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The House

The House

3.5 59
by Bentley Little

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Five complete strangers from across America are about to come together and open the door to a place of evil that they all call home. Inexplicably, four men and one woman are having heart-stopping nightmares revolving around the dark and forbidding houses where each of them were born. When recent terrifying events occur, they are each drawn to their identical


Five complete strangers from across America are about to come together and open the door to a place of evil that they all call home. Inexplicably, four men and one woman are having heart-stopping nightmares revolving around the dark and forbidding houses where each of them were born. When recent terrifying events occur, they are each drawn to their identical childhood homes, only to confront a sinister supernatural presence which has pursued them all their lives, and is now closer than ever to capturing their souls....

Editorial Reviews

The Barnes & Noble Review
I'll be honest. My favorite way to enjoy horror fiction is with the short story. Sure, I crave a fantastic horror novel, with intricate development and building up to a terrifying climax. But often I just want to be able to sit down and get scared fast. Creating a short, sharp shock is a skill that hundreds of authors attempt, but relatively few succeed at on a regular basis.

Well, fellow short-story lovers, have I got a novel for you!

Any horror short-story writer already loves Bentley Little — he's written hundreds of tales, many of them unforgettable. And trust me, his new novel The House is not a tale you're going to be forgetting any time soon. Unlike Little's previous novels, The House abandons the usual single central character and instead takes on five central characters, with alternating viewpoints every chapter. You've got Daniel, an unemployed devoted hubby and dad; Laurie, who just found the love of her life loving someone else in her bathroom; Norton, a crotchety old schoolteacher who has a violent mean streak; Stormy, an aspiring filmmaker who cares more about having a good film than a good marriage; and Mark, a lonely roamer who had a psychic sixth sense — until his sister suddenly died.

Five characters who couldn't be more different — except they've all got one thing in common. None of them can remember their childhood, with one exception. Every one of them knows they lived in some sort of spooky house and had some sort of contact with a little blond girl that's the most sexual, violent, and downright horrifyingpreteenthis side of The Exorcist . And now she's making grand reappearances in each of their lives, forcing them to remember — and revisit — their sickening blood-soaked pasts, all of which will come together in a shocking twist.

So why are short-story lovers going to dig The House ? Because, unlike most novels, you can't go five pages in The House at any point without coming across a nerve-jangling, spine-tingling, nightmare-inducing scene of pure, unadulterated grue. The horror is unrelenting, to the point of almost feeling like a personal assault. However, gore and bloodshed alone do not make for an effective horror novel (something that was lost on quite a few authors of the splatterpunk movement). A top-notch horror novel will mix the terror with a generous dose of heart, and that's where The House separates itself from the pack. Despite five separate viewpoints, and five stories to tell, Bentley Little has imparted every aspect of the storyline with a surprisingly effective wallop of emotion, giving each character issues of love, hate, and family to deal with in order to confront their horrific pasts. Admittedly, with so many main characters, a couple are not as finely fleshed-out as others, but for the most part, you truly feel for the plight these poor saps have been sucked into.

But be warned — this is one sick book. There are countless taboo-breaking scenes that will make even the most devoted horror reader cringe in fear and disgust, and it is one of the most adult-themed horror novels released by a major publisher since Jack Ketchum's cult fave the Girl Next Door. When all is said and done, The House is a terrific follow-up to Little's previous masterpieces, The Store and The Ignored .

And for those of you who have never experienced Bentley Little before, I suggest you set aside a night to take up residence in The House . Pleasant dreams, kids — this is the stuff nightmares are made of.

—Matt Schwartz

Daniel, Laurie, Norton, Stormy, and Mark: four men and a woman separated by geography, background, interests, and age. Terrifyingly odd things are happening to each and each is suddenly aware of bizarre childhood memories that have remained -- until now -- forgotten. Each recalls a mysterious man who had lived with their families when they were growing up. Each has disturbing, highly sexual recollections of a little girl. They are each drawn back to the house of their childhood: Mark to a gothic Arizona ranch house, Laurie to a Victorian mansion surrounded by old-growth redwoods in Northern California, Norton to a bucolic midwestern farmhouse, Stormy to his parents' old house in Chicago, Daniel to a gloomy haunted mansion in Matty Groves, Maine. As the destinies of the five protagonists converge there is -- as in any haunted house tale -- evil to overcome and the past to confront as both readers and characters deal with the Other Side. But don't assume the extremely talented Mr. Little will allow you to comfortably settle into to a simplistic universe starkly divided between the forces of good and evil -- the cosmos of The House is far more subversive than traditional horror tropes would allow. The author of eight previous novels, including the dystopic paranoia of The Store) and his brilliant take on the fear of anonymity in The Ignored, Little is as thought-provoking as he is chilling. Suspenseful, scary, and smart, The House (first published as Houses in 1997 in England), stands as one of his best yet.

