• The Auctioneer

  • Valancourt 20th Century Classics
  • By: Joan Samson
  • Narrated by: Matt Godfrey
  • Length: 8 hrs and 45 mins
  • 3.9 out of 5 stars (516 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

One of the finest and best-selling horror novels of the 1970s returns at last to chill a new generation.

In the isolated farming community of Harlowe, New Hampshire, where life has changed little over the past several decades, John Moore and his wife, Mim, work the land that has been in his family for generations. But from the moment the charismatic Perly Dinsmore arrives in town and starts soliciting donations for his auctions, things begin slowly and insidiously to change in Harlowe. As the auctioneer carries out his terrible, inscrutable plan, the Moores and their neighbors will find themselves gradually but inexorably stripped of their freedom, their possessions, and perhaps even their lives....

A chilling masterpiece of terror whose sense of creeping menace and dread increases throughout, Joan Samson's The Auctioneer (1975) is a rediscovered classic of 20th-century fiction. With echoes of Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" and Stephen King's Needful Things, Samson's novel returns at last in this long-awaited new edition.

©1975, 2018 Joan Samson (P)2018 Valancourt Books, LLC

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What listeners say about The Auctioneer

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Unbelievable

The writing is good, and Matt Godfrey is an outstanding narrator. The premise of the book is hard to believe. One person convincing an entire town to "give" him all their belongings and sometimes children? The town's people finally stand up for themselves but not until they've lost everything. I find it hard to believe that an entire town would simply lay down while one person extorts everything from them. They do nothing when the guy shows up week after week taking everything from butter churns to their live stock and anything they may use to protect themselves. These people are farm families that work hard and fight for their very existence but do nothing at all to stop this guy. I know the book fiction, but, sorry, I don't buy it.

38 people found this helpful

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Frustrating Small Town

It had good build-up but the small town, no one says a word, mentality frustrated me. I think the whole story could have been over after the first chapter if people had just talked to one another!

26 people found this helpful

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HELL YES OMG

'The Auctioneer' grabbed me by my eardrums and wouldn't let me go; I listened to almost this entire book in one day! It has a slow burn type Stephen King feel to it (but no paranormal happenings) that is incredibly satisfying, and truly horrifying. This book is almost an experiment in human nature: how far are people willing to be pushed by authority?

I would recommend this book to any friends who enjoy a slow burn horror but I do have to say that I hated the ending. So WARNING this book is fantastic and the ending is a huge let down. Still worth listening, though.

Matt Godfrey is always an incredible narrator and he does not disappoint here!

I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

24 people found this helpful

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Not a horror story as I was led to believe

Early on I realized it was not a horror story, but a con story, I will need to take care of some internet recommendations. It is well written, just not happy about it being described as horror

18 people found this helpful

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A tad drawn out, but very well written

This book feels very Stephen King. No, there's no supernatural element to this at all (though I sort of thought there might be by the description), I mean more that Samson's laid back style of writing that drops us right into their world is very reminiscent of King.

The story itself plods along for quite a long time as Samson loves to spend a great deal of time detailing every event. We meet the auctioneer and watch as week by week he beats down the morale of our protagonists and their neighbors. I honestly felt it went on for far too long without some action -- almost as if Samson was content in detailing their miseries. That said, his style of writing kept me right there along with the family even when I wanted to inwardly groan and move on.

Action does eventually happen, but it's in around the last 2 hours of the book (more like 1.5, but Samson does tend to spend a LOT of time on every scene). The ending was satisfactory in a way, though it did leave a lot of questions open and made me realize much of what Samson prattled on about was irrelevant.

Matt Godfrey did an excellent job of bringing the writing and characters to life. He was one of the reasons I was able to stick through the endless emotional abuse our characters sustained.

This audiobook was provided to me free of charge in exchange for my honest review. It's a good listen, though would be far better abridged IMO.

13 people found this helpful

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The Horror At Hand

The silver tongued stranger who charms the weak & the gullible & arms thugs to do his bidding and enforce his will. A powerful book for alarming current times. The way it builds like slowly boiling a frog is phenomenal.

11 people found this helpful

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Soooo Good!

The one thing that pissed me off is how much of a mouse the main character seemed to be, like, man up bro!
That said, glad I found this little gem. The premise is fresh and original. I could almost smell the fresh NH air! Def not horror, but great either way.

9 people found this helpful

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AAWWWEEESOOOMMMMEEEEE!

Loved this book! I hadn't read it before - I'm disappointed I hadn't come across it before, since it's been around almost as long as I have ;)

Matt Godfrey is an AWESOME narrator, really brought this chilling tale to life.
GREAT STORY! Slow burn, chilling throughout, prepping you for the dramatic end.

Creepy is as Creepy does - this will creep you out, a total psychological tornado! If you love Stephen King, you'll love this!
Definitely recommended, great stuff :)

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
Please take a moment to click the "YES" ("Helpful") button below if you found this review helpful :) Thank you!

9 people found this helpful

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Slow and uneventful

The author tells a good story and builds believable characters, but does nothing with them. I bought this knowing it wasn't what I usually go for in horror hoping to be surprised. Unfortunately, this book delivers no real scares or dread. If you want a story about normal people going through a barely believable scenario this book is for you. I normally don't review books but wanted to warn anyone away who was looking for something like what Stephen King writes but this book doesn't even come close.

7 people found this helpful

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Another perfect Valancourt release

Valancourt continues to impress with this once almost-lost horror gem from Joan Samson. Fans of authors like Thomas Tryon and Bentley Little will love this one.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Pinkystan
  • 08-16-20

The creepiness builds gradually...

I thought this was an incredible book! What starts out as gentle unease builds and builds until suddenly you're terrified and want to stop listening but can't. Great twist at the end too. Absolutely in my top ten.