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The Troop: A Novel Paperback – August 16, 2016
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This “grim microcosm of terror and desperation haunting” (Christopher Golden, New York Times bestselling author) follows a scout troop on a terrifying fight for survival when they come across a mysterious—and deadly—stranger in the Canadian wilderness.
Once every year, Scoutmaster Tim Riggs leads a troop of boys into the Canadian wilderness for a weekend camping trip—a tradition as comforting and reliable as a good ghost story around a roaring bonfire. But when an unexpected intruder stumbles upon their campsite—shockingly thin, disturbingly pale, and voraciously hungry—Tim and the boys are exposed to something far more frightening than any tale of terror. The human carrier of a bioengineered nightmare. A horror that spreads faster than fear. A harrowing struggle for survival with no escape from the elements, the infected…or one another.
Part Lord of the Flies, part 28 Days Later—and all-consuming—this tightly written, edge-of-your-seat thriller takes you deep into the heart of darkness, where fear feeds on sanity…and terror hungers for more.
"Sneezy the Snowman" by Maureen Wright
B-R-R-R-R! AH-CHOO! Sneezy the Snowman is cold, cold, cold. To warm up, he drinks cocoa, sits in a hot tub, stands near a warm fire–and melts! | Learn more
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"Brilliant, and dialed to eleven on the creepy meter an absolute blast."--Robert Pobi, author of Eye of the Storm"
"Some thrillers produce shivers, others trigger goose bumps; Cutter's graphic offering will have readers jumping out of their skin intense packs a powerful punch .Readers may wish to tackle this heart-pounding novel in highly-populated, well-lit areas snacks optional."--Kirkus Reviews"
"Suspenseful .sinister .horrifying."--Library Journal"
"Nick Cutter brings a bone-chilling spin to a classic horror scenario in "The Troop." It's "Lord of the Flies" meets "Night of the Creeps," and I enjoyed it immensely."--Mira Grant, New York Times bestselling author
"Nick Cutter pulls out all the stops in "The Troop." This is a brilliant and deeply disturbing novel that you absolutely cannot put down. Highly recommended."--Jonathan Maberry, New York Times bestselling author of Code Zero and Dead of Night
""The Troop" scared the hell out of me, and I couldn't put it down. This is old-school horror at its best. Not for the faint-hearted, but for the rest of us sick puppies, it's a perfect gift for a winter night."--Stephen King
"Lean and crisp and over-the-top....Disquieting, disturbing."--Scott Smith, author of The Ruins and A Simple Plan
"Nick Cutter pulls out all the stops in THE TROOP. This is a brilliant and deeply disturbing novel that you absolutely cannot put down. Highly recommended."--Jonathan Maberry, New York Times bestselling author of Code Zero and Dead of Night
"A grim microcosm of terror and desperation...haunting."--Christopher Golden, New York Times bestselling author
"THE TROOP scared the hell out of me, and I couldn't put it down. This is old-school horror at its best. Not for the faint-hearted, but for the rest of us sick puppies, it's a perfect gift for a winter night."--STEPHEN KING
About the Author
- Publisher : Gallery Books; Reprint edition (August 16, 2016)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 384 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1501144820
- ISBN-13 : 978-1501144820
- Item Weight : 12 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.31 x 1 x 8.25 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #45,081 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
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Top reviews from the United States
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Now to the actual writing.
Character development is shoddy at best and only serves to make the characters more unlikable the more we learn about them. Why would anyone want to read three hundred some odd pages about a bunch of adolescents being terrible to each other just for the sake of it?
The dialogue—especially between the boys of the troop—is stilted and unrealistic for a bunch of 14 year olds. It reads more like forty year olds pretending 30 years younger. This by itself wouldn’t be enough to detract from the story in any other situation but combined with the gore/torture porn makes the book quite unreadable. I will not be finishing the story. In fact, it’s already in the trash bin.
*****SLIGHT SPOILERS BELOW*****
I really could have done without out the explicit details on the animal cruelty. There were parts in the book where insects were harmed and suggested bigger things were to come later. When the turtle scene occurred, I wasn't prepared for what I was about to read because it caught me off guard from whom it came from. I felt dirty just reading about it. The kitten scene, I completely skipped right over. About 8 pages worth of it.
If you enjoy torture, then there's some of that in this book for you.
Aside from that, it was an entertaining read and I found the whole scenario totally plausible since I'm somewhat a of a paranoid conspiracy theory nut.
The basic premise is this: a troop of scouts, on their last trip unfortunately at the same time a diseased man escapes from a lab and makes it to the island where the unlucky troop is camping. Gorlarity ensues. I strongly recommend not eating while reading this book, at least not noodles.
The characters are mostly developed well, except for Patient 0 and Max, I didn't feel like I knew enough about them, but it's a minor complaint as far as characterization goes. Honestly, from a technical standpoint the whole book is written really well, if the writing had been less technically advanced this would have been an awful pulpy 80's horror novel. Since it is written so well you, if you read lots of 80's pulpy horror, will be overwhelmed by the comforting sense of horror nostalgia. I also loved the ending. The pacing is amazing, not build up or set up, we are just right. In. There. It's also a very quick read.
Sometimes less go is more, but if you like gore, you'll love the hell out of this. I also really hate the premise, it's too ridiculous, then again I never got into the mad scientist thing.
