Desperate to save their marriage, Robin and Matt Brenner take their young family for a much-needed vacation in the California mountains, but an ancient and evil presence begins to prey on the children....
|Number of Pages||:||352 Pages|
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The Feeding Reviews
I've been wanting to score a (reasonably-priced) copy of this for years, as I vaguely remember it having had a bit of a reputation in the horror fiction community back in the day as being some sort of hidden, disturbing gem. The only people I could see considering this a gem would be those who love Richard Laymon. And I mean bottom of the barrel Laymon. I'm not one to turn my nose up at the trashier side of horror, including ole' Dick, but this is pretty much a run-of-the-mill, d-grade Laymon story minus the gratuitous, perverted thoughts of every single character ever. And minus the sleazy fun.The setup seemed right in my wheelhouse. Family takes vacation in secluded mountainous area where local legend speaks of cannibalistic cave creatures who feast on the unsuspecting, but Clark -- who for some reason I always thought was female until recently -- has a paint-by-numbers prose-style that did nothing to draw me in or make me care one whit about the characters. I don't always need fully-realized characters when I'm in the mood for pulp horror, but I do need SOME-thing that separates it from the glut of similar novels from the era. It's not offensively bad, just boring. At least Laymon, when dealing with similar subject matter, makes me feel, if not actually scared, then like taking a shower just to wash the filth off my body; makes me feel disgusted or disturbed periodically, even when the violence is overtly cartoonish. This made me feel nothing but occasionally infuriated at the numbskull decisions these personality-less characters repeatedly make, which of course is part and parcel for this sort of thing, but I can usually have some fun despising the awful characters and rooting for their demises. But I couldn't care either way here, because I didn't despise them. I nothinged them.Still, there were one or two decent scenes that keep this from being a total waste, hence the two stars. This might have made a decent B creature feature at half the page count but, as it is, I couldn't really recommend this to anyone. But I see some people here enjoyed it, so what do I know?2.0 Stars.
Oh boy.In just a short time, The Feeding and I have cultivated a pretty tumultuous relationship with one another.I first heard about the 1988 novel through one of the horror reading groups I follow on Facebook, Books Of Horror. The book was making the rounds of several members of the group and garnering great praise for it's gore and general fucked-up-ness.With a cover looking that rad, and the general consensus being that it was fantastic... I had to read it. But everyone else did too. And I watched the price of the thing on Amazon soar in a few short days. I was lucky to grab it while it was still 12 bucks, as the average price of a copy is well in the hundreds right now.Yo, Leigh Clark, where you at dude!? Your almost 30 year old novel is doing some serious business.Anyway, I was so excited to read this thing that it literally trumped everything else in my to be read pile and the day it arrived I started to consume the thing ravenously, blasting through the first hundred pages in a few hours.And then the unspeakable occurred.There was some sort of a printing error in my copy, where six chapters were missing and the chapters before it repeated themselves.I was devastated and proceeded to act like a whiny baby on the aforementioned Books Of Horror group begging for help.Luckily, in no time, several people were willing to send me the missing chapters via document or even their copy of this rare fossil of a book.Lest, here we are. I have finished The Feeding.So was it worth the violent troubles? The sleepless nights and endless tears?Short answer is almost. The Feeding is fairly pedestrian in it's story. A family of bland so-and-sos, including their cookie-cutter kids, rent a vacation home in the mountains with a spooky past. Underneath the home are tunnels leading to a mine which once promised gold and riches. Instead, it houses a clan of ghoulish cannibalistic creatures. Our apple pie family gets served accordingly.Where it veers from the standard is it's level of sheer brutality. This thing just rips. Intestines are torn, eyeballs boiled out, giant phallus spew icy demon semen...all with vivid detail.And noone is safe. Children, Baby Bunnies, Fuzzy Cats named Darth Vader...main characters, nobodies...literally everyone in The Feeding gets it handed to them. And in hideous, horrible ways.And I almost love it for it. Not to mention the plan for the son of the sugar-free family that the clan has.It's over the top gore, absolute tastelessness, the EXTRA 80s cheese vibe...it's pretty much exactly why I read these things. It also features my absolute favorite feature a book can have...super short chapters, so I can read a quick one here, a quick one there.So what don't I love about it? It could have been given a good second or third or nineteenth editing. Characters could have been shaved off, many of them are just dumped in to be ripped out. The dialogue is often cringe-worthy, the children in particular. The characters in general are just caricatures of something you read somewhere else forty-five times.But I don't read these things for a wheel to be reinvented every time. I read them to have a great, escapist time. The Feeding delivers that in spades.Don't buy a 800 dollar copy though. Maybe a 8 dollar copy is fine. Keep an eye on the price here.Leigh Clark, if you can hear me, the good people of Books Of Horror and I would love to chat it up with you about this book and your others...which are currently on the way to my doorstep. Reviews of those will come in due time.All in all, I give The Feeding a 4/5.Give it a try.Originally posted on my blog at http://Undivineinterventions.blogspot...
A lot fun reading this one, Leigh pulls no punches!
Cheesy, fun horror. Recommended.