In case you’ve missed me, I’m trying to recover from an unexpected blogging slump. I had actually hoped to post more audiobook reviews than usual during June to celebrate National Audiobook Month, but instead, June got away from me almost completely.
Put The Troop by Nick Cutter on your audiobook listening list if you’re looking for a good scare from a book that’s firmly in the traditional horror genre but has enough character development and Lord of the Flies overtones that fans of literary horror might like it too. Did you notice Stephen King’s blurb featured prominently on the cover?
“The Troop scared the hell out of me, and I couldn’t put it down. This is old-school horror at its best. Not for the faint-hearted, but for the rest of us sick people. It’s the perfect gift for a winter night.” — Stephen King
The Troop came out in February, which is still deep winter up in Maine, but the story takes place over a long weekend in the summer, so it would be perfectly suitable for a summer vacation read, as well as in the winter. Unless, of course, you’re camping alone on an island off the coast of Prince Edward Island in Canada – in which case, The Troop might come a little too close for comfort.
OK, when Stephen King says it’s not for the faint-hearted, that’s saying something. The Troop really is a gross-out fest and pretty darn scary, so it would not make a good family road-trip audiobook choice. (I was listening to this on my way in to work one morning and was the first one in the building. A few minutes later, I jumped a mile when I heard the door open, and this was first thing in the morning and broad daylight.) Remember I mentioned Lord of the Flies (as has every other review and publicist’s notice, I’m sure). The Lord of the Flies isn’t a jolly camping story you want to read to the family around the campfire, and neither is The Troop!
Nick Cutter is actually a pseudonym for Canadian literary fiction author Craig Davidson, I found out while writing this review, so that explains the literary overtones that seep into this story of blood, gore, and other bodily fluids coming out instead of staying inside where they belong. The author says in an interview that he was a voracious consumer of horror fiction and movies, growing up, and that’s why he decided to write a horror novel himself.
The audiobook edition is narrated by actor Corey Brill, and is excellent! I highly recommend listening to The Troop if you have a strong stomach and are in the mood for some no-holds-barred horror.
Cutter, Nick, author
Brill, Corey, narrator
Simon & Schuster Audio