Top reviews from other countries
I am not sure why it has taken me so long to read this book, which centers on a group of scouts who swiftly find themselves havign to grow up and take charge after a mysterious stranger lands in their encampment. As the adults fall foul to a monster which devours them from the inside out,they have harsh and mature decisions to make in this twisted take on a creature feature story.
It’s a tale of science gone wrong a la ‘Frankenstein’,-the whole notion of ‘just because we can , doesn’t mean we should’ takes on a whole new meaning in the way that a government created parasite is accidentally set loose.
Stomach churning (no pun intended) scenes pepper the story of these boys who are the last bastion between them and us. You are hereby warned not to read this if you are faint of heart or queasy of stomach. The themes of being consumed could be seen as metaphorical, as well as literal body horror as the old seek to con sume the strength and flesh of the young, whilst the boys , rushing to grow up are thrust into a situation they are not emotionally euqipped to deal with.
This is borne out in the psychiatric reports as well as the hysterical media headlines which in a panic driven state seek not only to make money from a scandalous trip gone wrong, but also trying to make some kind of sense of the survivors tales.
Is the fate of the world left in the hands of 14 year old boys?
In this case I would absolutely award them the following badges-
Anatomy and Physiology
It’s a great companion piece to novels like ‘The Rats’, and is a proper ‘old school’ horror of the kind that was produced in the early 80’s. Be warned, and take a Swiss Army knife with you as well as at least one flare if you fancy an outward bound trip with these lads and remember, every good scout is ‘always in a state of readiness in mind and body to do your duty’
Until a mysterious stranger appears on the island who is somewhat hungry. Things take a turn a for the worse. (Now you would be forgiven of thinking a zombie story but cutter eschews that trap rather well) During the course the story we see how this event impacts the group and pulls them apart and what do they do to survive the things the scout hand book doesn't cover.
Cutter's style is reminiscent of early Stephen King and he crafts the story well with his descriptions and building of the story. The trouble is it becomes run of the mill, a cross between Slither and Lord of the Flies the book struggles to take off and only really becomes interesting around page 330, the problem with this the book is only around 400 pages long.
Cutter presents the familiar characters any gang of teenage boys would amount to through the book with the Scout troop being a fairly obnoxious bunch :
Kent the Jock and the son of the police chief
Eef the alpha male
Max the nice guy
Newton the nerd
Shelly the weird one
Scoutmaster Tim who couldn't run a bath let alone a scout troop.
A cast of supporting characters and out of all the characters the only interesting character is Admiral Stonewall who only turns up twice.
In the end Cutter doesn’t engage the reader to root for or like his characters. Which is shame as all the elements are there. It just falls flat.
The troop does ask some interesting questions. The few versus the many, how far would you go to survive, could a 14 year old be that twisted and even the morals of war. The questions are never answered and with the last part of the book being the best, I think the trick was last to make a fine horror novel in the vain of King, Koontz et-al
eat eat eat!
You can tell by the way things are stacked in this story precisely how it’s going to end. And then you have an interminably long wade through a mechanical procession of deaths to get to that sign-posted ending.
When you have to make a ludicrous premise work by having the scientist who started it all being a genius psycopath then you know the plot is a tad wonky. Similarly the death procession on the Island only works because one of the kids turns out to be a genius level manipulating psycopath..what are the odds eh ?
Miserable unentertaining chore.
I was not disappointed.
I have 5 year old twins who hate sleep and like to get up VERY early EVERY day and I stayed up into the wee hours to finish The Troop by Nick Cutter. That says it all! I simply couldn't put it down. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Cutter's writing really is "old school horror at its best", as Stephen King himself said. I do not scare or get creeped out easily, believe me, and I found this book pretty disturbing. It was truly spine tingling. I actually got goosebumps! I found it utterly fascinating and equally terrifying. Definitely not for the squeamish or faint of heart... this book will stay with you long after you've read the last page!
It makes me a bit mad and feel rather incredulous, to see poor reviews left for this book for being "too gruesome, graphic and/or disgusting"... Uhh, hello!?!? This is old school horror people! You're reading the wrong stuff if you don't like to read anything gruesome haha!
I was still buzzing after I finished The Troop, and couldn't sleep... So I bought and started Nick Cutter's second book, The Deep! It's excellent so far and was hard to put down. I can't wait to read more tonight, I'm anticipating another night of lost sleep... But I don't mind one damn bit!
If you're a TRUE horror fan... You're in for a real treat. Nick Cutter is horrifically, brilliantly, excellent. Enjoy, fellow horror enthusiasts!
Imagery: 1/2 Some of the book was exceptionally descriptive and evoked a feeling of pure revulsion, unfortunately not all of the book was of the same standard in that regard.
Flow: 2/2 Amazing writing throughout even in the 'dull' sections.
Pacing: 1/2 The pacing of the book was inconsistent, some slow boring sections and then some really intense sections.
Story: 1/2 After the intro the story doesn't really develop much further. If anything I found the sections with the scout leader the most compelling and once we transitioned to the children I wasn't as interested.
Enjoyment: 1/2 Some sections were exceptional, the intro and the end were highlights. Almost had to stop reading the book due to sections of animal suffering.