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“Here we have James Herbert's first novel, The Rats,...”

Written on: 03/08/2004 by Dreadlocksmile (358 reviews written)

Good Points
Jam-packed with graphic horror and chilling suspense. This is the original splatter-punk horror novel that is a definite must for all fans of the genre.

Bad Points
It is impossible to fault this classic.

General Comments
Here we have James Herbert's first novel, The Rats, which became the founder of the splatter-punk horror genre. Herbert introduced the world to extreme splatter gore and unashamed violence in a style that has produced so many followers. With this one novel alone he has created a whole new aspect to horror novels that will later be saturated by up and coming influenced authors such as the likes of Shaun Hutson. But Herbert is the true master of the splatter punk novels. And this novel set it all off!

The Rats brings us a concoction of blood-soaking gore, uncomplicated sex and a narrative that races through the pages with non-stop gore-fuelled violence and horror. The novel involves giant rats that have acquired a keen taste for human flesh, who terrorize London with their rampage of slaughter. The plot certainly isn't the most complicated affair, but it keeps you gripped with suspense from the start. There are times in the novel where you know what's coming next, and the suspense of the inevitable slaughter is killing you (try using the Underground in London with hungry, dog-sized rats on the loose). This book is nothing short of a classic, in which you will not be disappointed.

Out of Herbert's work, I place this novel within the top three. Once you've read it, there's also the sequel, "Lair," to read which is controversially an even more gut-churning, gore-packed rollercoaster of a ride. Then there's "Domain" which is the third installment, where I feel Herbert let the idea come off the boil a little. Then lastly, there's "The City", which is a graphic novel-type of thing, which is a bit of fun, but that's about it! And that's your lot to date for Herbert's Rats series.

Be sure to check out some of his other work such as The Fog, The Survivor, Fluke, '48 and Sepulchre. Enjoy!

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