sturgeonslawyer (sturgeonslawyer) wrote,

Read: Crawlers, by Ray Garton (2016-58)

The first thing that came to mind when reading _Crawlers_ was, "This is like _Little Shop of Horrors_ -- only much, much darker and nastier."

It isn't, after all. Oh, it's much darker and nastier than _LSoH_; it just isn't much *like* it.

Mt. Crag is a small community, apparently in a mountain range, not too far from Iron City. Take from that what geography you will. One night, after a meteor shower, the good (and not so good - but mostly decent people) citizens of Mt. Crag awaken to find strange flowers growing all over the place. As horror readers, we know that this is Not Good and that the *last* thing the good citizens of Mt. Crag should do is take these flowers into their homes and places of business, which, of course, they do. Soon the flowers are doing very nasty things: much more would be spoliation of what is, after all, a not-very-long story.

Garton writes well, without fuss, and shares with writers like Stephen King the ability to create largish numbers of distinct, believable, and _likeable_ people in a believable community. Nobody in Mt. Crag seems to deserve what happens to their town; they struggle to understand it, but never succeed, and -- well, it's bleak is what it is. We, as readers, end up understanding far more than they do, or can. And we come to care about some of these characters - quite quickly in some cases - and hurt when they are hurt. Or die.

All I will say about the ending is that, in a week where I was already depressed, it didn't help: but then, that's not what I want from horror.

If you want a good horror story, here it is.
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