The Troop Book Review

If you’re looking to choose a bad-ass genre pseudonym, you could do a lot worse than ‘Nick Cutter’.

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Just ask author Craig Davidboy (Rust and Bone; the upcoming Cataract City), that dives confidently right into the horror genre through The Troop (February 25; Gallery Books), a harrowing campfire tale of trauma and also tapeworms.

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When Scoutmaster Tim drags five boy scouts out to an unpopulated island also for their yearly camping adundertaking, the appearance of a mysterious stranger serves as the catalyst for the gruesome nightmare that adheres to. Skinny and also emaciated to the point of near-death, the stranger (called the ‘Hungry Man’) is obviously ill and also malnouriburned, and, in the initially of many kind of bone-headed character decisions to follow, Scoutunderstand Tim decides to accept him right into their camp, tie him down, and feed him.

A general practitioner via dubious endure, Scoutmaster Tim then follows up that dipshit decision with an even dipshittier one: prompt exploratory surgical procedure, on a secluded island also, without correct clinical equipment, employing one of his scouts as an assistant. No wonder points go directly to hell. Scoutgrasp Tim’s spontaneous surgical procedure unleashes an experimental tapeworm on his dispaprice little troop of rejects. As the infected scouts start to revolve on the uninfected, the true nature of the bit badge-earning bastards is ultimately revealed.

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One of The Troop’s best toughness is its usage of squirm-inducing medical details re: tapeworms and also parasites. The narrative is occasionally interrupted by news stories or investigative records (in the acknowledgements, Davidkid cites Stephen King’s ‘Carrie’ as an influence), which heighten the reality of a truly scary story, part Stand by Me, component body horror gone rogue. Davidboy really lays on the grue, and at times the parasitical details carry the narrative.

But an abundance of flashbacks detracts from the claustrophobic vibe Davidkid is trying to pull off (‘this reminded (blank) of the moment (blank) happened’ becomes a strangely frustrating motif in the beforehand going), and while I realize it’s a valiant attempt to construct characters, it likewise completely removes the reader from Falstaff Island. And Falstaff Island is wbelow the scary stuff happens. Davidkid handles the genre tropes via the finesse of a veteran. But The Troop would have been much better if he’d trapped us where the horror is.

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Related Topics:Camping HorrorCraig DavidsonNick CutterParasitesStand also By MeStephen KingtapewormsThe Troop