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Publisher's Summary

Everything is about to change…

When Ross Lowry moves into his cousin's guest house in the small community of Magdalena, Arizona, he expects nothing more than breathing room and a brief respite from his economic woes. But something is not right in the desert. After a raucous party on New Year's Eve, the luck of the attendees undergoes an immediate U-turn. The rich and successful suddenly find themselves facing catastrophic failure while the less well-off are unexpectedly flush with good fortune.

This is only the beginning…

Soon the citizens of Magdalena are experiencing unnatural desires. Next their children begin to disappear and freakish creatures emerge from the surrounding wilderness. The community is unraveling at a frightening pace. But these are merely the early warning signs of a showdown with a powerful force of darkness that could obliterate the world forever, and only Ross Lowry sees the danger that lurks ahead.

©2013 Bentley Little (P)2013 AudioGO

What listeners say about The Influence

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

If You Like King, You Will Like Bentley Little !!

I am a very picky reader, and often don't give books a fair shot. They have to capture my attention from the beginning.. no matter what genre I'm reading. Bentley Little and Joe Barrett team up for a great performance that keeps my attention. Bentley Little loosens up a little on the gore and gives us a more mature and developed horror novel. (Don't worry B.L. fans... there is still plenty of blood slinging in this novel). " Influence" gives the reader a more original and grounded storyline than many of his previous books, and is noticeably more up- to-date. You know the characters well in this novel, and root for them. If you like King, you are almost gaurenteed to like Bentley Little. "The Haunted", another Bentley Little audible selection, is also excellent.

37 people found this helpful

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Fun and scary!

A solid horror story, kept me entertained throughout the entire book.
If you enjoy horror stories, you'll like this one.

15 people found this helpful

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Big build up that lead to a lackluster ending. Oh

A little closure and a better ending would have made it possible for me to enjoy this book more than I did.

10 people found this helpful

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It's alright.

There were some creepy and some completely out of the whack parts. The ending should have matched the rest of the book.

7 people found this helpful

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Obviously written by a man...

The author seems to have some misunderstanding about how a woman's body works, in one passage commenting from a woman's perspective that she "could be very confused about what's going on because she was on her period and her hormones were swirling." Give me a damn BREAK! The rest of the story was lackluster and boring with seemingly no point. Not worth the listen.

6 people found this helpful

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Think X Files, Stephen King and HP Lovecraft

I have read a lot of horror and Little is a master at making the mundane into terror. This book is just pure horror. It's spooky, gory and terrifying. I loved it. The narrator was spot on and the story has great flow. I highly recommend.

5 people found this helpful

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crazy!

this book was crazy and very scary! I hope they will puut more of his books on audible.

5 people found this helpful

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Classic Bentley - Crazy Stuffed with Weird!

Would you try another book from Bentley Little and/or Joe Barrett?

Yes. I'm a huge fan of Bentley Little. I've read all his novels. I wish (HINT HINT) there were more of his books on Audible. Joe Barrett did a good job narrating.

What other book might you compare The Influence to and why?

The only thing to compare this book to is another novel by Bentley Little (The Policy, The Association, The Ignored…). There aren't too many authors that can combine unemployment, a New Year's Eve party, scowling flowers, whistling cats, pissed off chickens and jumping eggs into a pretty good story. And that is just a little bit of the weirdness. If you are familiar with Bentley Little you know how his characters rationalize the most insane and creepy situations. Like being out of work for a year and then getting a six figure job offer from the president of the company...right after he excuses himself to poop in the corner of his office. But you take the job anyway because you need the money and well maybe the guy is having a bad day or something... And you could almost see yourself doing the same thing. Almost. My only problem with The Influence is the ending. I’ll just leave it at that. If you are a fan of Mr. Little, by all means get this one. It's not his best work but it's worth the listen. If you are not familiar, you’ve been warned. It is crazy, nasty, creepy.

8 people found this helpful

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Big fan of this man's work.

I have read everything he put out, and I will continue to do so, but it was a good experience listening to his work for a change. Probably the best shock-horror writer out there.

3 people found this helpful

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Not one of my favorite Bentley Little books

Any additional comments?

I started liking Bentley Little when I read his book, "The Haunted." I knew he could be sick and twisted but he went pretty far out there with this book! I was very surprised at how many sexual scenes were referenced throughout the book. I thought they were unnecessary and a few made me feel very uncomfortable.

Ross is down on his luck. He is the one that is always so giving to everyone in need and now that he has lost his job, no one is willing to help him but his cousin, Lita. He moves out to Magdalena, Arizona to live with Lita and her husband, Dave, on their farm. On New Years Eve, most of the people in town attend a party where at midnight they shoot down a demon in which they call it an "angel."

Everyone's luck starts to change and then all of these creepy, alien like distortions of regular animals and insects start coming out of the woodworks and pipes! Everyone starts acting weird. Their mind is basically controlled by this dead demon that happens to be holed up in Cameron Holtz's smoke house and is guarded/worshipped by his Mexican work hands. People start getting killed. This nutty cult-like religious group steals a freakin baby and sacrifices it!!! I thought that was demented and a little much.

