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The Auctioneer
Joan Samson
“A well-made piece of dynamite. . . . For all their talk, the author seems to be saying men will permit their souls to be carried away bit by bit and auctioned off to the highest bidder. Samson has written a suspenseful, engrossing novel with the most gripping and violent ending we’ve encountered in some time.”—Newsday

“Really one of those books that once started you won’t be able to put it down. You’ll tell yourself that it couldn’t happen here, but Joan Samson is such a skillful and convincing writer that it will hold you as spellbound as are the novel’s characters themselves.”—St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Harrowing tensions explode in a series of events that could happen anywhere, to anyone, just as they do to John Moore—whose days of freedom run out, who is stripped of his possessions, his courage, and his hopes, by the ominous presence of an insidious stranger impossible to resist.

Published to wide acclaim in 1976, but almost neglected since then, The Auctioneer is a bona fide classic of American literature. The story of John Moore, his wife Mim, and his mother, it is a gripping tale of greed in a small town being quietly overrun by auctioneer Perly Dunsmore. Acclaimed by writers including Stephen King, and an influence on King’s Needful Things, The Auctioneer is here reprinted for the first time in thirty years.

Joan Samson (1937–1976) wrote The Auctioneer, her only novel, and was working on her second when she died of cancer.
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