The section of the site where I ramble about media.


May 8th, 2024

I read this book in one sitting, at my computer, at work. 179 pages isn’t very long and in general I can usually read 100 pages in an hour. I found out about the movie adaptation, saw it got pretty bad reviews, read the wiki summary and then bought the e-book. This seems to be a common thread in the books I’ve read recently, an INCREDIBLY INTERESTING CONCEPT that just isn’t explored to the depths I desire.

One thing about me folks is that I LOVE living scarecrows. The concept of a weird scarecrow monster that boys have to hunt down in an annual ritual on Halloween appeals to me SO much. But ultimately I feel it got a little goofy. Plant, pumpkin man just wasn’t scary enough for me. I’d prefer a bit more reanimated corpse thrown in there. I want more monster, more blood. Spirit Halloween Pumpkin Patch Prowler animatronic driving a Chrysler and shooting s a .45 is, well let’s face it, it’s goofy.

I had fun with this book. I think it's a good, quick, October read. I just wish we could’ve stayed in that town a little longer and learned more about the “Harvester’s Guild”. Gotten to know the characters a bit more. I mean this in a purely complimentary way, but it reads as a “grown up” Goosebumps. I think my tolerance is a bit skewed but I think this is a very light and scary read for those who don’t dabble in horror very often.


May 8th, 2024

JUDGEMENT: Quick read it was okay.

The Troop was interesting. I’ll give it that. I didn’t hate reading it and it was pretty gross. That’s one of the main criticisms I’ve seen of this book; Cutter relies heavily on gross out and shock to induce reactions in readers. In this book he also relied pretty heavily on stock character archetypes. I think he did an okay job fleshing out some of the characters but you have already seen these characters before in other movies and books countless times.

I did enjoy the process of discovery. It called to mind a Resident Evil game of piecing together the terrible “experiment”. At times I had trouble suspending my disbelief about killer worms or the manipulative powers of a teenage psychopath but, ya know, whatever. There was a very good feeling of helplessness created by trapping the action on a remote island. It is sufficiently terrifying that this bad stuff is happening to young teens.

The truly divisive thing about the book is the depiction of animal death. That seems to be the thing that people wig out over the most. Those scenes really didn’t affect me much (I don’t know if that says anything about me) but I reached a point where I wasn’t taking the book seriously. I found certain characters to be a bit ridiculous so by the time we get around to the torture and killing of an animal it just kind of made me roll my eyes.

I’m not upset that I read it. It kept me engaged and entertained most of the time. I’ve seen some criticisms of Cutter’s other books that I feel apply to The Troop as well; he creates an intriguing concept with great potential but doesn’t explore it enough. Things move a little too fast and there aren’t many satisfying conclusions. I’m ok with ambiguous endings but I ended the book with too many questions for my liking. And the very last part of the epilogue? I’ve written hundreds of pages of literary theory and I can’t infer a satisfactory meaning there.

Ultimately, I don’t understand the people I’ve seen going on and on about this is the most disgusting and horrific book they’ve ever read. I mean for them that may be true for them I guess. I mean they’re posting on r/horror, what else are they reading that this is SO shocking? I just don’t think my tolerance for the disgusting is that high. I also don’t quite understand people I’ve seen saying this is their favorite book ever. Once I again I ask; what else are they reading?