Novel by Bentley Little
What happens when you put together a normal family and a picture-perfect house that's... haunted? Well, you get the Perry family. Father, mother, song and daughter. They have no idea what's in store for them, who's waiting for them. This is Bentley Little's The Haunted.
The Haunted is one of those horror novels where incidents do not affect one person. This house taunts, teases, threatens them all. Like most horror stories, dealing with haunted houses, it begins with small things like clothing baskets appearing in the middle of kitchens or hallways. Text messages appear on both mobile devices, as well as desktops, saying things of the worst sort, or even inducing disorders like Pica- in this case eating handfuls of filthy dirt. You know, normal stuff.
When the Perry's realize their house is in a bad neighborhood, they feel they have to move away, ignoring the pleas of their children. When they find their new home, they all go through experiences they never share with one another, thinking it's just the stress how moving. The house settling, but when everything clashes in a crescendo of terror before them parents and as many neighbors and friends as they could cram into the living room, they decide on separate things that made me want to slap them all at least three times! It reminded me of an Eddie Murphy comment (From Delirious) on people and haunted houses. And through all the frustrations, creepy happenings and even each person's personality, I ended up liking The Haunted.
What's original about this haunted house is that it's not quite what you think. This book is allowed to go beyond the haunting of a basement, attic or house as a whole. Things take place and they affect people- some who never even entered the place, because of the history. It's quite unique and it made me enjoy it all the more.
Little wrote this novel in the same sense of viewing a heavy fog hover across a bog. It was intense for everyone, allowing me to TOTALLY understand why the son and daughter kept things to themselves, but the daughter did tell. She did share, and the proper actions that should have been taken weren't. It was the adults I had issues with, but even then, I got it. This is what I liked about the story.
So here's what I didn't, and it will be the only time I sorta give away something to a book. *Read this paragraph at your own risk: I do not like rape. I understand that sometimes ghosts feel the need to act out, through bodily possessions, but to do the things that took place in this novel was a drop in taste to me. It's nothing illicit, just highly unnecessary.
So that's it, folks. The Haunted is very creepy, it's got some spark and it's unlike any other ghost story I've read before. There's a reason behind it all and the ending made me feel slightly disappointed, but felt it was worth it. You'll understand when you read it. For now, give Little a taste; The Haunted is a decent read. I'm off to the next read now. Cheers!
Written by Bentley Little
Published by New American Library, a division of Penguin Group
Published April 2012
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