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The Origin of the Crabs – Guy N. Smith

30 Jan

NEL-04388-b Smith Origin of the CrabsThe dog was a first class swimmer.  He had won two certificates in water tests.

Now with writing like this, you can’t go far wrong with this guilty pleasure which I’m enamoured with.  If this book sounds a little familiar to readers of longstanding, I refer you to the previous post I did on two of the other books in the Crabs series which you can find here.

This book is the third written but is a prequel to Night of the Crabs and Crabs’ Moon which are the two books that chronicles – from two different viewpoints – the first time the crabs made themselves known to us.

Thus hoping to gain insight into the genesis of the crustaceous carnage, I hoovered this book up with avid interest.

This time the drama is situated in Scotland and the action takes place on a country estate complete with the obligatory loch and repressed village, occupying stage left.

There is not so much an element of B-movie in between these covers but a full on homage taken to reverential proportions, it’s the van guard of the genre which I like to refer to as B-iterature.  In the style of all the best (or is that worst?) cheaply made film traditions, B-movie sex takes precedence over the marauding and devious crabs in the priority stakes and although not as saucy as some books it does make you feel a bit grimy for reading it.

It’s cliché, macabre and immensely if not excessively fun, part of that quite naturally comes from the very bloody and gruesome nature of the carnage inflicted on a bunch of short-sighted  – and close to hateful in most cases – characters.  I can’t blame them though, for if I had an internal monologue that gave such blatant exposition and reiteration I think I would struggle to live a normal life to the soundtrack of such an inane voice.

For all of its drama this book is more a more low-key affair than both of the Crabs books mentioned above.  It’s that slower more calculating air that feels like a response to the actions of the preceding story (even though it isn’t) and fleshes out the mentality and character, as far as it is able to do with a tribe sea dwelling psychopaths.

The crabs themselves are an interesting bunch, the origins of the crabs are revealed in a strangely muted and almost off-hand way, which leaves a lot open to speculation, having said that for a book of this nature, nothing technical is demanded, you see the flow and with it you go.  it is interesting that over three books I have read the witnesses can’t seem to decide on a standard crab size, which is quite annoying when your scale is forever being altered.  They are variously described as being as big as a dog, donkey, sheep, cow and horse.

It is nice to be able to pull something meaningful out of any book and this particular book can be views as a fitting allegory of the hunter and the hunted and how that can change through human intervention.  Nature always wreaks its revenge in some form and this slightly epic way she goes about it is a chilling albeit strange  and overly dramatic way to ask what our place on the planet and amongst other species is.  It seems no coincidence that Cranlarich, the estate where the action takes place, is a place of hunting and that is as far as the humans’ symbiotic relationship with nature goes.

In amongst all the serious books, this short pulpy horror – with shameless ‘erotica’, is worth making time for, it’s decently paced, frequently hilarious and a great way to waste your hard-earned time.  As a bonus you don’t have to have read any of the other books in the series to get the full enjoyment, just a willing suspension of disbelief and a lot of popcorn.

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22 Comments

Posted by on 30/01/2014 in Horror

 

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22 responses to “The Origin of the Crabs – Guy N. Smith

  1. Cory

    30/01/2014 at 19:32

    I must get my hands on this series. It sounds like a tremendous bout of escapism, in the vein of early James Herbert. Brilliant review!

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    • Ste J

      30/01/2014 at 19:35

      I can lend them to you, I own four so they are nice to stagger out, or devour in a day if you are so inclined. I’m surprised how long my review was by the time I had finished it, this is what happens when I find myself with more time on my hands.

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  2. Al

    30/01/2014 at 21:59

    It’s been a while since I have read a good horror. I have just recently had a Stephen King book turn up on my doorstep though. I think Smith was one of the authors I was milling over many years ago when looking for a substitute for Herbert when I had read all of his books at that time. Instead of Smith, I went for Shaun Hutson instead.

    Not sure if this would interest me though.

