Friday, 4 July 2014

The Troop by Nick Cutter

Headline from the Weird News Network, online edition, October 19:

The Hungry Man of Prince County!
By Huntington Mulvaney

Fearsome news, dear readers, from one of our loneliest outposts - the tiny fishing community of Lower Montague, Prince Edward Island.

So begins this novel with a news article,which effectively establishes tone and made me laugh, which is no small feat, because I don't like to laugh. We are introduced to a setting not so commonly used (the majority of the planet will not know where this island is) and a little conflict in the hungry man. Those who are aware of where this island is may also be aware of the tourist propaganda that comes from Prince Edward Island as being a friendly geological paradise, so what comes next is amusing:

The perfect location for devilry, methinks?

Apparently a truck has been stolen by Starvin' Marvin, the emaciated thief. Rumors abound from news readers, which I assume refers to those on the Island, of how the emaciated thief might be an evil member of the Templars or the Illuminati, as he eats everything, napkins and god knows what else - perhaps the truck he stole?

Chapter 1:

Eat Eat Eat Eat

I don't know if that is supposed to be some kind of sentence, a header or perhaps a child was doodling on the author's manuscript before Kraft Dinner night.

The boat skipped over the waves, the drone of its motor trailing across the Gulf of Saint Lawrence.

A boring scenic fade in type of sentence, that establishes place before conflict. However, conflict comes soon enough as we learn while still on page one that a pronoun has stolen a boat after hotwiring a truck he stole. So the reader assumes that chapter 1 picks up where the prologue of sorts left off. I like this. The hook is obviously the bizarre Weird News article but that this plot point continues into chapter 1 ensures the reader stays hooked.

Rest assured, this guy is hungry and to make matters worse, he's ruptured his stomach lining and the contents of his guts leaking through the split tissue.

First thing said:

"If this gets out, it'll make Typhoid Mary look like Mary Poppins."

In the opening scene we have a person running because it seems he's in trouble with the law. It's a classic inciting event that leads to worse things.

Verdict: Cool

Rudy Globird

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