instantly accessible and likable.

Yet you know all is not as it seems. (This is a Bent
Randolph Carter
Feb 24, 2015 Randolph Carter rated it did not like it
There was a hint of the charnel house when I picked this up. I made it to page 48 before I got to the real biblio-necropolis. I had to hold my nose to continue. I had to tie a damp rag around my head to press on. Alas, I could go no further, the stench was too great...

Horror ritin fer Jethro Bodeen.

Sorry if I offend anyone who likes this sort of thing. Mine is going on eBay.
Glenn Conley
Oct 09, 2014 Glenn Conley rated it did not like it
Shelves: reviewed
Bentley Little can go fuck himself. Seriously, this book pissed me off. 416 pages. About 350 pages of bullshit and maybe 66 pages of actual story. So, seriously, go fuck yourself, Bentley Little. I hate your stupid face.

I read this book because someone recommended it. In fact, they said that "Anything by Bentley Little is fucked up and scary as shit". Now, I want to hunt down the motherfucker that wrote that recommendation and have him explain to me how the fuck this book qualifies as "fucked up
Dec 12, 2013 Squire rated it liked it
A quick read. I had a lot of fun with this one. It has a great setup and some really bizarre happenings early on. It's breezy tone seems to belie the significance of what is happening in the deserts of Arizona, but it never pretends to be anything more than it is. The resolution comes a little too easy for the protagonsts and it gets gratutious on ocassion (but never TOO gratuitous), and it leaves the reader with a sense of loss to counterbalance the victory won. Nicely done, in true Bentley ...more
Nick Cato
Dec 05, 2013 Nick Cato rated it really liked it
FINALLY! Little returns to form after a few of his more unsatisfying novels. This one ends a bit too quickly (and a bit too easy on the protagonists), but all that comes before is quite good. A solid horror novel from my favorite author.
Justin Bog
Mar 03, 2014 Justin Bog rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who likes dark, upsetting, horror fiction
Bentley Little writes horror novels like no other horror writer. I've read almost all of his published novels, and I know the tale will shock, fill me with discomfort (for the horror, violence, bad ends characters face, sex ~most of the time unsettlingly explicit and linked to the horror in interesting ways as it is in The Influence~, and the religious aspects of salvation, predation, and devastation), dread, and the feeling that I actually survived something almost insurmountable. Little's ...more
Andy Dekens
Mar 10, 2014 Andy Dekens rated it it was ok
Really, this is about a bunch of stuff that happens, and nothing get ever explained or really resolved. It seems like the author had a bunch of ideas he wanted to use, but no real story to use them in.

Very disappointing.
Kevin Lucia
Sep 18, 2013 Kevin Lucia rated it it was amazing
Excellent. A nice genre-mix with excellent pacing and suspense. Definitely a fun read.
Joshua Wiles
Dec 28, 2013 Joshua Wiles rated it it was amazing
Bentley Little is a genius. He can take the most mundane of situations and turn it into a nightmare from Hell. He's one of my favorite horror authors and has never disappointed me.

We meet the main protagonist Ross who is suffering the ill effects of the Great Recession and moves to a small town/village in Arizona called Magdalena at the behest of his cousin, Lita. At first everything is seemingly normal until New Year's Eve when a party leads to unimagined horrors. Soon, Ross realizes Magdalena
Jan 01, 2014 Peter rated it it was amazing
This is a novel about an unemployed man name Ross. Because of Ross hard times and no job, the only family member that will help him is his cousin in Arizona. Lita invites Ross to come and stay with her for a couple of weeks or until he gets back on his feet. Ross takes a liking to the farm and helps Lita and her husband Dave with the chores. Something strange happens on New Years Eve. Celebrating the New Year all the towns people who are gather at the party, fire their guns in the air. Some type ...more
Jack Haringa
Jan 24, 2014 Jack Haringa rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
This is closer to three and a half stars than four; it's the first Little book I've read to the end since The Resort (which was better than this). The writing is clean and the characters engaging, and Little has always been adept at the set-up. So while all of that is good enough, the climax and resolution are rushed and unsatisfactory. The cause of the influence is inventive, but at the end the author offers us little in the way of motive, purpose, origin, or destination. A whole lot of what, ...more
William M.
May 20, 2016 William M. rated it liked it
Shelves: horror

A lifelong fan of Bentley Little, I can honestly say this book is one of my least favorite that he has written. It rarely felt inspired and many times read as if the author was simply going through the motions to meet his word quota of the day. While there are glimmers of classic Little in certain scenes, they were few and far between. The ending, which was literally wrapped up in what seemed like a single paragraph, was painfully inept. I understand his new book, The Consultant i
Douglas Castagna
Aug 18, 2014 Douglas Castagna rated it really liked it
Reads a lot like other of Little's titles and that is fine by me. What I found interesting is that I liked the story about the out of work man, Ross, who takes his cousin up on her offer to stay with her and her husband on the farm. I actually was a little annoyed when the strange happenings started to occur, and that is only a testament to the power of Little's writing. He was able to take me on a journey, and I started caring about these people and then I had to remind myself, hey this is a ...more
Dec 27, 2013 Michael rated it it was amazing
Wow. Just wow. 'The Influence' was a fantastic read. I don't want to say too much about the story because it's too much fun to find out just what happened in Magdalena, Arizona on New Year's Eve and why the luck of the town's citizens suddenly change from bad to worse, or vice versa, depending upon their current situations. I will say very strange (and creepy) things happen and it's a helluva ride in finding out about it.
Colin Kauffman
May 27, 2014 Colin Kauffman rated it it was amazing
Bentley Little, at his best, turns the mundane into the disturbing, creepy and terrifying.
This book is Little at his best. Not a lot is explained, which only serves to make what happens in the small town in south eastern Arizona feel that much more wrong, that much more alien. The ending is rather abrupt, as Little's endings tend to be, but it doesn't detract from the story told within, which is as creepy and unsettling as I've read in the genre.
Alisi ☆ wants to read too many books ☆
Loved it! Classic Little. This one is much, much better than his last book (The Haunted.) That one felt ... forced a bit but this one flowed much better.

