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The Mailman

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  2,656 ratings  ·  179 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 ...more
Hardcover, 411 pages
Published February 3rd 1994 by Headline Book Publishing (first published January 1st 1991)
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Average rating 3.89  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,656 ratings  ·  179 reviews


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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 Little, you will love this book.
Kasia
Jan 14, 2011 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 ...more
Bri | bribooks
This is my first Bentley Little novel, but it certainly won't be my last! A quick, smart, and surprisingly bleak horror tale about a small town under siege, The Mailman is one of the finer horror stories I've read lately.

The premise is a simple one: our main characters are Doug, a schoolteacher on summer vacation; his wife, Tritia; and their son, Billy. Peripheral characters are their friends and neighbors, but the focus is on this family — especially Doug . . . and, of course, the titular
...more
Evans Light
Oct 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
A remarkably affable whack job of a horror novel. Doesn't reach the giddy absurdity of which Little is capable, but it's solid fun and a fast read.
Danger
Mar 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
The suburbs are far weirder and more extreme than they look, as the most mundane thing ever (recieving mail) is the catalyst for a societal breakdown in the face of a supernatural terror. Little's imaginative take on horror tropes are unmatched. The Mailman is wild fun.
Bill
May 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It seems that Bentley Little’s stuff is all very similar. Formulaic.

I have no idea why I enjoy it as much as I do.

But I do.

Well, I guess I do know why. The dude knows how to ratchet up the tension and when the shit inevitably hits the fan, it makes a big splatter.

After the tragic suicide of the town mail carrier, John Smith takes over the route and it doesn’t take long for some irregularities to start cropping up. At first, it’s all good.

And then its not.

And then the good folks of Willis,
...more
Alex
Nov 10, 2015 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
...more
Kevin Lucia
Apr 23, 2012 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
...more
Angel Gelique
Jan 15, 2013 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.
Joey B.
Dec 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Out of all the sinister things that might wreak havoc across a quiet southwestern town, author Bentley Little chose the most innocuous subject, The Mailman.
Jeff Terry
Feb 08, 2018 rated it did not like it
Stephen King once said that his work was the literary equivalent of a Big Mac and Fries.* If that's an accurate measure of his fiction, then Bentley Little is the toy that comes with the Happy Meal--pointless, joyless, and cheap.

I don't want to spend too much time on this review since I already gave WAY too much time to THE MAILMAN, so I'll just bullet out my spoiler-free complaints:

1. I really hated the main characters: Doug The Man of Impotent Rage and Trish the Shrew.
2. NOTHING happens in
...more
Bandit
Mar 15, 2011 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 ...more
ElleEm
Oct 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first Bentley Little novel for me and I enjoyed his writing. The story started out a little bit comical (I mean, who is afraid of the mail?) but quickly turned bizarre and then downright creepy.
Ciro
Jul 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Legitimately scared the whole time. Read in 48 hours. Obscure author, terrific thrills.
Michelle
Aug 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Creepy!!!!
John
May 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this.
A touch dated now in the way that society is not so heavily influenced by the reliance on the postal service, but the mailman is still a character that prowls on just the right (or wrong, depending on your view) side of creepy to sink the hooks in.
Mike
Mar 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My first Bentley Little read and I loved every page.
Lars (theatretenor) Skaar
AMAZING book! I absolutely adore this book and this villain! Talk about ruthless and badass with just a *hint* of supernatural. Can't wait to get another Bentley Little book if this is the kind of writing and story telling I have to look forward to!
Alexa "Naps" Snow
Sep 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
The mailman even though not as relevant due to our digital era, still has that creepy effect. We live in communities and depend on each other. “The mailman” is a good reminder for that. After reading this book I’m no longer as eager to receive the iPhone case i ordered
Kelly Gunderman
Nov 01, 2015 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
...more
Doug
3, maybe 3.5. Roundabout there.

This is the novel that folks have told me to read when they've read my reviews of Bentley Little. The Little Novel, as it were. Little to me is something of a conundrum. My first taste of his fiction, The Store, I liked. I liked the strange imagery blended with visceral horror, and I liked the sense that underneath it all he wasn't so much a horror author but a satirist, one who punctuated his jokes with gore and suffering. Bentley Little might just be the reductio
...more
Paulo "paper books always" Carvalho
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Daniel
May 29, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: horror
That's my first encounter with Bentley Little, but he give me those Stephen King vibes so hard, that's almost impossible not to compare them. I liked the small-town-setting and of course the main idea of the book, putting the Mailman as your story's villain is a interesting move. In some point of my life it happened that I've worked as a mailman and let me tell you that you must be aware of who's delivering your post. That's the man you know nothing about, but he knows everything about you, and ...more
Robb Bridson
Jun 22, 2012 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
...more
Anthony
Jun 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars - Finished 11:00 on the dot!

That was a wild, weird ride. Who'da thunk that the mail could be so terrifying ? So evil? So... powerful??
After reading this, one will hardly view their mail the same ever again. Appreciate the bills and the junk mail, and never take personal hand-written letters for granted (if this were still 1990, when the book was written). I guess if this was written today, it'd be titled "The E-mail Programmer".

Anyway, a light, easy, fun read that definitely kept
...more
Phillip Smith
Apr 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
A strong 4 stars. This is a fun horror book that knows what it is, yet still finds a way to surprise. The strength of the author's writing, creativity, and humor are on full blast in this brutal story.
Trina
Oct 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: own, horror
Enjoyed reading this book.
Greg
Jun 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A brilliant read. Genuinely creepy and a proper page-turner. I will be checking out more from Bentley Little.
Heather Fair
Nov 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Freaky mailman
Wayne's
Jan 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
A very clever story, though a little hard these days to think of a time when the mail was vital to the functioning of a town.
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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
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