Rats + Nuclear war + aaaghh!,
This review is from: Domain (Paperback)
So James Herbert is dead and I just had to write a review of my favourite of his novels. Like most people I read James Herbert as a teenager. My mom used to read him for some reason and when I picked up one of her books my interest quickly exceeded hers.
This is the third in the 'Rats' trilogy and by far the best. Dirty, disease-ridden, capable of eating pretty much anything and found in absolute hordes in cities, rats are well chosen as a source of primal fear (see room 101). Herbert's rats are huge, black and bloodthirsty. They suddenly start swarming in packs without fear of humans. That's scary, right? 'Rats' was a great, stripped down horror set in the schools, canals and poor areas of London. Lair was not really needed but Domain brought a whole new angle: What if there were a nuclear attack on London (aagh!) but then that gave the enormous black rats the perfect opportunity to take over the city (gaah!) and eat every survivor they came across? It's just so terrifying.
Like I said, I was a teenager and this is a horror genre so don't expect bleeding Proust, but he writes good prose and imagines scenes extremely vividly. And yes, he's probably the inspiration behind Garth Marenghi (please google this if you are confused - you won't be sorry), but I still remember the book more than 15 years later, which is pretty impressive.
Parents! Don't buy your kids freaking Twilight. If you want to scare them, buy them this book. Ok, it might be partially responsible for my recurring nightmares about nuclear war, but I think Threads takes a good share of the blame there too.
RIP Mr Herbert; thanks for the nightmares.
p.s. I remember my Auntie picking up one of the books, reading a bit of it, then confiscating it because it was full of graphic kinky sex(I was about 13). I don't remember what the book was, but it involved masturbation and a ghost.