Friday Favorites: The Troop

the troopWhen I first read the author blurbs for The Troop by Nick Cutter, I wasn’t convinced that this book was as twisted and disgusting as everyone made it out to be.

Boy, was I wrong.

The reviews are legitimate. This is a horrifically disturbing, gruesome, shocking novel, like a death-defying roller coaster that you will only ride if someone dares you to.  There’s not much to discuss in terms of plot, since the initial premise gives you a good idea of what’s about to transpire. A small group of fourteen-year-old scouts on an isolated weekend retreat. A man harboring a fatally destructive tapeworm inside his body. The man stumbles upon the group during their weekend outing…I think you can figure out where the story goes from there.

What amazed me about this book was how it rose above the stereotypical gross-out horror novel. In a gross-out novel, everything feels wooden and gratuitous, and after a while even the most die-hard reader can start to feel numbed and jaded.  The Troop, however, combines complex characters with precise, evocative language and a shockingly realistic premise. Think Cabin Fever meets Lord of the Flies, if you remove the campy humor and increase the intensity tenfold.

I know there aren’t many readers who will want to stomach a book like this, but for seasoned horror fans, this is Grade-A terror at its finest.  If you think you’ve got what it takes, go ahead and try reading The Troop.  Go on.  I dare you.

—Katie, Adult Reference