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The Resort Mass Market Paperback – September 7, 2004

97 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Stoker-winner Little possesses the uncanny ability to take everyday situations and turn them into nightmares, and this book, his most frightening since The Association (2001), showcases this talent. As the novel opens, Lowell Thurman, his wife and their three sons are checking into the exclusive Reata, an isolated resort in the Arizona desert, for a five-night off-season stay. Soon, though, unnerving encounters with strange employees, wild parties in empty rooms and bizarre sex antics in the family restaurant prompt the Thurmans, as well as other key characters, to think about leaving early. Yet the Reata's magnetic pull essentially brainwashes all the guests into believing that their odd experiences are normal. By the time people begin dying brutal deaths, the youngest Thurman boy has made a discovery that could unlock the resort's secrets, but at a high personal cost. Little weaves an explicitly repulsive yet surrealistically sad tale of everyday horror. Unfortunately, as in much of his work, he fails to credibly explain a far-fetched, major plot development. Longtime fans should be used to that by now, though, and will be forgiving.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Signet (September 7, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451212800
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451212801
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 1.1 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,209,877 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By mrliteral VINE VOICE on February 16, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Among horror writers, there are the big-league authors: most notably, Stephen King, but also Dean Koontz, Clive Barker and Peter Straub. There are also the B-list authors, not necessarily better or worse than the first-stringers, but not quite as well-known. People I fit into this category include Robert McCammon, Richard Laymon and F. Paul Wilson. To me, however, the best in this group is Bentley Little, who laces his horror novels with just a dash of satire.

In The Resort, Little takes us to the Reata, an isolated desert hotel in Arizona. Lowell Thurman goes there with his wife Rachel and their three kids, Owen, Curtis and Ryan. Superficially, the Reata seems nice (and at discounted off-season rates, the price is right), but soon little things start to disturb the family. Rachel sees strange images in the clouds, the kids see a dead body in the outdoor pool and Lowell feels an invisible hand grab him in the indoor pool. All these things seem to be just illusions, but then other things are not as easy to dismiss: an intruder in their room, openly obscene behavior in the restaurant and violent acts against certain hotel staff.

Worse is the activity coordinator, who forces Lowell and others to participate in games that get increasingly sadistic. Worst of all, however, is how the Reata affects the family's minds. After seeing evil acts, a sort of apathy or amnesia afflicts them, stopping them from taking any proactive action. In addition, Lowell and Rachel both at times find themselves giving in to their own darker sides.

Despite writing that is filled with menace and suspense, this is not one of Little's best efforts, at least compared to his other horror-satires (which include The Policy, The Store, The Ignored and the Association).
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Matthew King on September 19, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Thurman family of five usually take their summer vacation in their homestate of California but this year is different. Lowell and Rachel, along with their three sons, are attracted by brochures of The Reata, an exclusive spa in the Arizona desert that promises luxurious treatment at unbelievable discount rates. At first everything is as promised with a great staff, great swimming pool and luxurious suites. But soon the Thurmans come to realize not everything is well, as a series of bizarre events start to ruin the enjoyment of their stay. As things worsen, the Thurmans want to bail out but what happens when their car mysteriously breaks down? The Reata is completely isolated in the desert and they have nowhere to go. They are trapped in The Reata whether they like it or not...

This is Little's 16th novel and as someone who has read the vast majority of them I must say I'm extremely impressed with this latest one. The formula is the same: a serene peaceful setting that slowly morphs into one of chaos and horror, but it's done better than most of his other works. For one, "The Resort" was extremely funny. His use of modern street jargon through the lens of his horny teenage characters was bang-on and very up-to-date. And not since "The Store" has he thrown so many wild absurdities in his pages. Some of the characters are priceless, especially "The Activities Coordinator" who will remind you of your worst gym teacher from hell. He splits the guests at the resort into three tribes that are to compete against each other in the most sadistic sporting events imaginable. And bailing out of these sporting events is simply not an option...
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By April E. on September 8, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Reata, the resort you are so sure you can't afford, but during the summer it happens to be cheaper in the desert. Lowell and his wife and three children venture to the Reata in search of a little free time. Lowell's main reason to get away from his hometown because his high school reunion is taking place and he doesn't want to be there when it happens.

Once they get to their destination, strange things occur. There is something lirking under the waterslide in the pool, the gardner does a crazy dance for Rachel everytime she sees him, the boys stumble upon a strange abandon building, and crazy games take place during their stay. All in all, this book is like riding a roller coaster, except it doesn't come down, not even at the end!

Few people realize, when picking up any books by Mr. Little, what they are in store for. Most of the time, you won't get what you want at the ending of one of his stories, but by the time the ending actually closes, you really truly don't care. You have been entertained long enough, you went through exactly what every character went through, it was as though you were there too. However, if you are looking for an explanation to the events that happened in this book, you won't find any, it's very vague. It's left to your imagination, which I find intriguing and heck, it's leaves you to ponder what happened. I think that is a great way to close a book.

The Resort is an excellent book. If you are a Bentley Little fan, buy it, you will enjoy it. If you aren't, this should be one of the first of many Little books that you buy. He is an excellent, supreb, genuine, intriguing, captivating writer, and heck, he was friends with the creator of Spongebob!
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