Shame! Shame on me--I had never read Douglas Clegg until last year when I saw Goat Dance at a used bookstore and thought, "Hey! We're Facebook friends." That novel blew me away. How I'd gone so long without Clegg, I had no idea but knew that was remedied.
My next Clegg was this one, Breeder. I had no doubt that I'd like it--Goat Dance had a clarity and might that couldn't have been a fluke. But Breeder was better than I could have imagined. Bold and daring like Barker's Books of Blood, Breeder presents amazing imagery, gore, dread, flashes of humor, and a true human story. The characters of Breeder lived and breathed, building the framework on which the horror hangs. There's a 70s vibe to Breeder, but unlike Burnt Offerings (for example) Clegg weaves his character development into the quickly appearing horror. We don't need to wade through a third of the book to get to know these people.
A comparison to Rosemary's Baby is inevitable, and the nods to Levin's classic are clever and reverent. But times have changed, and Clegg wields a hammer (reference intended) as well as a scalpel, and Breeder is just downright brutal! Where lesser horror novels dance around what may happen, Breeder fulfills every promise. It's a thoroughly satisfying read with no lulls, only ever-increasing horror.
Phenomenal novel! Five Dweller Heads!
Review by Michael Schutz