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The Store

by Bentley Little

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4971740,055 (3.62)35
When the sign goes up announcing that America's fastest growing discount store is coming to the small town of Juniper, the townspeople are ecstatic. But the store starts to have a strange influence on their lives, & the managers only come out at night.

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» See also 35 mentions

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Read in 2002 - pre-Goodreads

I'm not a real big fan of Bentley Little, but I like the fact that the area in AZ that his stories take place in is familiar to me. This was a good horror premise - Wal-Mart is taking over the world!! Well, he calls it THE STORE and as we can soon see, THE STORE is the devil.

( )
  Chica3000 | Dec 11, 2020 |
When the giant discount retailer known simply as The Store arrived in sleepy little Juniper, Arizona, the residents were pleased; after all, now they had a place that sold just about everything at very low prices right on their doorstep. But then the small local businesses downtown started to close, and the jobs started to dry up. Freelance tech writer Bill Davis felt suspicious about The Store from the beginning, but he couldn’t prevent his two daughters from taking jobs there, not even when people opposed to The Store start to disappear. How much of the town can The Store take over? Even Bill will be surprised to find out…. Bentley Little is a bit like Stephen King in the sense that he has a knack for creating characters that feel real to the reader, and also in the sense of writing horror from what seem to be very mundane aspects of modern life, such as a home-owners’ association or a chain discount retail store. I would never put his work on par with true “literature,” but he’s always easy to read and his books provide great escapism. Practically the perfect summer read, and recommended in that spirit. ( )
  thefirstalicat | Aug 19, 2019 |
Basically, what if Walmart was evil.

Oops. Let me rephrase that. What if...Walmart was run by a demon.

The Store comes to bumblefuck, AZ and puts all the local businesses out of business by offering more goods at lower prices (just like Walmart!). It destroys the town by lowering everyone's income and then offering them cheap goods as the only things they can afford (just like Walmart!). Then it kills people who revolt and steals their souls (well, one can argue that Walmart DOES suck your soul dry).

Only in "The Store", The Store itself is evil. It's built with blood and staffed with supernatural beings called the Night Managers. People who try to fight the Store end up dead, missing, or unwillingly become soulless members of the Night Manager crew.

It's an okay book. Like a modern day "Needful Things" or "Something Wicked This Way Comes" using a stand-in for Walmart as the purveyor of tainted/haunted goods that drive people to be evil. The problem I have with it, is 425 pages paint the hero into a corner against the unbeatable entity of The Store and its CEO Newman King. Then, in the last 5 pages, the hero finds a loophole to beat The Store and King. The only problem is this "loophole" is TOTALLY UNFATHOMABLE based on events that preceded the deus ex machina. If you're gonna create "rules" for your world, STICK TO THEM. Do not change them at the last minute to provide an out.

I got this from a list of 5 Recommended Books From Stephen King. I think he recommended it because he finally found someone who is worse at ending horror novels than he is. ( )
  writertomg | Sep 6, 2017 |
This was the July pick for my horror reading group. What a great choice it was! If you've ever been overjoyed at the prospect of your favorite big box store moving in to your community, this book might make you change your mind. Interesting idea well executed by the author. Recommended. ( )
  enemyanniemae | Jul 12, 2015 |
The store is a story of multinational companies and chain retail stores exploiting and manipulating the local populace. In a small town of Juniper The Store announces its arrival. Animals mysteriously die on the construction site. When the Store finally opens it initially provides lots of variety to the people at a cheaper rate. As time passes the local businesses go belly up and the Store expands its tentacles to engulf the whole town. As most of the people are direct or indirect employees of the Store no one dares to lift their voices to object. The voices which are raised are silenced.

Bill Davis, is a resident of Juniper who always found the Store suspicious and was opposed to it right from the start. Later when the local businesses went bankrupt he with his friend energetically oppose the Store to no avail. He is one day invited to visit the Store's headquarters in Dallas and there is convinced by the CEO Newman King to be a manager of the Store and gave him complete autonomy. Bill uses his power to bring Juniper to its former state and cast away the Store's shadow which puts him in direct conflict with Newman King. They have a final confrontation with eerie results.

Sometimes the narrative is unbelievable but its a horror story and such liberties are allowed. ( )
  mausergem | Jun 17, 2013 |
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When the sign goes up announcing that America's fastest growing discount store is coming to the small town of Juniper, the townspeople are ecstatic. But the store starts to have a strange influence on their lives, & the managers only come out at night.

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Average: (3.62)
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