The Troop by Nick Cutter

Originally posted 2016-08-23 17:00:52.

The Troop is not for the easily nauseated. While not quite as disturbing as American Psycho, this tale of a boy scout trip gone awry did leave me dry-heaving on the side of the road (be wary of the dangers of listening to graphic Audible books while running).

Every year, Scoutmaster Tim takes his boy scout troop to spend a weekend in the wilderness. On an isolated island, the boys partake in typical scouty stuff and some kumbaya camaraderie, but this year they find themselves interrupted by an intruder. The outsider is a man clearly on the verge of death, and he is the thinnest person that any of them has ever seen. Scoutmaster Tim is a small-town doctor by trade, and he is appalled and disgusted by the emaciated figure, who is so hungry that he has been eating rocks and dirt. The man then promptly dies, but not before infecting the scoutmaster with this rapid weight-loss plan.

It turns out that this guy was the guinea pig for a new diet pill, and things didn’t go quite as planned. An ethically questionable doctor had been biologically meddling with tape worms, but the end result was a resilient and apparently contagious super worm. The boys are then left to deal with this genetically crafted menace with a complete lack of adult supervision. It doesn’t go well.

This wasn’t one of my favorite books, mainly due to the explicitly gory descriptions. That being said, the concept was awesome and the fast-pacing kept me transfixed until the very end. The Troop is definitely a worthwhile read, just don’t eat anything before you start it.

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