The Resort by Bentley Little
Review by Michael McCarty
by Bentley Little
For the almost three decades, Bentley Little has been writing sophisticated horror novels that offer social commentary in addition to the frights. His books raise horror fiction to the next level – they are spooky and thought-provoking at the same time. This is evident in all of his novels including The Policy, The Ignored, University, The Store, The Town, The House, and his short story collections The Collection and Walking Alone.
Lowell Thurman wants to avoid his twentieth high-school reunion, so he books his family for a relaxing retreat at a five-star resort, the Reata (probably named after the family ranch in the movie “Giant with James Dean), located in the middle of the Arizona desert. Normally, that sort of vacation would be beyond the Thurman’s price range, but during the summer, this lush getaway offers cheaper rates because nobody wants to be stuck in the middle of nowhere in blistering temperatures.
At first the Reata seems like a paradise for Lowell, his wife Rachel, and the kids – the exclusive resort has pools, a spa, a gym, fine dining and many sport activities.
But then things start getting weird. The Thurmans’ boys see a dead body at the bottom of the swimming pool. A stranger takes over their room when they go out for the evening and steals a pair of Rachel’s panties (only one pair?).
The staff acts very odd and soon, some of the guests start disappearing. The hotel starts to feel like high school again – jocks, bullies, the need to conform to socially fit in. And, yes, there are all sorts of ghastly acts of violence.
A strange and surreal trip, this is Bentley’s best book since The Store. It is, in fact, the most innovative variation on the haunted hotel novel since Stephen King’s The Shining.
I enthusiastically recommend it.
I did a great interview with Bentley Little in my book MODERN MYTHMAKERS: 35 Interviews with Horror & Science Fiction Writers and Filmmakers.
And right now the ebook is only .99 cents (less than a buck, folks)!
Here is my shameless plug of MODERN MYTHMAKERS. Please read on:
… please check out Modern Mythmakers. The ebook right now is only .99 cents.
Modern Mythmakers is a collection of 35 interviews from horror and science fiction’s most influential writers and filmmakers, including…
•William F. Nolan
•The Night of the Living Dead crew (including John Russo, Kyra Schon and Russ Streiner)
•and of course, Bentley Little
…and many more.
•Science fiction & fantasy interviews
•Films and Television
•Films and screenplays