Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Mailman: 20th Anniversary Special Edition- Bentley Little

The Mailman: 20th Anniversary Special Edition

Bentley Little

Cemetery Dance, Apr 2012, $60.00

ISBN: 9781587672699

For many years reliable Bob Ronda delivered the mail to the residents of Willis Arizona. He was so dependable; his customers took him for granted. However, for no apparent reason, Bob commits suicide.

On the day of Bob’s funeral, his replacement John Smith is dressed in his postal blue uniform, which looks silly. Schoolteacher Doug Albin meets Smith and has a creepy crawly omen about the newcomer. Not long afterward, Doug thinks Smith tampers with the mail as bills fail to arrive and bad news is not delivered. Out of the blue Doug receives a letter informing him that his Bronco's power train warranty is extended for a year without charge; his wife Tritia obtains a free subscription to the Fruit-of-the Month Club; and their son Billy gets letters from his grandmothers containing money.

Soon their phone stops working, the power goes out and their water cut off. Doug goes to the water and power departments only to learn they received a letter signed by him to cut off his water and power because they are moving. Not long afterward, all the good mail turns ugly with nasty letters arriving. Doug knows the mailman is the cause, but unsure what he can do about this.

This is a reprint of a great Bentley Little 1991 horror thriller that focuses on an outside force negatively impacting a somewhat isolated town. Though some readers might feel the electronic explosion makes the storyline obsolete, the theme of what otherwise civilized good neighbors will do to one another when under extreme pressure remains strong. Family man Doug is the prime opponent of the Mailman, but his early warnings make him sound paranoid as everyone scoffs at his fears.

Harriet Klausner

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