Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Book Review: Carnosaur re-release (Valancourt Books, 2022) by Devin J. Meaney

Written by Harry Adam Knight and Will Errickson
Format: Paperback, mass market paperback, Kindle
Language: English
Length: 206 pages
Published by Valancourt Books
Original publication: 1984
Re-release date: September 6, 2022
Months (leaning into a year?) back I purchased the re-release of the 80’s B- grade fiction book Carnosaur. I intended to do a review of this book sooner but other things got in the way. It is currently 11:11 at night as I am typing this and as I have reviewed all the music in my personal library I figured it was time to give this “classic” some proper words. Here we go…
Carnosaur was written by Harry Adam Knight. He has written a few other books—the only other one I remember being the similar B- grade style novella “The Fungus”. Carnosaur was first written in 1984 and was put out to the public six years before the release of Jurassic Park! The back of the book insinuates that both of these releases share some plot elements but personally I think they are vastly different. It is also worth mentioning that I for a long time didn’t know this was a book—but when I found out I had to purchase it due to the fact that I am a huge fan of the Carnosaur movie series from the 90’s. After reading the book I can state that the book and the movie are barely recognizable as being related—and Roger Corman’s interpretation was more of a re-write than an adaptation. Still—as a fan of the movie series I have no problem saying that the book was enjoyable to say the very least. The B- grade is evident, but as a lover of cheese this was by no means a problem for me.
Taking place in the English town of Warchester a farmer is found killed in what is believed to be an animal attack. It is at first believed to be the work of a Siberian tiger but after a witness describes something that is seemingly impossible everything takes a turn for the worst. Carnosaur involves the escapades of a local reporter Darren Pascal (the first movie’s main character is a night watchman known as “Doc”) and a rich zoo owner named Sir Darren Penward (in the movie the antagonist is a geneticist named Jane Tiptree) and a slew of other characters. If you want to know more I’d suggest giving the book a read for yourself!
In conclusion this book was a win for me. It had a few typos, run on sentences and a few moments of “ok get on with it” but otherwise I’m probably going to read this again once I’ve forgotten my first read through. Again, this is a book for lovers of cheese like myself so if you can dig scientifically reproduced dinosaurs ravaging a small town I’d say go for it! I have yet to read more from Harry Adam Knight but I do plan to pick up more of his work in the future. Sadly he died early due to alcoholism and a few other ailments so he won’t be putting out anything new—but I will be happy to dig into what is already out there and I’d suggest you do the same! -Devin J. Meaney

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