The Town
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The Town

3.6 of 5 stars 3.60  ·  rating details  ·  1,107 ratings  ·  48 reviews
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. Once upon a time something bad happened there. Something that's...more
Paperback, 376 pages
Published May 1st 2000 by Signet
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Dracula by Bram StokerThe Exorcist by William Peter BlattySwan Song by Robert McCammonLet the Right One In by John Ajvide LindqvistHeart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill
Best Horror Novels Not By King or Koontz
61st out of 332 books — 279 voters
The Association by Bentley LittleThe Store by Bentley LittleThe Resort by Bentley LittleThe Mailman by Bentley LittleDispatch by Bentley Little
Bentley Little's Best
14th out of 20 books — 32 voters

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Community Reviews

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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 "...more
Benjamin Thomas
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...more
 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...more
Jeremy Bates
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
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...more
Kim Smiley
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,...more
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’s and the King’s and the Simmons’ and the McCammon’s 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...more
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'.
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)...more
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.
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.
Jason Miller
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.
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
I realy love his older works, and this one is right up there. A must read!
Michael Boulougouris
This book is good but it's not as scary as I thought
Anthony  Evans, Ph.D.
wonderfully scary and nightmarishly brilliant
Justin Tappan
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...more
Brian Schwartz

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...more
Colin Kauffman
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.
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
This book terrified me in middle school.

...I don't think 'terrified' really even covers it. This book kept me up nights, cowering under my blankets, suspicious of everything. Inanimate items seemed sinister. I couldn't close my eyes because I was sure my Bible was going to attack and start shoving its pages down my throat; I have a lingering fear of statues that started right here. My memory is awful, just really, genuinely pathetic, but the more horrifying scenes from this book are basically c...more
An interesting read. Dragged a bit in the middle and was short on genuine scares. Little has done better. Learned about Molokans and Arizona. Not a total waste of time but he should have picked up the pace to get the pages turning faster.
Jarrod Scarbrough
I never thought I would come across a Bentley Little book I didn't like. I guess it is true that there's a first for everything. I despised this book. The only reason I stuck with it was because I have absolutely loved everything of his I have read. Not so with The Town. It was dreadfully slow, and while the little bit of action it had was pretty gruesome (a woman giving birth to a cactus), actual things happening were few and far between. Sorry to fans of this book, I felt it was a complete dud...more
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
Aug 06, 2008 Erin rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2013
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Donna Humble
Creepy little book. LOL I liked it a lot!
Not as awesome as The Association, but very good.
Stony Graves
This is by far my least favorite Little novel. The writing, as usual, was crisp and fluid, filled with Little's spine tingling brand of horror. But the premise of the story left me rolling my eyes. Some major characters felt like they were there only to take up space until they were dispatched in some horrific manner. All in all, a decent read, but the theme is from the shallow end of Little's substantial imagination.
Austin Miller
Found this book for 2 dollars at a small, weird little store in New Mexico. This is a good book! Some of the little things in this story will leave you grimacing, so beware-- a woman gives birth to a cactus. Yeah. It happens. But I would definitely suggest you give this one a try. Some of the things in this story may seem unrealistic to you. But besides that, it's pretty good.
I wouldn't really call it "scary." Although, I'm rarely scared when I read horror stories. Many parts were disturbing in various way, and I felt that there was a lot of unnecessary language and sexual detail, but once you get beyond that, it's an alright story. I even found some typos (as I do in every book) that gave me quite a laugh.
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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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