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The Mailman

3.89  ·  Rating Details ·  1,927 Ratings  ·  98 Reviews
It's the first day of summer in a small American town. We meet a school teacher, his wife, and their young son, Billy. One thing, one seemingly minor thing, goes wrong. And all that was safe and ordinary slowly unravels into nightmare. This familiar premise for the contemporary horror novel has rarely, if ever, been developed so brilliantly as in Bentley Little's The Mailm ...more
Hardcover, 411 pages
Published February 3rd 1994 by Headline Book Publishing (first published January 1st 1991)
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The Association by Bentley LittleThe Store by Bentley LittleThe Resort by Bentley LittleThe Mailman by Bentley LittleThe Ignored by Bentley Little
Bentley Little's Best
4th out of 20 books — 37 voters
The Shining by Stephen KingIt by Stephen King'Salem's Lot by Stephen KingDracula by Bram StokerPet Sematary by Stephen King
Best Horror Novels
230th out of 1,428 books — 4,347 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Feb 13, 2011 Kasia rated it really liked it
This was my second time reading Little and I had such a good time that I immediately started to read another right after this one, it wasn’t as successful but now I know for certain that I really like this author and will probably read everything he wrote, his ideas are the good kind of crazy, just what you want in a juicy fictional book that breathes down reality’s neck with an unnerving and steady breeze. The Mailman was something, I wish I could read this again fresh without any prior recolle ...more
Kevin Lucia
May 05, 2012 Kevin Lucia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The mail.

Such an ordinary, everyday thing. Something we often take for granted in today's digitized, electronic society, in which the daily mail is merely one of many ways to communicate, pay bills, arrange clandestine trysts, express sadness or remorse or comfort to loved ones and friends.

Today, a person could conceivably cut the daily mail out of their lives entirely, preferring to communicate largely by email, or pay their bills via phone or the Internet.

But what about a mere twenty-years ag
Adam Light
Wicked Little. This is an early one from this ecclectic author. I enjoyed it immensely. Critics refer to Little as Stephen King without a conscious, and this book really exemplifies that assessment. If you like Bentley Lottle, you will love this book.
Oct 02, 2014 Bandit rated it really liked it
This was considerably more fun that anticipated, more fun that previously read (inexplicably Bram Stocker winning) Revelations would have expectations set up to be. Little took an every day innocuous mindless really act of receiving mail to a very horrifying level. That's pretty awesome to me, turning mundane into frightening. Apparently Philly's post offices (with exception of the very excellent Q.V. one) are nothing comparing to the horrors of postal situation in a small town Arizona, where fo ...more
Angel Gelique
Jan 15, 2013 Angel Gelique rated it really liked it
I love Bentley Little novels and this one is no exception. It was creepy and eerie and a bit suspenseful..everything a good horror novel should be. The plot was a stretch--but it's fiction after all, so a supernatural mailman is perfectly okay! This was not my favorite Bentley Little novel, but I enjoyed reading it and would recommend it to horror fans.
Ashley James
Nov 15, 2013 Ashley James rated it liked it
I did like the mailman but I had 2 issues with this book the first issue was this book is a little bit slow to get going which is not always a bog issue with horrors and can sometimes be a strength which could of easily been the case with the mailman as the book massively improves in the second half and really does move at a great pace but what turns the slow start into a negative and is my second issue is that I found the ending a huge anti-climax I mean to be able to defeat the bad guy simply ...more
Feb 16, 2016 Kelly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Check out this and other reviews on my blog, Here's to Happy Endings!

I'm taking a break from my usual young adult genre reviews to review a book that has been a favorite of mine for years.

Ever since I was little I had a strange obsession with horror movies, and as I got older, I realized that while horror movies are a treat, books in the horror genre are always twice as good. When I stumbled upon Bentley Little's strange and twisted talent many years ago, I felt like jumping for joy - here was a
Robb Bridson
Jan 07, 2013 Robb Bridson rated it liked it
It contains all the elements of other Bentley Little books I've read: a mundane situation gone wrong and taken to absurd levels; a weird, supernatural being with no explanation; really sick, twisted, and disturbing results that keep it from just being silly satire...
For some reason, I just didn't like this one as much as the others I've read.