All the while, Ross is in this relationship with a girl named Jill. She's a telemarketer and artist that lives in Magdalena. They met at the farmer's market. A lot of walks and having sex. They both did not attend the party that night but they notice the weird things going on. Jill starts to paint and draw this demon in an egg so apparently it's not dead but is cocooning itself to emerge into something more fierce!

People leave and some come back. The town goes nuts with the people that stay. Ross decides that he needs to go back and defeat the demon once and for all!

Not going to spoil the ending but it definitely is not one that I'll read again.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Drew
  • 07-25-14

Avoid reading any synopsis of this novel

Stranger in a small desert town - weird things start to happen to animals and then people start to act odd. The author successfully holds back from revealing the possible catalyst for the strangeness (and I liked the revelation when it came). There is then the suspense concerning whether to believe the version that the locals believe or whether to doubt them.

I usually listen to audiobooks in the car, for short and long journeys. This time, I happened to be at home and listened to the first of the two downloads (about 4 hours) in one sitting - an indication of how I enjoyed the first half of the book.

The second half was a bit of a let down after such a strong beginning and, by the climax of the story, I was no longer really engaged. Still, I finished the audiobook in a couple of days.

This is the first Bentley Little novel I've come across so I can't compare it to his other works. There's some very strange and gory imagery (and graphic descriptions of sexual acts).

Please avoid reading any detailed synopsis of the novel. I had only read the summary on the audible site and benefitted from the surprise about the catalyst of the mayhem in the town in the novel.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-03-14

Bentley little is addictive

If you could sum up The Influence in three words, what would they be?

Strange alluring nightmarish

What did you like best about this story?

The mix of the humdrum modernity of the mundane
Colliding into the completely absurd horrific weird world of freakiness

Which character – as performed by Joe Barrett – was your favourite?

Joe Barrett's laid back almost bored sounding american voice was perfect for this journey into Bentley Littles world of a fractured reality.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

It ain't Oklahoma

Any additional comments?

Bentley Little

3 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 12-05-13

A chill in the desert

I discovered Bentley Little by accident. 90% of his books are 'on the edge of your seat' reads and this book is no exception. Horror at it's best

6 people found this helpful

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  • Jonathan
  • 12-18-21

Adults only elements

Has a eighties quality, by which I mean that it's well enough written, and moves along, but every few chapters there's a gratuitous sex scene, completely unnecessary, and the core idea is laugh out loud ridiculous when you try to summarise it, so I won't. It works in the first half because you don't know what's going on, but as things get weird you get increasingly disconnected. A modern James Herbert.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Suzanne B
  • 09-10-21

Loved It!!!

When I started this book I wasn't sure I would like it. It started kind of slow for me. But once things got going, I was hooked. I wanted to listen to this book as much as I could, and I found the story really interesting. It had just enough scary stuff to keep me wanting more, but not to put me off (I don't like anything that's too scary). I couldn't wait to find out how this book would end, but at the same time, I didn't want it to end. I thought the performance of the narrator was very good as I am really particular about the narration of an audiobook. Really good book for those that like strange stories with a touch of supernatural to it.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Neil Smith
  • 10-11-21

Sick

Baby sacrifice
Sick - this book should be censored.
This book should not be so easily available.
Shocked and horrified at some of its content.

1 person found this helpful

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  • andylennon
  • 03-16-17

Really enjoyed it!

I listened to the audioversion of this book. I really enjoyed it. My first taste of Bentley Little, but it certainly won't be the last.
I'll be honest. I didn't even read the synopsis. I just wanted to try one of Little's books so I picked this one at random. Really glad that I did!
Quite a bit more graphic than I was expecting, I mean, I've read and written some pretty messed up stuff but one scene in this book actually make me wince.
Definitely recommend!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kate Smith
  • 01-08-22

A Horror Movie

Not a genre I normally read. Needs a stronger warning label. Sex and violence in huge dollops, but in fact none gratuitous to the story - which is the stuff of horror movies. Not sure if I enjoyed it, there were places I nearly stopped, but felt compelled to keep going - or should that be influenced?

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • E. Eason
  • 01-04-22

This book makes me doubt that the author has ever had sex

This book contains some truly awful sex scenes….horrible, unappealing, and just….wrong. As in ‘that isn’t how that works’ wrong. It really makes me wonder whether the author has ever had sex, because these scenes certainly read like someone describing an act they have never experienced.

The story is ok though. I didn’t think it needed to be quite as graphic as it was - the story would still have been quite gripping without so much gore, all the time.

The ending was quite weak…it seemed like the author had lost interest by that point.

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  • Ross
  • 12-27-21

I was pleasantly surprised by this author

I had not heard of Joe Barrett before this book, on a whim I decided to try something different, it started slowly but drew me in. Well written and performed, I was hooked by chapter 3, the originality and vision of Joe was a very pleasant surprise. I would tentatively compare him to Stephen King.

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  • Catherine Stepancic
  • 12-09-21

left wondering 🤔

I was really enjoying this story before the sex scenes arrived. Felt the novel had sidestepped into a playboy story had to forward these areas so I wouldn't throw up. Too explicit for the genre.