Review: The Auctioneer

Book cover to The Auctioneer by Joan Samson.

The Auctioneer
by Joan Samson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Auctioneer is a fascinating story of the slow unraveling of a town and its people. When a charming auctioneer shows up in a small town in New Hampshire, everyone is excited as he works his skills to convince people to donate to a weekly auction and effortlessly builds up funds for the police force. But his appetite for donations continues to grow as people have less and less to give and that's when bad things start happening to people. John Moore and his family watch as they find themselves compelled and subtly threatened to give away almost everything own, piece by piece and a biting tension builds throughout the town. Samson does so well with the delivery of the story that it feels like a warm smile slowly morphing into a menacing smile and the reader, like the townsfolk, is never quite sure when that line is crossed. In many ways, the story is reminiscent of Shirley Jackson's The Lottery in the ways in which the people collectively submit, even if they collectively suffer.

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