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Thread: Post Your Latest Purchase

  1. #3461
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    Quote Originally Posted by RonClinton View Post
    No, didn't care for it at all. The writing read to me as if tone-deaf to the way real people act and, primarily, speak. It felt strikingly immature in both authorial skill and experience...I have a feeling this was early, early work, and were he to have sought my advice I would have suggested it stay in the proverbial trunk. Notably, I didn't pick up this raw, unpolished voice in the other work of his I've read (and enjoyed), A HOUSE AT THE BOTTOM OF A LAKE, which leads me to again think this was an early work. I sure was excited to enjoy this one as much as Jeff, but it just didn't happen for me.
    All that said, though, I'm still drawn to his new upcoming one, UNBURY CAROL, as the weird western vibe of it has a real lure. We'll see.

  2. #3462
    Senior Member 1st Rubber Room Confinement jeffingoff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RonClinton View Post
    No, didn't care for it at all. The writing read to me as if tone-deaf to the way real people act and, primarily, speak. It felt strikingly immature in both authorial skill and experience...I have a feeling this was early, early work, and were he to have sought my advice I would have suggested it stay in the proverbial trunk. Notably, I didn't pick up this raw, unpolished voice in the other work of his I've read (and enjoyed), A HOUSE AT THE BOTTOM OF A LAKE, which leads me to again think this was an early work. I sure was excited to enjoy this one as much as Jeff, but it just didn't happen for me.
    Well, now the fine people in this forum will have reactions from either end of the spectrum to choose from! It can be terrible or terrific!

    I feel bad that you read something on my recommendation that you disliked this much. I read your comment looking for common ground between our takes and I really couldn't find any. I felt swept up in this place and had a lot of fun visiting. The enjoyment perhaps caused me to look past the machinations of the story and nothing called attention to the mechanics. For me.

    But I sympathize with you. I could take your reaction to Goblin and apply it almost exactly to Haven. Because when the illusion doesn't hold, it's time to put the book down.

    Sorry, Ron!

  3. #3463
    Senior Member 1st Rubber Room Confinement jeffingoff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RonClinton View Post
    All that said, though, I'm still drawn to his new upcoming one, UNBURY CAROL, as the weird western vibe of it has a real lure. We'll see.
    Hahahaha, ahem, well, I didn't enjoy Unbury Carol as much. Not that my opinion should hold that much weight with you any more. For me, Unbury Carol could have been so much more! SOOO much more. The potential of the world constructed here was not nearly fully realized. I did enjoy it quite a bit, but I ended up looking for the details that weren't shared.

  4. #3464
    Senior Member 1st Electroshock Session TJCams's Avatar
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    I haven't posted in this thread in a while, but that doesn't mean I haven't added more books to my collection..... might add pics later, as I have an issue somehow of them being rotated 90°.

    Added recently include: Under A Watchful Eye - Adam Nevill, Children Of Time - Adrian Tchaikovsky, Afterparty - Daryl Gregory, Dark Matter - Blake Crouch, and the one I going to start next....Songs For The Lost - by local Windsor, ON author Alexander Zelenyj (Thanks to the author for hooking me up with this one!).

  5. #3465
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffingoff View Post
    Hahahaha, ahem, well, I didn't enjoy Unbury Carol as much. Not that my opinion should hold that much weight with you any more. For me, Unbury Carol could have been so much more! SOOO much more. The potential of the world constructed here was not nearly fully realized. I did enjoy it quite a bit, but I ended up looking for the details that weren't shared.
    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.

  6. #3466
    Senior Member 1st Rubber Room Confinement jeffingoff's Avatar
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    Wink

    Quote 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!!

  7. #3467
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    And see, I love (most of) Bentley Little's work. Vive la difference!

  8. #3468
    Senior Member 1st Rubber Room Confinement jeffingoff's Avatar
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    Quote 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.

  9. #3469
    Senior Member Lobotomized Martin's Avatar
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    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.

  10. #3470
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    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.

  11. #3471
    Senior Member Lobotomized Martin's Avatar
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    Quote 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 at 02:02 AM.

  12. #3472
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    Quote 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.

  13. #3473
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    Quote 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 at 12:49 AM.

  14. #3474
    Senior Member 1st Rubber Room Confinement jeffingoff's Avatar
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    Quote 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!

  15. #3475
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    Quote 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.

  16. #3476
    Senior Member Hearing Voices bugen's Avatar
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    Quote 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/

  17. #3477
    Administrator Totally Insane Dan Hocker's Avatar
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    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.
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  18. #3478
    Senior Member 1st Rubber Room Confinement jeffingoff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bugen View Post
    Great post.
    No doubt! This should be the Bentley Little Wikipedia page.

  19. #3479
    Senior Member 1st Rubber Room Confinement jeffingoff's Avatar
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    Quote 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.

  20. #3480
    Senior Member 1st Electroshock Session Sock Monkey's Avatar
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    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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