Maybe part of it is that it was written in the last days before the Internet took over everything, and so the underlying premise doesn't hold up as well as
Lisa Cleveland
Sep 22, 2015 Lisa Cleveland rated it it was amazing
Mr. Little's "The Mailman," was the very first thing I ever Read of his. I was blown away. I had never read a story so bleak and maddening before. I spent this whole story, almost entirely, being mad as hell at the characters for not seeming to do anything! Me? Im thinking of all the things I'd try, and as creepy as this is, I knew I'd probably get caught too. I've been reading Mr. Little for at least 10 years now, and I'll admit, that back then "I was 41", and I'd still never heard of this guy. ...more
Wheeping Angel
Jun 19, 2015 Wheeping Angel rated it did not like it
I usually have hits and misses with Bentley little...but to me this was boring...after 58% into it I had to stop..he gave no details on where the mailman came from...just that he delivered evil mail that caused chaos...ok that's most of Mr. Little writes but I loved the ignored, the resort, the academy, the store ect...

I can understand why this took awhile to get o kindle...
Apr 17, 2014 DJMikeG rated it really liked it
I think this was my favorite novel that I've read by Bentley Little so far. Excellent slow burn horror that really frightens once it bubbles over. The ending leaves a little to be desired, but Little's endings always do. Highly recommended.
Jan 08, 2013 Peter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It all began with the suicide of the local mailman Bob Ronda. When the new mailman takes over the route strange things began to happening in the small town of Willis Arizona. Mail is delivered at all hours of the night.Suicides started to increase! People are receiving mail that would pit one against the other. Could the mailman have something to do with the strange occurrences in this town? The description of the mailman reminds me of the clown Penny Wise in the novel It by King. Little is an e ...more
Jan 10, 2011 buchtrunken rated it really liked it
Wenn der Postmann rote Haare hat, nimmt man sich besser in Acht!
Mit ihm beginnt das Grauen: man bekommt Briefe von Menschen, die schon lange verstorben sind und erhält geheimnisvolle Botschaften, die einen die tiefsten Geheimnisse der Nachbarn und Freunde verraten. Argwohn und Missgunst verbreiten sich wie ein Virus, und bald begeht ein Bewohner den ersten Mord. Das Böse ist in die beschauliche Kleinstadt Willis gekommen und es wird nicht eher ruhen, bis der letzte Einwohner zur Hölle gefahren i
Mar 04, 2011 Helen rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror-fiction
Bentley Little is so very good at 'slow-burn' horror, there's not that much real gore or violence, but in the 'Mailman' he has created a truly creepy, disturbing character. Unfortunately his origins and motivations are never explained, but then again perhaps it the not knowing which makes him all the more frightening - after all, we often fear that which we do not understand, even more so when it takes on the guise of someone so ordinary and everyday, someone who we take for granted.
Sep 17, 2016 Keri rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This 1991 novel was recently re-published in trade paperback after being out of print for a few years. Classic Bentley Little horror, with the distinct Arizona suburban setting and the innocuous made terrifying.

Summer has just started for high school English teacher Doug Albin and his family, and he plans to do little more than sit on the porch catching up on reading and maybe finally building the backyard shed he'd been promising the wife. Soon, though, the long-time town mailman inexplicably
Rowan MacBean
Jun 25, 2011 Rowan MacBean rated it really liked it
I've read most of Bentley Little's stuff, and this is one of my favorites. It's established early on that the mailman is not human (I hate it when Little sets up something that could be disturbingly psychological and then cops out with the supernatural at the last minute) but he uses deeply human techniques to drive people to drastic acts. It's got some completely absurd moments which actually serve to make it a bit scarier instead of funny. And I found the ending very satisfying.
Alex Budris
Feb 03, 2015 Alex Budris rated it it was amazing
I've been a Bentley Little fan for years, and I've loved everything I've read by him. But "The Mailman" is certainly his best, and a truly great horror novel - What a horror novel should be. I read lots of books in the genre, and I've been creeped-out, grossed-out, surprised, disgusted, offended, filled with existential-doom, etc... But this is the first book in a long time that genuinely scared me. Occasionally causing me to stop mid-page, wide eyed, and exclaim "Holy Shit!" The book has a cast ...more
Nov 10, 2015 Alex rated it did not like it
How to write a Bentley Little novel: 1. Take a common place or occupation. 2. Make it evil.

Places that have already been used: The Night School ("University"), The Town, The Store, The House, The Association, The Resort, The Academy, etc.
Professions that have already been used: The Mailman, The Consultant, The Policy (insurance company), Dispatch (letter writer), etc.

