Like an ooze of unknown origin, dribbling at first, then spurting volcanically through your mind, the horror takes you. So gradually you don’t even notice, unease becomes dread becomes apoplexy, and, when the dam ruptures, and the bile runs crimson – that’s when you know that the nightmare has noticed you. That’s when you feel the stultifying inevitability of your fate. You can let the flow overtake you and carry you toward sickening oblivion to be crushed under the tide of terror, or you can swim upstream to where the monsters live and confront the beasts where they breed. Follow the screams to the top, and you’ll find yourself in the factory of nightmares where horror is analyzed, quantified, and unleashed upon the world. Join the Nightmare Factory Book Club and become a master of your madness.
This month the Nightmare Factory Book Club is meeting to discuss The Rats by James Herbert – a grisly classic of 1970s British pulp delight. Stephen King has written about the author, “Herbert was by no means literary, but his work had a raw urgency. His best novels, The Rats and The Fog, had the effect of Mike Tyson in his championship days: no finesse, all crude power. Those books were bestsellers because many readers (including me) were too horrified to put them down.”
The Rats is a provocative deluge of shocking, animalistic violence that tracks the human casualties of mutated vermin as they swarm through the east London slums, leaving nothing but blood, viscera, and disease standing in their unnatural wake. Led by a determined, young schoolteacher, corrupt government officials, and a team of barely competent scientists, a rebel army of human chum fights valiantly against the rodent menace, biting back as they themselves are gnawed unstoppably to the bone.The Rats reads like a James Bond novel if James Bond and his friends were constantly getting eaten by giant rats.
Indulge yourself this month in forbidden, pulpy pleasures and pull up a seat at the roundtable of ruin in the BookPeople cafe on Tuesday July 21st at 8:00 p.m. to discuss The Rats by James Herbert. The Nightmare Factory Book Club gathers on the third Tuesday of every month in the haunted sepulcher of the BookPeople cafe to unhinge our jaws over pestilence, witchcraft, Satanism, and all the other joyful tidings that makes life fun. Scurry over this Tuesday to help us devour this month’s blood feast.
– Steve(n) W.