There are a couple of horror authors that I never got around to reading. One of these is Shaun Hutson, and the other is Richard Laymon. I’ve remedied the Hutson omission here with Slugs, and I will be trying a Laymon book later in the year. Slugs is described as “The classic horror story from the Godfather of Gore”…Wow! I was expecting big things. Sadly, the book never got close to being “classic” in my opinion. It is kind of fun, but ultimately forgettable.
Sometimes you have a pretty good idea about the sort of mark you are going to award a book from very early on. Such was the case with Slugs by Shaun Hutson. This is my first time reading Hutson’s work, and although he was quite young when he wrote it, I still can’t excuse the fact that the book is pretty bad.
Now, I certainly didn’t expect a literary masterpiece, but I can’t help but feel disappointed with Slugs. My initial thoughts that the book would read like a poor version of Herbert’s The Rats were brought to life very early on. There are some ridiculously unrealistic decisions made by protagonist Mike Brady. Seriously, this guy is dumb, dumb, dumb. And he isn’t alone either! Everybody that gets eaten by the slugs deserves it for being so damn stupid. Slugs have got to be one of the slowest moving creatures on the planet, but does this stop people from becoming overpowered and swamped by them? Nope!
The book settles into a familiar rhythm early: Slugs kill somebody, Brady tries to figure it out, slugs kill somebody else, Brady tries to figure it out…and so on, and so on. Add to this the fact that Hutson’s characters are pretty dull and devoid of any personality. I’ll be honest, the book became a bit of a slog to get through and I found myself looking forward to what I was going to read next.
Perhaps I am being too harsh on Slugs. I can see why a lot of people like it. It’s b-movie style fun, trashy and full of gore, but I feel these days especially, I need a little more than blood and guts from my horror fiction. It is a very old book, a book of its time and I did only pay 99c on Kindle for it, so it’s not the end of the world. Oh well, on to the next one.
2.5/5 slime trails from the Grim reader.
Pick up a copy from here.