The Blooding by William Darrid (Bantam, 1979)



The cover copy makes this novel sound like the Town That Dreaded Sundown. It isn’t. But I always believe in coming to a novel “as it is” and without a lot of preconceived notions or hoity-toity reader snobberyishness.  The “stalking killer” in The Blooding is rabies. And, this was 1979 after all, a weird time for horror fiction…it was beginning to burst out of every crack in every wall you could find. (Thank you, Stephen King.) What you really get is the story of a small Kansas town during World War II where most of the young men are off fighting the Germans and bodies are coming home. A rabid coyote bites some cows and a  town dog…and you have an epidemic. People finally figure out there are rabies amongst them and have to deal with it. 1.5-ish stars. Each to his own. Read it for yourself and let me know what you think.


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