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    Originally posted by RonClinton View Post
    No worries, Jeff. In fact, I've told the sharks at Dewey, Cheatum, & Howe to stand down and cancel the lawsuit. Just as well, as they viewed your YouTube videos and indicated that you would make for a compelling defendant.

    Any book is a gamble, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Fortunately, my batting average (to mix metaphors) is pretty good, so a foul ball like GOBLIN is not a big deal. It is, however, perhaps, a lesson learned: Maybe Malerman is just not for me, even though I keep trying to make him so. I gave up on BIRD BOX about 1/3 of the way through, gave up on GOBLIN even sooner, and BLACK MAD WHEEL didn't even appeal enough to me to give it a try. Malerman is the square peg that I keep trying to force in my round-holed set of preferences, and perhaps it's time to give up trying, regardless of how much buzz surrounds him.
    Yikes. Yeah, I don't blame you for taking a pass on Malerman. The author/reader relationship is an intensely personal one and if you don't like having that author in your head, you shouldn't invite that author over for story time. I tried with Bentley Little and I might try again. But the few times I had him up in my story lounge he just shit gems and stared out the window and interrupted himself with nonsense.

    Thanks for calling off the sharks!!

    Comment


      And see, I love (most of) Bentley Little's work. Vive la difference!
      Twitter: https://twitter.com/ron_clinton

      Comment


        Originally posted by RonClinton View Post
        And see, I love (most of) Bentley Little's work. Vive la difference!
        AH! So here is where I can maybe set things right--restore balance to this forum. Since my recommendation has caused you to lose funds and time (as well as the pain and suffering of reading an author you do not care for) then I will, in turn, buy and read a Bentley Little book of your choosing.

        You should know that I own and have read The Circle. And I tried to read The Return some years ago. Also, I almost bought The Handyman mostly because it was the first Graveyard Edition--but I did find the premise intriguing.

        So just give me the title and I will buy it and read it.

        Comment


          I will have to move The Bird Box up in my TBR pile to see what I think of this author.

          Regarding Bentley Little, I enjoy much of his work but the only one I truly love is The Mailman.

          Comment


            I really liked Bird Box and didn't think much of Black Mad Wheel. I have almost bought Goblin a few times (mainly on the strength of Jeffingoff's enthusiastic review) but have resisted.
            I am still not sure about Little. I have really enjoyed a few short stories, and liked both The Mailman and The Consultant, although both of them tend toward the silly side. I can forgive that though if the story's good enough. I have about 6 more unread Little hardbacks from CD and elsewhere that I intend to get to, but they keep being usurped by something else in my tbr list. Not necessarily a good sign, but I will persist.
            And I've ordered the forthcoming collection. There's no logic here.

            Comment


              Originally posted by HumphreyBear View Post
              I really liked Bird Box and didn't think much of Black Mad Wheel. I have almost bought Goblin a few times (mainly on the strength of Jeffingoff's enthusiastic review) but have resisted.
              I am still not sure about Little. I have really enjoyed a few short stories, and liked both The Mailman and The Consultant, although both of them tend toward the silly side. I can forgive that though if the story's good enough. I have about 6 more unread Little hardbacks from CD and elsewhere that I intend to get to, but they keep being usurped by something else in my tbr list. Not necessarily a good sign, but I will persist.
              And I've ordered the forthcoming collection. There's no logic here.
              I think leaning to the silly is a recurrent theme in Littles work. In The Mailman it worked real well, in The Handyman it did not for me. The Consultant remains in my TBR file.
              Last edited by Martin; 01-04-2018, 03:02 AM.

              Comment


                Originally posted by HumphreyBear View Post
                I really liked Bird Box and didn't think much of Black Mad Wheel. I have almost bought Goblin a few times (mainly on the strength of Jeffingoff's enthusiastic review) but have resisted.
                I know where there's a barely-read copy for sale...

                There's no logic here.
                There rarely is in our hobby.
                Twitter: https://twitter.com/ron_clinton

                Comment


                  Originally posted by jeffingoff View Post
                  AH! So here is where I can maybe set things right--restore balance to this forum. Since my recommendation has caused you to lose funds and time (as well as the pain and suffering of reading an author you do not care for) then I will, in turn, buy and read a Bentley Little book of your choosing.

                  You should know that I own and have read The Circle. And I tried to read The Return some years ago. Also, I almost bought The Handyman mostly because it was the first Graveyard Edition--but I did find the premise intriguing.

                  So just give me the title and I will buy it and read it.
                  R.e. the "silly" label above...I tend to think of Little's work as a type of bizarre surrealism...some very off-kilter threat and event(s) that, yes, taken literally would be silly to conceive as real, but in the recognizable-but-bizarre world in which his characters exist, that off-kilter-from-reality-but-grounded-in-satirical-surrealism can pack a mean punch and it can work very well. Keep in mind that not all of his books are structured like this...some are more mainstream horror -- but that latter form just doesn't seem to work well for him.

