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The Town

3.63  ·  Rating Details ·  1,479 Ratings  ·  64 Reviews
Welcome to McGuane, Arizona. Population: 200...199...198...197...

Gregory Tomasov has returned with his family to the quaint Arizona community of his youth. In McGuane, the air is clean, the land is unspoiled. Nothing much has changed. Except now, no one goes out after dark. And no one told Gregory that he shouldn't have moved into the old abandoned farm on the edge of town
Mass Market Paperback, 376 pages
Published May 1st 2000 by A Signet Book (first published January 1st 2000)
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Dracula by Bram StokerThe Exorcist by William Peter BlattySwan Song by Robert McCammonThe Haunting of Hill House by Shirley JacksonHeart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill
Best Horror Novels Not By King or Koontz
78th out of 444 books — 423 voters
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
18th out of 20 books — 37 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,741)
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Adam Light
I'm a fan of Little's work, and although he seems to be a hit or miss author, I can usually find redeeming qualities in his books that don't quite hit the mark for me. This one was middle of the road for me. It had a great concept, but a lot of its potential was never realized.
Still, there was enough strangeness and plenty of surreal situations to keep me reading until the end.
Not one of his best, but a decent read nonetheless. 3.5 stars.
Oct 23, 2010 CasualDebris rated it it was ok
Shelves: horror
Please see my full review at Casual Debris.

The Town is structured through a series of episodes involving a number of characters, though centred mainly around Gregory Tomasov and his family. After winning a substantial Los Angeles lottery and as a consequence feeling idle and inconsequential, Tomasov moves his family (wife, three children and practicing Molokan mother) to his childhood home town of McGuane, Arizona. We soon learn that their new home, along with the entire town, is over-run with "
 PuMbA's MoMmy*•.♥.•*

**Slight Spoiler ALERT**

I LOVE LOVE LOVE scary books like this!! & its more of a plus when I find these goodies for $1 @ the bookstore! Best feeling ever!!! The Town will pull you in to it's horror from the very beginning. McGuane was a very creepy place to live with a very horrific past. Small towns always make for good scary books & movies. I think it's the mystery behind them. Especially desert towns. Being that a lot of them are almost ghost-towns they are the perfect setting to star
Jeremy Bates
Apr 09, 2012 Jeremy Bates rated it really liked it
If you haven't read him, he's an American horror writer, often overlooked. However, he was discovered by Dean Koontz and praised by Stephen King, which speaks for his talent. For me, some of his titles are too far out there, while others are great. His plots often focus on a bizarre what if, such as The Store (what if your local Walmart-esque store took over your small town, so much so it began to own you, body and soul) or The Association (what if a homeowner's association took over your gated ...more
Lindsey Albright
Dec 29, 2015 Lindsey Albright rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Lindsey by: Teri Graham
I didn't mean to finish this book tonight, but I'm glad I did. It puts me one over my revised goal of 24 books this year. I'm at the grand total of 25 now and it's 4am on the 29th. I had 63 pages left when I picked this up with the intent of "just a chapter"... Silly me.
I think that says a lot about the quality of the book though. I worked all day. I planned to go relax in the bath. Heck, I could have just taken the book with me, but I couldn't put it down. It didn't occur to me in those 63 page
Apr 16, 2015 Teipu rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hardcover, read-2015
*warning: there will be spoilers*

Little has some veeeery strange ideas.
Murderous bibles? A regrowing umbilical cord that wants to strangle you? a cactus baby? tongue kissing a cow? It's all in here.
As for strange ways to die, Little has outdone himself in The Town.

The rest of the book lacked some oomph, though. There was a lot of foreboding and trying to set the mood, but it was dragged out too long.

I liked that Little picked his supernatural entity from a culture completely unknown to me (m
Jul 02, 2014 Latasha rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book. It was creepy and fun!
Benjamin Thomas
Jun 13, 2014 Benjamin Thomas rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
This horror novel takes the traditional haunted house paradigm and expands it to an entire town. The town in question is McGuane, Arizona, a very small town with a fairly large percentage of Russian Molokans. Gregory Tomasov, a Molokan himself, has recently won the California state lottery and has decided to uproot his family from the LA suburbs and move them back to his hometown of McGuane. Big mistake.

