The Store
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The Store

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  3,088 ratings  ·  153 reviews
In a small Arizona town, a man counts his blessings: a loving wife, two teenage daughters, and a job that allows him to work at home. Then "The Store" announces plans to open a local outlet, which will surely finish off the small downtown shops. His concerns grow when "The Store's" builders ignore all the town's zoning laws during its construction. Then dead animals are fo...more
Paperback, 431 pages
Published July 1st 1998 by Signet (first published January 1st 1996)
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mark monday
Bentley Little established himself as the premier expert of institutional deconstruction with The Store. This is a smart and fast-paced novel, and its attack on consumer culture is so obvious yet so smoothly encapsulated within the traditional horror genre, that the genuinely sharp critique - the entire reason for this novel's existence - may pass almost unnoticed by the frequent and possibly jaded horror reader.

If the western is the most conservative of genres, then horror is surely the most re...more
Lisa
Uggghhh! This book had so many, many chances to become an excellent book!! A lot of the scenes it set up, it didn't follow through with! I feel like it was the generic version of Needful Things in a way. This was not a page turner for me because it kept me wanting more. I kept turning pages expecting/hoping for more and it fell very flat.
Kasia
Bentley has real charm and wit when it comes to picking random, ordinary objects and professions and twisting them to the point where the reader will walk away with a certain healthy degree of some new fear for something as mundane as a store, a house or even their own mailman...that said The Store was a lot of fun, it's a fast read that tackles an interesting subject, a seemingly innocent store ( part of a chain) that takes over the town, literally! The craziness that ensures as inhabitants st...more
Brian Rosenberger
The Store is one of my favorite Bentley Little novels. A chain store much like Walmart opens in small town America, intent on putting the Mom and Pop stores out of business, one way or another.

Systematically, The Store sinks its corporate claws into the town, from maintaining the police force, corrupting the city council, and imposing a curfew. Woe to those caught trespassing after dark.

Miss a payment on a microwave, The Store will repossess your newborn. What’s the deal with all the dead anima...more
Erin
I've already shared my opinion on Bentley Little as an author - he's an evil genius of bad dreams, and takes the "ewww-factor" to a new level with his writing. I'm not seeking out his books anymore (my stomach's not as strong as it used to be before I had my kids) but I did enjoy "The Store."

Imagine if Wal-mart was evil. Not evil like they are now... but really, actually evil. When a new branch of The Store opens up, birds drop dead from the sky in the parking lot. Customers find wares for sale...more
Natasa
The story had continuous creepy moments which I found good, it rolled the story especially since everything was developing very slowly. Even the end was nothing bombastic. But I really like the book because of the portrait of our society today and it made me think again about real values in life, because sometimes we forget them, we get so obsessed with material stuff.
Debra
Stephen King recommended author and book. King says: "BEST OUTRIGHT HORROR NOVELIST. Bentley Little, in a walk. Don't know Bentley Little? You're not alone. He's probably the genre's best-kept secret, but at least 10 of his novels are available in paperback; you can pick up three for the price of that flashy new hardcover you've got your eye on. The best thing about Little is that he can go from zero to surreal in 6.0 seconds. My favorites are The Store (think Wal-Mart run by SAYYY-tan) and Disp...more
Kaarin
I wish this book were a drinking game and every time they said "The Store" you drank. Of course, then we would all die of alcohol poisoning - which would be better then having to finish the book.
Janice
Aug 26, 2012 Janice rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Janice by: Debra
It's been a while since a book has creeped me out like this one did. I guarantee that you will never look at Walmart and other chain stores in the same way... ever again.

LKM
This book was just so all over the place, that I just don't know what to rate it. 2? 2,5? 3? I think I'll settle with a 2, just because it had such a disappointing ending (but I was ready to rate it a 3 or 4 at the start).

Which takes me to...

The start - actually about the first half of the book was quite alright. It was slow paced which might alienate some, but I found I enjoyed the writing style, and it had several creepy scenes that built up suspense and made me wonder what was going on with/...more
Christopher Fulbright
I've had this sitting on my shelf for years. In my rediscovered love for Bentley Little's work after a several-year hiatus, I finally took it down and checked it out.

