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.