Friday, May 11, 2018

Horror List Book Review: The Ignored


I'm reading through three lists of best horror with two friends (DeAnna Knippling and M.B. Partlow), posting reviews as we go. (For more information, including a list of the books, see this post.)


This week, I'm reviewing The Ignored, by Bentley Little.



This one gave me a lot of mixed feelings.


I found the idea intriguing, but at times it dragged and felt like the main character was whining endlessly about his own insecurities. And I felt the premise pushed the boundaries too much for me to get behind. Yet I found myself returning to the story each day and having trouble putting the book down, because I wanted to see where Little took it.

The Ignored is about a Bob Jones, a regular schmo. Overlooked by those around us, the only attention he gets is from a boss that seems to have it out for him. He never gets a word in edgewise. No one at work invites him out or talks to him. His job is dull and takes no skill.

His doubts about himself at work extend to his home life, and he starts questioning his significant other's interest in him. Ultimately, he falls in with a crowd of his fellow Ignored, leading to terrorism in an attempt to become visible to society.

Oddly, this story brought to mind the book American Psycho, but combined with Office Space. Instead of discussing the numbness of society and its reliance on consumerism, it addressed feeling lost in life and trying to stand out, plus the generic middle of the road variety of consumerism, where what's readily available is what is pleasing or at least neutral to the average person. Patrick Bateman (American Psycho) disappears behind his grandstanding and brand knowledge (and everyone else's dire self-involvement), despite his violent and narcissistic tendencies, whereas Bob Jones just disappears, because he's every-man. He's nothing. He's forgettable. Given, it turns out there are other reasons for how average Bob Jones is and why he's Ignored, but in general he's representing the average guy, lost in a dead end job, invisible to his peers. 

I was unprepared for the fantastical elements that came into play later in this book, so they threw me. Don't let the premise fool you--there is violence and there are weird things that happen. So, while it may sound fairly mundane, it isn't.

The book makes an impact for sure. I imagine I'll keep waffling on how I feel about it for a long time to come. There's no doubt it's skillfully written, though.

My top ten remains the same.


My Top Ten:


1. The Handmaid's Tale (Margaret Atwood)
2. The Girl Next Door (Jack Ketchum)
3. The Bottoms (Joe R. Lansdale)
4. Coraline (Neil Gaiman)
5. The Bridge (John Skipp and Craig Spector)
6. A Choir of Ill Children (Tom Piccirilli)
7. Needful Things (Stephen King)
8. 1Q84 (Haruki Murakami)
9. Those Who Hunt the Night (Barbara Hambly)
10. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)

My next review will be of Joe R. Lansdale's The Drive-In.

Now for some links. Bear in mind I'm not endorsing them, merely passing them along. Always do your own due diligence before submitting.

Accepting Submissions:

Subprimal is seeking poetry and flash fiction. Pays $20. Deadline June 15.

Independent Legions Publishing is holding a horror novella contest. The winner gets published with a $600 advance. 45,000 to 50,000 words. Deadline June 15.

Lamplight is seeking literary dark fiction. Short stories and flash fiction. Up to 7000 words. Pays $.03/word. Deadline June 15.

Spider Magazine is seeking fiction, poetry, activities, etc. appropriate for ages 6-9 with the theme of Monsters. 300 to 1000 words. Pays up to $.25/word. Deadline June 15.

Have you ever read The Ignored? How about other works by Bentley Little? Do you ever feel ignored/invisible? Are any of these links of interest? Anything to share?

May you find your Muse.

8 comments:

  1. So you didn't really like it but the story still captivated you? Those kinds of books can almost drive you batty.

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    1. That's exactly it. I didn't like it, but the writing was well executed. The story is what lost me.

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  2. Your review makes it sound as though the book is a bit odd, different, maybe off-kilter. And THAT makes me want to read it. Thanks for telling us about it.

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    1. That's the perfect thing about reviews! What I don't like may be exactly what someone else likes. Hope you enjoy it!

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  3. I haven't read a lot of horror. I do dip my toe in once in a while. Just finished Craven Manor. Haven't reviewed it yet, because I'm still processing what I liked and what bothered the heck out of me. I'll make a note about The Ignored because you seem to have had a similar experience as mine.

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    1. I'll have to look into Craven Manor. I imagine it's a positive thing when we come away from a story twisted up and thinking about it.

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  4. Hi Shannon!

    I haven't read The Ignored (yet) but I have read The Resort and The Mailman. You've pegged his (Bentley Little) style quite well; about the time you feel like yawning you're suddenly biting your knuckle ;-) Throw in the fact that I know many of his settings (Arizona)and it's enough to consider the use of tiny rear-view mirrors on my sunglasses.

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    1. He's good at that sort of thing, and of writing horror into every day settings. I may have read The Resort, but I'm pretty sure I haven't read The Mailman. Will have to check it out.

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