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The Academy

3.57 of 5 stars 3.57  ·  rating details  ·  1,040 ratings  ·  79 reviews
Here's one good reason for staying home from school... Something strange is happening at Tyler High. The laid-back principal has become unusually strict. The janitors no longer work nights because of what they hear. The students are frightened by what they see. And things are happening on school grounds that defy rational explanation. But there is an explanation. It's just ...more
ebook, 400 pages
Published August 5th 2008 by Signet Book (first published January 1st 2008)
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Are you afraid of the principal's office? Do you have nightmares about your mother posing nude in art class? Does the thought of spanking your phys ed teacher's bare ass send chills down your spine? Are you frozen in terror by the word "feces"? Then maybe The Academy by Bentley Little will scare you. Maybe.

I bought the Academy to read after liking Little's previous work, The Burning. Unfortunately, The Academy is like it was written by a completely different author; an inept, confused, strugglin
Bad. Really bad. I finished it just out of curiosity. Example sentence: "Even as creepy as she seemed these days, Jody would not have defecated in a book." AHAHAHAA! So, at least I got a laugh out of it.
Stuart Nachbar
A Charter School Horror Story

I am not a huge fan of the horror genre, but as an education writer I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to read a horror story set in a charter school. That has to be a high-water mark for the charter school movement, to become a subject front and center in a mass-market chiller. The Academy, written by Bentley Little, is about a California high school, the fictional John Tyler High, that elects to go charter to get out of from under the grasp of a fundamentalist scho
I am not sure where this book was aimed. I guess Mr. Little either hates, is scared of or does not understand charter schools. Maybe he is on a school board somewhere and is upset because a charter school cut him out of the decision making process. In any case, this book makes the charter system the horror villain with a school that has gone terribly wrong. The principal is possessed by the ghost of a previous school system leader. I think that is what the thing was about. Any way it was a quick ...more
Michael Mallory
Bentley Little is an author who has a definite style and format, bordering on formula, and "The Academy" definitely falls into it. The Little "shtick" is to create an entity--in this case a public high school that decides to become a charter school, and ends up being the charter school from hell--and then track how the people who have to deal with the entity become engulfed in its evil. Little builds the tension slowly and effectively, following a teacher at the school and a trio of students who ...more
Nick Anderson

Mrs. Baltz

Pre-AP English 10

December 11, 2008

The Academy By: Bentley Little

John Tyler High School closed down last year. A lot of teachers were worried about what they were going to do for jobs. Luckily Linda Webster one of the English teachers received a letter from the Principal Jody Hawkes saying that the district was going to have a meeting about the future of Tyler High School. The meeting was about Tyler High becoming a charter school. They would be free to teach the way the
I was a huge fan of the horror novel in the 80's, particularly during the Ruby Jean Jensen and William Johnstone years, but haven't really been reading many since then. According to other reviewers, this book is not up to Bentley Little's usual standards...well, I can at least agree that although this was a good premise, this wasn't a great book. It was far too littered with left wing politics (although that can certainly be a horror story in and of itself ;), but also, it just didn't flow. Ther ...more
11811 (Eleven)
This kinda sucked. It's only my second Bentley novel. I thought The Store was decent but this one was like a carbon copy. First, Walmart is evil. Now, charter schools are evil. Is the author always like this? I like my horror to be agenda-free. If a political statement is to be made, for the love of God, at least keep it subtle. There was nothing subtle here.

I rest my case with a quote from one of the main characters - "The only question is, is this a charter school because it's evil, or is it e
‘The Academy’ is about a charter school which appears to be haunted, causing teachers and students to behave inappropriately. The principal, Jody has become strict and behaves strangely, some students start seeing ghosts, the night shift janitors are afraid and there’s defecation. Yes, seriously.

The plot sounds interesting but the execution was laughable. There were maybe two or three scary bits but other than that, the book was bogged down by all the pointless inappropriate sexual deviance whic
OK, I brought this as a trashy beach read. And ignoring the fact that it's too cold and wet for the beach, I should've been able to enjoy some pulp fiction, right?

