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The Auctioneer (1975)

de Joan Samson

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4331258,154 (3.68)8
Auctioneer (Paperbacks From Hell)

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Mostrando 1-5 de 12 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
Només units podem vèncer l’enemic. ( )
  ConxaM | Feb 26, 2024 |
The Auctioneer av Joan Samson, är en novel uppbyggd som en allegori. Novellen handlar om korruption i en liten ort i USA där en aktionär sakta men säkert tar kontroll. Polisen finner sig korrupt och protagonisterna finner sig av konstant rädsla för deras egna liv samt egendom och stolthet. Abrupt slut som lämnar önskan av mer, men annars väldigt välskriven. Snabb läsning och rekommenderas något.
  Ayumey | Dec 31, 2023 |
The writing is as austere as the setting, which fits. This is a stark horror and it builds slowly. There is no monster here (except for the greatest monster of all–man).

Yes, this is one of those psychologically scary horrors like Oldboy or Se7en. Fear is created through a slow burn as the person terrorizing others is just a guy like you or me. And he does it by degrees, not in a single brutal slash. And you are left to wonder what you would do in this situation and finding yourself not liking the answer.

The novel, as written, was more an allegory of city people fleeing into the rural areas, gentrifying them, farmers getting shouldered off their land by weekend warriors and the invasion of suburbia. But you know how I interpreted it? I saw an allegory for how Native Americans were driven off their land. Getting increasingly worse deals for their property, always the threat of violence implied if they didn’t surrender.

The problem is that, like other horror novels I’ve seen, like in The Deep and Touch the Night, they get into a “horror loop”. They remember to include the scares but forget to move the plot along. The scary thing repeats and no one does anything about it. It’s like building a stack of papers one sheet at a time. Which, I guess, is what a book is. But for me, I need more development than that, not just scrapings. ( )
1 vote theWallflower | Nov 16, 2023 |
This is small town evil at its most chilling. I think stories like this serve as a reminder of how often people bend to the ideals of others......society in general falls in with the masses......and just how easily a dictatorship is born. We are always only one step away from this horror being a reality.

I found this by way of Grady Hendrix paperbacks from hell book. This is both enjoyable and spine tingling in its simplicity. A vintage classic that I recommended for everyone .....horror lovers and haters alike.....this is mild reality horror that can, and should, be enjoyed be all. ( )
1 vote Jfranklin592262 | Oct 24, 2023 |
When I was almost at the end of this book, I got a call that said my brother died. He died of covid-19, and all the people who selfishly will not stay home, wear their masks and social distance, have his blood on their hands.
I can barely function, and that includes writing reviews. I marked certain sequences in the book that spoke especially to me. So I'll include them here.
I will say, though, that this book treats with people letting bad things happen to them, and not doing anything about it. it seems to me that we here in 2020 in the United States are allowing the same thing to happen to us. I hope that when it's almost all gone we'll wake up, like they did in the book.

Hardcover 1975
" 'him a father,' John said, his foot up on the chair in front of ma, his elbow on his knee. 'God help the child. he used to have this dog. remember, ma? One of them black and white spotted hounds. He wanted that dog to be a killer. tried and tried to make him mean. But nothin' would do. The dog just put his tail between his legs and shivered. At school we'd all stand around, our eyes buggin' out to watch Red punish the beast. Once in winter, he lowered the dog into the well. and once he dragged him up to the roof of the schoolhouse and let him slide down and fall. He finally killed him feedin' him broken glass. he pulled the dog the whole way to school in a wagon so we could all see him vomit blood.' "

"So she had not overlooked the auctioneer's eye for her. John got out of his chair and moved slowly toward her. she met his eyes in the mirror and stiffened with alarm. His two hands landed on her arms. She froze as she stood. He felt the power in his hands and closed his eyes to stop himself. she wouldn't struggle. She never struggled. she let him have his way the first time he tried, when she was 15. Sometimes she had run away first into the darkness under the trees, but if he sat still, very still, she had always come back and let him have his way.
she bore the bruising grip on her arms with perfect stillness until he himself was trembling. He shoved himself away from her so that she staggered against the sink.
'why you brushin' your hair?' He shouted.
Hildie screamed with surprise and ran to her grandmother in the front room, dodging between John and mim."

".... the only thing they got a decent check for was the trunk full of mim's mother's letters and cards - thousands of them, gnawed at the corners by squirrels and sprinkled with the decaying lace from valentines. mim's mother had belonged to a quilting club, a flower club, a postcard club, and a match cover club, and she had corresponded with members from all over the country. every letter started with a flat chronicle of failures, deaths, and ailments. The letters her mother wrote back, mim thought, must have been almost indistinguishable from those she received. A large energetic woman, who believed every promise she ever heard, mim's mother had chafed at reality right up until the day she died. MIM had been one more failure. She'd married young; she'd married a farmer; she'd turned her back on the promise of her Young Beauty – that beauty which, according to all her mother's dreams, should have won her a doctor or a senator or a prince . The letters made mim uncomfortable. She half believed it was the complaining itself, the act of putting it on paper, that had kept her mother so unhappy. Herself, mim never put pen to paper if she could find any way to get around it."

