Wednesday, January 15, 2014


Hello All,

Well, this Nick Cutter guy (who I don't know, despite what's being written in some venues, and despite a picture of yours truly being appended to book reviews for this other, strange fellow, who I am most assuredly not) popped up on my radar last week. He's done writ a horror book, I hear. It's a wee bit extreme in some sections, by the sounds of it. Yeeee! Not for me. I don't traffic in that kind of material, myself. If that's your deal, hell, fill your boots. Me? I'll have a Coke and a smile, and read a Hardy Boys mystery—not one of the scary ones, either, about a demon motorcycle or something. The mystery of some gold doubloons buried in a cave is about as supernatural as I'll go!

This, I'm told, was the original cover:

Then it underwent a little bit of a facelift and became this:

Now were you to twist my rubber arm and put me on the spot and ask me which one I prefer, I'd tell you frankly—NEITHER! They're both too damn scary! I just about make water in my pants whenever I set my tender eyes on these fearsome hellscapes! Nossir, not for me!

Anyhoo, if'n you wanted to read a few people's opinions on this here book, I'm not gonna stop you. Hell, I might even post a few more of them here from time to time, just to provide a little perspective and give this weird dude (whoever the hell he is) a leg up. Lord knows we could all use that from time to time! But since I'm not this guy, I guess I'll post a pretty wide swath of opinion regarding the book, both good and bad. I mean, if I really was this guy, why would I post the hatchet jobs? Nope, there would be no angle in that. So anyway, scan on down for some links. If I were Nick Cutter, and by gar I ain't, I'd probably want to thank Alex Good and Steven W Beattie for their thoughts, and also thank the fine but faceless folks at PW and Kirkus, and Matt Schirano and Douglas Lord at Library Journal. For all I know this Cutter cat's a total boor and wouldn't offer such niceties, but he ain't me and you can bet your boots on that.

... and how about a link to Steven W. Beattie's review?

... or Kirkus?


Some thrillers produce shivers, others trigger goose bumps; Cutter’s graphic offering will have readers jumping out of their skins.
Scoutmaster Dr. Tim Riggs takes his troop for their annual camping trip to Falstaff Island, an uninhabited area not far from their home on Prince Edward Island. The five 14-year-old boys who comprise Troop 52 are a diverse group: popular school jock, Kent, whose father is the chief of police; best friends Ephraim and Max, one the son of a petty thief who’s serving time in prison and the other the son of the coroner who also serves as the local taxidermist; Shelley, an odd loner with a creepy proclivity for animal torture and touching girls’ hair; and Newton, the overweight nerdy kid who’s the butt of the other boys’ jokes. When a skeletal, voracious, obviously ill man shows up on the island the first night of their trip, Tim’s efforts to assist him unleash a series of events which the author describes in gruesome, deliciously gory detail. Tom Padgett is the subject of a scientific test gone horribly wrong, or so it seems, and soon, the Scouts face a nightmare that worms its way into the group and wreaks every kind of havoc imaginable. With no way to leave the island (the boat Tom arrived on is disabled, and the troop was dropped off by a different boat), the boys fight to survive. Cutter’s narrative of unfolding events on the island is supplemented with well-placed interviews, pages from diaries, and magazine and newspaper articles, which provide answers to the reader in bits and pieces—but perhaps more importantly, it also delivers much-needed respites from the intense narrative as the boys battle for their lives on the island. Cutter (who created this work under a pseudonym) packs a powerful punch by plunging readers into gut-wrenching, explicit imagery that’s not for the faint of heart or the weak of stomach.  
Readers may wish to tackle this heart-pounding novel in highly populated, well-lit areas—snacks optional.
... or Library Journal? (they did two reviews, interestingly. So why not read them both?)

