The Troop: A Novel by Nick CutterThe Troop: A Novel by Nick Cutter

The Troop: A Novel

byNick Cutter

Paperback | August 16, 2016

see the collection Tales of Horror

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The Troop scared the hell out of me, and I couldn’t put it down. This is old-school horror at its best.” —Stephen King

Once every year, Scoutmaster Tim Riggs leads a troop of boys into the Canadian wilderness for a weekend camping trip—a tradition as comforting and reliable as a good ghost story around a roaring bonfire. But when an unexpected intruder stumbles upon their campsite—shockingly thin, disturbingly pale, and voraciously hungry—Tim and the boys are exposed to something far more frightening than any tale of terror. The human carrier of a bioengineered nightmare. A horror that spreads faster than fear. A harrowing struggle for survival with no escape from the elements, the infected…or one another.

Part Lord of the Flies, part 28 Days Later—and all-consuming—this tightly written, edge-of-your-seat thriller takes you deep into the heart of darkness, where fear feeds on sanity…and terror hungers for more.
Nick Cutter is the pen name of Canadian author Craig Davidson. Cutter has won the inaugural James Herbert Award for Horror Writing for his title The Troop. The award carries a monetary attachment of $3800.
Title:The Troop: A NovelFormat:PaperbackDimensions:384 pages, 8.25 × 5.31 × 1.1 inPublished:August 16, 2016Publisher:Gallery BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1501144820

