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The Association

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  4,278 Ratings  ·  171 Reviews
Thriller by the Bram Stoker Award-winning author of The Walking. "Follow the rules. Don't say a word. And lock your doors." Those were the rules of the homeowners' association Barry and Maureen joined when they moved to Colorado. They didn't know the association might kill them.
Published January 1st 2001 by A Signet Book
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Adam Light
Bentley Little's The Association is one wild and crazy book. I read this really fast. It was almost impossible to put down actually. This is one I would recommend to any horror fan. I really enjoyed it.
Barry and Maureen are tired of California. They get a great deal on an ideal home in the mountains of Utah. Hell, they even get the seller to come down 15 thousand on the price. They have to join join a homeowner's association, but that's no big deal. They figure it can't be all that bad.
Turns out
Jul 31, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
This is, and I don't want to mince words here, a profoundly dumb book.

Some plot points include indentured servitude, an armless, legless character named "Stumpy," and the hero is at one point saved by virture of another character wearing a bathrobe. There are times while I was reading this book that I simply had to laugh out loud at the implausability of the damn thing.

The Association isn't going to take home any literary honors... and yet... it's a damn fine horror novel.

Horror as a genre work
Jan 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Association is my first Bentley Little. I don’t know what took me so long to get to him. I have stockpiling his stuff for a while.

Welcome to the Bonita Vista Homeowners Association. The dues are killer. This is one HOA that you do not want to cross. This was a pretty good tongue-in-cheek horror romp thru your everyday, quiet, upscale gated community. A quaint 3 bedroom / 2 bath, complete with an evil organization that landscapes your yard and paints your house for you. Nice.

Hey, No pets! Bel
Jeremy Bates
Jan 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Barry and Maureen have just been approved as tenants by the Association. Pity they never read the fine print on the lease. It could be the death of them...

That's the blurb of The Association, and if you live in a gated community and hate your local homeowners association, this is the book for you!

I read the novel about ten years ago and enjoyed it a lot. I found it at my parent's place while visiting for Christmas and decided to give it another go--and I still found it an engrossing, fun read.
Dec 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very gratifying escapist horror.
I really enjoy Little because he has perfected the art of slow-build, get-under-your-skin horror, so that even the most outlandish premise is arrived at with you absolutely believing in the story.
The gated community of Bonita Vista and the surrounding town of Corban are so wonderfully described they felt utterly real to me, which is what makes the ensuing horror all the more effective.
Characterisations were good, and I could imagine only too easily how our main m
Sep 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
I really liked this book. This was my first Bentley Little read. The plotting and dialogue was tightly woven- this reads like a mild cross between Laymon and King. It felt a bit like a mystery as the plot unraveled. This is largely why it worked for me. Yes, this story requires a healthy suspension of disbelief at times. But that was part of the fun.
I liked the characters and felt a bit trapped along with them. They is a general tension and creepiness that the author skillfully maintains through
Jennifer Lucey
Jan 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I really liked this book in part because I really dislike society.
This was a really interesting and realistically-scary idea.
I only deduct some because there were some questions that it would have been nice to have more specific answers to.
In all honestly, more like a 2.5 but I'm rounding up because I sincerely did enjoy reading it. I don't think it is Little's best though which is unfortunate because it has such and interesting premise and elements to it. This book suffers from just being too long with too many unimportant elements. The middle of the book REALLY drags; most of which are just supposed to add to the atmosphere but instead, it made me want to yell 'Get on with it already!' - I think the fact that it does drag for so ...more
Oct 18, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A short take:

Wow, this book is ridiculous! It is also fun, propelled by breezy prose and peppered with bizarre anecdotes. It may be classified as horror, but its contents are so wacky as to elude any one genre. I was certainly entertained.

More thoughts:

