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Summary

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

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Avoid reading any synopsis of this novel

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Freda
  • Warrington, United Kingdom
  • 05-12-13

A chill in the desert

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

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Bentley little is addictive

If you could sum up The Influence in three words, what would they be?

Strange alluring nightmarish

What did you like best about this story?

The mix of the humdrum modernity of the mundane
Colliding into the completely absurd horrific weird world of freakiness

Which character – as performed by Joe Barrett – was your favourite?

Joe Barrett's laid back almost bored sounding american voice was perfect for this journey into Bentley Littles world of a fractured reality.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

It ain't Oklahoma

Any additional comments?

Bentley Little

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Really enjoyed it!

I listened to the audioversion of this book. I really enjoyed it. My first taste of Bentley Little, but it certainly won't be the last.
I'll be honest. I didn't even read the synopsis. I just wanted to try one of Little's books so I picked this one at random. Really glad that I did!
Quite a bit more graphic than I was expecting, I mean, I've read and written some pretty messed up stuff but one scene in this book actually make me wince.
Definitely recommend!

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  • Jan
  • 10-12-13

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.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • abran Nandin
  • 02-02-15

It's alright.

There were some creepy and some completely out of the whack parts. The ending should have matched the rest of the book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Kim Venatries
  • 15-11-13

Classic Bentley - Crazy Stuffed with Weird!

Would you try another book from Bentley Little and/or Joe Barrett?

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.

What other book might you compare The Influence to and why?

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.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • #AmazonCustomer
  • 01-08-17

Big build up that lead to a lackluster ending. Oh

A little closure and a better ending would have made it possible for me to enjoy this book more than I did.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • john mendoza
  • 12-09-15

Fun and scary!

A solid horror story, kept me entertained throughout the entire book.
If you enjoy horror stories, you'll like this one.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • angel perdue
  • 05-05-15

crazy!

this book was crazy and very scary! I hope they will puut more of his books on audible.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • michael hernandez
  • 19-06-14

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Lacy
  • 17-10-16

Not one of my favorite Bentley Little books

Any additional comments?

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.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 19-07-18

Think X Files, Stephen King and HP Lovecraft

I have read a lot of horror and Little is a master at making the mundane into terror. This book is just pure horror. It's spooky, gory and terrifying. I loved it. The narrator was spot on and the story has great flow. I highly recommend.

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  • Jay
  • 12-07-18

I Loved it!

Great story. great suspense, build up, and you figure it all out at the perfect time. Bentley Littles books have been hit or miss with me so far, but this one really made me appreciate Little as an author, not just an average storyteller. Get it, you won't regret it.