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Summary

It was just an ordinary garbage dump on peaceful Cape Cod. No one ever imagined that conditions were perfect for breeding, that it was a warm womb, fetid, moist, and with food so plentiful that everything creeping, crawling, and slithering could gorge to satiation. Then a change in poison control was made, resulting in an unforeseen mutation. Now the giant mutant cockroaches are ready to leave their nest - in search of human flesh!

©2019 Gregory A. Douglas (P)2019 Valancourt Books LLC

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  • 1
  • 07-10-19

The Nest

The Nest is the first audiobook I've listened to, and I highly recommend it. For anyone who has read The Rats or Slugs, and enjoyed those books, then this is for you. There is some graphic horror, which dies down as the book goes on; the author must have realised there's only so many ways you can describe the horror of people being devoured by cock roaches before it just becomes repetitive, and so the description of the deaths become brief, but still unpleasant. The cast of characters are likeable enough, and the story is well paced, slowing down briefly mid way through, with maybe a few too many chapters spent explaining the nature of insect colonies. Matt Godfreys performance was enjoyable, with destinct voices for each character, and clear pronunciation. All in all a good listen.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great book, terrible narrator

Top prize for making a fun book painfully dull. Made it 30 minutes in, couldn’t bare to listen any further.

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A Great 80's Pulp Horror Read

The Nest is the first in a series of 80’s horror reprints from Valancourt Books in association with Paperbacks from Hell and I obtained it through a subscription e-book service Valancourt Books provides. I was a little late on this one, a month late to be exact so my first delivery (by email) contained two books, but more on the second book in the series later. The Nest, credited to Gregory A. Douglas but actually written by a fella called Eli Cantor, is a bit of a behemoth for a pulp novel. Clocking in at almost 450 pages (or ten hours) it’s a little daunting. This isn’t King or Straub, who can manage to full so many pages with seeming effortlessness, this is – to me at least – an unknown; and I’m not a particularly fast reader at the best of times. Still, with surprising eagerness I settled down and started The Nest. A ferry arrives at Yarkie Island, off Cape Cod, delivering Elizabeth and her friend Bonnie to the island. Elizabeth is an islander, returned from university on a rare visit to her grandfathers and the town in which she grew up. Unknown to her, unknown to everyone, something is stirring in the local dump, something that is driving the rats into the sea, and it isn’t until Bonnie takes the family dog for a walk into the woods that anyone becomes aware of the horror that crawls through the undergrowth and waits in the shadows. The Nest is, in many ways, a very typical piece of 80’s pulp horror. Taking its cues from the nature-gone-mad movies dominating the decade before it’s filled to the brim with explicit gruesomeness where no one, not even children, is safe from the crawling carnivorous menace. The death scenes are portrayed with such sadistic glee that they reminded me of the movies of the following decade, the 80’s – the decade of gore, but the writing itself was of a much earlier style and caliber, therefore also bringing to mind the atomic movies of the 1950’s. For instance one hero, a Professor from Harvard, could have stepped out of a 50’s movie wholesale, with his pipe and quiet male chauvinism, smiling benignly as he – literally – sends Elizabeth off to make sandwiches. Its a weird little mix but for the most part it works very well, as long as you don’t mind how the combination dates the book; well, that and the casual male chauvinism. In spite of the clear absurdity of carnivorous man-eating cockroaches the book manages to be extremely coherent of the science behind it all. I’m sure a trained entomologist would see plenty to fault but there’s logic to what transpires that makes everything surprisingly believable to those of us ignorant to the nuances. This is both a strength and a flaw in the book, in fact the main issue with the book is that its in dire need of an editor who would shorten the 450 pages to something more manageable; I could see at least a hundred pages that could be dropped without a loss to story, with probably fifty or so more to an editor who possessed a the necessary ruthlessness. That all being said Eli Cantors descriptive prose does raise what could have been just a gory mess into something far more. The descriptions of the small fishing community, the quiet woods and the surrounding homesteads effectively builds a map of the island in the readers mind; something essential when the wriggling mass of insects begins its trek across the land; and, as much as I’d like an eager editor to descend on the book, I’d surely lament the loss of these sections. But I have to admit that there were points where I found my will to continue flagging, I was still enjoying the book but it became harder to maintain enthusiasm at something like the 200 page mark, and this continued for fifty pages or so, until the final push against the insects began. I suppose that a reader can take only so many lectures about insect behavior and scenes of smaltzy, not to mention unlikely, romance before the desire to see mass carnage takes over. Thankfully there’s plenty of mass carnage on display, with brain eating, eye munching and disemboweling aplenty. The largest flaw I could see, the one that irked the most, was the quiet male chauvinism. The female characters themselves weren’t, the way they reacted to the male characters not withstanding, poorly written; they had character and depth and even Bonnie, who is probably the least developed character, manages to have weight in the story. The problem arises when they are put together with the men and they appear meek and overly compliant. The only female that doesn’t do this is the Professors fellow academic, who is written as a slightly unsympathetic alpha-female who lacks range in anything that doesn’t include her academic strengths. Outside of the books love triangle of Elizabeth, the Professor and his fellow academic companion, there seems little reason to actually involve the women in the story at all, and as the love triangle is essentially just dead air in the story anyway there seemed little reason to include any of it as far as I could see. As much as I enjoyed The Nest, I ended the book with a feeling of missed opportunity. So much is good in there, the horror scenes are well played the gore is ever-present and the prose paints a vivid picture. Unfortunately it’s when the people are center of attention it often felt dated and a little hackneyed in places; as well as being pretty much filled with cringe in others. As I considered what I had read I began concocting a what-if scenario. In my version there was no Professor, or to be more precise the Professor was now amalgamated with his academic companion and the story became about a small town girl, Elizabeth, who discovers a way out of the small town through the heroism of a female professor called in to help with this entomological nightmare. But of course this was not a likely scenario to a bloody horror novel published in 1980, and in this way at least I’m glad that things have moved on.

