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The Town Mass Market Paperback – May 1, 2000

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Signet; First Edition edition (May 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451200152
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451200150
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,212,070 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A pregnant woman gives birth to a cactus, a small church grows hair and bleeds, a man sprouts an umbilical cord and, one by one, residents of a tiny Southwest town die violently. These and other bizarre events begin occurring shortly after Gregory Tomasov returns to his old hometown of McGuane, Ariz., with his wife and three children. The old adage "You can't go home again" has perhaps never rung more true, as Bram Stoker Award-winner Little (The House) draws upon elements of religion, the supernatural, sexual fantasy and psychological horror to create a modern-day ghost town. Almost immediately after they unwittingly move into an old farmhouse where a deranged man once murdered his family and committed suicide, the Tomasovs are transformed. The two younger children become obsessed with the shadows inside the home's bathhouse, shadows that eat dead animals, torment children and kill mercilessly. As the deaths mount and small-town life becomes more dangerous and freakish, residents begin to blame the Tomasovs, whom they believe carry some kind of curse. Not until the terrifying finale, which takes place during a sandstorm and blackout, does everyone realize the evil's roots. What, in a lesser writer's hands, would have been an obvious conclusion remains a mystery until the end. While reminiscent of Dean Koontz and Stephen King, Little crafts his own vivid landscape full of dark corners, twisted characters and a gruesome plot. (May)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

It just got downright bad and kinda confusing.
Shauna N. Rushing
It seems as though Little is trying to cover plot problems when he has his characters indulge in these inner dialogues.
Jeffrey Leach
I am sorry to say that I found The Town incredibly boring, I had to struggle to finish the last pages.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

54 of 61 people found the following review helpful By "scoobydon" on May 30, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'm a fan of horror, no doubt about it. Just about anything remotely creepy, even when tinged with humor or silliness gets my attention. It's only when something ends up being silly, while not origially intended to be, is my faith in the genre shaken.
"The Town" is the first book I've read by Little, and though it is entertaining throughout its first 200 odd pages, it slowly becomes silly and seemingly hurredly summed up.
My gripes: 1) Little throws in characters from literally no where (where the hell did that Mormon shooting spree come from in the last 30 pages?) and then either drops them out of the story, or slaughters them 5 pages after he introduces them. It tends to not make me really care about what happens to them anyway, which leads to my second gripe. 2) The main characters tended to not gain my support. Gregory is a jerk, Julia is a snob, Babunya is overly religious/superstitious, Sasha is a brat, and the other two kids are just OK. Adam ended up a fully rounded character and I gained some respect for Julia and Babunya, but by page 250, I was looking forward to seeing some of these people get eaten, or whatever. Put them out of my misery.
I see great writing in some areas, and the descriptive passages (what there are of them) are nicely done. But some analogies clunked big time with me (i.e. "Like an alcoholic, she took it one step at a time.") Blah.
I will read more of Little's work. I don't dismiss an author with his growing reputation lightly. Even King, Rice, McCammon, Koontz and Straub have their stinkers.
Unfortunately, that is what "The Town" is in my book. A stinker.
My opinion, take it for what you will.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By mellion108 VINE VOICE on May 7, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I devoured this one in one sitting. Little strikes again with a pulse-pounding thriller set in the small Arizona town of McGuane. The Tomasov family hits the lottery, pulls up big-city stakes and returns to the hometown of the father, Gregory. But like every good horror thriller, the family fails to heed the warnings of the elderly wise woman, Babunya (the Tomasov matriarch). What could go wrong if the family failed to invite the Owner of the House? Gregory and his wife, Julia, shrug this off as another of Babunya's silly superstitions. Unfortunately for everyone, when the Tomasov's arrive, the town becomes more and more crazy. Bizarre deaths, strange sightings, and more than one thing that goes bump in the night plague the citizens. (Wait till you see what Gregory's friend, Odd, has waiting for him at home.) Throughout is an undercurrent of mistrust for anyone who is considered different; the Tomasov's are Molokans, a Russian religious and social community, and this group has historically been scapegoated within the larger McGuane community. Several themes are at work here: our natural distrust of change and difference, faith, evil, revenge, and on and on. I found myself alternating between cheering for and booing various characters; as each faces the evil let loose in the town, he/she begins to change. All I can say is, don't get too attached to some of these characters!

I've now read 6 of Little's novels. I've liked each one for different reasons. However, I've often gotten to the end of his novels thinking "Big build-up, let-down of a climax." I'm happy to report that THE TOWN delivers all the way to the end. It's a fun read (with very disturbing issues), it's a quick read, and some of the everyday objects turned into the macabre were enough to give me goosebumps! I recommend this one to anyone who likes good, chilling horror. After this, you might want to check out THE IGNORED by Little.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Leach HALL OF FAME on June 9, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
If you have never visited the strangely warped worlds of Bentley Little, but avidly wish to do so, you might want to start somewhere else than "The Town." Or, maybe you could start with this book; it might help you better appreciate his other books. For me, a Bentley Little completist, I cannot say this is his best effort to date. I also cannot claim that it is his worst novel, either. Many lambaste "The Town" for its forced and tepid dialogue, pancake flat characters, and a plodding plot. To some extent, many of the flaws found in "The Town" invidiously wind their way through most, if not all, of his other novels: subplots that go nowhere, unbelievable situations even for a horror novel, and unsatisfying conclusions. Yes, some of those flaws are here, but this tale is nowhere near as bad as many claim.
Gregory Tomasov and his family (wife Julia, daughters Teodosia and Sasha, and son Adam, along with Gregory's mother Agafia) should be riding as high as a balloon. Gregory won the California lottery and receives a cool $80,000 a year for the next few decades, which promises to make life very sweet and easy for a long time to come. Greg decides to take the money and literally run, from gang filled Southern California to his long forgotten childhood home of McGuane, Arizona. McGuane is a rat hole in the desert slowly dying out due to indifference and unemployment. But most importantly for Gregory and his mother, this little town still serves as a center for a Molokan population. Molokans are an obscure Christian sect from Russia that emigrated to the United States and Mexico to escape Tsarist persecution. Members of the congregation practice extreme pacifism with an almost mystical belief in the gospels and prayer.
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