Everything is about to change...
When Ross Lowry moves into his cousin's guest house in the small community of Magdalena, Arizona, he expects nothing more than breathing room and a brief respite from his economic woes. But something is not right in the desert. After a raucous party on New Year's Eve, the luck of the attendees undergoes an immediate U-turn. The rich and successful suddenly find themselves facing catastrophic failure while the less well-off are unexpectedly flush with good fortune.
This is only the beginning...
Soon the citizens of Magdalena are experiencing unnatural desires. Next their children begin to disappear and freakish creatures emerge from the surrounding wilderness. The community is unraveling at a frightening pace. But these are merely the early warning signs of a showdown with a powerful force of darkness that could obliterate the world forever, and only Ross Lowry sees the danger that lurks ahead.
©2013 Bentley Little (P)2013 AudioGO
Stranger in a small desert town - weird things start to happen to animals and then people start to act odd. The author successfully holds back from revealing the possible catalyst for the strangeness (and I liked the revelation when it came). There is then the suspense concerning whether to believe the version that the locals believe or whether to doubt them.
I usually listen to audiobooks in the car, for short and long journeys. This time, I happened to be at home and listened to the first of the two downloads (about 4 hours) in one sitting - an indication of how I enjoyed the first half of the book.
The second half was a bit of a let down after such a strong beginning and, by the climax of the story, I was no longer really engaged. Still, I finished the audiobook in a couple of days.
This is the first Bentley Little novel I've come across so I can't compare it to his other works. There's some very strange and gory imagery (and graphic descriptions of sexual acts).
Please avoid reading any detailed synopsis of the novel. I had only read the summary on the audible site and benefitted from the surprise about the catalyst of the mayhem in the town in the novel.
Strange alluring nightmarish
The mix of the humdrum modernity of the mundane
Colliding into the completely absurd horrific weird world of freakiness
Joe Barrett's laid back almost bored sounding american voice was perfect for this journey into Bentley Littles world of a fractured reality.
It ain't Oklahoma
My name is Freda and I am in my 60's. I was a graphic designer, now retired. My favourite books are supernatural horror (not short stories)
I discovered Bentley Little by accident. 90% of his books are 'on the edge of your seat' reads and this book is no exception. Horror at it's best
"If You Like King, You Will Like Bentley Little !!"
I am a very picky reader, and often don't give books a fair shot. They have to capture my attention from the beginning.. no matter what genre I'm reading. Bentley Little and Joe Barrett team up for a great performance that keeps my attention. Bentley Little loosens up a little on the gore and gives us a more mature and developed horror novel. (Don't worry B.L. fans... there is still plenty of blood slinging in this novel). " Influence" gives the reader a more original and grounded storyline than many of his previous books, and is noticeably more up- to-date. You know the characters well in this novel, and root for them. If you like King, you are almost gaurenteed to like Bentley Little. "The Haunted", another Bentley Little audible selection, is also excellent.
"Classic Bentley - Crazy Stuffed with Weird!"
Yes. I'm a huge fan of Bentley Little. I've read all his novels. I wish (HINT HINT) there were more of his books on Audible. Joe Barrett did a good job narrating.
The only thing to compare this book to is another novel by Bentley Little (The Policy, The Association, The Ignored…). There aren't too many authors that can combine unemployment, a New Year's Eve party, scowling flowers, whistling cats, pissed off chickens and jumping eggs into a pretty good story. And that is just a little bit of the weirdness. If you are familiar with Bentley Little you know how his characters rationalize the most insane and creepy situations. Like being out of work for a year and then getting a six figure job offer from the president of the company...right after he excuses himself to poop in the corner of his office. But you take the job anyway because you need the money and well maybe the guy is having a bad day or something... And you could almost see yourself doing the same thing. Almost. My only problem with The Influence is the ending. I’ll just leave it at that. If you are a fan of Mr. Little, by all means get this one. It's not his best work but it's worth the listen. If you are not familiar, you’ve been warned. It is crazy, nasty, creepy.
"Fun and scary!"
A solid horror story, kept me entertained throughout the entire book.
If you enjoy horror stories, you'll like this one.
this book was crazy and very scary! I hope they will puut more of his books on audible.
There were some creepy and some completely out of the whack parts. The ending should have matched the rest of the book.
"Big fan of this man's work."
I have read everything he put out, and I will continue to do so, but it was a good experience listening to his work for a change. Probably the best shock-horror writer out there.
"Not one of my favorite Bentley Little books"
I started liking Bentley Little when I read his book, "The Haunted." I knew he could be sick and twisted but he went pretty far out there with this book! I was very surprised at how many sexual scenes were referenced throughout the book. I thought they were unnecessary and a few made me feel very uncomfortable.
Ross is down on his luck. He is the one that is always so giving to everyone in need and now that he has lost his job, no one is willing to help him but his cousin, Lita. He moves out to Magdalena, Arizona to live with Lita and her husband, Dave, on their farm. On New Years Eve, most of the people in town attend a party where at midnight they shoot down a demon in which they call it an "angel."
Everyone's luck starts to change and then all of these creepy, alien like distortions of regular animals and insects start coming out of the woodworks and pipes! Everyone starts acting weird. Their mind is basically controlled by this dead demon that happens to be holed up in Cameron Holtz's smoke house and is guarded/worshipped by his Mexican work hands. People start getting killed. This nutty cult-like religious group steals a freakin baby and sacrifices it!!! I thought that was demented and a little much.
All the while, Ross is in this relationship with a girl named Jill. She's a telemarketer and artist that lives in Magdalena. They met at the farmer's market. A lot of walks and having sex. They both did not attend the party that night but they notice the weird things going on. Jill starts to paint and draw this demon in an egg so apparently it's not dead but is cocooning itself to emerge into something more fierce!
People leave and some come back. The town goes nuts with the people that stay. Ross decides that he needs to go back and defeat the demon once and for all!
Not going to spoil the ending but it definitely is not one that I'll read again.
"Good story except lapses into graphic sex."
This was a really great monster story. It started with the Mistry about what happened on New Year's eve which you didn't find out until later in the story. It kept my interest and what happened on New Year's eve was unexpected and unusual. The story overall was pretty good. There were however, lapses into gratuitous explicit sex scenes which I did not appreciate. I did enjoy all the characters, I cared about them and felt they were quite three-dimensional. The Evolution of the story was quite good keeping your interest all the way through.
"Wow, what a story!"
Bentley Little has done it again, his stories are so well rounded and thought out. The mounting tension just goes on and on where you have to keep listening. He gives you just enough details and descriptions but does not relish the gory details or have his religious beliefs imposed on you. Just an all-around great story, what an imagination and what a foundation of good writing!
This a "marathon" listening book! I couldn't stop listening. And u will love the end...gave me goose bumps! ;-)
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