Monday, October 31, 2016

Book Review: Death Spore

Book Review: 'Death Spore' by Harry Adam Knight

5 / 5 Stars

Harry Adam Knight was the pseudonym used by the Australian author and film critic John Brosnan (1947 - 2005). Under his own name, or 'Simon Ian Childer' ( yet another pseudonym), Brosnan wrote a number of Splatterpunk horror novels during the 80s, including such gorehound faves as Slimer (1983), Carnosaur (1984), and Worm (1987).

Knight / Brosnan published The Fungus in 1985 as a paperback with UK publisher Star.

A hardcover version was published in 1989 by Franklin Watts.

The U.S. version of the book was retitled 'Death Spore' (256 pp) and published by Pinnacle Books in May, 1990. The cover artist is uncredited.

(Note: The reviews for The Fungus at amazon give away much of the plot - use caution when consulting them).

Whether it's titled The Fungus or Death Spore, this book is a fun read !

The novel is set in London in the mid-80s. Its opening chapters are a string of vignettes describing how various people become ill with horrible fungal diseases. The only link among them ? Contact with a glamorous blonde woman who is roaming the streets of the city.

As the hospitals see more and more cases of people suffering from drastic infections, suspicion grows that an epidemic has begun. But this is unlike any epidemic the world has ever seen before.

Barry Wilson, a former mycologist turned detective novel writer, may be the only one who can combat the epidemic. But as the social order breaks down under the strain of the epidemic, time is running out for Wilson.....and perhaps the entire world......

'Death Spore' makes no pretense of being a 'quiet' or 'literary' horror novel. To the contrary, it's very much in the vein of the classic James Herbert novel The Fog. Indeed, author Knight adopts the spare, clinical prose style of Herbert, with some well-timed moments of gross-outs and sarcastic humor.

Despite a fast-moving plot that has little time for Deep Musings, the lead characters are interesting, and their adventures engrossing.

If you're looking for a creepy-crawlies horror novel, one that sits comfortably on the shelves reserved for James Herbert, Shaun Hutson, and John Halkin, then you'll want a copy of 'Death Spore' !

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