After hearing about The Troop for a few years now, I finally decided to read it. There is a lot of good to be said about the novel and all its gory glory, and I'd just be repeating all of those praises, so I'll bring up one complaint that probably never gets mentioned: It wasn't gory enough. Yeah, I said it. Read no further if you want to go into the book unspoiled. Yes, the book is very gory, and Cutter is seemingly unafraid of putting kids into terrible situations... So why not go all the way? Cannibalism was mentioned throughout the novel but aside from chewing on their own fingers, no kid ever nom-nom-nommed on one of his buddies. If you're going to go out of your way to mention how sparsely populated the island is with food sources, mention animals eating themselves and each other, and generally gross me the hell out, just go all the way! Have Shelley or Kent feast on Typhoid Tom or Tim. Have one of them attack and chow down on one of the other lads. Shelley even thought about eating eyes and feet. It's still a great novel, but for a book that didn't pull its punches anywhere else, this apparently built up moment of crowning horror that never happens is sorely missed.
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