Here's my idea for my Bentley Little inspired novel: The Garbageman! It's about an evil garbageman who takes peoples garbage and
Jan 06, 2016 Angela rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, bc-11
Classic Horror from Little -- Take a small town, inject something (anything) a little odd, shake vigorously, see what happens. In this case, the oddness came in the form of a new mailman, and it was done just right. I saw some similarities to King's Under the Dome (after) and to The Monsters are Due on Maple Street (Twilight Zone..before) -- But in any case, fun tale, good ending, enjoyable use of my time.
Jun 25, 2014 Chrissieskleinewelt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2014
3,5 Sterne

In der Kleinstadt Willis herrscht eintönige Idylle. Die Nachbarn kennen sich, man trifft sich mit seinen Freunden, pflegt seinen Garten und will den beginnenden Sommer genießen. Familie Albin fläzt sich träge durch den Tag. Dies ändert sich schlagartig, als der beliebte Postbote Bob Ronda vollkommen überraschend Selbstmord begeht. Keiner kann diese Tat fassen, Gründe sucht man vergebens. Bereits auf der mehr als gut besuchten Beerdigung ersc
Jan 21, 2014 Isidore rated it liked it
He's not M.R. James, but it's hard not to enjoy Little's characteristic blend of commercial horror fiction with absurdist social satire. This outing is one of his earliest explorations of middle class paranoia, and it lacks something of the insolent confidence of his later work, but it's memorable enough. The weak ending noted by several reviewers is perhaps determined by the book's message: although communication is necessary for the functioning of society, as it becomes increasingly impersonal ...more
Apr 22, 2014 Craig added it
This seems to get a lot of favorable reviews, and I have to say that it's one of the few books I've read in one sitting. It breezes by nicely, and never really seems to lag. There are also a lot of reviews that point out that it's no longer relevant because the mailing system is no longer needed as much as it once was. Very true that; but if it's taken as a parable for the abuse of authority by any branch of an essential service, or how our lives can be turned upside down by a powerful company, ...more
Dave Moore
Feb 05, 2015 Dave Moore rated it it was ok
More allegory than horror story, (although there is enough creepiness & gore for hard-core horror fans), it just needed a little more "fleshing out" (sorry for the pun).
Jun 11, 2015 Robert rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Fantastic, classic Bentley Little. A town's inhabitants under siege from the new guy in town. A quick, satisfying read which fans of Little will enjoy.
Kurt Reichenbaugh
Jun 19, 2012 Kurt Reichenbaugh rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
The first Little novel I'd read. My favorite of his because it was so unique and different than the other stuff I was finding on the shelves at the time - late 90's.
Tim Asbury
Jan 05, 2012 Tim Asbury rated it really liked it
This is one of Littles best in my opinion. Just a fun and bizarre read and I really liked the whole concept. I should have read this years ago!
Todd Charlton
Mar 28, 2014 Todd Charlton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bentley little has made a career of delivering subtle, pernicious evil. The Mailman is the greatest. The drama begins slowly and we are introduced to an array of fine characters until the mailman's evil begins to kill them. He is not human and we don't know his motives, but what motives does evil ever have? To destroy, to wreck, to wound and maim. To devastate and laugh. The mailman does all this and more and in a gripping and brilliantly conceived climax Bentley Little leaves us wondering, in ...more
Dec 18, 2015 Elusive rated it liked it
Shelves: review
In ‘The Mailman’, a small ordinary town is transformed in the worst way possible when their well-loved mailman commits suicide and is subsequently replaced by a pale, red-haired man. With the arrival of this workaholic mailman John Smith, soon violent deaths are rampant and fears are instilled in the hearts of every resident.

This premise was so simple yet original and interesting. Little definitely excelled in creating a quietly fearsome antagonist in the form of the mailman. There were barely a
Jul 29, 2016 Thomas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, e-book, 2015
The first time I heard of Bentley Little, it was regarding this book. The Revelation had won the Bram Stoker award, but The Mailman seemed to be the book that captured so many people's attention. I don't know why it took me so long to getting around to reading it, because all that I had heard about this book was true.

The premise of this novel is pretty silly -- a new mailman starts working in a small town, and uses his position to wreak havoc on the residents -- but I'll be damned if it doesn't
Paulo "paper books always" Carvalho
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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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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