Cutter, Nick. The Troop. Gallery: S. & S. Jan. 2014. 368p. ISBN 9781476717715. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781476717753. F
In this suspenseful biotech thriller by the pseudonymous Cutter (an acclaimed Canadian novelist), a Boy Scout troop goes to Falstaff Island for its annual hiking and camping trip. It’s usually just the boys and their scoutmaster, but this year they are surprised by a hauntingly thin man. He is infected with a highly contagious genetically modified worm that eats people from inside while overwhelming them with hunger. The scoutmaster soon falls victim. When no boat arrives to take the scouts home, it becomes apparent that the island is quarantined, and the five boys must fend for their survival while avoiding infection. Cutter mixes the story of the scouts with glimpses of interviews and articles written after the event. These excerpts inform the reader of the sinister origin of the worm and the circumstances surrounding the quarantine.VERDICT The personal history of each scout plays into how they handle the situation, which makes this a psychological thriller. That being said, it does contain scenes of graphic violence unsuitable for young adult readers. Cutter’s novel imbues readers with the horrifying feelings reminiscent of a zombie novel but successfully delivers a unique alternative that makes for a fun if gruesome horror read.—Matt Schirano, Grand Canyon Univ. Lib., Phoenix

Cutter, Nick. The Troop. Gallery. Feb. 2014. 368p. ISBN 9781476717715. $26. ebk. ISBN9781476717753 FICThis hella creepy book begins on a teeny Canadian island where scoutmaster Tim Riggs and a tight-knit group of 14-year-old scouts are camping. A dude shows up out of the blue —and he’s hungry. “It wasn’t much more than a skeleton lashed by ropes of waterlogged muscle,” observes Riggs, “its flesh falling off its bones in grey, lace-edged rags.” Tim sees Mr. Hungry eat a handful of soil—and it’s not because he’s a geophagist; he’s just freakishly hungry. As Tim, who is also a general practitioner, cuts open the hungry man he releases “[t]hree feet of oily tube” —a massive, vampiric tapeworm. Tim rapidly gets infected and suddenly we’re having an epidemic. Though at times maudlin, especially concerning the boys’ feelings about the pain of adolescence, this is surprisingly well written for a horror novel. There are skies “…salted with remote stars” and a beach that is “a bonelike strip unfurling to the shoreline.” Additionally, Cutter simply nails a lot of things: the interplay between the five-pack of man-cubs, for example, or his description of a kid’s sudden anger which “…rose out of nowhere, this giddy charge zitzing through his bones and electrifying his marrow.” Cutter adds intrigue by zigzagging back and forth in time and place and parceling out the story from a variety of viewpoints. Each character—from patient zero to Scoutmaster Tim—brings a slightly different perspective; fictionalized news reports (grotesque) and clinical lab reports (cold blooded) add to the verisimilitude. VERDICT An eerie/disturbing page-turner perfect for horror fans, reluctant readers, and anyone who liked Lord of the Flies or John Carpenter’s The Thing.
... or Publisher's Weekly? (which is a bit of a slam ... ooh, I'd hate to be this Cutter guy on this one!)
Well, anyway, there you have it. If'n you were wanting to order this book, or find out a little more about it, I guess, were I Cutter, I'd direct you to this website:
Or maybe I'd offer a few places where you could purchase foreign editions, if'n you happened to be from those spots on the globe.
Anyhoo, this is just me doing a public service for some dude I've never met—and to speak frankly, never want to! He sounds like a total lunatic and whackadoodle, writin' this trashola. Me, I'm heading down to the K of C hall to do some woolgathering with Hal, Wink, and Elmer, my buds. I'm steering clear of this Cutter freak and all his freaky freakishness, and (despite everything in this post seeming to suggest otherwise) I advise you do the same!
All best,
Craig the Puritan, aka: Not Nick Cutter.


  1. Craig, you crazy bastard. This made my day. And it came really out of nowhere - at least to me. Picking it up day one!

  2. Well Cristane, I hope you like what that Cutter dude wrote. He could probably use a few bucks, anyway.