In Tradition of The Rats and Jaws comes a horrifying experience with vein pinching sequences of hold-your-breath action that’ll make your blood run cold!
When the full moon rises on the Welsh Coast a pack of giant crabs make their way on shore to feed on locals in their vicinity.
After witnessing the attack for himself, Cliff Davenport now has enough closure convincing him of what has killed his nephew and his nephew’s fiancé as well as several other bathers.
It doesn’t take long to convince the military that are stationed nearby that the meaty menaces are there! However, it won’t be long until they grow bold and travel further inland while feasting on any morsel they can pinch up!
They’re impossible, they’re invading, they’re indestructible!
Reading my first Guy N. Smith book was a long time coming, I’ve collected enough of his works and figured I’d start off with one of his more popular long running series.
Engaging is one word that describes this book perfectly. It’s a real page-turner that reels you in with a big net containing a lot of fans of his work.
Smith’s books are not all that deep. They tend to be straight forward with no padding nor minuscule details. Thus the book’s short length on only around one hundred and fifty pages.
While I read this book I was never bored and was quite pleased when I closed the back of the book in completion.
Back in ’76 it had been a year since Jaws came out and people were picking out other killer animal titles off the bookshelves. Quite a few of these titles became films. This actually had a deal with Amicus Pictures to be made into a movie. Somehow, someway, somewhere along the lines Amicus got full custody of the film and made it into Island Claws. Guy N. Smith didn’t even know a movie was made until a friend of his gave him a tape that at first was blank. Then it was revealed to be Island Claws. He thought the film was rubbish.
I kind of wish they did make a proper adaption of the film. Using miniatures, monster suits, practical effects and good ol’ stop animation could’ve made it a fun watch!
One aspect of the book I find a bit jarring is that Cliff Davenport and a woman by the name of Pat are constantly fumbling around with each other. On the lookout for crabs… Sexy Time! Feeling defeat….. Sexy Time! It was a bit over-the-top which works for the nature of the book when it comes to carnage and maybe.
Hell, the book could’ve been originally called Moaning in the time of Monsters and I wouldn’t have been surprised!
The collar grabbing quote of this book is that it’s in the tradition of The Rats which came out two years prior. Both The Rats and Night of the Crabs are U.K. titles so it was clever and truthful marketing. It’s a fun time with the over-the-top nature, inserted sex-at-random sequences, the abundance of an animalistic threat and how could we forget about the gratuitous blood and gore? Let’s talk about the good stuff!
While The Rats is far more graphic this has some bloody sequences as well.
Innards ripped from peoples bellies, people torn in two, limbs snaped off with crazy claws it’s a grubby mess!
There’s also some action packed invasion parts too. Mainly when the military steps in and tries to destroy the crabs. A train sequence diverts us from the army attack and shows us that the crabs can cause serious damage.
While everything is wrapped up in a nice bow in the last five pages the whole book is taut, fast and tons of fun.
I read this book in short-time and was pleased by the ferocity of the killer crabs. The monstrous beings are definitely threatening. They aren’t revealed immediately which makes it all the more eerie when Cliff and Pat see them for the first time. Even though we the audience and the two characters on the lookout know it’s killer crabs. The scene is greatly effective regardless of a somewhat weak build-up.
I look forward to reading more for Mr. Smith! He’s got a knack for taking a simple premise and making a book that is a helluva good time to read!
At the end of the day, Night of the Crabs is an engaging thrill-ride with bloody carnage, explosive action, sexual playtime and some crazy Crustacean snapping the Welsh Coast a new one!
Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5
- Paperback: 144 pages
- Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton Ltd (1 September 1980)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0450029425
- ISBN-13: 978-0450029424
- Package Dimensions: 17.4 x 10.8 x 1.4 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 99.8 g
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