                  That said, even as a Little fan, I acknowledge only about 75% of his stuff is great...the other 15% is meh and there's a 10% portion that's crap. Unfortunately, THE CIRCLE and THE RETURN were both shots at mainstream horror and both failed miserably, and as such reside in the 'crap' column, so you really haven't seen Little at his best, to say the least.

                  So, Jeff, since you threw open the offer, I would recommend buying and reading THE STORE or THE MAILMAN. Both novels use his trademark satirical, surrealistic, bizarre tropes in exemplary fashion...if you don't like these two, you just won't ever like Little. THE IGNORED is also a sentimental favorite of mine, but I hesitate to recommend it to you as a first "good" read because while it's brilliant and perhaps his finest book, it's atypical of his body of work...whereas THE STORE and THE MAILMAN encapsulate perfectly what makes his work so singularly unique and, I think special (usually). To be frank, I can't decide between the two, so if I can't sway you to buy both, I would suggest just picking up the one that seems easiest or cheapest...though I'm sure both are easily attainable for $5 ea. on the eBay scene if you're after just a pb to test the waters.

                  You might want to pick up both, though...if I were a betting man, I'd bet you'll want to read the other after reading the first.

                  EDIT:

                  By the way, if both blow you away and you want further Little recs, I've starred the novels that I really liked...two stars for the really good ones, one star for the pretty good ones...if there's no star, I found them 'meh' or 'crap' and not worth the time of even a casual Little reader.

                  The Revelation (1990) *
                  The Mailman (1991) **
                  Death Instinct (1992) (writing as Phillip Emmons), also known as Evil Deeds *
                  The Summoning (1993)
                  The Night School (1994) – released as University in 1995 *
                  Dominion (1996)
                  The Ignored (1997) **
                  Guests (1997) – released in the U.S as The Town in 2000
                  The Store (1998) **
                  The House (1999)
                  The Walking (2000)
                  The Town (2000) – updated re-release of Guests
                  The Association (2001) **
                  The Return (2002)
                  The Policy (2003) **
                  The Resort (2004) *
                  Dispatch (2005) *
                  The Burning (2006)
                  The Vanishing (2007)
                  The Academy (2008)
                  His Father's Son (2009)
                  The Disappearance (2010)
                  The Haunted (2012)
                  The Circle (2012)
                  The Influence (2013)
                  The Consultant (2016) *
                  The Handyman (2017) *

                  Hmmm...maybe that 'meh' and 'crap' percentages need to be bigger...I didn't realize until I did this exercise how many of his I wouldn't necessarily recommend. I guess that just goes to show just how good he is when he's good...it tends to temper the memories of the bad ones. That said, there are a few of the unstarred ones that are still actually fairly decent reads, but really only necessary for the Little completist.
                  Last edited by RonClinton; 01-04-2018, 01:49 AM.
                  Twitter: https://twitter.com/ron_clinton

                  Comment


                    Originally posted by RonClinton View Post

                    So, Jeff, since you threw open the offer, I would recommend buying and reading THE STORE or THE MAILMAN.
                    I just bought the CD trade hardcover of THE MAILMAN. I’ll keep an open mind. I’m encouraged by what you said about The Circle and The Return.

                    We’ll see!

                    Comment


                      Originally posted by jeffingoff View Post
                      I just bought the CD trade hardcover of THE MAILMAN. I’ll keep an open mind. I’m encouraged by what you said about The Circle and The Return.

                      We’ll see!
                      Will be interested to hear what you think.
                      Twitter: https://twitter.com/ron_clinton

                      Comment


                        Originally posted by RonClinton View Post

                        By the way, if both blow you away and you want further Little recs, I've starred the novels that I really liked...
                        Great post.
                        “Reality is a nice place to visit, but you wouldn’t want to live there.”
                        -John Barth

                        https://bugensbooks.com/

                        Comment


                          I probably wouldn't classify The Circle as a novel. It's probably only barely long enough to be considered a novella. Then again I sometimes feel that the categorizing of this stuff is pretty arbitrary.
                          CD Email: danhocker@cemeterydance.com

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                            Originally posted by bugen View Post
                            Great post.
                            No doubt! This should be the Bentley Little Wikipedia page.

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                              Originally posted by Dan Hocker View Post
                              I probably wouldn't classify The Circle as a novel. It's probably only barely long enough to be considered a novella. Then again I sometimes feel that the categorizing of this stuff is pretty arbitrary.
                              Yeah, it's short and it's divided into 4(?) separate stories--each more pointless than the last. AND I will add that Little had all the ingredients of a creepy as hell horror story, he just didn't follow any sort of recipe that could bring it all together into a satisfying dish.

                              Comment


                                I agree with the growing consensus that Little’s work is a little hit-or-miss. Some of his stuff I truly enjoy, but others have left me decidedly cold. The only one I flat-out hated was The House. The definition of his work as “bizarre surrealism” is a good one. I’ve always classified it as “absurdist horror”.

                                Also, the recommendation list is great!

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