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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Meet the Author

Bentley Little was born in Arizona a month after his mother attended the world premiere of Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho. He is the author of ten previous novels, including The Revelation, The Mailman, The Summoning, Death Instinct (published under the name Phillip Emmons), University, Dominion, The Ignored, The Store, The House and The Town. An acknowledged master of horror, he is currently at work on his next novel.

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House 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 59 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book beacuse a friend recommended it and claimed that it would scare the stuffing out of me. I read it, and although i wasn't completely terrified, i did enjoy the book though. It may not be no holds barred 'horror', but it'll shock you nonetheless, infact, if you arent freaked out by the lude stuff that little girl does, then you need help. All in all, its definitly worth it and its got captivating characters that you get pretty attached to. Give it a try, i did and i certainly liked it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book keeps you guessing what will happen next, but it changes so quickly from one character to the next and does get a little confusing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this book is the scariest book i have ever read in my life. and the strangest because no book has ever had the effect on me that this one did. it was like i was in it. and i couldn't get out. i felt like i was trapped. it was a good and bad feeling. all i know is that i was relieved when i finished it but not because it was bad, just because i was so scared and i wanted to get out if that makes sense. just..read it and see what i mean.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Definitely not a great work of fiction. Contrived snippets of a storyline here and there rather than a real plot, poorly drawn "monsters," and some truly cringeworthy scenes (including supernatural paedophilia) make this book a must NOT read. I tried starting this book twice before even making it past the first forty pages, and even that wa a waste.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It took me forever to finish this novel. Sheer boredom. I enjoyed Daniel's character. I was a bit sickened with the young girl and the explicitness of her and her interactions with some of the other characters. Pass this one up. I don't think I will be reading any of this authors other books. Into the trash this one goes.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I had heard this book, The House by Bentley Little praised from many sources, it was supposed to be terrifying and shocking, revolutionary horror. The only thing I found shocking was that it got published. It's a failure through and through and I have no idea why Bentley Little didn't throw the manuscript in the trash after he read it-- it's elemtary school stlyed bad. All good horror starts off in the seemingly real world, which is why The House falls flat on its back when, during the first 20 pages a woman is blungeoned to death by an army of midget clowns. The characterization is beyond poor, some of it starts off decent but only falls and fall, spiraling downward. You just don't care for the characters. Nothing makes you like them, and for the whole thing I was routing for them to get killed. The graphic pedophila most all of them participate in doesn't help you like them either. Some subjects, like pedophila, do require a deal of sobreity while handling them, and Little has none and executes his "story" terribly. And the story, God the poor excuse for a story. It's really bad. Aside from characters remembering, quite off-handedly, that a girl they see reminded them of the same one who decapitated and cooked their parents when they were young, too much happens at once. For the atrocity to be considered an actual novel, a bad one but a novel, characters can't have 5 or 6 major ephiphanies in a matter of two lines. The characters just aren't believeable. The story, and "scares", are ridiculous and laughable don't waste your time with Mr. Little's The House. It stinks. And do not DO NOT compare this to books like Stephen King's Bag of Bones or The Turn of the Screw; both of which are brilliant and could never be in the leauge with this awful "book".
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Little's writing style is a little different with this book, but he is as good as ever. The lengthy introductions to multiple characters was a little confusing for me, and took me until about chapter 7 to catch up with them. However, this ultimately seemed completely necessary to get to know them before events started unfolding. Fantastic book that I really enjoyed reading... just like all of his books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was my first Little book and I loved it. It is hard to find books thatmaka person uncomfortable but this one sure did a good job. It reminds me of Peter Straub and jis book "Ghost Story" i look forward to reading all of his other books.
Spiralcity More than 1 year ago
Poor offering from a mostly good author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Truly horrifying. Like other Little novels, I felt it could have been longer. But I enjoyed the varying viewpoint characters: they were well rounded, and the echoes of the spooky theme in their different but similar experiences amped up the chill factor. Great for fans of edgy horror without excessive gore.
ravenmama1021 More than 1 year ago
This is a very SLOOOOWWW moving book. I cannot seem to get into it. IT really hasn't "GRABBED" me yet. Will keep reading to see what happens. I really hate buying books and NOT reading them. We will see how much longer I can torture myself with this one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kathy Mikulski More than 1 year ago
Not his best. I had a hard time finishing this book. Usually love his stuff.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was very strange and captivating at the same time. From the very start I didnt want to put it down!
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