The Academy was AWFUL. The plot made no sense. The characters were stupid. It wasn't at all scary. And the sex and violence were gross because they involved high-schoolers.

All of which might've been OK if the book had been in any way fun, which it wasn't.

We'll see if I can bring myself to try the other Little I brought on the trip.
Sep 15, 2008 Tressa rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: horror fans
Shelves: horror
OK. I'll admit that I've been a Bentley Little fan for years. I love how he shocks me with innappropriate action that occurs in an innocent setting, e.g. a mega-store; a postal route; a luxury resort. But his shtick is getting a little too formulaic for my tastes.

This book reminded me of so many of his others: The University; The Store; The Policy.

His The Ignored and The Postman stray a little from the formula and were enjoyable.

Keep writing, Bentley, but shake it up a little!
 Eden Creed
This is one of the most bizarre and unrealistic books I have ever read. And while that could be a great thing and work really well in a horror book, in this one...not so much. The tale was disjointed, there was barely any personality to a lot of the characters and you just had to go by the fact that they were labeled either "good" or "bad" guys, and the emotional grid of the story was not so much creepy as disgusting. It took more than half the book to get the meat of the story, and when I final ...more
Rather anticlimatic ending and very little is explained about what happened at the school in the end. A lot of build up for very little pay off. Also does this person just have a strong loathing of Charter schools or something? Parts of this just read like someone who wanted to write about charter schools that hated them. Kinda like when you're a kid and you write about your siblings being abducted by aliens or something cause you're mad at them?

I don't know. It wasn't as good as I thought it wo
In all my years of reading I have NEVER read anything as disturbing as this book, though I do wish the ending had been more clear. It makes sense but I wish there had been more explanation of why the teachers became so sexually deviant because that came out of left field. The book certainly set up a creepy environment and a host of creepy characters, but I do wonder: Why did nothing really happen to Linda's family? Everyone else suffered in some way except her. Even the kids dealt with more than ...more
Tom M
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I've not really read that much by Bentley Little, other than a collection of his short stories (featuring the fantastic short "Washingtonians"). After staring at book after book of his in my bookstore & vowing to read more of him, I finally picked up a copy of his to read.

The Academy features a cast of characters (only a handful of which you really need to remember) who attend or work at John Tyler High School, a school that has recently turned into a charter school. This means that while th
Kim Smiley
Ok, I think I'm just getting a little tired of reading this type of book. Lately, all of the Bentley Little books I read seem to be the same. The Academy left me, quite frankly, bored. It took me forever to finish this book and I even skipped some just to get it overwith.

Normally I love his books and I tear right through them, but not this one. In fact, I read 4 other books after I started this one, which never do. If I'm reading a book I read it, finish it and then on to the next. This one just
Benjamin Thomas
The final book I read on my Spring Break trip (actually only made it half way through before the trip ended so I finished over the weekend) was "The Academy" by Bentley Little. Mr Little writes in the horror genre and this is perhaps the 8th or 9th book I've read by him. He likes to take ordinary circumstances that most of us have had to deal with and then put in a horror element that then spirals out of control. Previous topics have included "The Store", one of my favorites which turns the loca ...more
Dave Moore
His writing is not the most sophisticated, his plots are not the most intricate, and his characters are not the most developed, but NOBODY, and I include the incomparable Stephen King and the iconic HP Lovecraft, I mean NOBODY taps into that channel of innate fear we all carry like Bentley Little. This guy makes getting a cup of coffee, brushing your teeth, or driving to work into a creepy, disturbing experience. He masterfully sets an atmosphere and describes the mundane in terms of menacing, m ...more
This was my first Bentley Little book and there will be others. I thought it was creepy and liked that he didn't try to make sense of the supernatural happenings by giving them some real world explanations.