The premise here is ludicrous, and I give Little kudos for keeping it all together and interesting for over 400 pages. I also appreciate that the protagonists questioned both events and their own decisions. "Why am I putting up with this crazines
Jan 10, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Scary, addictive, and a great read. The story is over the top, and the ending was ridiculous, but it does examine the dangers of a society becoming too complacent and allowing its freedoms to be eroded.
Mar 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bentley-little
This may be the first horror novel I’ve read that I can relate to. I lived in a townhouse with an Association back in the day and this book brought back horrific memories of getting the awful notice letters in reference to rules I’d violated or repairs I was being ordered to make based on their regulations. Of course Little takes it to a whole different and terrifying level but man did I connect with this book. Five stars for scaring the heck out of me and reminding me of why I’ll never live in ...more
The Behrg
I'm a fan of Bentley Little's prose and dark stories and have read quite a few of his works. I consider him one of the great 'old-school' horror novelists. While "The Association" was a fascinating read, it didn't provide what I was hoping for. The premise is easy to understand from the title, a home-owners association which is evil. Yet I felt this novel followed the dotted lines a little too carefully, hitting everything you suspect it will hit but never coming out with a full swing or surpris ...more
Maya Ivers
Jan 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite-authors
I worship at the altar of Bentley Little's twisted mind. In my opinion, he defines the horror genre. His ability to twist the most mundane, "normal" things into terrifying circumstances is genius. Reading his books leave you disturbed long after turning the last page, and that is what I look for in a good horror author. This book, in particular, is a social commentary that is very relevant right now. Home owner's associations are definitely pushing the boundaries these days, and every time I see ...more
Tee Jay
Oct 08, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Well I'm done. With about 80% of this novel finished, I just can't stomach it any longer. I've thrown in the towel and I'm putting it away for good. It's that bad.
The premise, from beginning to end, is ridiculous and totally unbelievable. More, the characters are flat, two-dimensional, and void of any redeeming qualities whatsoever. What a dud! The dialogue is also forced, contrived, and overly used as a plot advancement technique. Way too much.
In the end, I'm equally disappointed with myself
Jun 17, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Little enjoys asserting poorly thought-out social commentary into his books. While The Policy was a warning about the evils of the insurance industries, this book is a commentary on the evils of gated communities. Too bad he doesn't bother to do much sociopolical research or make much of an effort to end his books in a different way than any of his others. What he lacks in plot substance, however, he makes up for in endless repetition of the same phrases. I will always fondly remember and giggle ...more
Feb 15, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you love horror and hate homeowner's associations this book is for you. Very entertaining. I saw someone say this is a very dumb book, which it probably is, but it's one of those horror books that makes you laugh at the same time. Who doesn't love an armless, legless man named Stumpy?
This book was a fun read. The reader cannot slow down and really think too deeply about the situation in order to maintain the suspension of disbelief, however, it certainly reinforced my dislike and distrust of homeowner associations. After finishing the book, I was thoroughly happy in my ownership of a historic fixer-upper located in a small town with clear and fair zoning ordinances. If I lived in a homeowner association community I probably would have been pretty paranoid after completing th ...more
Kelly Gunderman
Dec 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I've read this book twice now, and the second time through was even better the first. Creepy, enthralling, and downright freaky, this book has a way of making you want to stay awake all night and keep reading. It certainly makes me never want to live in a home owner's association!
Oct 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book I have read by Bentley Little and I was not disappointed. It was disturbing and exciting. Makes me very glad my neighborhood doesn’t have a HOA.
Theresa Raymer
Oct 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this was a very good story. I will say I'm happy that I live in the country where I'm free to do as I please with my land and house. After reading this book I would never want to live in a gated community.
Mar 23, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People with high tolerance for stupidity
The book started out good enough, successful couple buys into a gated community not realizing how insanely strict the home owners association is. Start getting fined for seemingly ridiculous but credible things (at least to anyone who's been a HOA member). Creepy things, inexplicable things start happening, tension builds... and things start to get dumb, like how the couple ignores all the fines that are levied until they owe more in fines than the house is worth. (despite the wife being a finan ...more
Kim Smiley
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jessica B
This It has an interesting premise, and I've been told that there is a movie based in it somewhere, but the way it goes about certain events is just unbelievable; the ending is also pretty ridiculous. It starts out with this couple who move from the city to the "perfect" community out in the middle of nowhere. The view is beautiful, the house is lovely, and it seems like a good place to set roots. However, all is not well when the Homeowners Association shows their authority. They ha ...more
Mar 26, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Ok what the heck?
Rolling right along on this bumpy, stressful, twilight zone tail of owning a home within a home owners association from hell. Then all of a sudden the ending fizzles out to this?!?! The ending was stupid, and left more than one loose end. (I HATE loose ends). It may be just me, but it seems like Mr. Little got up and left for a while and someone else with a hiked up imagination came in and finished the book for him. I mean I have some questions here!!
I gave it 2 stars because
J. Ewbank
This was an interesting book with a plot that is very unusual and not dreamed of. A young couple found the house that they liked and it did not both them, or would not have bothered most of us, that they had to join an association.

However this association gets more involved in the details of life and living than they, or we, would have ever dreamed.

The plot of what happens next is the rest of the story. It is an enjoyeable read.

J. Robert Ewbank author "John Wesley, Natural Man, and the 'Isms'"
Jan 14, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book can be highly entertaining as long as one accepts that it is more of a satire than a horror novel. The main criticism seems to be that the plot becomes ridiculous at a certain point, and that the characters are dumb and complacent for staying in the situation as long as they do. However, I see this as commentary on just how much people are willing to put up with in order to maintain the illusion of an upper-middle class lifestyle as long as things continue to look perfect on the surfac ...more
I really wanted to give this book 5 stars. And I was close to doing so, however, the last few pages of the book ruined it for me. The Association was such a great read, it had an interesting and unique story line, all up until the very end, where it severely fell apart. It's as if Bentley Little didn't know how to wrap up the story, so he came up with a lame and rather stupid ending.
Dez Nemec
Jul 07, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a GREAT book for those of us suffering under the tyranny of a homeowners association. It also made me feel better about my HOA...after all, at least we are allowed to have pets and eat Chinese here!
Oct 27, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Slow burn horror novel about a young upper class married couple who move into an exclusive gated community to find that it's governed by the HOA from hell. Started out very strong, then became utterly ridiculous and unbelievable throughout the second half.
Kurt Reichenbaugh
Jun 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Go ahead and give the bastards a little bit of authority. And keep telling yourself "As long as I'm not doing anything wrong, I should have nothing to worry about." Repeat over and over and over...

Little's at his best when he's angry.
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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

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