Bentley Little often reminds me of early Dean Koontz in that he does a great job of introduci
Jun 10, 2014 James rated it really liked it
Evil, cackling dwarves and cactus babies sure are frightening and entertaining, but this book gets more scary points for the real-life "grown folks" situations that we encounter with the Tomasav family, who are Molokan people eager to shake their traditional roots (except for Grandma).

Again, there are numerous crazy, terrifying incidents that made me laugh out loud more than a couple of times. That stuff is like candy to me. But some of the situations in this book are genuinely terrifying becaus
Kim Smiley
Nov 02, 2010 Kim Smiley rated it liked it
This book was a little slow to start, and had A LOT of religious background information to absorb relating to the Molokan's religion and customs. Once you get past that, the plot of the book is pretty good.

Gregory and his wife, along with their 3 children had hit the California lottery. Trying to get away from it all, they decide to move back to McGuane Arizona, where Gregory had grown up. They're taking Gregory's mother along as well.

McGuane is a haunted city. Strange things always go on there,
Stephen King recommended author. He 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 Dispatch, in wh ...more
Mike Kazmierczak
Jul 07, 2016 Mike Kazmierczak rated it really liked it
This is another novel by Little that I really like. It was a bit more scary than the last couple of his that I read and that probably helped me to like it even more. The novel centers around Gregory Tomasov and his family as they move back to the small town in which Tomasov grew up. This move was made possible after Tomasov won the lottery. But what they don't realize is that the house they move in to is haunted, and pretty soon it becomes the whole town that is haunted.

The spooky events and fri
Robin Wings
Mar 31, 2016 Robin Wings rated it liked it

**Mild Spoiler Alert**
This is another tough one for me to rate/review, as that I have kind of mixed feelings about it. On one hand, I thought the writing was pretty great--I cannot, for the life of me, understand why I hadn't picked up a Bentley Little book before this, and I in no way regret finally having done so now--but on the other hand, the story was a bit... diluted, I guess.
Don't get me wrong, I LOVED the weirdness of this novel, and I look forward to reading more (everything I can get
Tom Mueller
Sai King says of Bentley Little "unlike anything else in popular fiction". 'Nuff said.
Were it not for King's recommendation, I would not have read this author. I found this and other's I've read by Bentley Little to be 'over the top' far fetched even by my standards, which according to most I discuss books with is itself 'over the top'.
Colin Kauffman
Jun 02, 2014 Colin Kauffman rated it it was amazing
Again, Little at his best. Drawing on Americana and Russian traditions and religions, he crafts a chilling tale of mystery and murder in small town Arizona, all of it coming to a breathless climax during a blackout and sandstorm. Genuinely creepy, but not as immediately disturbing as Little's other works, this one is a character driven slow burner, with a mystery this kept me turning pages until the end.
Nov 08, 2012 Doreen rated it it was amazing
I finally got to sit down and finish this book last night.Yay.
I HAD to know how it ended. The ending blew me away! It did not end how I thought it would at all. With all of the twists and turns, (bumps and creaks too) this is definately a must read! Bentley Little is right there with Stephen King with this one.
Apr 09, 2016 Kilgallen rated it really liked it
I really liked this one! I liked the inclusion of some Russian folk lore as well as First Nations. The story was an original mixture of cultures. I for one thought this one well worth the read.
Jun 21, 2009 Jason rated it really liked it
A fun book, I liked it because it had russian folklore in it. And for some reason I always think that when you take a photo and the images on the photo begin moving it is creepy.
May 09, 2008 Alexis rated it it was amazing
This was a really good book. Bentley Little is one of my favorite horror writers. He never disappoints. Plot is Amityville-like but with more death and supernatural excuses.
Tim Dunn
Aug 03, 2011 Tim Dunn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I realy love his older works, and this one is right up there. A must read!
Michael Boulougouris
Jan 14, 2012 Michael Boulougouris rated it really liked it
This book is good but it's not as scary as I thought
Anthony  Evans, Ph.D.
May 17, 2011 Anthony Evans, Ph.D. rated it it was amazing
wonderfully scary and nightmarishly brilliant
Jul 29, 2016 Thomas rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, e-book, 2015
I've said before that I feel like I've outgrown horror. I still like a good scary story, but the genre overall can be insipid and ridiculous. The stories can depend too much on gratuitous scenes of sex and/or violence, and some of the scenes that are supposed to be scary are just laughable. For a long time, my go-to example for that sort of scene was one from Joe Schreiber's Chasing the Dead, where the protagonist is attacked by overgrown lobsters from the back seat of her car. Now, though, I'm ...more
Jeremiah Boydstun
Feb 20, 2015 Jeremiah Boydstun rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
Overall, I enjoyed this novel. This was my first experience with Little, and although I'm not sure I'm a fan of his work, it's likely that I'll give him another shot at some point. Little's style reminds me a lot of Dean Koontz, who apparently "discovered" Little, with the major difference being Little's ability to create as effectively as Koontz a complex storyline that doesn't contain any holes or loose ends.

