Post by H_P_Saucecraft on Sept 25, 2009 20:24:26 GMT
Nick Sharman - Childmare (Hamlyn 1980)
Finally found a copy of the ellusive Childmare on ebay & cheaply (99p). The member has quite a few other Hamlyns, but other things are taking priority at the moment, so I've had to limit myself to one (grrr), but very happy to have got hold of this one at last.
The member has quite a few other Hamlyns, but other things are taking priority at the moment, so I've had to limit myself to one (grrr),
You can't have that many to go for the full set!
Ripper's review of Childmare from Vault MK 1
I vividly recall purchasing "Childmare" from a local bookshop during a college lunchtime break, then passing it around my classmates during afternoon classes for them to goggle at the machette-wielding (dripping blood, of course), angelic-faced little girl on the cover. I'm pretty sure that I read it in a single sitting that evening.
A food additive turns the schoolkids who partake of one particular school meal into bloodthirsty maniacs who torture, rape and murder their teachers and anyone else who gets in the way. The same company supplies meals for the whole of London so soon the streets are full of rampaging, crazed schoolkids. There are some memorable scenes including a pitched battle between the teenage zombies and the police's SPG and kids clustering around car exhaust pipes breathing in the fumes (apparently the lead gives them some relief from terrible headaches caused by the additive). The ending is suitably apocalyptic with the army and RAF being called in to deal with the crisis.
Some nasty scenes, certainly not for the squeamish. A short, easy read, typical of the "nasties" that flooded the market in the early 80s.
From the first, I set myself against "literature"; the story was the thing, and no amount of style could persuade me to select a story that lacked genuine, unadulterated horror. For those who wanted something high-brow there was plenty.
The early 1980s were a great time for those who appreciated the delights of pulp horror nasties. I was usually in my local bookshop at least once a week and almost every time at least 1 or 2 new nasties would have appeared. "Childmare" was so typical of the stuff that seemed to dominate the shelves. In the main you knew what to expect when picking one up: plenty of gory deaths, some semi-graphic sex, not too much character development and often an ending that hinted at a possible sequel (which usually failed to appear). They were easy to read and entertaining, short enough not to outstay their welcome and had covers that would give your maiden aunt the vapours.
Post by H_P_Saucecraft on Jan 7, 2010 14:42:15 GMT
Not long finished this & it certainly delivers!. It's a shame there's not more like this, about now, but I don't think many publishers would touch it (Edward Lee, on what I've read so far, seems to be one of the few still doing this sort of thing, though his novels are usually 300+ pages).
Not much I can say that hasn't been said, but this one has put me in the mood for trying The Fog or The Dark.
Post by fritzmaitland on Mar 28, 2010 19:53:58 GMT
Frightening indeed. A surprise trip to London on Friday netted me an Evening Standard (well it's free now) and emblazoned across the front cover was that terrible story about the schoolkids fighting at Victoria Station that ended with a tragic death by stabbing. Not sure if that's why this one fell off the shelf and I dived straight in. Years since I read The Cats, but this is flowing along as nicely (if that's the correct word) as The Scourge. Some interesting characters. I assume that Sharman was American (was his real identity ever discovered?) as the main hero-type character is from the US and not at all annoying - in fact he has some boffo lines such as "I'll make waves - tidal!" and the almost unbelievable advice to a policeman "They're from the remedial class so don't use long words when you question them." He's Max Donnelly, ex-teacher and Viet vet, drafted in with six 'guards' to take care of security at a troubled London school. Designed like a prison and built in a posh area, it has an intake of socially deprived kids from a dodgy London estate. (Wasn't there some kerfuffle about this time - 1980 - concerning metal detectors at US schools being used to locate weapons?) . Max is (ahem) 'involved' with blonde bombshell English teacher Tracy Williams, darling of the Globeswatch Team. Snell, the ineffectual headmaster (complete with a vein that throbs in his temple) wants Max out, but needs his security force to keep a lid on the volatile schoolkids. There's also Oliver Hardyesque police inspector Tarrant, called in when a young pupil batters his folks to death with a cricket bat and then wanders the streets stark naked until handily run over. The kids (but not the teachers) suffer a mystery 24 hour virus that has Health chiefs baffled. School doctor Chambers is convinced there's something fishy going on. The kids return to school in a mysteriously silent, orderly fashion, but soon things start going terribly wrong for the grown-ups....
I'm actually one of the few who has enjoyed Sharman's THE CATS , so THE SCOURGE seemed a shoe-in. Probably what happened was some new book turned up that diverted my attention at the time! As for reviews - I take no notice...