My biggest complaint was with the heavy-handed way charter schools were discussed. Instead of being an allegory about charter schools, the author took a direct route and regularly inserted commentary about charters complete with statistics and opinions. Most came off as disingenuous and obviou
William M.
Anyone who knows the work of Bentley Little can guess what The Academy is about. Although I still enjoy his work and the gimmicks he comes up with, I really need more than an evil fill-in-the-blank that slowly takes over a fill-in-the-blank. Even the ending is what I predicted at the start of the book, and while it may be the logical conclusion, I was hoping Bentley would have put a deeper layer of thought behind this one.

His technical writing is always very proficient, but I felt a few plot li
Jeremy Hurd
Almost 3.5 stars, except that it seems like only half of a book. Little sets up a scary, fast-moving plot that gets increasingly ridiculous as the novel goes on--and just when it's getting good--kind of lets it end with a thump. The ending isn't necessarily unsatisfying (although I didn't love it), but comes way too early in the story, sort of fizzling out while leaving a huge number of loose ends.
Alyson Dickerman
I generally like Bentley Little's horror stylings, but this one really misses the mark. While the premise is interesting, a High School in California being systematically possessed by something strange, it never really lives up to the potential. There are way too many loose ends, and Little introduces some horror elements that he never explains or fleshes out. I read the whole book in one sitting and did enjoy it. However, I found that there were too many boring details (to wit: how a public sch ...more
The storyline in this novel isn't nearly as bad as some reviewers here would have you believe. My main complaint is that the ending was fairly unsatisfying.

Like a number of Bentley Little books that I've enjoyed overall, this one ends too abruptly after spending 300 pages building an atmosphere of dread and downright creepiness, throwing together a conclusion with not much explanation and too many loose ends in an attempt to leave the reader with a sense of underlying mystery and unease.

Is it w
Paul Flint
I find this book very entertaining, but funny in a strange way, as the teachers are totally raving bonkers, not read all of it yet I must admit but I'm laughing a lot Ha
my god this author has fantasy and can write! page turner... also like the sex descriptions with bentley...
Stephen King recommended author. He says: "BEST OUTRIGHT HORROR NOVELIST. Bentley Little, in a walk. Don't know Bentley Little? You're not alone. He's probably the genre's best-kept secret, but at least 10 of his novels are available in paperback; you can pick up three for the price of that flashy new hardcover you've got your eye on. The best thing about Little is that he can go from zero to surreal in 6.0 seconds. My favorites are The Store (think Wal-Mart run by SAYYY-tan) and Dispatch, in wh ...more
This book was readable, but just not believable.
First of all, it seemed like there were too many
main characters. Or there wasn't one definite
main character. Something wasn't right.

Also, I could not believe that no one ever went
to the police. Brad's mom was beat up, and it is not
reported. Then she doesn't believe him about the
kid in the bonfire. People getting killed or
missing, and the police were never notified? Hard
to believe.

I am not giving up on Bentley Little, but I did
not care for this b
Paula Mcgrath
Completely different way of looking at horror. It's nice to read a fresh perspective on the genre. This was a fun, suspenseful book. Will definitely read Little's other works.
Little is one of my favorites, and despite the book's slow start, it--for the most part--satisfies. All the usual Little horror hallmarks are present in this inventively original horror story, if an albeit slightly quick ending, I liked this novel. Little has been espousing his political beliefs in the past few books and while I know every author has a right to do this, I kinda wish he'd not. It is subtle, but there. Having said that, I recommend this to Little readers and new ones.
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Bentley Little is an American author of numerous horror novels. He was discovered by Dean Koontz.

Little was born one month after his mother attended the world premiere of Psycho. He published his first novel, The Revelation, with St. Martin's Press in 1990. After reading it, Stephen King became a vocal fan of Little's work, and Little won the Bram Stoker Award for "Best First Novel" in 1990. He mo
More about Bentley Little...
The Store The Association The House The Collection The Haunted

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