Readers of horror novels frequently talk about the scare-factor with regard to the bo
Oct 25, 2014 Brendan rated it liked it
Bentley Little was always one of those writers on the periphery of the authors I read. By that I mean, his books were right there in the horror section, next to the Koontz and King and Simmons and McCammon that I read voraciously. But for whatever reason, I had never given any of his books a shot. I decided to remedy that a few years ago with The Town.

I remember it having a fairly clever premise, with a family of five picking up stakes from their home in California and moving back to the desert
Justin Tappan
Nov 02, 2011 Justin Tappan rated it it was ok
I'll be honest - I read this book because it was available on Kindle through the public library, and I was itching to borrow my first library book on my Kindle. I'm a sucker for a good horror story, and Stephen King had kind words for the author. What the heck, right? Kick the tires on this bad boy.

My one word review would be, "meh".

The book was somewhat engaging once it got started, which it took a bit too long to do. The characters weren't very fleshed out, and with the exception of the grandm
Brian Schwartz
Oct 21, 2013 Brian Schwartz rated it liked it
Shelves: horror

The Town had a well conceived plot to build upon, but Little misses the mark and the story, which has some great elements, really is disjointed (as my plot summary is) and doesn’t rise to meet the excellence of its conception.

Gregory, his wife, and mother are well developed characters within the novel. We’re inside their head a lot and we know that something is acting upon them to make them behave strangely. The oldest daughter, whose death is supposed to be tragic to the reader, is so poorly de
Leeann Sheriff
Dec 02, 2014 Leeann Sheriff rated it really liked it
Very descriptive and interesting throughout the whole book. Tells of the weird things that are going on in the town after the sun goes down. There are woods that line the town and people are afraid to enter at night. Whatever it is comes from inside. I would not mind reading this book again. Keeps you on the edge of your seat and the end is gruesome and very descriptive as well. Reminded me of the movie, The Messengers.
Sep 13, 2014 Zora rated it it was ok
Shelves: horror
I'm trying to read horror writers who are not Stephen King or Koontz, but who have been nominated for a genre award.

This was well written enough, with an average American family (with some unusual ethnic background, but otherwise tv-normal) encountering a haunted house/town. It had unremarkable, workmanlike prose, which is really all I ask of a horror novel. But the first two "horrible" things that happened make me laugh aloud. And I'm certain that wasn't the intent. (view spoiler)
Nov 23, 2012 Steve rated it did not like it
If I'd read this book twenty years ago, I would think it was the greatest thing ever. It's essentially a long-form GOOSEBUMPS book, dotted with salacious material, copious gore and grown-up-sounding euphemisms like "tubesteak." But, since I'm no longer an 8-year-old boy, I found THE TOWN to be an embarrassingly base, laughably overwrought shocker. Bentley Little's prose is flat and lacking insight, over-reliant on haunted house cliches and words like "spooky." Sure, there are one or two sequence ...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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