Mushrooms: I'll probably never eat one again! THE FUNGUS is a fast paced, funny and disgusting 80's horror story that contains everything you'd ever want from a fungi-based creature feature.
I recently read another book by this author, (two authors, really, using the pseudonym of Harry Adam Knight. Get it? HAK?), called SLIMER. I liked that one slightly more than this because there was no real science, just a fun, slimy, creature. In this narrative, we do have an attempt to be science-y, but not overly so, which I appreciated.
We follow several characters from the beginning, including the scientist who accidentally created this rapidly mutating fungi. Before we know what hit us, all of London is infected and not just people either. There are several types of fungi attacking concrete and other building materials eventually resulting in the literal crumbling of the city. Will any of the plucky characters survive? What about the doctor who created this mess? Will London itself make it through? You'll have to read THE FUNGUS to find out!
These two authors, John Brosnan and Leroy Kettle were actually very talented, (I say were, but one is still alive-Leroy Kettle,) and they knew how to write a creature feature without getting too bogged down in the fake science. Just enough to make it plausible to non-biologists is fine. Of course, using the old trope of science making a mistake and thereby destroying humanity is always rich with possibilities, maybe even more so these days than back in the 80's when this was written.
Being that this book was written back then, there are some sexist views, (a few racist ones too), and a few other things that don't fit in with today's culture and attitudes. There are also a few extraneous sex scenes thrown in there, because hey-in the 80's that's how the horror genre rolled. None of which bothered me much because this tale is just. that. much. fun.
Valancourt Books is dedicated to bringing back these out of print books, some of which have become nearly impossible to find. (If you are lucky enough to find one, you'd better be prepared to pay through the nose.) Over the years I've watched as they've become more and more popular and with their forthcoming PAPERBACKS FROM HELL series, I think they'll have reached the pinnacle as far as retro horror publishers are concerned. (They publish other lines as well, if you're interested, check out their website.)
THE FUNGUS isn't trying to masquerade as scientific or serious, it's just trying to provide imaginative, fast paced, creature feature fun. It has succeeded!
*Valancourt Books provided me with an e-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*
I'm currently working on The Mysteries of Udolpho, which pretty much demands that you take things slow and gentle. I feel like I've been reading forever, and the girl isn't even an orphan yet. And she must be an orphan for this to be gothic! It's one of my Halloween Bingo choices, so I've got to persevere.
I've got two more Halloween Bingo books waiting. I've read a few pages into Made to Kill, but I'm making myself wait to start Evil Librarian.
And I've got two books from my planned reading list for the year, Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. I've heard very mixed reviews on the former, but the latter should be a reliably good read.
Also on my schedule is a performance of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, which I'm attending on Sunday. Our city's Shakespeare Company is doing a season centred on Hamlet, which this play kicks off. Next up will be Hammered Hamlet, followed by Hamlet, a Ghost Story. The fourth play is The Hamlet Frequency, but I've got my fingers crossed that I will be in France at that point.
I still need to get my Science Fiction & Fantasy books organized--maybe I can squeeze that task in as well.
Have a great weekend!
This was a very entertaining story about a stuntman who is seriously injured and goes home to recuperate and finds the bookworm that helped him graduate high school and who he had a quick fling with has grown up into a spirited and confident woman with her own scars. She is the only one he can turn to to help him over come his PTSD in order to reclaim his life, but the more time he spends with her, the less he wants to return to the Hollywood life he left behind in a flaming wreck.
Bailey has been burned before. She left her high end Austin lifestyle and her excheating husband to torture to her home town to lick her wounds and move on. What she finds is a reason to be happy and get out of bed, working on the Campbell ranch training stunt horses and learning how to do stunts herself. What she doesn’t expect is her high school crush and very brief lover, Adam, to come back ten years later and jeopardize what she has built with his charming smiles and smoldering looks. She tries to keep her distance but when he comes to her one night and begs her to help him overcome his fears and panic attacks in order to beat an old high school rival, she can’t help but agree. What happens next is sure to shake up her life and break her heart, again, when he goes back to his LA life.
I enjoyed the story. It was fast, well-paced, had a good emotional struggle that pulled the reader into the plot, and the characters are well developed and entertaining. I enjoyed watching Adam work to win Bailey back, beat he fears, and in the end prove to Bailey that she is more important to him then any sort of Hollywood lifestyle and that he will not walk away from her a second time. Fun story, sexy cowboys, action and suspense that kept me turning the pages, and great passion. Will definitely pick up more in this series.