As with the other books of Little's that I've read and enjoyed, the characterization was excellent, and I was drawn easily into the small town in the story. I rooted for the main characters and totally bought into the idea this book is pushing -- at least the message I got out of it -- that Americans are selling their souls to corpo...more
Matt Glaviano
Another recommendation; another book read in Arizona. I called this book cute a lot while I was on vacation, and it is; it’s similar to Needful Things, and effectively uses the concept of a giant corporate discount retail store for its business. Little is an OK writer. The eerie and horrific scenes in his book are great; they are often surprising, and they are certainly the strong point of his work. Plot, characters, and flow all, however, remain desirous. The whole books reads like a cliché bec...more
Dan
Jan 14, 2011 Dan rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: horror
After what seemed an eternity, I made it half way through this book, and couldn't muster up the will to read any further. The story seems promising: An evil Walmart-like store moves into small towns and slowly consumes them. The problem is that the story as the author tells it has no heart at all. Basically, the main character attends a town hall meeting, gets ticked off as the store erodes yet another piece of the town, then nothing happens for another forty pages until the guy attends another...more
Erin
Bentley Little comes up with some scary, socially relevant plotlines, however, he cheapens the tale with scenes of sexual humiliation that frankly aren't realistic. I put this book down for several days after a scene where an 18 year old girl goes to a job interview and is forced to take off her clothes & have a lie detector attached to her breasts and then to pee in a cup in front of the male manager. People are a little too sophisticated for such a thing to occur in our times. Later, the s...more
Jack
Aug 15, 2007 Jack rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: those who like horror with a twist
Shelves: jackrecommends
Bentley Little has created a novel chronicling how discount chains like Wal-Mart move into small towns, change their local economies and drive many small "mom-and-pop" stores out of business. Little stretches his plausible premise like a rubber band, to improbable extremes. He stretches it slowly, gradually so even the stretching seems plausible. And accompaning the stretch looms a sinister supernatural undercurrent to this discount chain called the The Store.

Somehow he retains our interest thro...more
tom
Oct 01, 2010 tom rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: horror
Basically, what if Walmart was evil.

Oops. Let me rephrase that. What if...Walmart was run by a demon.

The Store comes to bumblefuck, AZ and puts all the local businesses out of business by offering more goods at lower prices (just like Walmart!). It destroys the town by lowering everyone's income and then offering them cheap goods as the only things they can afford (just like Walmart!). Then it kills people who revolt and steals their souls (well, one can argue that Walmart DOES suck your soul dr...more
Adam Wilson
Where to begin. Well, I think that this is Little's best work, out of the books I've read so far. This one will stay in my mind for years. The story of an evil corporation that slowly takes over a small community is flawless. The novel builds like a tsunami on the ocean in many ways. I felt absolutely swept away as I read. Its terrifying on, to use King's words "many levels of the Tower," relatable to people like me who live in a small town, unstoppable, and beautifully disgusting. It won't stop...more
Janie Johnson
This was a GREAT read. I was glued to this book folks! Now take any little town, like mine, population under 500, now bring in a HUGE chain store called nothing other than "The Store". This store takes out all the competing stores in this little town. You lose your daughters to this new store, your best friend, and you know you need to stop it, but how? This is what Bill Davis, his wife Ginny, and a select few were faced with. How do you fight pure evil when everyone is against you? This is a de...more
Greg
Fun parable about chain stores/box stores and both the social and economic effects they have on small communities. A store called The Store moves into a small town, causing ominous things to start happening.

One interesting element was that while there is a protagonist, the book feels like it has an ensemble cast; it switches focus from character to character with little transition, with the binding thread either being thematic or just dramatic momentum. One the one hand it feels a bit jarring,...more
Boris Cesnik
Good book, but could have been better. I do agree with many other readers. The shop/branding/corporation topic is an amazing subject for a horror book but in this particular novel has been just touched without much depth. It's already scary as it is in reality.