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great book.

this was a highly unpleasant horror story. not for faint of heart. i really enjoyed it.

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Very gory!!

I like horror, I like gore and this pushes the toe curling up to max! Started slow and I almost sent it back, but it picks up pace quickly. The end feels very rushed though, however certainly worth 10hrs of your time

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Great tale of horror, wonderfully told.

Great tale of horror and adventure, wonderfully told. The sense of hopelessness and despair is brilliantly drawn in places. Some very touching scenes. Lots of 'being attacked and eaten by cockroaches' scenes, which will be a good or a bad thing, depending on your tastes - for mine, excellent! The idyllic island community is wonderfully, touchingly rendered. Idyllic, that is, until...the nest! Excellent, warm and empathetic narration.

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  • Liv
  • 17-07-19

Buyer beware: it’s brutal

So first off I’m going to put it out there for people who can’t stomach it: this book kills animals and kids. It’s not for everyone, but if that sort of taboo doesn’t bother you then I think this book is a must for gore and creature fans. It takes a fresh look at the “scientists show up to inspect dangerous island wildlife” trope and FOR ONCE in the history of horror, a book that doesn’t involve characters needlessly butting heads or swinging around attitudes while things fall apart. Scientist shows up, isn’t ignored cuz he’s an “outsider”. There is a greedy politician figure, he’s mostly ignored and really isn’t even all that bad. Jealousy between the plain island girl and the gorgeous female scientist is laid bare, but both women are respectful and never buttheads. All this mixed with some honestly fascinating (if a bit long winded) discussions about biology, the ways of sailing communities and their traditions, and of course devastating descriptions of people eaten alive by mutant roaches, and this is a lesser known gem I’m going to recommend to all horror lovers.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Emiliano Feliberti
  • 03-01-20

Gross, Gory, and a LOT of fun!

