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Spawn

Novel by Shaun Hutson (England) 1983.

At the age of fourteen, mentally-retarded Harold Pierce sets fire to craneflies. Unfortunately one of his matches falls into his year-old brother's cot. The house quickly burns, killing both his mother and brother, and leaving Harold physically and mentally scarred. After many years in a mental asylum, he finds work as a hospital porter where one of his jobs is to incinerate aborted foetuses. He cannot bring himself to 'burn his brother' again and smuggles the abortions out of the hospital to bury them. During a storm, the power lines come tumbling down, bringing the foetuses back to life in good old Frankenstein tradition. Harold must feed them with his own blood, for their mental powers are growing and he cannot resist them.

Congratulations are in order for bad boy Hutson who manages to outdo even himself here, ignoring social taboos wherever he can and generally making this novel about as sick as is humanly possible. But that is certainly not a discouragement; if you can stomach it, read it. It's Hutson's talent for books like this that has the critics baying for his blood, but conversely, it's what makes him worth reading. This is not quite his best, but at the very least its his schlockiest. And after Slugs that's saying something!


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