ISBN - 13:9781501144820

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Rated 2 out of 5 by from Meh Meh. Disappointingly it was exactly what I thought it would be and as enjoyable as a "popcorn monster movie". The use of magazine articles about what happened to the Troop and post-incident transcripts scattered through the book are an interesting and effective way to inform the reader about what's actually going on. The dynamics between the kids is believable, however some of their reactions to the the situation was not (particularity Shelley, who seemed to react older than a 14 yr old might).
Date published: 2018-08-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from LOVE !! So ! Nick Cutter..I love your writing. I have read every horror book you have written and The Troop i found to like to most. I read it over a year ago and I still think about it to this day. It was the right amount of creepy and disgusting that it was soooo good.
Date published: 2018-05-15
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Nope I admit this book is really well written, but this book didn't do anything for me other than turn my stomach make me cringe. While I do enjoy a good thriller/horror, this was just too gross for me.
Date published: 2018-05-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A favorite thriller The concept of a parasite has been done before but no scene has ever been so grotesquely descriptive that I was nervous to read it. The horror in this book is not the physical appearance of the monster but the choices and actions of the characters described so well and detailed, this book had me on the edge.
Date published: 2018-03-31
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A little derivative It has been done before, but it is still very well written and worth a read for horror fans. There is no shocking twist anywhere, you will probably see it all coming,so just don't expect too much.
Date published: 2018-02-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A very well written and bloody, horror romp in the woods. I'd been fittingly salivating over this one for quite some time now. The huge endorsement by S. King on the cover has the same effect as a Pulitzer badge or Oprah recommendation. One must just read it, & SHUT UP. And was Le grand buffet horrifique worthwhile? Hell yeah! Did it live up to its "The (add some Noun here... i.e. Stand, Mist, Ruins, Exorcist, Omen)" ... preferred title for a work of the horror persuasion? Very much. It's sickening, sad, & especially because it all occurs to 14 year old kids on the very cusp of attaining adulthood, of establishing their personalities. The 5 kids, the Troopmaster, they are all very real and what happens to them is lacquered in incredible realism. It is the proximity to them, from their past traumas to their very adolescent aroma (the writer has a strong proclivity toward the sense of smell), that attains for the work an immediate standing-ovation worthy response from the reader. The blood will chill, the book will remain in your white-knuckled hands. THIS is what a visceral tale of survival horror means... the foundations are nicely set & the adventure is a spectacularly bloody one.
Date published: 2018-01-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A really creepy, engrossing ride I picked this book up after reading the synopsis for one of Nick Cutters other books (The Deep) I was interested to know his style and approach and I enjoyed it. The narrative was simple but evoking and the frequent use of allegory made it easy to picture everything. Enough information was given early on to know what to expect, but the way the author described it, it was hard to know exactly what was about to happen and it left me guessing through the whole novel. I would describe this as more graphic as opposed to scary. A few scenes left me sick to my stomach but it really added to the atmosphere. I would recommend this novel for anyone new to horror or any fan of Stephen King or Chuck Palahniuk
Date published: 2018-01-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Simple concept well executed... This book has a simple concept that has probably been done before, however it was written in such a way that a multiple hundred page book seems like a 100 page book. That isn’t easy to do well.
Date published: 2017-11-30
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Fun, but doesn't live up to the hype Woohoo! I bulldozed through this baby. I really wanted to like The Troop. The premise was set up in a way that I think I should really like The Troop: A group of young Scouts and their Scoutmaster set off for a weekend hike on small deserted island. In the night, an ill man creeps up on shore, plagued by some insidious hunger. I think it's safe to say it's obvious where things go from there. A lot of people hailed this book as a combination between Lord of the Flies and The Ruins, both which I really loved, so maybe that set my expectations too high. What fell flat for me was that it didn't feel real enough. I don't think the premise is farfetched – I just found that, for instance, between the similar landscapes of The Ruins and The Troop that Scott Smith did a better job slowly turning up the heat. Both books play on the importance of known character archetypes. Scott Smith just does this phenomenal job at humanizing these archetypes - putting you in their heads, rationalizing their actions. I think without that behind-the-scenes knowledge, played archetypes tend to fall flat, which is maybe why the movie adaptation didn't grip people the same way the book did. In that sense, The Troop feels more like a horror movie than a book. It's lacking that peek behind the curtain for us to understand motives and actions. Both books feature a character who thinks they're infected and tries to carve the "thing" out of themselves. Smith put that pot of water on the stovetop almost immediately giving him like 80% of the book to validate that sense of paranoia. Reading through it, you kind of get stuck in the web of Eric's rationalization - is there a vine growing in his body? Or is he just feeling signs of a real infection? It's unclear, and it's something that has a long time to build up. It takes time for losing your marbles to feel real. The Troop's approach was more, I don't know, Hollywood horror movie? Kill-a-character-and-move-onto-the-next sort of setup, where he threw in this paranoid kid thinking he was infected halfway through the novel. The risk just didn't make sense, and I think that's what bothered me the most about a lot of the character choices. I think maybe it would've been more believable if the kids were younger. They're supposed to be 14. I think maybe Cutter lost sight of how 14-year-old boys act/think, 8-10 would've maybe made more sense. What also bothered me was the forced "twists" and articles/interviews interspersed between chapters. It's poor plot construction IMO, unless you like super bland exposition. I think because of that blandness that the book relies really strongly on shock and gore value (which are actually nicely written), but I don't think that brings anything new to the genre and makes for a flimsy base when trying to stand an entire 500 page novel on it. Overall, a quick, vile read. Would always recommend The Ruins above this one, but it's still pretty fun narrative.
Date published: 2017-11-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from What a Book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I read this for the time of year. Being Halloween i wanted scary and i got this. It wasn't super scary but man did it give me the creeps at certain times. It was so well written I could imagine everything happening and because it was happening to children it was even worse. It was gross and oh man I will never look at worms the same again. If you like horror READ this book.
