Friday, March 2, 2018

Night of the Crabs by Guy N. Smith

Crabs Cult Classic Book 1

This is the book that made Guy N. Smith’s career in 1976. An instant best-seller, Night of the Crabs is available again from Black Hill Books, Guy’s personal imprint. I have read this book several times, and I describe it precisely the same way each time I talk about it - Night of the Crabs is spine-chilling pulp fiction. This book will keep you awake at night, give you nightmares, and entertain the hell out of you. It’s all about these giant crustaceans that crawl out of the sea and begin eating people. Note that I said “giant crustaceans.” That’s right, kiddos, giant crabs. I wish Ray Harryhausen had made a film based on this book. This is the prose version of a drive-in movie B-feature where the monsters are giants and they’re hungry. There are now seven sequels published and they are all as good as this first one. Smith’s crab novels have a cult following and I guess that makes me a Crab Cultist. I cannot eat crab legs or even lobster without thinking about this book. Next time your dipping your crab legs into a dish of warm butter, think about that crab growing to the size of a truck and eating you, those pinchers ripping your flesh apart. Go ahead, dip that crab leg in butter. Cliff Davenport is the protagonist, and he is determined to uncover the mystery of the giant crabs. Time is running out, because the crabs have come ashore and are now staging attacks on coastal towns. They are becoming bolder, and people are dying. Lead by the crab Davenport refers to as “King Crab,” the military soon learn that artillery shells are useless against the crab’s mutated exterior.  Cliff Davenport will play a role in several of the sequels. Night of the Crabs is not a long novel, and it’s a fast read. The current edition from Black Hill Books reproduces the classic cover. Smith’s tale about these monstrous crustaceans is a pulp paperback fan’s preferred delight.


Night of the Crabs (1976)
Killer Crabs (1978)
The Origin of the Crabs (1979)
Crabs on the Rampage (1981)
Crabs’ Moon (1984)
Crabs: The Human Sacrifice (1988)
Killer Crabs: The Return (2012)
Crabs Omnibus (shorts collection, 2015)

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