If you're a fan of Little, I think you'll enjoy this book. He's sort of carved his own little corner in the horror genre and it's hard to explain his horror style here if you've never read it before.
Jun 04, 2014 Kelly rated it it was amazing
Shelves: already-read
First off love Bentley Little and this book didn't disappoint! On New Years Eve a creature is shot down and everyone with good luck starts having bad luck and vice versa. Something has to stop this creature or the whole town will be ruined. Yes their are very risky stuff in the book but it wouldn't be a Bentley Little book unless that stuff was in there lol.
Sep 11, 2014 Jim rated it really liked it
An excellent book from one of my favorite authors. The unbelievable becomes your worst enemy or your best friend in Magdalena, AZ.
Nathan Flamank
Jul 11, 2014 Nathan Flamank rated it really liked it
Little's best book for many a year with plenty of tension and chills and although it loses some of its creepiness towards the latter stages this is still a thoroughly engaging tale of horror.
Lacy Lovelace
Oct 16, 2016 Lacy Lovelace rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jarrod Scarbrough
Nov 21, 2016 Jarrod Scarbrough rated it really liked it
This book is a perfect example of why I love Bentley Little so much! Nonstop action, no holds barred, anything goes, fun fun fun! I'm always irritated when, at New Year's, people feel the need to shoot their guns in the air. We all know what goes up must come down, and there have been injuries and fatalities because of this practice. It always annoys me to no end. So to read this story, where Little takes that practice and shows an extreme, surrealist example of what could happen as a result: ...more
Dec 05, 2016 Helen rated it liked it
I would rather give this book 2.5 stars. It moved along as a fast pace but it had it's issues as well. The main 'bad' character was so typical bad man - racial, abuser, sexual deviant. He wasn't developed at all. The ending was a bit odd I thought as explanation where it came from and if there would be more. meh....
Sep 26, 2016 DJMikeG rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
I'm a huge fan of Bentley Little, but unfortunately, I couldn't finish this novel. Its really, really bad. Easily the worst thing he's written. He's written some other bad books, (University, The Walking), but this one was horrendous. If you'd like to try Little, check out The Store, The Resort, The Association, and his latest, The Consultant is fantastic. This, book, on the other hand, should be avoided at all costs in my opinion. Full of unbelievable behavior by its characters, completely ...more
Kim Smiley
Feb 13, 2014 Kim Smiley rated it liked it
Another strange, disturbing read from Bentley Little. In this 416 page novel, Ross is an engineer who has always helped out his family in their times of need. And their need was always money. So when he lost his job and was in need of help, he expected his family to rally around him and return the favor. Apparently, doing good deeds doesn't necessarily guarantee a good return, because no one in his family cared that he was about to lose his condo and was running out of savings. The only one who ...more
Dan Barbier
Sep 16, 2016 Dan Barbier rated it it was amazing
Creepy, spooky horror story. Bentley Little is in great form. All the ingredients are included. Small town, Desert setting, sex scenes, mind-control. I loved all of it.
Jennifer  (Books That Hook)
The Influence is a horror story about a creature who, after being shot down accidentally, turns the lives of the residents of Magdelena, Arizona upside down.

Fortunes change. Animals and people become deformed and deranged. Children disappear. Red singing flowers show up all over the place. Still, some people insist the creature is an angel. Ross, his cousin, and his cousin’s husband, see it for what it really is–a demon.

The author takes a while setting up the normal world for Ross before making
Aug 27, 2016 Melanie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Ross Lowry, seit kurzem arbeitslos und knapp bei Kasse, zieht zu seiner Cousine Lita und ihrem Mann Dave ins beschauliche Städtchen Magdalena nach Arizona. Kaum hat sich Ross dort einigermaßen akklimatisiert, geschehen merkwürdige Dinge: Tiere verwandeln sich in dämonische Kreaturen und die Einwohner spielen verrückt.

Influenz wäre vielleicht auf kompakten 200 Seiten so richtig interessant gewesen, leider dümpelt die Geschichte die meiste Zeit nur vor sich hin und wird durch Wiederholungen und un
Jan 04, 2014 Jonathan rated it liked it
I’ve been a huge fan of Bentley Little since I can remember. The novel follows an unemployed engineer named Ross, who moves in with his cousin and her husband in the small town of Magdalena. While he is there, on New Year’s Eve the townspeople shoot down something from the sky, which they begin to believe was an angel. But was it? Or was it something worse with the ability to influence thought? Strange things begin to happen to the townspeople. In the area of random weirdness, Little is a master ...more
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Bentley Little is an American author of numerous horror novels. He was discovered by Dean Koontz.

Little was born one month after his mother attended the world premiere of Psycho. He published his first novel, The Revelation, with St. Martin's Press in 1990. After reading it, Stephen King became a vocal fan of Little's work, and Little won the Bram Stoker Award for "Best First Novel" in 1990. He mo
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“The cool breeze that ruffled her hair felt like something more than wind. ” 0 likes
“his shoulders slumped as though he were a human-shaped balloon that had just lost half of its air.” 0 likes
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