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The Association Mass Market Paperback – September 1, 2001

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Signet (September 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451204123
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451204127
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 4.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (140 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,172,314 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

With this haunting tale, Little (The Town) proves that he hasn't lost his terrifying touch. Barry and Maureen Welch are thrilled to exchange their chaotic California lifestyle for the idyllic confines of Bonita Vista, a ritzy gated community in the unincorporated fictional town of Corban, Utah. But as Bonita Vista residents, they're required to become members of the neighborhood's Homeowners' Association, a meddling group that uses its authority to spy on neighbors, eradicate pets and dismember anyone who fails to pay association dues and fines. Maureen, an accountant, and Barry, a horror writer who is banned by the association from writing at home, soon find themselves trapped in the kind of deranged world that Barry once believed existed only within the safety of his imagination. The novel's graphic and fantastic finale demonstrates the shortsightedness of the Association and will stick with readers for a long time. Little's deftly drawn characters inhabit a suspicious world laced with just enough sex, violence and Big Brother rhetoric to make this an incredibly credible tale.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.


"You must read this book." Stephen King

"Fast-paced, rock-'em, jolt-'em, shock-'em...terror fiction. Unusually clever." Dean Koontz

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Customer Reviews

This book is fast paced and will keep you on the edge of your seat.
Amanda Rowell
Origins of some of the characters would have made the book a little bit more interesting instead of leaving a blank at the end of the book.
jennifer parker
This was the 5th book of Bentley Little that I have read and was the one I liked the most.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By TorridlyBoredShopper VINE VOICE on July 19, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Let's face it. Homeowner's Associations can be a tool dispensing a veritable fountain of useful dictations - provided that you want to follow them. They, the police policing policy, look through all the little things we do and they create bylaws to keep them from becoming too overwhelming. In some cases, that means that you wouldn't be allowed to have a basketball behind your house, keep a flagpole in your yard, or build that utility shed you wanted. In others, it could mean fines because you paint your house some strange color or because you put too many plants in your yard. And some, as Barry and Maureen Welch soon find out as they acquire a home in Bonita Vista - gated community in the middle of nowhere (the ultimate desire of the extremely wealthy to either live or vacation in) -, go farther, making life a miserable little game of limb loss and bully tactics.
What begins with an infraction for having a yard sale soon introduces the reader to a world that isn't such a nice place. Here, an Association lords over everything, hatching sinister plots while using a tome of laws they use like some kind of suburban bible. It is suspected of poisoning animals, of making people leaving int he middle of the night, and other rumors are spoken of about people always watching other people. This makes the residents therein all distrust one another, all thinking they're quite possibly spies for the Association. But why? What horror could possibly motivate people to think like that? Well, in answering that, you need to add in townsfolk living outside of the gated community that hate the residents therein for their own reasons, cats stuffed into mailboxes and tales of a man named Stumpy because of his lack of appendages, and monstrosities.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Sibelius on July 14, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
But ultimately 4-stars wins out - mostly for the sheer entertainment value this book presents.

The premise itself is almost laughable - Bentley Little is gonna conjure up a 438 page horror novel with a Tenants Homeowners Association as the source of evil? Unfathomable...and yet Little manages to pull off a very brisk and readable tome, that while isn't quite as horrific as some of his other works, is certainly as gory and suspenseful as anything he's ever done.

And while there are certainly a few head-scratching plot holes and inconsistencies - for anyone looking for a fun, readable book in this genre you really can't go wrong with this one.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By "22sherry" on June 25, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Barry and Maureen found the house of their dreams in a gated community in Utah. At first glance, they both fell in love with the breathtaking scenery. It was perfect.
When you buy a home in Bonita Vista, you are required to belong to a homeowner's association. Slowly the association invaded their lives and Barry and Maureen learned that any infraction of the rules could result in fines, physical punishment or death.
This dark and evil excursion across the pages led to a terrifying conclusion. I reside in a gated community and after reading this novel, I check all the doors and locks every night. At least twice.
If you want the hairs on the back of your neck to stand tall, this book is for you. Bentley Little has the knack of making the reader leave the lights turned on . . . . long after the book has been closed.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By S. Sommerville on September 29, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I enjoyed this book, and not just because I have some horror stories of my own to tell regarding those socialist homeowners associations. Little's take is exaggerated, weird, sick, outrageously over the top, satiracle and just plain fun.
We're talking about a group of older men who worship article 90 in the ccr handbook, who murder children, minorities and gays. An association that can watch your every move, that dictates not only which color you may or may not paint your house with, but that dictates who your friends are, how you are allowed to wear your hair, etc.
There are some gruesome butchery scenes described as well, and some loveable characters, like Stumpy, the limbless man who lives in the forest.
If you are familiar with Bentley Little, then I need say no more. If you are not, well all I can say is that you will most likely either love or hate him. His stories are extremely exaggerated, gory and full of satire. If you are easily offended, then you'll do well to avoid his works. If you happen to enjoy stories about talking macaroni, crazy James Dean cults and Wicked gated communities, then give his stuff a try, you'll be in for a treat.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. Surowiecki on September 20, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
My many thanks to Bentley Little for finally bringing to light the true evil that lurks in our world: The homeowner's association!
Anyone who has dealt with one will get the fiendishly tongue-in-cheek satire of the rules and regulations set by the Bonita Vista Home Association. Their audacity and absurdity are brilliant. That's where Bentley Little's newest story works best.
You can tell Bentley has an enormous amount of fun populating his novels. The characters are at once instantly recognizable, yet all have their own distinct underlying personalities.
Ray and Liz are the older neighbors who secretly defy the association and welcome in Barry and Maureen. Neil Campbell is the clipboard- toting neighborhood snitch. Jasper Calhoun is the mysterious Association president. And then there's Stumpy, the armless-legless-toothless-tongueless resident slinking around in the surrounding woodlands. (What? Doesn't your neighborhood have a Stumpy?!)
Bentley has obviously cast himself as the lead character of Barry Welch. Like Bentley, Barry's also a horror writer and there's nothing wrong with that. My only SLIGHT issue with "The Association" is a recurring theme that seemed to plague his last outing "The Town".
Several characters in his last novel were constantly saying things to the effect of: "It's just like a horror movie." In "The Association" Barry Welch has this annoying habit of referring to an event as something out of his own horror novels.
There are over a dozen such references of a situation being "something out of one of his horror novels". On Page 249 it happens twice in as many pages. It happens again (twice in as many pages) during the story's finale. That sort of took a bit away from an otherwise interesting read.
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