I’m taking a break from my usual young adult genre reviews to review a book that has been a favorite of mine for years.
Ever since I was little I had a strange obsession with horror movies, and as I got older, I realized that while horror movies are a treat, books in the horror genre are always twice as good. When I stumbled upon Bentley Little’s strange and twisted talent many years ago, I felt like jumping for joy – here was a fantastic writer with quite a talent for embracing the strange, creepy, and downright terrifying in a way that makes you wanting more.
The first day of summer is always enjoyable for both children and adults alike…and in a small town in Arizona, this is no different. However, a horrible tragedy strikes, leaving the town without a mailman – until the new one shows up. A bit strange in appearance and personality, the residents of the town don’t think much of it – until odd things begin happening. First, the people in the town begin getting letters from people they haven’t heard from in years. Then mail begins getting mixed up – and letters with some not-so-nice contents end up causing arguments among the recipients. Bills stop being delivered – and this results in power, water, and phone lines being shut off. Finally, some of the residents of the town notice some very strange things being sent to them via the mail…and they have had some bizarre interactions with the mailman that will make you want to leave the lights on if you’re reading this book before bedtime.
The plot of The Mailman seems kind of simple, but there is so much going on in this book that there isn’t a single moment of boredom. The pacing is pretty fast, and it’s one of those books where you will keep saying “Just one more chapter!” and find yourself still awake at four in the morning reading. It’s just so easy to become absorbed in this nail-biting, truly chilling
I have read this book so many times…at least seven or eight now, and it never gets old. I’m pretty sure the first time I read this I was like ten or eleven (and had probably read a great deal of the books already on my mom’s bookshelf), so of course, as I got older, I had to own a copy of it for myself (I have the paperback and Kindle versions of it). For a while, this book was kind of tough to track down. It was originally published in 1991 by Signet, but had been out of print for a while before Cemetery Dance Publications picked it up again. I have the original version, of course, but the newer version has a nice, spruced up cover that looks pretty nice. It’s pretty cheap on Kindle, too…so if you’re reluctant to try out his writing, that’s a great way to give this fantastic author a chance!
Bentley Little is truly a master of horror. He knows how to write deliciously terrifying stories that would make other writers cringe at the mere thought of. Out of all of the Bentley Little books I’ve read over the years (and there are a lot), The Mailman remains a personal favorite (as well as The Association and The Store – check those out, too). Just keep in mind that this isn’t YA horror in the slightest…and it isn’t for those with a weak stomach, either.
Sure, it deals with some twisted content (actually, some downright messed up stuff), but if you aren’t one for minding this type of writing, and you like horror, than this is one that you absolutely need on your shelf.