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Saturday, 23 September 2017

Book Review: The Rats by James Herbert

There's a new breed of rat in London, England, and they're bigger, more intelligent and more vicious than their predecessors. These rats are thirsty for human blood and as they feed, their bloodlust becomes more and more rampant. As the rats wreck havoc on those living in London, the question becomes: how do you eliminate hordes of rats as big as dogs that are capable of chewing through basically anything?!


"The rats had had their fill of his body, but were still hungry. So they searched. Searched for more food of the same kind. They had tasted their first human blood."

The premise of this novel sounds pretty corny, doesn't it? But if you're after old-school horror that will chill you to the bone, then The Rats will bring it to you in spades. The pace is pretty relentless with the rats getting their teeth and claws stuck into humans right from the beginning. Herbert's descriptions of the mutilations and deaths are BRUTAL and awesome.

Before I read this I never really found rats to be that scary, but now I'm deeply unsettled at the thought of huge mutant rats. It's the fact that you can't really escape from them - they will gnaw their way through almost anything to get to you. And when they do, you are toast. These rats travel in packs too, so there really is no getting away.

An aspect of the book that I didn't expect was the humour, although at times I'm not sure if the humour was intentional or not. There was a chapter in particular about a Catholic woman who was supposedly sex-crazed and I was laughing the whole way through - she actually asked a priest to say a prayer for her in mass so that she could achieve some type of special orgasm. One of the highlights of the book for me! Some humour amongst all the torn-off limbs and eaten faces.

Overall, The Rats is a quick, fun read. I wouldn't say there is much character development, but given that it's a relatively short book, I came for the horror and that's what I got. When I bought The Rats I wasn't aware it was part of a trilogy, but now I'm definitely interested in reading the other two books. 4 stars out of 5 from me!

Johann
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1 comment :

  1. Lol. It cracks me up when I see horror stories about rats. I know a lot of people are afraid of them, and I wouldn't want to run in to one in NY, but I really love rats! I don't think I could really enjoy this book, or Willard, because I had two rats for a while and they were the sweetest, cleanest pets ever!

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