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Maggots

Novel by Edward Jarvis 1986.

A world-renowned speliologist and a world-renowned entomologist, amongst others, journey down Yorkshire's Marston Major caves. Whilst underground, the cave guy and the insect guy witness an eye, a huge eye, identifiable as that of a maggot, but of a ridiculous size. From then on, maggots appear worldwide in countless numbers from over a yard long down to microscopic size. The cave man and the insect man are joined by a school-teacher, a journalist from New Zealand and a prospective US Presidential candidate in the fight to destroy the maggots before the maggots destroy them.

Mr. Jarvis' narrative is innovative, his characterisation is delightful and his style is a joy to read. What distinguishes this novel from its many and poorer counterparts is its sparkling sense of humour. It's not as ridiculously over the top as Pestilence, but over the top nonetheless. Not a complete gore-out novel, but a disaster novel with plenty of gore, this is a perfect example of the modern nasty novel for most of the duration, but just misses out on the maximum because of the disappointingly simple ending. Well used in fifties B-movies, the very simple ending worked in The War of the Worlds, possibly its first appearance, but you can't get away with it here, squire.


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