The whole concept is definitively interesting and captivating. Unfortunately it was not unfolded and pushed further enough.
Bentley is a good story teller but the non-descriptive writing style have its own pro and con. For example his chara...more
Garrett Nicolai
We've all been there. For anyone who's ever lived in small-town America (or anywhere in Canada, for that matter), we all remember that moment when our city had "made it", by getting some franchise that hitherto had avoided our small burg. They come in, propaganda blazing, and we can't help but wonder: "How do they have such great selection!?" "How do they keep their prices so low!?" "How did I ever live without this place!?" Some questions are better left unanswered.

"The Store" is my second fora...more
M.P. Johnson
Shop At Death-Mart

This book escalates brilliantly. At first, The Store is just like any other chain retail store. Scummy, yes, but evil? The evil comes out slowly, logically and a way that is totally terrifying. I was doubly shocked. There was the initial shock coming from the book. Then there was the secondary shock when I realized I was actually being shocked by a book about an evil chain store. A lot of that comes from the fact that I'm personally guilty of some of the rationalizations used b...more
Amy
This book was first published in 1998 and has a lot to say about big coorporations taking over Small Town, USA. It blatantly slams uber giants, such as Wal-Mart, and shines a light on the evil underlying capitalism... literally, in The Store! Like Bill Davis, I too cannot help but succumb to the overpowering forces and have even worked for them... good book!
William M.
If you can accept the premise of a wealthy chain of stores slowly taking over the country (even though it's slowly happening now... Walmart, etc.) you'll love it. Graphic scenes, fast paced action, and characters you CARE ABOUT make this a must for horror fans. Not terribly scary, but sooooo much fun!
Maicie
library, HA group read for Dec. 2010, reread (but can't remember ending)

Little is one of my horror go-to authors; quick and quirky. If you're one of the mass who despise supermarket chains such as WalMart, KMart and Target, you'll get a kick out of this story.
Laura
As someone who works in retail, The Store was a particularly creepy read. Some residents of Juniper, AZ cannot wait for the discount retailer to open in their town while others, like Bill Davis, have seen some bad omens. For instance, animals just drop dead on the property displaying no signs of trauma and there seems to be a disproportionate number of “accidents” on the job. Soon, it puts all other privately owned shops out of business becoming more and more powerful as the days pass. It become...more
Peter
Before we had kids, I would often go down into our basement on one of these wintery, cold mornings and watch a movie. Occasionally, there’d be one of those campy horror movies that has a premise that sounded a bit silly, but you watch it anyway. You’d want to turn the channel, but you can’t. It’s not that it’s that bad — it’s actually good and you enjoy the characters and the story even though it is completely unbelievable.

This was my experience reading Bentley Little’s, The Store. The novel tak...more
Tabby Kat
"The Store" takes place in Juniper, Arizona. Juniper is a podunk town out in the boonies. People have to drive to Flagstaff or Phoenix to visit a mall or a discount retailer. All of that changes when The Store arrives. The Store is a national discount chain, along the lines of Wal-Mart or Kmart. About the only person in town concerned about the new store is Bill Davis, a work at home writer who has plenty of time to poke his nose into what's going on in town. Davis has problems with The Store ri...more
Craig DiLouie
In THE STORE by Bentley Little, a Walmart-type giant store comes to a small Arizona town, promising huge economic gains. At first, the citizens of Juniper are dazzled at the amazing array of products on the shelves offered at discount prices. Then the giant retailer begins to suck the life out of the town like a giant parasite, killing local businesses and soon after the local government with lack of revenue and commitment to expensive concessions. Little’s a great writer and the story flows alo...more
Rita
I really liked this book. Yes, it’s horror. Stylistically, a lot like Stephen King, and before you razz me about that, remember Stephen King wrote some very good things. He wrote Carrie, he wrote Salem’s Lot, The Shining, and Misery. He even wrote Delores Claiborne, remember that? Yeah, he wrote some marginal stuff and some downright crappy stuff, but he also had some good things in there, too.

Anyway, the writing of The Store is not phenomenal, but nowhere near Dan Brown bad. The writing doesn’...more
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Goodreads Librari...: review for description 3 15 Aug 19, 2013 07:57AM  
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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...more
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