I found this book though Paperbacks From Hell, and after reading it, I believe I'm going to hunt down all the others in the list. I never thought a book about killer, mutant roaches (to which I hold a special dislike) could be so good, but it has everything! Good characters (not all well defined, but more than good for roach fodder - God, I never thought I would use thar phrase!), good plot, and plenty of gore (the author is specially good at this - a la James Herbert, NO ONE's safe. Glorious!). I listen to this on my way to and back from work for a few days, and I was squirming all the way through. if you like your horror bloody and full of action, believe me when I tell you this boik never stops. Give it a try. You won't be sorry

3 people found this helpful

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  • richard wessel
  • 05-05-19

creepy

creepy crawlers. this story gave me nightmares. mutant killer cockroaches take over an island off the coast of cape cod

3 people found this helpful

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  • Bjorn Smars
  • 22-11-19

Fun, Gross, Ridiculous Story; Great Performance

I received a free copy of this audiobook from the narrator in exchange for an honest review. I'm having trouble finding the right words to describe this book and my experience listening to it. The performance is great, which was not surprising to me and likely won't be a surprise to anyone who has listened to Godfrey's work in the past. The story... what a fun, ridiculous, disgusting, wild ride. I won't give anything away, but if a naked, handcuffed man humping a pile of leaves tickles your fancy... Tickle away! My favorite part of this book was the prose. The descriptions are extremely graphic, but are written with the flowery language you'd expect to see from a bodice-ripping romance novel rather than a paperback horror novel. My only complaint with the book is that the deaths in the first third or half of the book became a bit repetitive after a while. There are only so many times you can read descriptions of killer roaches invading all orifices of the human body before it loses its shock value. Overall, I loved it. It's a trashy and terrible and delightful, and everything I was looking for.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Ordinary Average Guy
  • 28-06-19

The Nest is waiting for you

The Nest is a terrific beginning to the "Paperbacks From Hell" series from Valancourt Books. The narration was excellent and perfectly paced to keep the suspense building up to the finale. The story starts off with a bang and only occasionally lets the reader relax a little. I can't wait to read/hear more in the series!

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Wakana
  • 08-09-20

Wordy...

I appreciate a good turn of phrase, and good writing. This author certainly can write. Unfortunately, he doesn’t see when it’s toooo much. Everything waxes poetic. Enjoyable at first, then tolerable, and then I’m listening at 1.5 speed. Seriously, New England islanders quoting Shakespeare because he wants to sound poetic.... I’m sure this was a movie. So many crazy cockroach movies. The movie would’ve been better. Unless characters step to the side in a soliloquy....

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  • Jason
  • 09-07-20

Bring your plot armor or you're roach fodder.

After seeing the reviews for this book I might have set my expectations too high. Sure the book is brutal, but it seriously lacks suspense. The first half of the book anyone that the roaches come into contact with are eaten alive before they can even realize what's happening to them. Then after the roaches devour the town's children half way through the book, the deaths virtually stop. I guess all the main characters have enough plot armor that it's smooth sailing for the rest of the book. Sort of removed all tension for me. Maybe you'll like it, but I found it a little predictable. Expect characters to either have their eyes torn out and be eaten by the bugs right away, or escape virtually unharmed. Lots of gory descriptions of people having roaches crawling up their butts and or children having their eyes eaten out while their still alive, if you're into that stuff.

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  • I.Blair
  • 22-06-20

A real nail biter

I rarely pick books like this. but was hooked by the reviews. I was not disappointed at all. I could not stop listening, and parts would really get me tense, waiting for the outcome of a scene. Gory. yes, but definitely an awesome book.

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  • Morgan
  • 10-06-20

Not for the squeamish

A no holds barred approach to a eerily possible scenario, with no fictional lines being tip-toed over. Doesn't matter if the victim is a kid or animal, the roaches are coming. Made my uneasiness with bugs all the worse.

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  • riever
  • 20-04-20

very good story very gory

The story was extremely gory but very well written not for the faint of heart