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    • Ste J

      31/01/2014 at 15:02

      You can’t go wrong with a King book. I have never come across Shaun Hutson but am very lacking in my variety of horror authors. Smith is great for a fun cheesy book, it’s like an 80’s film in words, if only there was a glam rock soundtrack that came with it.

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      • Al

        31/01/2014 at 16:11

        Oh excellent!! As long as it wasn’t The Darkness

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  3. Christina ~

    31/01/2014 at 01:07

    I do love reading your unique views on a book the majority of people wouldn’t truly appreciate in such a manner as you. That you could derive such an awesomely epic review from this…is quite the talent dearest sir….indeed! Very engaging…*almost* enough to entice me to read it…almost. xxxxxx

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    • Ste J

      31/01/2014 at 14:53

      I was surprised that I managed to talk about the various aspects of a 157 page book for so long…I am sure you will end up reading it and then the other five books because you are a completist! You do encourage my love of all things cheesy…except of course for cheese. xxxxxx

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  4. Alastair Savage

    31/01/2014 at 07:33

    It’s funny how bad books create the best reviews. I wonder if I could get this crustaceous carnage for my Kindle? I suspect that it’s mostly available in charity shops next to 50 Shades of Grey and 1970s paperbacks of Jaws.

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    • Ste J

      31/01/2014 at 14:56

      I believe the books are now on Kindle and hopefully if they become a success they may reprint the books in a proper, real format. What a cringeworthy thought imagining all the old ladies picking up Fifty Shades…sometimes my imagination is just to vivid. Bad books are great, I suppose it allows us to get our rant on and then through the floodgates the word just violently pour forth.

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  5. RoSy

    01/02/2014 at 17:45

    Sounds crabtacular!
    I couldn’t resist. 😆

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    • Ste J

      02/02/2014 at 16:31

      Haha, a welcome addition it is too…I did do one of those groans but that is only because it is expectedly, secretly I sniggered.

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  6. thejerseygal®™

    08/02/2014 at 03:30

    Where is Quentin Tarantino? Movies need to be made here! But really, crabs? And a little gratuitous sex? Weird. Intriguingly so. Haha

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    • Ste J

      08/02/2014 at 11:26

      Please not Tarantino, he’s take liberties with this masterpiece lol. It is a bit of an oddity, I think that is why I like it.

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      • thejerseygal®™

        08/02/2014 at 17:37

        Ah, so you agree Tarantino isn’t all that and a bag of chips?

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        • Ste J

          09/02/2014 at 16:57

          A bag of chips, that’s one thing I missed in America, English fish and chips. Tarantino doesn’t really grab me, I have seen three or four of his films and none have particularly grabbed me. I’m a maverick like that.

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          • thejerseygal®™

            09/02/2014 at 17:50

            Ok. I’ll bite. English fish and chips? Exactly what is it? I don’t like his films. They are far-fetched.

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            • Ste J

              09/02/2014 at 17:54

              Don’t forget over hyped and way to ‘cool’. Our chips are so different from you fries, all chunky and big and the taste is just great. Nothing beats a bag (you have to eat them out of wrapped up old newspaper!) of fish and chips in the sun.

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              • thejerseygal®™

                09/02/2014 at 17:57

                Mickey Dee’s is quite yucky-licious.
                Oh chips are like french fries. How about the fish? Is it fried flounder? Do you douse it with vinegar?

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                • Ste J

                  09/02/2014 at 18:03

                  Usually Cod or Haddock. You guys don’t have vinegar on the tables over there so I have got used to not having any but with chips it is a must.

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                  • thejerseygal®™

                    09/02/2014 at 18:05

                    We have a place a few towns away and a few down the NJ shore that do the fish-n-chips and yes, vinegar. It’s good!

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                    • Ste J

                      09/02/2014 at 18:13

                      Wonders never cease, yours is truly a land of opportunity!

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                    • thejerseygal®™

                      09/02/2014 at 20:44

                      Ha! Or missed opportunities!

                      Like

                       

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