This extraordinary novel takes its place with such memorable literary masterpieces as Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" as a compelling story of evil, set against a rock-hard, brilliantly rendered New England background.
Harlowe, New Hampshire, is a rural township still isolated from the pressures and changes of the second half of the twentieth century. It is here that John Moore works the land farmed by his family for centuries, here that he lives with his wife and daughter, and here that he expects to die when his life's work is done. But from the moment that a magnetic stranger named Perly Dunsmore arrives in the community and begins a series of auctions to raise money for the growth of the local police force, the days of John Moore's freedom and independence are suddenly numbered.
Page after page, the reader is trapped with John Moore in the grip of chilling horror as he is relentlessly stripped of his possessions, his ability to resist, his courage, and his hope by the ever-growing power and demands of the auctioneer. What was initially a minor nuisance, then an infuriating intrusion, now becomes for John Moore a desperate, seemingly doomed battle against a force that has already corrupted all of Harlowe and is now systematically destroying it.
On one level, The Auctioneer is a triumph of subtle, spellbinding narrative artistry; on another, it represents a devastating commentary on the omnivorous commercial forces of our age. Ultimately, it stands as a modern yet eternal morality drama that pits human weakness against human strength, the vulnerability of the flesh against the unquenchable spark of resistance that lies at the core of the human spirit. Above all, from its ominous opening to its shattering climax, The Auctioneer is an unforgettable reading experience.