Date published: 2017-10-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Disgusting and Wonderful! I loved this book. The grammar that he chose to use was disgusting in the best way. The book itself is meant to be gross and he took it to another level! I loved every second of it. If you're into gore, this is the book for you! I don't usually read books from where I live but this one was great! I took a chance and it totally paid off and have since told so many friends who also read it and couldn't get enough! I have since read many others of his.
Date published: 2017-10-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Creepy Squiggly Crawly! This may be the best book I've read this year. I wouldn't call it scary but it is hella creepy and definitely a novel of terror. Do not read if you are apt to get very queasy over slimy, slithery things. There are a few difficult passages to read that pertain to animals for those who may be offended. I however loved this book so much, the character development with the main characters who happen to be 5 boy scouts is quite interesting with their backstories and diverse personalities. It's a fast paced story, gets right into it. Gnarly, disturbing, icky, awesome! Highly recommend.
Date published: 2017-10-03
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Gross! I love horror books that go just a bit further then your comfortable with but this book didn't do it for me. Maybe because the characters were children.
Date published: 2017-09-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Creepy and Crawly This book left me feeling crawly and paranoid. It was an awesome couldn't put down will probably have nightmares gripping read! I can't wait to read more from Nick Cutter.
Date published: 2017-09-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Terrifying and gross This is the scariest book I've ever read. It has notes of Stephen King (no surprise), but it feels new and fresh. And it's Canadian! Who doesn't love that?
Date published: 2017-08-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Disgustingly Awesome!! Loved every second of this thrilling, terrifying, disgusting, edge of your seat book! It really shows the length some people will go to to survive. Sadly what some people will do to others to survive.
Date published: 2017-05-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Horror I wouldn't describe myself as an aficionado of the horror genre, but I took a risk on this novel given its positive press and was not disappointed. Grotesque yes, but also gripping and a deeply human portrayal of how we handle crises.
Date published: 2017-01-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it I loved this novel. Davidson (Cutter) takes a plot that could have otherwise been childish and unforgettable and has made it into a grotesque, scary, thrilling, awesome piece of writing. Very good plot and excellent characters. I recommend it 100%
Date published: 2016-12-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Creepy and Dark This novel is deliciously disturbing and very well written. I will definitely be reading another book by Nick Cutter.
Date published: 2016-11-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Disturbingly great This was a great read. Enjoyed every gory, disturbing bit of it.
Date published: 2016-11-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I Could Not Put it Down! This is one of those books that is so well written that the pages just breeze by. A really great read with a feel of nostalgia for vintage Stephen King. The entire thing was mesmerizing from start to finish!
Date published: 2016-11-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Sickeningly Mesmerizing Genetic Pandora's Box "It is a fact that cannot be denied: the wickedness of others become our own wickedness because it kindles something evil in our own hearts." I wanted to like this less than I did for the sheer revolting grotesqueness that oozed out of this novel at a relentless pace. Competently written, well structured, impressively tense, gripping psychological horror. A quick read and certainly a solid example of horror, with an adult level of madness. The type of insanely intense raging terror that makes you feel all twisted and icky inside. "He was dimly terrified that this was the voice of common sense ~ the logical voice that he'd listened to all his adult life ~ and that he was gradually abandoning it." The characterizations ~ Shelley ~ Exceptionally ~ Shelley ~ gave me a skin crawling feeling I haven't felt in years. Uncomfortable to my core and completely disturbed by the vileness of each moment spent with him. This sickeningly mesmerizing genetic Pandora's Box will leave you squirming, gagging, and compelled to continue on. The Troop, was certainly a well timed suitable reading. Since I have just finished devouring Brom's latest novel Lost Gods....
Date published: 2016-11-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Super creepy Lots of body horror in this one. Really interesting premise, very gruesome. Great mix of gross-out, plot, and quality writing. I'll definitely be looking forward to more from this author. Would recommend only to people who I know have an interest in this type of writing.
Date published: 2016-02-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from looking for kinda gross? Great book. Keeps you reading to see what's next. Original premise. Would make a great companion read to Lord of the Flies or Maze Runner. NOT dystopian, but rather "disturbian". And, yes, gross.
Date published: 2016-01-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Couldn't Put It Down!!! I LOVED this book. Even Stephen King gave it a commendation, and in my opinion it was well deserved. The author did a great job of describing all of the gory details while at the same time showing you the psychological impact of the situation on each character. It was an easy to read book with a complex storyline. I can't wait to read more books from this author!
Date published: 2015-11-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The troop Great read, had me on the edge of my seat. Interesting setting, takes place on a little island off the north coast of PEI, which is actually an island in nunavut. I definitelyrecommend it.
Date published: 2015-09-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Edge of your seat reading. Highly entertaining. I had trouble putting the book down. If you like Stephen King you'll enjoy this book
Date published: 2015-08-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Riveting Disturbingly realistic! Best read in a long while! Will stay with me for some time to come. To even think about being in the position of those young boys....., unimaginable!
Date published: 2015-07-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Troup Couldn't put this book down. Disturbing parts but I couldn't stop myself from reading, very descriptive.
Date published: 2015-07-27
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Could Not Finish I like spooky, scary, and even gory--but this book only had the gore and crossed a few lines I can't abide. Basically, there's 2 extended and VERY graphically-described scenes of animal torture, one of them involving a household pet. I've read some reviews that indicate there are more animal torture scenes later as well. I wish I had been warned about this as I would not have read the book at all. Aside from that, the writing is decent, although a bit florid, but the characters are walking stereotypes and thus quite dull to read about.
Date published: 2015-06-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Troop Different treatment of a familiar horror-scifi theme. Intrigued by PEI setting and group dynamic of scout troop.
Date published: 2015-05-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Troop Kept me awake for nights. Started slow pulling you in ever so skillfully. Will e looking for more books from this authour.
Date published: 2015-03-19
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Skip unless More gross than scary, with trope characters. Readable, but only really recommended for readers who are into gross fiction. Not as scary as I'd hoped.