"Perly stood with his arms folded in a graceful parody of John. his eyes reflected the rainy sky. 'we'll take 2,' he said.
'the hell you will,' John muttered. Then he said, forcing the words out slowly, 'get off my land.'
John turned and headed up The path toward the back door and his family. his body seemed numb and each step was an effort. he felt he was pushing not only through his fear of the gun and Gore's holster, but through walls of confounding anger as well.
He didn't hear the steps behind him or the rustle of clothing. without a sound of warning or the slightest appearance of haste, perly slid between John and the door he was approaching.
'did you want to consult your wife?' perly asked. he opened the kitchen door and caught mim tightly by the shoulder as she stepped away. He smiled down on her. she raised her eyes to his and the two were caught in the posture of young sweethearts.
John stopped.
Holding mim by the arm, lightly now, perly led her toward her husband.
John saw mim, pale and unfamiliar, walking obediently toward him in the crook of the strange man's arm, her body brushing his. Fear had blanked out all expression on her face.
catching his breath, John turned quickly away toward the pasture and the cows, his anger and the heaviness of the humid afternoon combining to stifle him. he moved toward the parh between the barn and the woodshed that led up into the pasture. Dixie darted out ahead of him and Lassie yapped along behind.
He moved up and up into his land. He could hear Gore puffing behind him, but he could only sense perly's silent tread. under the ash, a flat sharp stone, as big around as a milking pail, had fallen from the wall. It grew and changed in his sight as he approached, becoming a weapon.
when he got to the barbed wire section that opened to release the cows, he stopped until Gore and perly came up behind him and he could feel their breath swirling around his head. The stone was six feet ahead of them. He would wait until they were through the barbed wire. Perly came first, moving through as silent and effortless as a cat. Gore watched John as he went past, his small eyes cautious.
John noticed the empty holster first. then he saw the gun. Gore wasn't pointing it, just dangling it at his side, half hidden behind his broad thigh.
'well,' said the auctioneer, 'which of your pretty lasses Will you part with?' "

" 'I could work with flowers or cook. You're a good farmer. You're real good with stock. You know how to run the snow plow and the grader.'
John snorted. 'so does every jackass Farmer's kid in maine,' he said. 'you don't see the jobs in Harlow going to some poor slobs just showed up from nowhere without a penny in his pocket. Without the land, we're nothin'. Tramps. Gypsies. They'd think we was runnin' scared. They'd guess in a minute we was runnin' from the law." the thought gave John a certain sardonic pleasure. 'not far off the mark either,' he said.
'there's the city,' mim said. 'I bet they're not so close with jobs in the city. Can't be where everyone's strangers.'
'what do we know about the city?' John asked. 'and they'd see right off we wasn't onto their way of living. Pick our pocket, hit us over the head, stick a knife in our back. You want to bring up Hildie in the city?'
'but how will we live here?' MIM cried. 'he's got in mind to turn all Harlowe to his ends.'
'the land, mim,' John said reaching to touch her in spite of the ivy. 'the land is all we got. and what would it do to ma to tear her loose of it?'
'not all your talk can change things, John. what can we do but go?' mim sat up and her voice Rose over John's head. 'they give you choices, John – your blessed land or...' And her voice fell to a whisper. 'Think what happened to Tucker's boy. and them with so much more than us.' "

" 'now keep in mind," perly went on, his voice rising, 'this is a white child with the very best racial antecedents. her mother is part German and part swedish and her father is english. She promises to be your perfect blonde blue-eyed child. if you've tried to adopt a white infant elsewhere, you know you have to wait 4 years or so, and even then, if you have other children, it's virtually impossible. Independent adoptions like this one are entirely legal, but they're hard to find – very hard to find – especially if you want your perfect white brand-new baby.'
perly stopped. He stared at the back of the sanctuary and ran his eyes over every person there, as if he were privately making his choices among them then and there.
when he finally broke the uncomfortable silence, it was in a hard staccato voice. 'this baby is available now. Today.' He said. 'so unless you want your grandchildren to have slanty eyes or nappy hair, here's your chance. The fact is that you get what you pay for in this world.' " ( )
  burritapal | Oct 23, 2022 |
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Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
Joan Samsonautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Hendrix, GradyIntroduçãoautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado

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Auctioneer (Paperbacks From Hell)

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