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Abomination

Novel by Guy N Smith (England) 1986.

Franklin Roeder, head of Roeder Agrochemicals Ltd., has developed a killer pesticide spray by applying the principle of weedkiller (that the weeds outgrow themselves and die) to insects. The first part is a huge success; everything from frogs to wood lice become bloated under its effects; but the second part is much more of a problem; most of the creatures stubbornly refuse to die. Unfortunately for the people of the nearby Welsh borders farming village Pen-y-Cwm, Roeder couldn't care less and persuades his lab scientists to lie in their reports, so as to get an early release date for his pesticide and thus make him more money. Meanwhile the effects of the spray are causing the village to suffer a plague of oversized and hungry insects.

With such a prolific output of gore novels, it may come as a surprise that Guy Smith spent a large amount of time running an organic smallholding on the Welsh borders. As such, he presumably knows what he's talking about when he writes thinly disguised attacks on the pesticide industry such as this. The beginning of Abomination (and much of the end) is pretty much a lecture on the evils of chemical spraying, but then he's got a point. And as a work of fiction, it ranks towards the top of his output. Many of his novels feature giant/mutated/mad animals attacking Man, but usually only one species at a time. Here we've got gratuitous overkill: death by earwigs, death by wood lice, death by toads; there's even a particularly effective stag beetle massacre in the Pen-y-Cwm church. Gore hounds and Smith fans (which has to be close to the same thing) certainly won't be disappointed here. Only one small point: I do prefer the working title of Mutants!


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