Date published: 2015-03-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Beware the conquerer worm Read this and get the skin crawling. Its been years since I marathon read a book. I found it hard to put down and when I did I'd get antsy because the story would not slow down. Loved it and really recommend you pick this up.
Date published: 2015-03-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The troop Reminiscent of early Stephen King, creepy enough to make your skin crawl. Unnervingly realistic. Great read.
Date published: 2014-12-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Creepy as heck This was a fun read if you enjoy a good scare. Great for fans of old school Stephen King and The Walking Dead. Probably best avoided while camping on a remote island.
Date published: 2014-11-12
Rated 3 out of 5 by from The Troop Won't think about worms the same again. Decent read.
Date published: 2014-10-07
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Disturbing, not in a good way. Terrible! The premise of the story is great, however the story was ruined because of the graphic, unnecessary, details that added nothing to the plot. The only reason I finished this book is because I'm one of those people who has hope that no matter how bad a book may be it has to get better. Reading something like this makes me question the authors mental stability.
Date published: 2014-09-20
Rated 3 out of 5 by from The Troop It's a very gory book and well written but I did not find it scary at all.
Date published: 2014-09-16
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Tge Troop Stopped reading when the boy went for the kitten. Not interested in reading about that.
Date published: 2014-09-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Troop An old fashioned scary tale. Lots of gross stuff, fast paced and very frightening.
Date published: 2014-08-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Canadian Horror! Nick Cutter's debut novel 'The Troop' was an amazing read full of suspense, terror, characters, ambience and yes lots of Canada! After seeing Stephen King's endorsement of this book on the front jacket. I knew that I had to read this book. And it does not dissappoint! I am looking forward to Mr. Cutter's next novel. Do not take this book on a camping trip.
Date published: 2014-08-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The troop Creepy..boy scouts on an island are visited by an infected man..subject of a science test..worms.!
Date published: 2014-07-01
Rated 1 out of 5 by from The Troop Storyline was OK but the descriptive cruelty and gore was beyond disgusting. I would not read another Novel with this author's name behind it.... Too bad as I used to really enjoy a good Stephen King story....
Date published: 2014-06-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Troop Fabulous... intelligent, funny, and frightening... a real fun read.
Date published: 2014-06-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The troop Holy crap what a read . It freaked me out . My heart was beating fast and I was screaming in my head when Max went back into the cavern.
Date published: 2014-05-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A creepy good read! I got this book as ARC and loved it! Although there were more than a few stomach churning moments while reading. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a creepifing read.
Date published: 2014-03-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Homegrown horror Right off the top, I have to say - I had this review written and then discovered they had changed the cover from the original - which was much better in my opinion. But what's inside is good, no matter what the cover looks like. Nick Cutter is a pseudonym for a Canadian author Craig Davidson. His latest novel is The Troop. Remember last week I said I liked scary stories? Well, this one filled the bill - and more. Five Scouts from Troop Fifty Two set off with Scoutmaster Tim for a weekend camp on isolated Falstaff Island, Prince Edward Island. Their first night there, a gaunt, skeletal man appears and begs to be fed - he's so very, very hungry. The reader alone is privy to his thoughts..."Would they come for him? He was their failure - a human blooper reel - but also the keeper of their secret. And he was so. so toxic. At least, that's what he overheard them say." Okay, great set-up eh? Isolated island, scary, weird guy showing up and five fourteen year old boys left to face whatever has come to camp on Falstaff Island with them. "And so when adults find themselves in a situation where that nimbleness (of mind) is needed ..well they can't summon it. So they fall to pieces: go insane, panic, suffer heart attacks and aneurysms brought on by fright. Why?" They simply don't believe it could be happening. That's what's different about kids: they believe everything can happen, and fully expect it to." But, there's dissension among the troop as well. Cutter has given us five protagonists - all with their own strengths and weakness. A bit predictable - there is a smart one, a fat one, a psycho one, etc. But Cutter does an excellent job at fleshing them all out and making them quite believable. The infection process is squeamishly nasty - I found myself doing the book version of covering your eyes with a pillow whilst watching a scary move - I started skimming the visceral, detailed descriptions. It's not something I usually do, but Cutter had me squirming. While the boys are trying to figure what's going on, Cutter employs a good tactic to let us, the reader, know the truth. Newspaper articles, police reports and classified documents are interspersed throughout the scenes on the island. (As I noted the locations used in the book, I realized I had visited many of them!) The Troop is classified as a horror book - not my usual genre. But it was undeniably addicting. The cause of the contagion/virus/mutation is revealed by the final page. I wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry - it's an excellent social comment on human behaviour. Fans of Stephen King would love this book. (And King himself says The Troop scared the he** out of me, and I couldn’t put it down. This is old-school horror at its best." Think Lord of the Flies paired with Scott Smith's The Ruins.
Date published: 2014-01-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Read I received the Troop by Nick Cutter in a giveaway from Goodreads First Reads. I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I read the back cover since the back described it as a “terrifying thriller”. I do not do well when it comes to scary so I was a bit worried about reading this novel, wondering if I would be able to get through it. However, this novel was scary, not in the “boo” way, but more in the gory and this-could-happen-to-me way. This novel tells a story of a group of teenage boys, just like many of the people you may know. There is the jock, the nerd, the daredevil, and the best friends. Overall, this novel tells a story that is very believable and could happen to anyone, even you. That is why it is so scary. They started out as average people, like those you may have in your classes at school, and their lives are flipped upside-down. Because of this, I was unable to stop reading. The Troop was full of non-stop action and had you on edge the entire time. In addition to this, every chapter, or natural break in the book begins with a suspenseful statement. Therefore, if you peek and read the first sentence of the next chapter, you are hooked! Unable to stop when you had previously planned. In addition to this, this novel was very well written. Even though it spoke of serious events, it still had some humour. One minute, I found myself shaking with fear, wondering what would happen next. Then, I would find myself laughing hysterically. This book easily induced both fear and laughter to keep the reader interested. I would recommend this novel to anyone who is interested in scary novels as well as anyone who is looking for a break from the ordinary. It will surely not disappoint! For those of you who are interested, this book will be available on February 25, 2014. Be sure to keep an eye out for it!
Date published: 2013-10-13

