Sunday, 13 January 2008

Guy N. Smith Book Review - Night of the Crabs

This is the book that started it all, folks! When this masterpiece dropped on an unsuspecting Britain in 1976, Smith-mania swept a nation! Night of the Crabs lunchboxes, t-shirts, breakfast cereals! Well not really, but the book was quite popular. It allowed Guy N. Smith to start writing full time, at least, and could we really ask for a better gift than that?

This book is basically about giant crabs rampaging up and down the Welsh coast. If these were your garden variety giant crabs, then perhaps a giant pot of boiling water and several gallons of lemon-butter sauce might be in order, but these are some seriously tough crustaceans. Bullets ricochet harmlessly of their shells, tanks are tossed around like toys. Worst of all, King Crab, a crab more cunning than any human being and the most dangerous foe mankind has ever known!

Luckily, Professor Cliff Davenport, a brilliant marine botanist, is on the case! Cliff's nephew and his girlfriend go missing in the waters near the Welsh village of Llanbedr. Unwilling to believe that they died of accidental drowning, Cliff decides to do some snooping. He finds some strange tracks near where they dies and comes to the only sensible conclusion... they were eaten by giant crabs!

Of course, most people would think he was crazy with a story like that, but luckily Cliff has powerful contacts in both Whitehall and the Ministry of Defence, who believe him instantly because he is that awesome. He is the kind of unflappable hero whose first reaction upon seeing someone being eviscerated by a giant crab is to take a puff on his pipe (Smith himself is a pipe enthusiast and so pipe smoking is a prominent feature of his protagonists) and rub his chin thoughtfully. He even manages to take a break every two dozen pages to bang local hottie Pat Benson. What a man!

In a lean 144 pages, at least half a dozen people suffer graphic dismemberment at the claws of the giant crabs. You may think that one book might be enough for Smith to exhaust the storytelling possibilities of giant crabs. Well you'd be wrong, buddy! Smith managed to pump out five more books, all chock to the brim with clickety-clicking crustaceans!

As one amazon reviewer states "You will feel cheaper but happier for reading this book" and I really couldn't say it any better than that.

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