Monday, June 3, 2013

Paper Beasts On The Rampage

Not to be confused with Nick Sharman's THE CATS, this is Berton Roueche's first person account of cats gone wild on Long Island. Very brief at 126 pages, it moves at a quick clip and dishes up some vivid grue.

I've always liked the bloody-faced kitty on the cover.

Roueche's effort was the first cat novel out the gate, and though it is copyrighted 1974, the same year Herbert's THE RATS appeared in the UK,  I can't find an American copy to confirm whether it was published that year. It was first published in the UK in 1975.

Published in '79 when mad animals, insects, and reptiles were all the rage (thanks to James Herbert and Guy N. Smith), this Hamlyn paperback original focused on the building of a resort on top of a snake colony. No points for predicting some resistance from the creepy crawlies.  

A new copy of the American/Signet paperback of this book is rushing out the door for $193 this week at Amazon. 

More killer cats in D. Gunther Wilde's CLAWS (Leisure; 1978), a novel that came after  Roueche's THE CATS, but before Nick Sharman's attempt to demonize the little fluffs in the early 80's.

Quite a fun read.

If you're looking for the best in killer mantis fiction, you've hit the mother lode, old chap.

I fail to find another novel in existence that I can compare to Nace's EAT THEM ALIVE. 

As the cover blurb screams, it really is A NEW PEAK IN HORROR.

One of the best reads ever. Much better than ULYSSES.

Wonderful Guy N. Smith-style horror about a mad fungus infecting, mutating, and ugly-fying all and sundry.

Lots of funny stuff, too.

Harry Adam Knight was Aussie writer/film critic/novelist John Brosnan, who died in 2005.

The first of his non-fiction books I read was THE HORROR PEOPLE ('76), then FUTURE TENSE - THE CINEMA OF SCIENCE FICTION ('78).

THE FUNGUS is also known as DEATH SPORE.


  1. Great post! THE CATS was published in the US as FERAL (haven't read it, tho'.) I've had a copy of FUNGUS for awhile now, good to know it's worthwhile.

  2. Will -- aha! FERAL? Since it is copyrighted '74, I'd love to know if it hit the stands in the US before THE RATS hit the UK stands.

    Thanks for this.

    FUNGUS is a fun read.

  3. I have a first edition hardcover of FERAL--it says the publication date was October of '74. I'm not sure when THE RATS hit the stands that year.

  4. Adamrg -- a first edition? Impressive. Not sure what month THE RATS hit the stands, but it doesn't sound like one influenced the other.