Read from the Book

The Troop 1 EAT EAT EAT EAT The boat skipped over the waves, the drone of its motor trailing across the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. The moon was a bone fishhook in the clear October sky. The man was wet from the spray that kicked over the gunwale. The outline of his body was visible under his drenched clothes. He easily could have been mistaken for a scarecrow left carelessly unattended in a farmer’s field, stuffing torn out by scavenging animals. He’d stolen the boat from a dock at North Point, at the farthest tip of Prince Edward Island, reaching the dock in a truck he’d hotwired in a diner parking lot. Christ, he was hungry. He’d eaten so much at that roadside diner that he’d ruptured his stomach lining—the contents of his guts were right now leaking through the split tissue, into the crevices between his organs. He wasn’t aware of that fact, though, and wouldn’t care much anyway in his current state. It’d felt so good to fill the empty space inside of him . . . but it was like dumping dirt down a bottomless hole: you could throw shovelful after shovelful, yet it made not the slightest difference. Fifty miles back, he’d stopped at the side of the road, having spotted a raccoon carcass in the ditch. Torn open, spine gleaming through its fur. It had taken great effort to not jam the transmission collar into park, go crawling into the ditch, and . . . He hadn’t done that. He was still human, after all. The hunger pangs would stop, he assured himself. His stomach could only hold so much—wasn’t that, like, a scientific fact? But this was unlike anything he’d ever known. Images zipped through his head, slideshow style: his favorite foods lovingly presented, glistening and overplumped and too perfect, ripped from the glossy pages of Bon Appétit—a leering parody of food, freakishly sexual, hyperstylized, and lewd. He saw cherries spilling from a wedge of flaky pie, each one nursed to a giddy plumpness, looking like a mess of avulsed bloodshot eyeballs dolloped with a towering cone of whipped cream . . . Flash. A porterhouse thick as a dictionary, shank bone winking from fat-marbled meat charred to crackly doneness, a pat of herbed butter melting overtop; the meat almost sighs as the knife hacks through it, cooked flesh parting with the deference of smoothly oiled doors . . . Flash. Flash. Flash. What wouldn’t he eat now? He yearned for that raccoon. If it were here now, he’d rip the hardened rags of sinew off its tattered fur; he’d crush its skull and sift through the splinters for its brain, which would be as delicious as the nut-meat of a walnut. Why hadn’t he just eaten the fucking thing? Would they come for him? He figured so. He was their failure—a human blooper reel—but also the keeper of their secret. And he was so, so toxic. At least, that’s what he overheard them say. He didn’t wish to hurt anyone. The possibility that he may already have done so left him heartsick. What was it that Edgerton had said? If this gets out, it’ll make Typhoid Mary look like Mary Poppins. He was not an evil man. He’d simply been trapped and had done what any man in his position might do: he’d run. And they were coming for him. Would they try to capture him, return him to Edgerton? He wondered if they’d dare do that now. He wasn’t going back. He’d hide and stay hidden. He doubled over, nearly spilling over the side, hunger pangs gnawing into his gut. He blinked stinging tears out of his eyes and saw a dot of light dancing on the horizon. An island? A fire?